Cat vs. Cat

Title Cat vs. Cat: keeping the peace when you have more than one cat
Author Pam Johnson-Bennett, a feline behaviorist that, according to her website, charges $285 for a 60-minute phone consultation. Wowsa.
In a nutshell Tips (that actually aren't too hokey) for keeping a multi-cat household.

Update: I meant to give credit to
Alicia for the "in a nutshell" summary of book reviews in blogs. Very helpful!

I picked this up on the off-chance that I would be able to bring about the end of the war between Tiki and Sam. As much of an animal lover as I am, I was quite skeptical about this book. I was mostly worried that she would be overly obnoxious in anthropomorphizing cats, but I was pleasantly surprised. A lot of her explanations and tips make sense to me, and she kept the feel-good cutesy stuff at a minimum. Plus, I was worried that this would get into pet psychic territory, which I don't buy into at all.*

Some things I learned:
  • When Tiki continuously buts her head against mine when I come home at the end of the day, it's called bunting. She's giving me the familiar colony scent, and welcoming me back home.
  • We messed up big time when we introduced Tiki and Sam to each other. I've known this for five years, but now I have specific information.
  • Tiki and Sam both want to be alpha-cats, and whose on top actually shifts. For example, Tiki walks in the center of the room for awhile, then Sam does for awhile. Tiki eats first for awhile, then Sam does.
  • I'm surprised they don't fire us. The author recommends we scoop the litter twice a day. We scoop more like twice a week. But! There is a possible solution for Sam's practice of hanging his toosh over the edge of the litter box. Yay!
  • It is more intimidating to clean themselves and act disinterested in the fight they're having. So, Tiki's way of swatting at Sam and chasing him out of the room and then cleaning her ass is her way of attempting to intimidate him.
  • The basic behavior cycle is hunt, feast, groom, sleep. So! To prevent them from waking us up in the middle of the night, I can do some interactive play and feed them right before bed. It's working.
  • Finally, there is a way to reintroduce cats as though they had never met, but it is a lot of work. It involves baby gates.
I think there will be peace on earth (at least, our house) yet.

*A psychic at a bar once did a free reading on Tiki. He dangled his little charm over the picture I have of her on my cell phone. That was very very weird, but he did tell me that she is very happy with me.

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