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Question
Hi!


I picked up a stray off the street 6 month ago, a boy. I had already had 2 female cats then, and they get along and play with each other and play fight all the time. The stray was very thin and sickly and old, but a very-very sweet cat. He almost never plays and tried everything to encourage it, but although he does feel a lot better now, he still won't. However, after 6 months of being with us I noticed him trying to play chase one of my females. Interestingly enough, she is the one they do get along with better normally, but every time he tries to chase her, she turns around and gets defensive, hisses, ears down. Definitely not playful. It breaks my heart, I so want the old guy to have fun, especially knowing he does not have a ton of it left in his life - the poor thing was diagnosed with kidney failure. I want him to be happy and play while he still feels fine, and my witch of a female does not get it. How can I help her understand that he is just playing? She does it all the time with the other female!


Thank you in advance!

Answer
Ekaterina,

Cats will be cats and how cats decide to interact with each other is up to them.  We mere humans do not understand the "rules of engagement".  The other thing we tend to do is to ascribe cats human emotions and motivations for their behaviors.  The problem is that we do not understand how cats think, just that they do not think like we do.

In general, any attempt to influence them or interfere in their interactions will be counter productive.

So, form what you have told me, things are probably not really as bad as you think. However, you might try getting some advice from:

http://jacksongalaxy.com/ on cat behavior and see if there is anything in here that might appear to help the situation.

In particular try the technique outlined in:

http://jacksongalaxy.com/2012/06/23/qa-how-to-stop-cats-from-fighting/

Take a look at this web site and then get back to me if you have follow ups.

Best regards... Norm.

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Norman Auspitz

Expertise

I can answer most non-veterinary questions about cats. My particular expertise is pedigree cats, breeding and showing. However, I am versed in feline behavior, cat breeds and their characteristics, general feline husbandry, and the like.

Experience

I judged for the Canadian Cat Association from 1975 until 1982. I am currently an approved allbreed judge for the Cat Fanciers'' Association (the world''s largets cat registry), and have been judging for them since 1991. I have been breeding pedigreed cats since 1971 and have been exhibiting pedigreed cats in shows since 1970. I obtained my first pedigreed cat in 1970 and have never looked back. In 1971, I obtained my first Abyssinian which has become my primary breed. In addition, I have bred Manx and Persians. Currently, besides the Abyssinians, I am also breeding Maine Coons.


Organizations
Cat Fanciers'' Association, inc. (CFA) and the Manx, Maine Coon, and Abyssinian breed councils. I am currently Abyssinian breed council secretary.

Publications
Cat Fancy Magazine, The Abyssinian Chapter in The Cat Fanciers'' Association Complete Cat Book, and Articles for various editions of The Cat Fanciers'' Association Yearbook

Education/Credentials
I received a B.S. from Drexel University in 1968, a M.Math from University of Waterloo, in 1970, a Ph.D. from University of Waterloo in 1975, and a MBA from McMaster University in 1980. I received my approved allbreed judging status in the Cat Fanciers'' Association in 1999.

Awards and Honors
We have produced a number of Cat Fanciers'' Association (CFA) National winning Abyssinian and Maine Coons. We have produced a number of Abyssinian and Maine Coon Distinguished Merit females (an award for a top producing cat), including the first Distinguished Merit Abyssinian in the red (sorrel) color. I am the CFA Abyssinian breed council secretary and belong and/or hold office in a number of cat clubs. I am also a member of the CFA Judges Association.

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