Here Comes Trouble

"What are you looking at?"
“What are you looking at?”

Sometimes, Sampson thinks his middle name is Trouble. He misbehaves. He steals food. He becomes a bit of a bully, and plays too roughly with the other cats, when they’d rather not play at all.

Some of it seems to be because he gets hangry, that is hungry-angry. He definitely seems to get cranky when food is around. He has an obsession with food that I’ve talked about before, and it certainly puts him in a bad mood if he’s not getting as much as he thinks he should. (And he thinks he should get All The Food.)

Sampson and the mouse 2I had a bit of an epiphany recently realising that perhaps he also gets bored-angry. (Bangry? Bongry?) When he lived back in England he had three feline friends (and one canine!), got along with all of them pretty well, and as such had no shortage of playmates.

His friends here in Finland don’t get along with him so well.

It’s not his fault. Mostly. Lola is very aloof with other cats, and prefers to limit her interaction with them. She’s a bit of a princess looking down on the boys. Elvis on the other hand is perhaps feeling his age? I don’t know. Honestly I’ve not worked out why he and Sampson don’t get along. I’d expected them too, because Elvis is fairly similar in personality to one of Sampson’s friends back in England.

In any case, the other cats are clearly not stimulating Sampson’s playfulness enough, and we humans aren’t always available to entertain him. I did come up with an idea for a solution though…

"Help!"
“Help! He’s trying to eat me!”

My idea was to leave a little container of toys out so that Sampson can help himself to toys when he’s feeling bored. As soon as I put the bowl of toys down Sampson approached and sniffed through it. His first choice was a knobbly, bouncy, rubber ball which he spent a lot of time licking. I had to confiscate it after a while though because he was trying to eat the knobs!

He then found a fluffy little mouse. He had a lot of fun with that, bashing it around, chasing it, throwing it in the air. And of course chewing it.

The toy bowl does seem to have improved his mood somewhat, and it’s a good way to redirect his attention if he’s taking his frustrations out on the other cats. (Usually on poor Elvis.) It’s not a perfect solution, and bickering does still occur from time to time, but it’s a start.

Love,

Lady Joyful

Do your cats get hungry-angry or bored-angry? How do you keep your cats entertained?

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35 thoughts on “Here Comes Trouble

    1. Hi there,

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  1. My two are different in age, too. The tom is 10, Kessy is just 6, and yes, it shows. Tom is very laid back, sleeps a lot, loves to snuggle (no belly rubs!), is rarely playful. Kessy on the other hand is an active female cat, chasing balls around, begging for treats, sometimes trying to keep FunTom from his place on the bed, looking out on the street. I have balls and toy mice lying around plenty. And cushions with valerian and catnip. Sometimes they ignore things for weeks, then they repossess a favourite toy. They usually have no problem with food – as there is always dry food around.

    1. We can’t leave food out unfortunately because Sampson would just eat it all! Yes I’ve noticed that they seem to go through phases of what toy they want to play with. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  2. I have just one cat and I struggle to keep him entertained. These days the only thought that is in his mind is to get out of the house, some how into the wild unknown.
    Susie

  3. Hey I loved your article. I can totally relate to it . My cats hungary and eats my head until i give him what he wants. but otherwise they are quiet sorted and independent of their entertainment. Cats are just too adorable.

  4. Young Fritz gets hungry-angry, as well as bored-angry 😀
    Old Jones is simply too old to play; TopoloDexter is a good player, but rough enough to scare him sometimes. My solution: toys everywhere, and the house roof! Fritz spends a lot of his time hidden behind the chimney to chase lizards 😛
    Ciao
    Sid

    1. Chasing lizards sounds like fun! Whilst Sampson was living with my brother in England he appeared with a lizard one day. Strange thing was he was/is an indoor cat! My brother’s theory is that the little lizard must have been an escaped pet from somewhere. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  5. I love big male cats – they are my absolute favorite. I think Trouble is just being a teenage boy. hehehe. I have one at home who wants to “play” with my dogs. Sometimes he can get too rough, but like all children – you have a to be a good parent and see the signs of it escalating. I often do the “I’m watching you” look at them.

  6. It all sounds like a lot of fun. I lost my beautiful boy, Merlin (Russian Blue) in March of 2015, but I still have his sister, Lady to keep me company. Cats are the perfect pets.

  7. My Marble is Samson’s soulmate although the origin of his food mania is somewhat different. I adopted him at 4 months and he was vomiting a lot. After spending a small fortune on surgery to rule out lymphoma, he was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. I didn’t want to put him on prednisolone as the vet recommended, sue to the side effects of long term steroid use . I experimented with all sorts of diets yet he continued to have problems. He always exhibited Samson-like behavior, except for the fact that he gets along wonderfully with his roommates, Marcel and Marceau, ten year old bachelor cat brothers.Even when I had his symptoms temporarily under control, was voracious. He’d eat the stuffing out of my furniture and stuffed animals, cardboard,and most cat toys. As he continued to lose weight I had to finally give in and put him on prednisolone after all .Although he still can’t tolerate kibble, he is now fine with canned duck and is finally putting on weight.He will be three years old in March and finally showing signs of giving up his penchant for trouble.

  8. Poor Samson,he is such a cutie I am sorry the other cats don’t want to play. Another fun thing would be to put a few snacks in a little paper cup and crrumple it so he has to work to find the snacks. I would put it right in the toy basket.

    1. That’s a good suggestion! I might have to give that a try. Although I would be slightly concerned that he might just eat the cup to get to the snacks! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  9. My cat Celie very much likes the string game where you walk casually along trailing a piece of string and she comes pouncing along after it. As she pounces you lift the string up. Now she brings the the string out as a general sign that she thinks she’s being neglected. If we’re out for any length of time it will be lying in the corridor when we get home.

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