Service Cats: Is Your Shy Cat Being Beat Up

MeOW everypawdy. Can you believe it? It’s already Service Cat Monday again. And, the second week in October. This year has just flown by. Anyways, we’ve got some good questions fur ya’ today, so let me get the business outta the way and we’ll get right to it. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Feline Behavior. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavioral questions, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the end of this post. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

So, our question today comes from awnty Ellen of 15 and Meowing. She asks, “Is there anything that will get Sammy to stop trying to beat up Brody?” First let us say, we’re so sorry you’re having this problem, especially since you were great enough to save Brody from a life on the streets. Secondly, YES, there is hope that Sammy and Brody can live together in peace. Ideally, we know you’d love to see them curled up together having a grooming session. While we can’t promise that, we can at least give you and others going through similar things some tips to help create an alliance/peace accord. We must address the fact that awnty Ellen’s house has gone through a lot of changes since Brody joined their family; the latest being the loss of our dearly beloved Phoebe.

 

Dezi with bowed head praying on the pet stepsPurrlease send comfurt to our furiends.

 

 

As most of you know, cats don’t particularly like change. And, as we discussed previously, cats do have a hierarchy/pecking order when living in multi-cat households. Any loss creates a vacuum in that hierarchy and can cause a bit of turmoil until the cats figure out the new dynamics. The same is true when a new cat is added to the house. Brody came into the house at a time shortly after another loss in his new family. If we recall correctly, he was a bit timid and did some hiding out. While that may have helped Brody adjust to his new surroundings and family, it also marked him as prey. Although Sammy was the resident cat, he was also experiencing changes brought about by the loss of other housemates.

 

Angry cat face emoji

There are several reasons that Sammy could be acting out and taking it out on Brody. These causes could be Redirected Aggression, Fear or Posturing/Dominance. Causes of Redirected Aggression could be that another cat is acting out towards Sammy. Brody may act as prey and run from Sammy causing him to go into hunt, catch and kill mode. If this is the reason for Sammy’s actions, Redirecting him to an appropriate outlet for his aggression is key. At the first sign of any Aggression towards Brody/kitty, Sammy’s attention should be diverted. A loud noise such as a hand clap or the shaking of a coin can (aluminum can with a few coins inside) should cause Sammy/the Aggressor to stop and look for the origins of the noise. Immediately after the noise, say “STOP” in a firm but calm voice and throw a favorite toy for Sammy/kitty to chase instead. Remember, squirt guns, water bottles and the like Do Not help!!!  

 

 Cat chasing cat emoji

 

 

Sammy may also be acting out of Fear. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to know and/or fix what might cause a cat to Fear. But Redirecting the abhorrent behavior will still work. In the meantime, it’s important to build Brody’s/kitty’s confidence in order teach him not to run away and act like prey. Interactive play in the presence of Sammy/the Aggressor and the other kitties will help. But, remember, the point is to help Brody/kitty gain confidence, so ignore any other kitty that may try to join in unless their presence emboldens Brody/shy or passive kitty. Whenever possible, have a second person making sure Sammy/the Aggressor doesn’t interfere with the confidence building exercise. This person might offer Sammy/the Aggressor treats, pats, or brushing during the session. But, only give Rewards when Sammy/the Aggressor is exhibiting the proper behavior and ignoring Brody/kitty. Never Reward Inappropriate Behavior. 

 

Dezi and Raena circle each otherA little posturin’ never hurt anykitty, but don’t let it get outta hand.

 

 

Lastly, if Sammy is acting out due to posturing, it’s up to the human to figure out the acceptable pecking order within their home and Reinforce it. Although this may sound a bit silly, it will certainly make for a more peaceful home. Always greet the Alpha Cat first and then the next in line and so on. Food, treats, grooming and all other interactive activities should start with the Alpha cat and go down the line of succession as well. It is extremely helpful to have scheduled feedings as opposed to free feeding. Free feeding can often cause small spats over left over food bowls. So, to wrap this up, we suggest building confidence in the kitty (Brody) who is receiving the aggression, and Redirecting the more Aggressive kitty (Sammy).

 

 Dezi and Raena sleep together on the floor

2 happy kitties coexisting peacefully.

 

 

That’s it fur this posty. We know this scenario is one played out in many homes each day. We do hope we have helped in some way. We should also say that you have one last option, and that would be to start all over and slowly Reintroduce the kitties by separating them and going through the scent and site swapping methods we discussed in our Fighting or Posturing post or Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat (links below), if you have the extra space. But we do think Redirection and Confidence building is enough, as long as you’re consistent. Remember, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can click on the links below. And as always, we love hearing from you. Leave your thoughts, comments, post suggestions and/or questions in the comment section below or send us an email. 

 

Till the next time…………………………………..Be Blest!!!

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle 

 

Service Cats 

 

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies      Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

Stop Kitty’s Begging     Calling For Help Options Pt. 1

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat      There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3

Surviving A Remodel      Taming A Feral Cat

Designer Cats & Scent      DNA Doesn’t Change      Fighting or Posturing

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning      Wheelchair Training

Basic Training Continues      Managing Without A Wheelchair

Are Spray Bottles Effective      Hands Are Not Toys

Does My Cat Need A Friend

About Deziz World

My name is Deztinee. I am a Ragdoll. I was born 11/1/2009. I am a service cat along with my sisfur RaenaBelle, also a Ragdoll, for our disabled human mommy. My sisfur Raena was born 4/21/2016. In March of 2016, mommy and I had to say goodbye to my mentor Alexandra (Lexi), a black tabby born 4/29/1999. This blog is about our daily life from the kitty's point of view. We were both rescued from bad situations and our mommy raised us and trained us to be service cats. I want this blog to be interactive and get to know all of you, so comment and visit often. I will also offer advice, training tips and education when possible. Copyright © 2014 - 2017 {Audra High via Deztinee High and RaenaBelle High} All Rights Reserved All personal content (story's, poetry, etc., videos and music) are the property of the human behind Deziz World, and may not be used, copied or otherwise re-published without prior written permission/consent from the author (A. High-the human behind Deziz World). We have an amazon.com wish list and a PayPal account if you would like to help/donate to us.

Posted on October 9, 2017, in Educational, Feline Behavior, Human Speak, Questions & Answers, Service Cats, Training and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. Maybe Brody could observe from a high platform until he feels a little more confident & secure? I like to go to my tall platform or other high up place to get away from the D-O-G when she gets a little too goofy. Maybe Sammy thinks that Brody is trying to replace Phoebe. The white kitty before me took it hard when the current D-O-G came into the household, ’cause he had formed a strong bond with the prior doggie before it went OTRB. Hugs & luvs!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another great post! We’re dealing with a little bit of picking on over here, but it’s not super bad. But this is great info to share!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Guys, Lily here,
    This was a timely post for The Tribe of Five. While the female human has been working on the scent me up game and getting Jasmine back in the house, Alberto and Oliver (who are now rambunctious teenagers) have decided that chasing me is a good idea. If I go downstairs, they wait at the top of the stairs to get me, I spend quite a bit of time hiding behind the sofa these days.

    The humans told me maybe I’ll have a little more compassion for Jasmine now and I think they’re right. The humans printed out your blog post and are getting ready to incorporate building my confidence into our current routine.

    Appreciate you both!
    Purrs & Head Bonks,
    Lily

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Lily, we’re sorry to hear the boys are actin’ out toward ya’. But ifin it helps ya’ unnerstand Jasmine better, then at least there’s that. Maybe, once you’ve all got some confidence built up, you girls could teach those boys a few lessons. MOL But be nice. No true whacky paw hits, just a hiss or two. We sure hope we have helped ya’ll. And ifin ya’ need anythin’, just let us know. Sendin’ purrayers fur all. Big hugs

      Luv ya’

      Dezi and Raena

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is interesting … especially since Emmy was brought in after Brody. I don’t know the details – but it’d be interesting if this dynamic started after Emmy came (probably mis-directed aggression then). When Bear and Ellie get into it, clapping is the most effective thing I can do. Then I try to distract one or both. I know both boys are fixed – but I wonder if there’s something going on with that too (it seems like there are fewer boy kitties than girls at 15andmeowing – which might concentrate the power a bit).

    Liked by 1 person

    • We can’t ‘member ifin Brody was already neutered when he moved in, but since he’s not da aggressor, it doesn’t really matter. Once kitties are altered, their hormones no longer play into power struggles, as they no longer feel the need to procreate. The idea, which mommy disagrees with is that there should be an equal number of males to females. As we said tho’, mommy totally disagrees with this. Altered kitties aren’t driven by hormones, so it doesn’t really matter. There;s many pawssiblilities fur this behavior, we just hope we’ve been able to help. We’re glad you find clapping works fur Bear and Ellie. It’s always a good way to get a kitty’s attention. Or a peeps fur that matter. MOL Big hugs

      Luv ya’

      Dezi and Raena

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You always have such great and important information!
    Thanks.
    Have a great day…

    Noodle and crew

    Liked by 1 person

  6. you eggs-plained this problem very good and we love yout tips and advices… we learnt that humans are a very important pawt when such things happen… the mama once made the mistake to pamper the non-dominat part of the battle too much and that caused just more problems between the two rivals…

    Liked by 1 person

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