Monday, July 26, 2010

Pet Fox Stories: Sibling Rivalry

People are often quite worried when they find out that I have a fox and cats, under the theory that one will surely devour the other. However, contrary to popular belief, foxes and cats are not hardwired to kill each other. However, it wouldn't be quite accurate to say they "get along well", either. Although there is no overt aggression, there is a very intense rivalry between the fox and the cats.

The picture you see is of Gizmo the fox, Mischief the cat, and what has come to be known as the "Drama Chair". For reasons that I don't understand and probably never will, this ratty old chair has become the most hotly contested piece of property in the entire house.

Gizmo loves the chair dearly; it's quite possibly his favorite thing in the entire house. Unfortunately, this has not escaped the cat's notice. Whenever Mischief happens to notice him relaxing on it, her typical response is to come and hop on to the back of the chair, giving him a hiss and a dirty look.

Gizmo's response to an animal half his size telling him to get off the chair is usually to hop to the floor and start screeching and wailing at the top of his lungs, letting the whole neighborhood know that a gigantic panther has come and stolen his chair from him. If nobody removes the cat from her perch, he will start to dart back and forth between the nearest human and the chair, just wailing.

The cat tends to ignore this whole display; foxes, if such creatures exist, are far beneath her notice. However, the only time she ever sits on the chair is when she's kicked Gizmo off it. If he's not there to freak out, she sees no appeal in "having" the chair.

What about you guys? Do you have any interesting stories of "sibling rivalry" between your animals? What do you do to resolve them? Tell me about it in the comments!

And stay tuned: Wednesday I'm going to discuss methods of introducing a new pet to established ones.


  1. All the time. Our youngest cat likes to lie down near one of the older ones and slowly stretch a paw out, as if saying "I'm not touching you! I'm not touching you!" Until of course he is touching her and gets thumped for his troubles.

  2. Haha, I've got a cat like that. He likes to sit so his back is facing Mischief, and then flip his tail to hit her.

    She generally doesn't hit him or move out of reach, though. She just growls so terribly that it sounds like she's trying to summon demons.

  3. Well, my rabbit is currently being treated for GI stasis and a possible kidney infection, so right now the cat is vying for my attention. She keeps running into the Bunny Sick Room (bedroom) and perching on the dresser, watching me treat him with meds and fluids. Usually, the 2 of them are taking turns on chasing the other down the hall way.

  4. I hope your rabbit recovers well. :) It's great that he has an owner who will go to the time and expense of veterinary care.

    Too many people buy smaller animals, and then don't want to hassle with taking proper care of them if they get sick or hurt.

  5. I have a Rottweiler, Melody and a Black Cocker spaniel mix named Kiba, who act just like brother and sister. Kiba loves to just harass Melody by jumping on her, running in circles around her, hogging the dog house, etc. All of this always results in Melody giving him a mean yap and getting what she wants lol. But god for bid anyone else be mean to Kiba and she'll pick a fight.

    (This isn't really rivalry but strange friendship)I once had a cat named Shadow who was the evilest thing to strangers but sweet to us. I mean she was evil! She would growl at the mail man, attack guests she really didn't like, scare a lot of my friends, attack herself in the mirror, my dogs never harassed her EVER, and she always beat up her boyfriend. But Shadow was odd cat, she grew up with my raccoon Bandie (who I raised from three days old). Bandie's mother was killed and we rescued her so being from the wild she still had wild tendencies. For example Bandie washed her cat food (which her and shadow shared) and by doing so i always picked it up with her hands and ate it. Bandie and Shadow were about the same age. So Shadow always would eat her food by sitting on her back legs and grab cat food with her two paws and ate it like Bandie. Her and Bandie also played together and slept in the same 6ft high Cat Post/House.

    sorry for the rant lol

  6. Also...
    Bandie was never like that with anyone, she was more shy around everyone but us and family friends. Shadow also was friendly with some of our family friends, and was only afraid of one person! My neighbor Tia! She was about 12 and since the day we got Shadow everytime she saw her, Tia would squeeze her with her "love". So everytime Tia came into the house and called for Shadow, she would hide for hours. If shadow saw Tia, she would run and hide for hours and you would NOT find her.

    Lmao she was so strange and i miss her dearly :(

  7. When we first got our cocker spaniel Holly as a puppy, she LOVED to play with our three-year-old tabby cat Pippin. The other cats weren't too keen on being tackled by this small barking thing and steered clear. Unfortunately for them, Holly took a liking to my year-old Maine Coon Pickles, who considered herself far too dignified for such juvenile games. Many a time we would look up to see the cat streaking up the stairs at top speed, Holly trotting merrily behind with a big old tuft of black kitty tail fur sticking out of her mouth.

    Pickles, in revenge, decided that Holly's bed was the most comfortable spot in the house. The first time Holly found her bed occupied, it resulted in a good half hour of barking, jumping, and pulling the doggy bed about the house before the cat vacated.

  8. Taz and Bandit are two young (7 months old) male foxes of mine that currently share an 8 by 16 enclosure (I am in the process of moving and building more enclosures), and have been together since they were 3 weeks old and being bottle fed in the house.

    There are at least two of everything in the enclosure. Two fox houses,two water bowls, two food bowls,four kongs, and two each of various toys.

    Even though Bandit has his own food bowl,and the boys are fed on opposite ends of the enclosure, he will run over and chase Taz off his food. Taz will, in return, run to Bandit's bowl and snatch a few bites before Bandit comes running back to reclaim his own bowl. The game of fox musical bowls continues until every morsel of kibble is gone.

    They also play this game with their kongs, one stealing every kong the other has, and with their fox houses, which usually ends up with them both snuggling in one house or the other.

    Its quite a sight to see them play with eachother. It also makes typical human/fox intereactions twice as challenging (two foxes instead of one going after my shoe laces, gloves, hat, glasses,

  9. A few years ago my old dog Riley used to steal our cat Hermione's food at every opportunity he got. Thing was Hermione would only eat half of it and then leave it, so that Riley had many chances. On the other hand... Hermione used to steal Riley's bed constantly and he'd do nothing about it. One time they also worked together against me, Hermione ate the topping of my pizza so only the bread was left, Riley got the bread.

    After Riley died, Hermione acted a little lost and a lot more cuddly so I think she cared a lot for him really, despite their interactions.

    When we got Moss (a dog) however.... Well Hermione hated him. He was loud, boisterous and didn't understand he was terrfiying her. He just wanted to play, but he would bark and move too quickly about her. In the end we never really got them to be friends. My mum had to move to another country for work so Hermione went to a woman down the road and after many attempts to rehome Moss, he bit someone and we had to have him put down.

    Anyway I bet Mischief and Gizmo love each other really, in their own odd way.

  10. i have 3 pomerainians, Spazz (oldest 14yrs old) Neon (9 yrs old) and Jazz( youngest 6 yrs old).
    when i give spazz an jazz raw-hides i give one to each, they would race off (you can tell whats going through their head. "OH BOY OH BOY OBHOY!!")and lay down to chew. A minute goes buy and Jazz would stop and watch spazz. he then looks down at his then back at spazz. he would then get up leaving his raw hide and go lay down as close to spazz as he could.
    Spazz then would stop and look at jazz and give a huff that sounds between a huffy bark an growl then continues chewing on the raw hide ignoreing Jazz.
    Well then Jazz would sneak/creep crawl forward little inches at a time getting closer and closer then when he is close enough he stays there and waits for something to catch Spazzies attention, then Jazz would dart forward as fast as he could and snatch spazzies raw hide and run over to the other side of the room and begin to chew. while spazz just watchs him. i then would get up, pick up the raw hide jazz had first an give it to spazz who was more than happy for a different raw hide. and go figure one minute later....jazz see's spazz has another raw hide (which was originally his) and the process starts all

  11. So I have a dog named Hope and two cats named Sabrina and Jasmine who I rescued with their mom from under my deck in the winter. I have had them science they were days old and they were raised with Hope. Sabrina loves Hope, I even have to bring the her with me and Hope outside because if she does not have her dog she throws a tantrum. The funny thing is that Jasmine does not love hope so much, she really just tolerates her. So Jasmine gets jelouse that Hope gets Sabrina's attention and steals Sabrina away. Also Hope tattles on them both and punishes them accordingly. If they are on the counter she barks until they get down then chases them, but doesn't harm them. Also, Hope and Sabrina know that the word "in" means to go home and sit at the door step for when they go out off leash and play. When Sabrina doesn't imediatly run for the door step Hope nipps at her heels and hurds her inside.

  12. Yeah. One time my family found a missing dog. My dog of course got jealous and tried to bite it.


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