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Sibling Wars: Can I fix it?
d_caitlin posted:
I hope someone else has had this problem and can help me fix it. I have two kittens, 8 months old, that I got from a rescue. They and their brother were found at only a few weeks old. I adopted Mac, my boy, and Lily, my baby girl when they were about 4 months. Both are spayed/neutered.

Mac and Lily have always gotten along, though I noticed early on that Mac likes to play rough, and sometimes a lot more rough than Lily can handle. She'll growl and hiss at him, and he'll still keep biting her neck or ear or whatever. I know kittens play rough, but knowing Lily wasn't happy about it, I've pulled Mac off her quite a few times. She followed him around like the cute little sister she is, and sometimes still initiates a play fight right back.

Most recently, now that Mac has a good two pounds on her, I noticed that if Lily is doing something, and Mac walks toward her, she'll run away from him. This includes eating, or being pet by me. (She is a healthy weight however, and gets to eat so long as Mac is bored with food. Since giving them seperate food bowls, it has helped a little bit, but he'll still rush over and eat out of her bowl even though he has his own already). Mac won't let her up in his favorite hiding space on the bookshelf and jealously guards the toys. Lily would always sleep under the covers with me, and now is afraid to come up because Mac is there.

He's always been more mouthy than her, and though I've dealt with the dominance battle in dogs, I've never had cats before and don't know what to do! I'm afraid if this escalates more, Lily, who has always been shy, will retreat even more and be that nervous "don't touch me!" cat my grandma had who would bite you for looking at her.

Any tips on repairing their relationship would be much appreciated!


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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