19 August 2017

This cat tree has been in this room since we moved into the house. No matter what the room has been used for--it's been my office, a weight room, and now a closet/treadmill room--this tree has been there.

It's always been Max's domain. If he's sleepy, he often goes there. Upset, he goes there. When I go to bed, he goes into this room and sits at the top of the tree, and talks to me. He meows a bunch, I call out, "You're fine, Max," and he goes to sleep.

It's his tree; his territory.

But lately...Buddah has been exercising his youth and has been working very hard at becoming the alpha kitty. Max never knows when he'll be attacked. He never knows if Buddah is around a corner, waiting. Max has always been the more patient of the two, but Buddah knew: Max was the boss.

Now this. In the last week I've found Buddah up on the top of the tree several times, and his only goal seems to be to keep Max off it. He's not sleeping or using it to springboard to the top of the wardrobe. He waits for Max to come into the room, and then watches as Max turns around and slinks off, dejected.

I'd be lying if I didn't admit to being pissed off on Max's behalf. He's never liked Buddah, but he's always been willing to leave him alone. He lets Buddah have his own territory--the high places, especially the top of the TARDIS in my office--and all he really wants is the top of this tree, the back of the Man's closet, and my lap. There's really not a damned thing we can do, either.

I get it, Max is old and Buddah is taking that as his cue to establish dominance. But's really pissing me off.


Mark's Mews (Ayla, Iza, and Marley) said...

May we suggest adding an equal spot? If there are 2 spaces both Max and Buddah can claim their's is the best. That's why we have 2 trees next to each other. And we assume you have a Felliay dispenser near there... The stuff really works. TBT can tell when it needs to be changed by the minor hissies that break out...

Thumper said...

They both have available high spots, hiding places, and it's all pretty much equal. But we may give Feliway a try, just to see if it calms Buddah's furry little asterisk down before he actually kills Max.

One Fat Girl And Her Thoughts said...

I agree with Mark's Mews: side-by-side spots will probably be the best option here, but it depends on the personalities of the cats. If Buddah is determined to be Top Cat, he may simply try to claim both places as his own, rather than picking one. Then again, it may work like a charm (it did with my Aunt's cats when a power struggle between old and young broke out).
It's a poser, certainly.

My suggestions, for what they're worth, are these:

1. every time you catch Buddah getting up onto or already on Max's spot, squirt him with a decent amount of very cold water and (if necessary after the water) take him off it. Every time; whether Max is in the vicinity or not. That way; Buddah will know you don't find his behaviour acceptable - given how many other places he has as his - and aren't going to tolerate it, and Max - if he happens to see it happen - will know that both you and Husband have his back and are trying to give his space back to him, which will hopefully increase his confidence enough to give him the wherewithal to box the little tykes ears good and proper.

2. add an extra, identical looking spot to the tree. Bring in both cats (this will take both you and Husband, obviously). Pick up each cat, one by one, and place them on the spots, so that they are stood side by side, then let them go.
If they are anything like my aunt's cats were all those years ago, what should happen then is that both cats will covet the other cat's spot, and after a bit of hissing and huffing at each other, they will then swap, and feel smug because (as Mark suggests) they will each feel they have 'won' this argument and now have the best place.

...That's all I've got.
I hope this matter is able to be resolved soon, anyway, whatever the solution is. I can't bear the thought of Max not being Top Cat anymore, nor him being unhappy. Poor Max. :-(

Alice x

Anonymous said...

If the Feliway doesn't work, you may also want to consider Prozac for Buddah. He may be pushing Max more because he senses that Max is getting older, but I gather Buddah has always been a bit "edgy." The cat rescue group I work with uses Prozac, infrequently, for cats with serious behaviour issues. And it works. Often the Prozac can be tapered off or discontinued after a while. In any case, best of luck!
Susan Saavedra

Shaggy and Scout said...

Scout started doing this to Shaggy when he began to decline, I'd say about 2 years ago. He liked to pounce on Shaggy and clamp down on his neck and chase him out of his favorite places. Poor Shaggy would cry out and run away. Good luck with Buddah. It's sad to watch.

Victoria Henderson said...

I truly hope they don't become like Brat & Rags are now :(

Mighty Kitty said...

Could you contact Jackson Galaxy to find out how to get Max's territory back? I feel so badly for him! I remember that Buddah had a real attitude and maybe that attitude needs to be taken care of now. When Ocat was really weak, our dog growled and tried to attack him as O was on his back meowing sweetly at me. Of course, Boo thought Ocat wanted his toy annd was defending his territory but I grabbed the cat and calmed him down before he was hurt. Buddah needs some definite guidance before Max gets hurt.