Lucky me, I have two homes and two sets of humans. I found the second family through a cat I made friends with — they’re actually his humans. I was glad he befriended me — my other family has a bunch of other cats and they all hate me. The new humans are a lot of fun, especially the guy. He plays with me until I’m exhausted and we take naps together sometimes. I enjoy my newer humans so much that I spend most of my days at their house. The only problem is that the cat who brought me there in the first place is mad at me now! He gets grouchy whenever I play with his (our) humans and he won’t even let me sleep on the bed anymore. I guess he must be jealous, but I really want to keep his friendship. What can I do?
You play innocent, but I know your type. You’re The Cat Who Takes Over. You hang out with a new friend who brings you home and introduces you to his family. Then, next thing he knows, you’ve commandeered his humans and he winds up spending less time alone with them. I’m not surprised he’s at his wit’s end. And I have a sneaking suspicion that the other cats in your first family have had issues with you for similar reasons. Cats like you are often better off as only kitties, but unfortunately you’ve wound up with not one but two multi-cat families (or rather, the second one was an only-cat family until you came along). So you are going to have to learn to fit in, or else you may wind up with no family at all.
My first suggestion is that you stop shuttling between two families and choose just one. Right now you are disrupting both families because you keep showing up carrying strange scents from the other home. As a cat, you should realize how annoying it is to constantly be assaulted by unfamiliar smells. If you decide to stay at the second home, you and your pal need to come to some sort of agreement or you guys won’t remain friends for the longterm. By spending so much time with his humans, you are infringing on your friend’s territory and threatening his position in his own home. It should be an honor that your friend shares his humans with you at all, but instead you thoughtlessly are taking up all their time. His humans, meanwhile, are at fault for encouraging your imposition. They need to cut down on the attention they give you because they let you move in and get comfortable way too fast. You need to lay back and let your friend set the pace. I know how cozy sleeping on the bed can be, but if your friend doesn’t want you there, you will just have to stay off it until he gives you the go-ahead. We cats are famously lousy at such concepts as “compromise” and “give and take,” but if you really want to be a member of a happy home, you’ve got to stop behaving like you’re the only cat that matters. Take this wise lesson from successful feral cat colonies: feline opportunism must always be tempered with the understanding of your place in the hierarchy.