We got our first rescue cat 9 months ago. The center said Dot was 5--she's quite small. However, different vets have said she's 8 or even 10. Had we known she was 10, we would probably have had second thoughts about adopting a kitten.

We now know that centers sometimes say older cats are younger to get them homed.

Dot was abandoned in a box with another cat. The other cat had previously been homed by the center, so we were confident that she was OK with other cats.

Dot doesn't like being picked up and isn't a cuddly cat, although she loves being stroked. We'd love to change this.

Before we adopted a kitten, Dot would occasionally come and sit on our laps.

About 4 months ago we adopted an 8 week old kitten called Woody. He loves cuddles and enjoys sleeping and sitting on us.

We keep both cats indoors all the time. There's been a lot of cats poisoned in our area.

Woody has always chased Dot. We thought as he was jumping on her back end, it was a mating thing. We got him neutered about a month ago.

However this hasn't calmed him down at all.

We think Woody is just being playful and that's why he chases Dot and jumps on her. Dot doesn't like this kind of play. She occasionally stands her ground and growls and swipes at Woody. However most of the time she kind of shrieks and runs off and tries to escape.

While we are at work we have been keeping them in a lounge / dinner room, which isn't small, we've put up cat shelves, have a cat tree and there's places to hide on dining chairs.

We recently had a checkup for Dot and found she'd lost weight. She's the same weight as Woody now. We noticed Woody would push her away from the food bowls. So we had to split up the cats, upstairs and downstairs. As Woody is so fast and is hard to catch we have to be behind a door. Our house is laid out so that we only have the front door which accesses upstairs. So it would be too dangerous from an escape point of view to give Woody access to the upstairs of the house.

It's a shame from a territory point of view as downstairs should be Dot's.

We've tried distraction with play which does seem to stop the chasing, but we can't play with them all the time. Although last night both cats laid down after an hour of play, sheesh.

We are planning a time out area with nice toys for Woody too, but we aren't around all the time to protect Dot.

Woody also likes to bite us. We do put him down straight away, but it doesn't stop it.

They could also eat together until Woody decided he'd rather have Dots bowl.

Although we'd like to stop Woody chasing Dot, we think Dot overreacts as Woody is just wanting to play.

We really need some suggestions as to how to get them to get along together.


1 Answer 1


This does not answer all of your points, but I wanted to address a portion of it:

Dot doesn't like being picked up and isn't a cuddly cat, although she loves being stroked. We'd love to change this.

I have found that different cats have entirely different rules regarding the sharing of affection (tickles, pets, scratches, etc.), and it is important to learn and respect those rules. Doing anything else jeopardizes your relationship with the cat.

My previous cat would allow affection at almost anytime, as along as one maintained about 6-9 inches of separation between bodies. In other words, she wanted to be lying near you, not on or against you, nor to be held. As long as you observed that, you could reach out your hand and rub or tickle as much as you wanted. Just not the belly or paws.

That cat passed on early this year and I recently decided I was recovered enough to get a new feline friend. This one I am still learning, but there are clear differences. He will snuggle up to me tight as can be, and let me pet him all over, even belly and paws. His rule seems to be that it has to be at his invitation. If I come up to him and start petting, he'll squirm and trot away.

There was a third cat in my life, really my family's cat when I was younger, and his rule seemed to be that as he entered the room, he would pick one human that was his choice at that time (75% of the time this was Dad, but could be Mom or me or...) and everyone else could just bugger off, thank you very much.

Take your time, listen to what the cat is trying to tell you, and enjoy what you get in return.

  • They certainly can have their own way, and it is fun to find out. I had one cat who squirmed when being picked up -- but if I didn't do so, say, once a day, he wouldn't come up to me for attention nearly as much. I never understood why, but it seemed to work, and he was worth it.
    – aschultz
    Jan 5, 2020 at 19:46

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