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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23770
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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I'm married. Our cat, Samara, a female, has a habit of

Customer Question

I'm married. Our cat, Samara, a female, has a habit of sleeping on Rachel's (my wife) clothing, her pillow on our bed, trying to steal Rachel's food, stuffing articles of her clothing in her litter box, standing on Rachel's chest and staring her down. I've noticed this behavior with other female animals we've owned (in particular, a puggle who seemed bent on destroying anything associated with Rachel and violently fighting for my attention). Is Samara competing with Rachel to be the alpha female? She doesn't display this sort of behavior around any other woman.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I have advanced training in feline behavior and am pleased to discuss Samara with you. I don't believe that you're seeing the behavior of competition; rather, Samara is anxious and stressed and is attempting to relieve that stress by getting as close to comforting objects as she can - your wife's clothes and pillow are heavily scented by your wife who is perceived as comforting. Bringing scented objects to her box (a comforting place), then, makes sense. I don't believe that Samara is "staring down your wife" but demonstrating attention-seeking behavior just as stealing food can be attention-seeking behavior (as well as stress-reducing). Please see here for more in this regard: and then please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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