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)?