Oscar is a Skilful Ruler and Politician
In the face of larger more aggressive cats, Oscar has managed to remain top cat for almost 10 years.
The day Oscar walked into the house is the day he took over.
He has remained TOP CAT ever since.
He is a benign and peace loving cat and I encourage him every way I can.
How do you stay top cat?
To a great extent keeping your Alpha cat status is a matter of self-confidence. Oscar has plenty and this is the key to his success.
He knows without a doubt that HE is top cat and enforces the conviction to the others. The other cats know this and for the most part respect his position.
He occasionally gets challenged and after a small scuffle and a staring contest he walk away the winner.
How do I support him and help him remain Alpha Cat?
The reason I support him as Boss Cat is that under his guidance there is harmony in the house. The cats are not stressed or afraid and they understand their place and role.
There are many things I do. They are all calculated to show him respect, bolster his self confidence and indicate that he is, in my eyes the boss cat. If 2 cats come up for pats at once, he gets fist cuddle. I never pass him over to pay more attention to another cat before him. I never make a huge fuss over someone else if Oscar is asking for attention. I say hello to Oscar then fuss over the other cat. He usually goes away after his pat. He is not hugely jealous once he has had his attention. All the cats get attention, Oscar just gets first pat.
When I open a can of cat food and give everyone a treat, or feed the outside ferals, Oscar always gets the can to lick. The others understand this. It doesn't stop them from asking for the can but Oscar always gets it. He does NOT join the others in asking for the can he KNOWS he will get the can. Rank hath its privileges!
Once Oscar is happily licking his can out, I give everyone else a treat.
When I give treats I always offer one to Oscar even though I know he doesn't like them. It matters somehow in his little cat brain.
When the cats greet visitors I ask that they say hello to Oscar FIRST. They can then fuss over anyone else. Oscar is happy.
Oscar takes it upon himself to guard the house and growls loudly when he hears a noise. He is not aggressive and would not attack a visitor, all the opposite, but he lets me know.
He will also let me know if something is wrong. This could be an empty bowl, someone in trouble, like Winston stuck in the garage, or a cat fight on the other side of his garden fence. If other cats are fighting in the house he will eventually break up the fight. It's also his job to let me know if someone catches a mouse from the composter.
When I foster kittens, Oscar often takes an active role in looking after the kittens. I have seen him clean them and also more surprising, teach them. He spent an hour once showing a small kitten how to climb on a couch. I've also seen him share a mouse with a kitten.
He puts down any rebellion with uncompromising firmness. No perceived insult is ignored. He will stare down the culprit and very rarely will swat.
All the cats understand the power structure and respect it. There are no peeing wars because of this. They might pee to let me know they are displeased, but not because they are challenging each other.
I once experimented and paid undue attention to a grown male other than Oscar and this precipitated open warfare and chaos. Oscar was annoyed, and the other cat gained confidence. One try was enough!
For the time being OSCAR RULES!
This web site reflects my personal ideas and doesn't represent anyone else's point of view.