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Cats/Sister Cat jealousy


I adopted two spayed sisters 1 month ago from a loving shelter, Apricot and Pepper. They are adorable and I love them both.  Alhto they did not sleep together they got along very well with each other the first 2 weeks and were extremely affectionate with me. Apricot is outgoing while Apricot is shyer but equally affectionate. I took them to the vet the 3rd week and after that things changed. Apricot the alpha cat will not tolerate any attention I pay to Pepper. For example, when I play with both, with a toy, Apricot (the alpha cat) immediately stalks off in a huff. When I get home at night both rush to greet me. Pepper is smaller and faster and gets there first and as soon as she does, Apricot stalks off again, looking teed off. After these occurences Apricot chases Pepper around the apartment and often bites and jumps on her and there is much hissing and growling.  For a while Pepper was very intimidated, hiding and never coming out, but now she has gotten braver and holds her own, even attacking. The biggest drama is at bedtime because both love to sleep on the bed next to me.  For a while, they would sleep on opposite sides, one on my left and one on my right quite peacefully, but now Apricot tries to "guard" the bedroom. She will not tolerate Pepper in the bedroom at all and chases her unmercifully, not in a playing way.  

I feel the jealousy started when they both got very attached to me, but there is only one of me, and I don't know how to handle it. I want to keep them both but not if they are so unhappy. How can I help work this situation out? A grateful thanks for any insight.

Hi Carol,

Sorry it took so long to get back to you. I had the flu. This territory based aggression starts gradually. And the visit to the vet may have been a catalyst. One of your cats may have picked up an odor that the other cat didn't recognize. This will set aggressive behavior off. I would suggest you get a cat pheromone home diffuser product such as Feliway Comfort Zone. This will help calm them down. Also you can give the aggressor this,or something like it.

Get two cat beds for your room. Put them on opposite sides of your bed for them. I think that if you use these things the cats will settle down. Take time and brush them out with the same brush. This will spread their scents to each other. In a week or so things will calm down. Hope this helps. Good luck and take care.

Ciao, Karen


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Karen Craft


I can give advice on cat behavior. I can help about newborn kitten care. I can help with senior cat care. I can answer questions about cat proofing a home or making it cat friendly. I can answer diet questions. I can answer home treatments questions for cats. At present I have 13 cats in home and two ferals outside. And there's always room for one more!


I have over 40 year's experience with cats. Father was a veterinarian and I assisted him in his work. I have 15 cats at present. Most are shelter or feral rescues. I have one purebred cat. I have done cat rescues and foster care. Some thoughts to carry with you. A Cat's 10 Commandments My life is likely to last 15-20 years. Any separation from you is likely to be painful. Give me time to understand what you want of me. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainments. But I have only you. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words, I do understand your voice when speaking to me. Be aware that however you treat me, I will never forget it. Before you swat me, before you strike me, remember that I have teeth that could draw blood. And claws to strike back. And yet I choose not to attack you. If I don't act right then have me checked to see what is wrong. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too will grow old. On the difficult journey, on the ultimate difficult journey, go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there. Because I love you so. Take a moment today to thank God for your pets. Enjoy and take good care of them. Life would be a much duller, less joyful thing without God's critters. Pass this on.

I have an A.A.S.

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