Baxter (one of my cats) 'bullying' other cats

MikeAW2010

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Baxter is extremely friendly and playful but there are times he doesn't know when to back down or stop playing or respect when other cats don't wish to play with him and he overly engages them. This is especially prevalent with another cat I have named Louis who is smaller than Baxter and unable to hold her own against him. This results in her growling and hissing at him but Baxter still tries to initiate play until I have to break them up. I usually put Baxter in timeout after he does this but this doesn't seem to be working. Instead he bullies her anyway and just runs away when I come for him. What can I do to get Baxter to respect my other cats lack of desire for play when they don't feel like playing?
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Can you give us some background on these cats? Their ages, how long they have been together, and how they were introduced, would be a good start!! I am sure you have made other posts about their specifics, but repeating yourself in a new thread is always the best way to go!
 
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MikeAW2010

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Baxter is somewhere between 2 and 3 years of age. Louis was said to be around 2 years of age but I think she’s alittle younger than 2. Sandy and Panda are also in the 2 year ball park. Sandy and Panda are indoor only ex-feral cats. Panda plays very rough and enjoys playing with Baxter. Sandy on the other hand doesn’t enjoy playing with anyone except Panda. Baxter also doesn’t know when to not initiate play with Sandy and Sandy isn’t as nice as Louis, she will attack. Marshmallow is approx 10 years old. Marshmallow also avoids playing but sometimes Baxter confronts him too.

Baxter was introduced to Marshmallow at about 1 year old.
Baxter was introduced to Panda and Sandy at about 1.5 years of age
Baxter was introduced to Louis alittle over 2 years of age.

At first I kept Louis in the bathroom and fed them at the door and when I felt they were more comfortable with each other I let Louis out and monitored them. Louis used to charge Baxter when he got too close to her but eventually stopped doing that and Baxter became less and less intimidated by her and the roles sort of reversed.
 

maggie101

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My cat Maggie is 8 and still bothers Peaches. I have clicker trained her to come when called. Click- Maggie come! No longer have to use a treat. Wish I had thought of that years ago.
 

danteshuman

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I would love to give great advice but my bully Dante (RIP) well was a punk his entire life. If I had known about prozac cream I would have put him on it before he turned 1 year old! Dante’s go to move when he was bored was to jump on his brother and bite him between the shoulder blades! He relentlessy bullied the sweet old declawed female cat! 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ He was finally never allowed within 10 feet of her!

So here is what reduced but did not stop his unwanted play aggression/bullying.

1) outside time! It is like Ritalin for hyper terror of cat

2) locking my punk out and playing with the bullied cat every day (then playing with the bully do he didn’t feel left out.)

3) giving the victim cat a safe place or two to be where I would not even let Dante approach within 3 feet.

⭐catify-ing your place more may help.

Good luck!
 

di and bob

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Yes, it's hard, if not impossible, to completely stop bullying like this. My cats are brothers and one bullies the other daily and has for almost 8 years. I have tried everything but found that me yelling, punishing, etc,. does nothing but make the bully cat afraid of me. One thing I do know that works is to keep something small and soft close by like a slipper, a kickeroo or a toy, and throw it towards the bully when he is attacking. It usually distracts him or at least lets him know I will be coming next. Usually, a loud stern NO makes him stop. I take comfort in knowing that there is never any blood drawn, bites, deep scratches, etc, so there is really no damage being done, just temporary pain from being held down and mauled, like what sibling human brothers do to each other. Females are instinctively annoyed by males wanting to rough house. My little female screams daily to keep the boys away and she is their mother, they just don't get it. It is puzzling why they do pause and stay away from her though, and the brother gets mauled and cries and does not really fight back. She must have a good swat with her claws. Growling, hissing, swatting, are all normal for females to do when another cat is annoying them. They are dignified and beneath all that. so really, just do what you can to make sure no one is getting hurt and that means blood, and if not, just break it up by distraction and a stern NO. I truly don't think there will ever be a way to stop it, so learn ways to live with it, they are. The girls and others don't want to play but he does. Baxter is a brat like my Dutch and everything else is fine, they sleep together, eat together, and are a family, despite the bullying.
 
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FeebysOwner

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:jawdrop::stars::whistle:So, this a multi-cat issue, not just 2 cats. Although, seems to me (not entirely sure) that the cats have all worked it out besides Louis. In that case, introduce her to spaces that she can retreat to on her own. If Louis is smaller than Baxter maybe you can create some places she can get into that he cannot and then show them to her when she is wanting to get away from Baxter.

The other thing you can try is distraction, since Baxter seems to like playing. Throw a kickaroo toy his way every time he goes after Louis, to see if you can redirect his attention to the toy, so he can beat up on it instead of Louis. I'd be inclined to tie a string to it so that you could pull it away after you throw it, to garner more interest from him if he doesn't automatically go for the toy.

With any luck, Baxter will chill a bit as he ages.
 

di and bob

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There really isn't much you can do, believe me, I've tried solving that one for years. Females always are annoyed and scream when any other cat bothers them, the only thing that works for me is to get 2 kickeroos and throw one towards Baxter when he is getting annoying. Keep the other in a bag of catnip to keep it refreshed, and exchange them frequently. I get my annoying one to stop now by stomping my foot and yelling no. Cats have to work things out themselves and sometimes they never do. It is Baxter's personality to be overbearing.
 
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