After reading quite a bit online today about multicat family conflicts, I have learnt much.
This evening, all were well-behaved till close to supper time. Tux sat on the couch head in the living room with me and had a nap. Buffy on the floor although she ran in and out of the room. Boy remained on his chair next to the shoe cabinet and took a nap. Sam walked in and out without disturbing him at all.
At one point, he leapt up to lie with Tux but Tux wasn’t in the mood. He left Sam there and went to lie on the floor. Could that be the problem? Rejection from the object of his affection? Shortly after, the movie ended and I turned off the TV and started packing up. All the cats came into the living room then and I called to Kaku while Boy jumped off his chair and wandered near the door.
Sam didn’t hesitate to rub himself against the chair legs and understandably, Boy leapt up again onto the chair. Sam immediately swatted his legs and Boy jumped down. Boy moved into the doorway next to Tux and I walked through to go to the bathroom.
When I returned, Boy leapt to the ledge under my computer table where he likes to rest, probably feeling safer even a few inches off the ground (vertical territory). Sam paused and stared at him briefly as he walked past and then walked away.
Clearly Sam tried to claim Boy’s territory and then remove him from it. It is also possible that rejection from Tux (yes there was something in one of the cat psychology books I read last night about gay cats, although they never engage in sexual activity) caused him to vent his frustration on Boy (or Buffy, which he is doing right now).
Both are possible as I noticed that Tux, especially recently, is usually the one who ends their physical contact, leaving Sam high and dry.
Solutions I discovered online and pieced together:
* I should keep a close eye on their interactions from now on. With new insight, I understand better what is going on.
* I should give Boy more attention, but preferably away from the jealous eyes from Tux, Buffy, and Sam.
* I should give Sam more attention to distract him from his spurned or short-lived and unsatisfactory advances towards Tux.
* I should use a towel and rub Tux, rub Sam, and then rub Boy to mix all their scents up.
* I should bathe all the cats (at least the boys) to mix their scents up.
* Should none of the above work, separate Boy from the rest for a while to give him some peace and quiet.
After a spate of chasing Buffy, he just went up to Boy, sniffed Boy’s nose and then ran off. It is evident it isn’t a perpetual conflict. Just only when he is most likely feeling unloved and unimportant.
Reviewing the evening, Boy makes me smile. While I watched telly and he sat on the chair, he looked at me most lovingly, blinked, and I blinked back. Who says cats are incapable of love has surely never lived with a cat.