help with semi-feral bully?

tutubean

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There are 2 litter mates who were born feral but have both now become very friendly with us; both are fixed and are about 2 yrs old. The boy is about 8 lbs and the girl no more than 7. Health-wise they are good, and the girl is even a little bit chubby! They are outdoor cats and we feed them usually multiple times a day (if they're around). Typically they spend most of the day on our property, and we now have 2 winter shelters (the kind with straw inside).

Problem is, the boy seems to have crowned himself Alpha, and he defends his territory readily from the several other neighborhood cats. He used to want to just PLAY with his littermates (there are 3 of them in the litter), but lately he seems to "defend" his area which is the front of the house. His sister, who is definitely the Beta of the area and does her own share of chasing, typically claims the back yard as her territory.

The problem here is the front of the house has the only awning, and if it's raining, the cats both want to hang out there. In bad weather we move both food dishes there. This is also where we have the winter shelters, separated by about 12 feet. The boy has now slept in both shelters and they both sometimes sit on either one of them. I've never seen the girl go inside, but she's been at our front door every morning very early, so I'm wondering if she is...

Anyway, is there anything I can do about the boy being a bully to his sister? He doesn't ALWAYS push her around... sometimes he lets her be. And I know it's normal for cats to sometimes get upset and swat and chase another cat, and there's never been an actual fight thank goodness. But I worry about him preventing her from doing things. Like he sometimes doesn't let her relax, or get my attention, or eat (but not to worry she's not even close to starved), and I worry that he won't let her use the winter shelters (again, no proof she is going IN them; today she was sitting between the shelter and the front stoop, probably for warmth...)

It's a real shame they are like this now. When they were 6 months old they were very bonded, but now the boy is just a little punk. :(
 

danteshuman

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Can you install a doggy door in the garage, so one or both cats can winter in there? Or start a routine of bringing her into the garage each night? If not a shed to hold one winter home in your backyard may be the answer.

I hope things work out!
 
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tutubean

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Can you install a doggy door in the garage, so one or both cats can winter in there? Or start a routine of bringing her into the garage each night? If not a shed to hold one winter home in your backyard may be the answer.
no to the cat door, but we're thinking about making a "shelter for the shelter" so we can put it against the back of the house. i just wish we had more awning! but we'll figure something out if it comes to that... but gosh, he was SUCH A PUNK today. like what was in the rain, caffeine!?? sigh.
 
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