The day we brought Chris home from the shelter, he declared himself “King of the House” and as the king, everything in the house was his and others could use it at his discretion. Nobody ever challenged Chris except Frankie, so Chris feels the need to keep showing Frankie who is in charge. Watch the video and you will see a great example of that.
Like many cats, Chris and Frankie fight everyday but they also do this everyday.
Of course, Chris always goes to Frankie, never the other way around.
Cats love new things. Bring something new in the house and every cat will come out to give it a thorough inspection. That is especially true when you have to put that new thing together, as I did last night with a new shelving unit. All three of our cats were busy investigating every nook and cranny.
After it was mostly put together, they each had to get on it to test for structural deficiencies. There was even a bit of a disagreement when two of the inspectors found that their work areas overlapped.
Even though I just watched a minor cat fight between Chris and Frankie, most of the time Chris tries to be friends with Frankie. Frankie, for his part, tolerates Chris but can quickly become annoyed by him. Here is one example of reserved tolerance.
Paper or Plastic? Our cats are very conscious of the environment and much prefer paper. Of course, that could just be because paper bags are easier to climb inside of. Here is Frankie and Chris making good use of a paper bag.
I know what you’re thinking, Chris.
That’s an interesting bag you have there Frankie. Can I join you?
No! It’s mine! Go away!
C’mon Frankie! Look at all the room.
Fine! Take it! You always get your way, Chris.
Don’t be mad, Frankie.
Frankie, Look! There is room for both of us… Frankie?
These days it seems like Puck is attacking Frankie more than Chris is, but this is not really a bad thing. When Puck attacks there is no growling or hissing. Just good old fashioned cat play.
Frankie was having a good time playing with a catnip mouse until Chris stepped in.
It has been more than three weeks since we adopted Frankie and while things are somewhat better now, there are still problems to overcome. This is new to us. We have had many cats over the years but never so many problems with fighting.
At first it seemed like Chris was to blame. It surprised us because Chris did not act that way when we introduced Puck. He seemed happy to have someone to play with. The two of them “fought” all the time but it was mostly play. There was very little growling and hissing. I suppose it also helped that Puck learned to be subservient when necessary.
When Frankie and Chris are together, there is usually growling, hissing and, for lack of a better word, screaming. There is also fighting. Not play fighting but mortal combat. Yesterday I had to break up a fight when Chris pursued and then attacked Frankie. I held Chris down by the scruff of the neck (I learned that from what Chris does to Puck) and verbally scolded him. He didn’t like it and told me so. I finally let him go and he immediately went after Frankie again.
There has been some bright spots though. I sometimes see Chris and Frankie sniffing noses, or sometimes Chris will sniff Frankie’s butt without a fight starting. I also see Puck and Frankie close together without trouble. When that happens I have hope for the future which is quickly dashed by another fight.
Puck and Frankie getting along seems reasonable because Chris is our bad cat and Puck is our good cat. Puck never causes problems. At least that is what I thought, but I have seen plenty of fights between Frankie and Puck too. This morning the two of them were running around the house, apparently playing. This went on for a while but it suddenly turned into a major fight. I was in the kitchen and saw Puck pounce on Frankie as he tried to get out the cat door. A fight ensued which I foolishly tried to break up and got a paw full of Frankie’s claws in the back of my hand. A little later Rose also felt the wrath of Frankie’s claws.
I’m starting to think that maybe Frankie is not completely innocent in all this. Perhaps he is just one of those cats that needs to be in a household with no other pets. Most shelters will warn you about that, but since Frankie came from a government agency, they probably never took the time to figure that out. Also, we adopted Frankie from a Petsmart employee who probably didn’t know anything about him.
Well, we have him now and we don’t want to give up on him so we need to just continue to try to make things better. Perhaps this will just take months instead of weeks. Only time will tell.
I have introduced many cats to our household over the years and it is never easy but usually after two or three days the war is over except for some minor skirmishes now and then. This time the war lingers on after eight days. It is getting better though. This weekend has been a bit of a turning point and the war has gone from the Civil War to the Cold War.
I did not expect Chris to be this bad. When we introduced Puck, Chris was eager to play with him. It was Tigger who had the problem. I can’t say it is all Chris’s fault though. Frankie gets very defensive when Chris or Puck enters the room and hisses and growls at them. Puck does the right thing and keeps his distance but Chris is undeterred and pushes forward, causing Frankie to retreat under the bed or stand his ground and fight.
Sometimes a fight starts just because Chris is too close. He seems curious about Frankie and wants to smell him but Frankie feels the need to defend himself. Other times Chris wants to show Frankie who is boss and will Chase him under the bed. We were leaving the house today and as I was locking the door I saw Chris chase Frankie out of the living room and down the hall. Out of pure impulse I went back in the house and chased Chris from the bedroom making a show of stomping my feet as I followed him out to the patio. I think I might have over did it though because it looked like I scared Chris. I felt bad about it but I also think Chris needed to learn that what he was doing was not acceptable.
We did have some good moments this weekend and I think we can at least leave the bedroom door open when we are gone. There was one moment yesterday when the two of the smelled each others nose without a fight starting. They also spent time together on the patio, although not too close.
Frankie keeps a watchful eye on Chris.
Frankie, enjoying some time on the patio, has to keep an eye on Chris and Puck.
Puck made it to the second perch but Frankie’s hisses forced him back to the table.
Things are slowly getting better. A little too slow for my taste but we don’t know what kind of trauma Frankie went through before we took him home. He may just need more time before he trusts the other cats. I think he might also have to accept Chris’s role as the alpha or we may never see peace.
Since the first day Chris graced our home with his presence, he has had a fighting spirit. He would attack the other cats, hoping to find someone willing to play with him but would instead just get growls and hisses.
That changed when we got Puck, who was a kitten at the time and is now about a year and a half old, still young enough to keep up with Chris. That may change when Puck matures and Chris doesn’t, but we shall see.
The other night the two of them got into a major fight, taking it from one room in the house to the next.
My box, stay away!
Oww! You’ll pay for that, Puck!
This should show you who is boss around here. (Chris will sometimes hold Puck down by the scruff to show dominance)
No, wait! That tickles.
Do you want a face full of this?
You can’t hide from me!
Who’s the boss now, Chris?
We are fortunate that our two cats, while they fight a lot, are also friends. By that I mean Puck is able to tolerate Chris’s behavior and occasionally put him in his place when necessary.