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Joan asked:

I hope you can help me with this question. My son moved back home with his 6 month old kitten. His name is Zeus and he is a little love-bug. We already had our spoiled 2 year old Lola.

The problem is that Zeus stalks Lola constantly and she isn’t able to eat or use the litter box or anything without him pouncing on her. I feel so bad for her because she has taken to hiding upstairs all the time. She used to sit on my lap as soon as I got home from work, but that has ended since Zeus moved in with us. 🙁

Will things ever go back to “normal”? Will Zeus ever stop stalking Lola so she can eat and use the litter box without looking out of the corner of her eye all the time?

Thanks for any help you can give me!

I told Joan that sometimes kittens calm down, and sometimes they stay jerks, and that it’s possible Lola and Zeus will adjust to each other over time, but my mind was blank and I couldn’t think of things she could do to make life a bit easier for Lola. I do know that y’all will have great suggestions for her and will chime in – so please do so!

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Someone – a couple of someones, I think – mentioned the number of cats currently in the house. As a reminder, we ONLY have thirteen ( ::coughcoughSOB:: ) permanent residents. At the moment we’ve got seven fosters, which gives us twenty cats in residence.

We’ve got too many permanent residents, in my opinion, when we have so many that I couldn’t give all the cats their own page in the Anderson Kitties calendar. Did y’all notice that, Tommy on the cover but not in the calender itself? Not that I’m hoping any of them shuffle off this mortal coil anytime soon (Spanky’s doing so well that I seriously think he’s going to live to be in his 20s, I’m not even kidding), but perhaps we shouldn’t add to the permanent population? Ya think?

(Which means we’ll have 25 permanent residents by the end of the year, since that’s how things go. SIGH.)

I decided, the last time I stocked up on Cat Attract litter at Petsmart, that from now on when someone asks how many cats I have, I’m going to say “Too.” As in, “Too many.” Is it my fault they’ll hear “Two”? I think not.

Of course, I said that and then last week when I was at the surgeon’s office, after Fred BULLIED the surgeon into saying I could scoop litter boxes again (heh), the nurse was removing some of my stitches and asked how many cats we had. I never did tell her how many permanent residents we had, but did tell her that we foster and currently have twenty cats.

I’m thinking I should tell people we have thirty cats, and when they express shock or start dialing the Hoarders people, I’ll laugh and say “Just kidding! Thirty cats would be LUDICROUS! We only have twenty!”

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2011-11-01 (1)
Harlan Peppers, headed up the steps to the platform in the corner of the living room. A couple of you noted how big he is – he is TOTALLY huge. I don’t know how much he weighs at the moment, but two weeks ago he was at 5 pounds, 13 ounces. I imagine he’s probably over six pounds by now. The big Pepper who weighs the closest is Everett, who was 9 ounces lighter than Harlan at the same weigh-in. Judging by the size of his paws, Harlan is going to be one big, big cat.

(Note to self: get current weight on kittens.)

2011-11-01 (2)
Charlie Peppers, lookin’ smug.

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Patty Peppers, chilling.

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Patty, Everett, and Charlie, hanging out on the couch.

2011-11-01 (10)
I don’t know what I was doing, but Elwood, Sally, and Everett thought it was pretty interesting. (I LOVE Everett’s white whiskers.)

2011-11-01 (11)
Molly Peppers is just so purrrrrrrty.

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This is where Charlie and Patty hang out most of the time.

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Patty Peppers…

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…loveslovesloves a fuzzy blanket.

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Everett in the back, there, just hanging out with his jaunty white whiskers on view.

2011-11-01 (9)
Harlan watching bugs go by.

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Elwood and Charlie Peppers (aka “Chuckles”) have a special relationship. A very special one. One where Elwood grooms Charlie vigorously, and Charlie lets him. It’s awfully cute… until Elwood gets overzealous and it all goes wrong.

YouTube link

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2011-11-01 (12)
Sugarbutt in the dog house on the patio. He’s all “What? You go away. I’m having my private time.”


2010: He sure was good about being stuffed into a chicken costume!
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: Lay ee odl lay ee odl-oo
2006: Gross tapeworm talk.
2005: Craaaazy eyes!



11-1-11 — 19 Comments

  1. Yeah, anyone see Hoarders last night with creepy cat dude? *shudder*

    It makes me so happy to see Patty looking so healthy and happy, considering the state she was in when you first took her in! Yay for Pattys!

    • I came in just to say how glad I am they look so happy and healthy! They were such crusty kittens and now it looks like they’re really enjoying life.

  2. Robyn, your comment about telling people that you have 30 cats in attempt to make 20 sound “normal” made me laugh!

    Joan, I had the same problem. And when my youngest turned 2, it was still going on. He would stalk her in the cat box, too, when she was sleeping, eating. Poor girl had no peace. Then the day came that he scurried her out of the cat box before she could do her business and cornered her in the kitchen. (Let me say that she is twice his weight and could give him the smack down, but is soooo sweet and submissive that she lets him bully her.) Well, she finally peed the rug in the kitchen cuz she “had to go” and he wouldn’t let her. I knew that this was now out of control. I got a kitten for my youngest child (cat). That is all my household needed (and I didn’t want three…I only wanted a two cat household). However, it was the best thing I ever did. He L-O-V-E-S that baby and he looks after her, cleans her and they wrestle non-stop and pounce each other all day long. My now middle child needed a play mate and that ultimately all he was trying to do with my eldest, even though at times it seemed more like bullying. If my eldest had given him the smack down he would have probably learned manners. (He does know what “Be nice to her” means.) The new baby is now 8 mths old. My house has harmony. Yes, on occassion, my eldest is still pestered by the middle one but she has w-a-y more spa days than tortuous days and she is now back in my lap snuggled in for a good movie. If your son is going to be with you for quite some time, perhaps this may be exactly what you need, too. If he will be moving back out shortly, you may just want to wait it out.

    Best wishes.

  3. For Joan –

    Your living arrangements may or may not make this easy, but I’d try separating the cats for some hours of the day (so Lola does get a break) and playing with the kitten more to wear him out a bit. Little guy’s just got too much energy and too little ability at his age to entertain himself on his own.

  4. Harlan is so big that he looks like he’s not from the same litter as his siblings. But he’s big and beautiful. They are all simply lovely.

  5. for Joan – Not sure if Lola is up for it, but give her permission to smack the kitten. Talk to her and tell her it is her job to help keep him in line and he’s just too spunky for his own good. Praise her when ever she is walking near him, or if she’s that afraid of him even in the same room with him, and remind her it is OK to give him what for if he’s being a pain. You’ll be surprised how well it works.. (and don’t forget to tell Zeus to be afraid of Lola.. remind him she’s bigger and stronger then he is and older and you should respect your elders, etc)

    although I do like the third kitten idea too 🙂 I always recommend kittens in pairs just for this reason. I’m sure Zeus thinks he is playing and being funny and not being the terror as Lola sees it.

    • I gave my eldest permission all day long. However, it is soooo personality! She would just run away and get into a hidey-hole to keep from getting pounced. In a room of 100 cats, my girl would be at the bottom of the totem pole. Sooooo not dominate!

  6. I love the video of Elwood and Charlie. Our cats do that and we call it “How many licks does it take to get to the center of my brother? A-one, A-Two, A-Three! Chomp!”

  7. There are two things you can try with the kitten vs. young cat situation – first is try to get them to play at the same time. You do this by getting a string or toy on a string and make it move in-between them and/or you circle over first one furry head and than the other. Pretty soon, you are likely to have both cats playing “at” each other, sometimes they will even forget they are not friends until one gets too close and there’s a hiss.

    Much of the time, with younger cats (and two is still young) this will trick the older cat into accepting the kitten as a younger sibling or their own kitten.

    If that does not work (or only works part way) I’m sorry to say the best thing is a second kitten even if you really don’t want one. This is especially a good idea if the older cat is really elderly and just is not going to adjust to a kitten no matter what. Then the babies can take it out on each other and the older cat can ignore them; with a younger adult cat they may or may not decide eventually to join in the fun the younger cats are having. But even if they don’t, they should get some peace and quite while the two younger ones battle it out.

  8. Elwood as vampire — hahahaha!

    I like your ideas for explaining how many cats you have to people. I might have to try those (we have 6).

    As for the Lola advice, even if it’s a pain, make sure there are 2 litter boxes and 2 food bowls and 2 water bowls, and that these things are in a different part of the house from each other. Lola will get used to making sure the little one is occupied elsewhere, and then she’ll know to choose whichever location is farther from where he is at the moment. I also second the recommendation to split them up into different rooms with doors closed a few hours per day, so she can totally relax.

    • Another way to make sure the elder gets her food is to feed her on a higher level like a counter top while the whippersnapper eats down low. Give her high places to rest in the downstairs area and she might hang out there instead of up in a room alone.

      Height = confidience.

  9. You have to laugh when a lick-fest turns into a bite-fest, except when it happens in your lap!! (Thanks for the new scratches on my legs yesterday, Jinx and Trixie!)

    20 cats…WOW! Just how many litters boxes do you have in operation right now?? And does everyone come inside to go, or do you have some that prefer to do their business outside?

  10. I had to laugh at the video. My parents had a female tabby that would groom my Meezer then suddenly bite him on the neck. The Meezer never learned or he just tolerated it for the grooming.

    I agree the kitty at Joan’s needs more exercise to burn up some of that energy. A safe timeout period every day would be good for everyone, too.

  11. Man, oh man.. I think I am in love with Charlie and Patty Peppers 😀 I especially love how great (and happy) they look compared to when you first brought them home. 🙂

  12. So Elwood was going all vampire on little “Chuckles” – it’s post halloween vibes, he didn’t mean it, surely?
    Good luck and quick fostering when all Peppers go out to the big adoption stop. I love Chuckles and his sister, too!

  13. Well, the Lola/Zeus shenanigans are still going on, but we have started to separate them occasionally and that seems to be working out….a little. Also, as soon as I see that he is really harassing her, I immediately separate them. Each day seems to be a tiny bit better. Thanks for all of your advice!