I would like to talk about sibling rivalry, please.

Edward is young (three in July).

Sukey is neurotic (high strung, they say politely at the vet).

Sometimes they play nice.

When Edward wants to play (jump, wrestle, chase) with Sukey, she growls and hisses and swats and screams like a rabbit if he’s persistent. Twice in the past two weeks he’s chased her through the house and cornered her, and when that’s happened she’s left fight-or-flight wee on the floor.

When it gets that bad between them closing off one or the other in my bedroom (with food and water and litter) seems to calm things down for a while (Sukey hides in the couch: she’s loosened the back panel of fabric so she can go right under the springs). I can also keep Sukey in the bedroom with me at night–the first time I did that they were both pouty in the morning. On the other hand, Edward has learned Sally’s trick of banging the blinds against the window at 4am for brekfest, so I felt like a champ-een for sleeping ’til six.

When Sukey was young and would jump on Sally, I’d have to put her in Time Out (ie the bathroom) for a while until her brain reset. Unfortunately Sukey doesn’t have Sally’s imperturbability, so when Edward jumps on her she’s all GOTHS! VANDALS! FALL OF ROME!!! which I think makes Edward lose his mind a bit too. He would probably be a mighty hunter if he weren’t doomed to domesticity. His previous home had kids and dogs so we’re probably pretty boring.

So…does this kind of thing pass eventually? I don’t really want to get Edward an age-mate to play with, because I have a small house and three cats would be A Lot. I’m sure Edward can use more exercise (he loves the laser pointer) but I don’t want him to associate jumping-on-Sukey with time-for-fun. I’ve heard Feliway can calm cats down, has anyone used it?

It is also possible that I am overthinking all of this and everything will be fine. What do you think?

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8 Responses to I would like to talk about sibling rivalry, please.

  1. Laurie says:

    What about doing Time Out for Edward in the bathroom when he jumps on Sukey? With no food, toys, etc. for a half hour or so. That’s plenty of un-fun time.
    The other thing is to give him his special play time before he gets around to bothering Sukey, not after, so it doesn’t look like a reward.

    I expect it will get better with time. But I had to laugh at “GOTHS! VANDALS! FALL OF ROME!” When Sodapop chases and corners Tumbleweed, Tumbler is all “Help, help, I’m being repressed!”

    • pegoftilling says:

      Yes, I think we need to get in a good romp with the laser pointer every night after dinner–Sukey likes to play too, so maybe it will help them get along better. I’ve been thinking of getting Edward a leash and harness and taking him for walks, but he hasn’t shown much interest in going outside.

  2. Lurkertype says:

    HRTortie would like to sympathize entirely with Miss Sukey in her problems vs. Evil Invading Young Boycats. Bloodcurdling shrieks.

    Hopefully Edward is not as stupid as TK, so time out for him will work better.

  3. AuntieBellum says:

    Is Feliway the stuff you plug into an outlet and the scent is supposed to calm cats down? If so, then I have friends who swear by it.

    • pegoftilling says:

      I’m going to try to find some at the pet store–otherwise Amazon has it. The spray I got to keep Sukey from scratching the chairs didn’t work, so I’m kinda skeptical of the Feliway, but the next step would probably be valium (for me!)

  4. snoringKatZ says:

    You could get him one of those hamster-in-a-ball things. 😀

    • pegoftilling says:

      A friend gave me something called a…skunk swerver? skunk swirler? a light up ball with a strip of black and white fun fur attached to it. Edward seems to like it until it gets stuck in a corner and doesn’t roll around any more.

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