A bully comes in many shapes, sizes and ages. That is even true for cats. A mild-tempered, innocent-looking cat can develop into a bully, refusing to share his “territory” with other cats in the home and showing his dominance whenever the line is crossed. This is often demonstrated by getting into fights and warning other cats off. How can you prevent your cat from turning into a bully?
Supervise Your Cat Around New Pets
If you have just brought home a new kitten or puppy, it is important to supervise your established cat to see how he responds to your new furry friend. Hissing and pacing around the new pet are normal reactions as your cat gets used to the new addition to the family, but if your cat carries on intimidating the new pet, the problem will be harder to tackle.
Make Sure the New Pet Has a Chance to Eat
A bullying cat does not stop at hissing and growling to get his point across as the dominant pet in the home. He will also get in the way of other pets during feeding times and try to prevent the new cat from eating.
Keep a close eye on your cat to make sure he is not standing in front of the food bowl or hogging it completely. Separating pets and feeding them in different locations can help eliminate this particular problem.
Stop Every Instance of Bullying You See
Cats that like to bully others will be emboldened to carry on if their owners see what is going on, but ignore it. Expecting cats to “sort it out” does not always work out, especially if the bullied cat is timid and does not put up a fight when corned or attacked.
That is why you should make a concerted effort to stop every instance of bullying that you see. If a situation starts to get heated, check to see that the cats are not playing (some play fights look very realistic!) and then separate the cats.
A bullying cat can be hard to control, but if he has been the “king” of the castle for a while and a new pet comes along, do not be surprised if you spend the next few weeks having to regularly separate the cats. Supervise the cats to make sure that the new addition is not being bullied, make sure mealtimes are not disrupted and stop every instance of bullying that you see.
More from this contributor:
How to Prevent a Russian Blue from Bullying Other Cats in the House.
How to Tell the Difference Between a Real Cat Fight and a Play Fight.
Should You Intervene When Your Cats Are Fighting?