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When my husband and I first moved in together we got our first cat,Lucky. About a year later we got another one and they got along great. Lucky took her under his wing and showed her the ropes. But recently it seems they almost never get along. Now I should start by saying we joke a lot that lucky is the alpha but in all reality he pretty much is. When we get a new cat he’s the one that kinda gives them their “orientation”. He has started chasing nipsey around and cornering her, it stresses her out so much that she actually poops herself. It’s happened twice that I know of, if it’s happened while I’m out of the house I don’t know cause she’s started running to the litter box to hide. I don’t want this to cause any issues with her health or for her to be unhappy here but I don’t know what else I can do other than get her away from him when I see it happening.

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    Welcome to Pets! Please take the tour to see how this site works, it only takes a minute. Do I understand correctly that you have a male and a female cat? Is any of them (or are both) neutered? Has there been any unusually stressful situation lately like movig to a new place, introducing a new pet or other member of the family? You can edit your question any time to add more details to it.
    – Elmy
    Sep 30 at 10:47
  • Yes they are one female one male, both have been spayed/neutered. We did move about 5 months ago but this isn’t something really new to them as we are renters and have to move every year
    – Kylie
    Sep 30 at 19:48
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Step One: Observe your cats.

The first step in stopping bullying behavior is to observe your cats' behavior with a particular eye to the situations where bullying is happening, especially if there is a recurring pattern to it. Bullying generally takes the form of one of the following categories:

  1. The cats are fighting over resources, like water, food, toys, or litterboxes, so the bully starts to guard these resources from the victim.
  2. The bully traps the victim somewhere.
  3. The bully ambushes the victim by finding some hiding spot the victim must walk past to get somewhere else, and then lying in wait for its victim.

Step Two: Change the environment so it no longer enables the bullying behavior.

Once you know where the problems are, you can do something about them. All of above situations I listed are made possible by the cats' current environment. Therefore, if you change their environment so that these situations can no longer happen, the bullying behavior should be reduced.

In the case that resources are being guarded, simply get more of that resource. That way the bully can't possibly guard them all from the victim.

In the case of the bully trapping the victim, which is definitely happening in your case, you should rearrange your house so that the cats have places they can go to get away from each other that also have multiple escape routes, so the victim cannot be trapped. In the case of the litter box, I would remove the lid if there is one, so the cat can exit it from any direction, and move the litterbox away from corners and such, to make it so the cat cannot be trapped there.

But furthermore, the victim is clearly scared, so it's fleeing to a hiding spot and getting trapped. You should block access to other bad hiding spots where the victim runs and will just be trapped (like under furniture for instance), and then provide better alternatives by rearranging your existing furniture and buying new cat furniture to create secondary routes throughout the house that your cats can climb to to get away from each other. These routes should have multiple ways the cats can get to them, so that the bully cannot trap the victim there.

Lastly, in the case there are ambush spots in the house, similarly you should rearrange furniture to either block the ambush spots or to create alternate routes around the ambush spot, so the victim can no longer be ambushed there.

Step three: Play with them together regularly in the same room at the same time.

You probably need two people, so that one person can play with each cat. And you want to make sure the bully is totally ignoring the victim for the toy, so make effort to grab its attention if you notice its attention wandering towards its victim. Playing more with both of them has multiple benefits.

For the bully, it will take off some of the excess energy, so hopefully it will be less bored and have less energy for bullying. It is also a very good way to keep the bully distracted from the victim while being in the same room as its victim.

For the victim, playing in the same room as its bully can help build confidence because it will come to realize that it can be in the same room as its bully without being bullied. A cat playing also gives off more confident body language. The more confident the victim is around its bully, the less it looks like a target for bullying.

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  • Kai Thankyou for the input and directions. I will try and follow these steps and see if there is any change in their behavior. I will try and remember to post an update
    – Kylie
    Sep 30 at 19:49

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