Bloodless revolution? Change of the torch?

Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
edited 29 August, 2008 in Behavior & Training
Mom here: I adopted a kitten (Gracie) as a companion for my cowardly Boris. Boris is so timid that sometimes he's afraid of his own shadow. I figured bringing a kitten in the mix would be less destabilizing to him than adopting another adult cat. Aside for a short but rocky (1 week or so) adjustment period, the two have gotten along splendidly, with Boris basically almost acting like a momma cat with Gracie. I figured that as Gracie reached maturity, their relationship was bound to change and might result in the occasional fight over dominance, except they really didn't. Gracie has basically always submitted to Boris right away, and up until recently: Boris has stopped sitting on top of the cat tree the last couple of days. I come home and find Gracie perched up there, and she stays there a long time, perhaps most of the day. Boris doesn't go up there any more at all, not even when Gracie is not there and not in sight. There are no outward signs that there was a struggle at all. No scratches, no wounded egos (and Boris can be very vocal about anything that displeases him, let me tell you). It just... happened. It's like they had a meeting while I was gone, and reached a casual agreement that Gracie would inherit the top of the tree, and that was that. I suppose that I am complaining about nothing, but it made a little sad. I figured some day Gracie might go for top cat, but she's barely five months old, and still half the size of Boris! That's the only outward sign that the relationship has changed they still play amiably, so far as I can tell, and when I play with them, they take turns playing, with Gracie waiting for Boris to attempt a chase, and then launching herself if Boris isn't interested, whether it's a laser light or a wand. Then again I am gone about 8 hours during the day, so who knows what they get up to while I'm gone... Anyway, I know that top of the tree is basically the same as top banana in an indoor cat's world. So my question to other cat owners of male/female pairs is: is this pretty common, i.e., an older boy cat deferring to a girl kitty? Boris is neutered, btw, while Gracie isn't (yet - she will probably be spayed sometime in September, when she's five months old or so). Could that be a factor? Should I even worry, given that while Gracie is a typically hyper big kitten in their less graceful phase, her personality seems (so far) to be generally sweet natured and sensitive (she always peeks out to him when he calls her out to play, she sleeps next to him all the time, and she even approaches him and purrs to him when he gets upset about noises)?


  • Lissa NicholsonLissa Nicholson SydneyMember Posts: 1,562
    edited 29 August, 2008
    My male and female are the same age, but Fui moved in with us three weeks before Suey.For the first few months, he was the boss of EVERYTHING. He ate first, jumped into bed first, got on the couch first, went outside on the harness first. Suey was constantly looking to him for direction, and he was happy to give it. To the point where at the vet, he would sit at the front of the carrier and she would sit at the back, almost as if he was going to go first and show her that it was ok. There relationship is now really hard to state. Sometimes he appears to be top cat, sometimes she does. Fui is top when it comes to food, she is happy to sit back until he has had his fill. But Suey now seems to regard me as hers first. Fui defers to her when it's time to cuddle or play. He has also developed a habit of stealing her nap spots. There have been several now that she was always in, that he has taken over- under the coffee table, under the bookshelf, and in the little cat house. Now she sleeps ontop of a dresser, which is too high for fatso to get to yet (although he is losing weight and getting better at jumping, so it will be interesting to see how that works out). I think maybe they have learned that wand toys are more fun when they play one at a time, and cuddles are better too, and that they know they will get their turn. They now go to the vet in seperate carriers. When they were just heavy, I could cope with them in one. But last time, they decided to bash each other in the carrier, and that just became too much! If Boris doesn't seem to be upset by Gracie's tower scaling, I wouldn't worry. Fui seems to like watching the kittens play, and is happy to share toys. Perhaps Boris is the same?
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 29 August, 2008
    Could be. He does enjoy sitting back and watching Gracie go crazy over the stupidest things, I suppose. Also, I think it helps that my husband is away. They (Boris and my husband) have a head bumping ritual of their own that requires Boris to sit high up, so it will be interesting to see if he feels the need to resume it, and whether that involves reclaiming the top echelons of the tree.
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