Posts Tagged‘dominance’

This is what happens when you are only feeding one cat and leaving the other one watching.

Why do some cats steal food from another cat? It is a way to show dominance when they are hungry. In the video on the right, you can see clearly that the black and white cat stops eating and starts engaging in a staring match with the white fluffy cat. However, as you can see from her action, she gradually backs off and eventually succumbs to the white cat who is obviously more dominant. As soon as the white cat has his paw on the bowl, he is making a strong statement that the food belongs to him. Then he proceeds to pull the bowl over and starts munching away.

In a multi-cat household, this type of behavior is very common since cats that live together always try to establish their social status by ranking. The dominant cat is usually calm, confident and closest to their owners. The subservient cat is either timid or tries to intimidate the higher ranking cats or bully the lower ranking cats, but often walks away from the higher ranking cats because of lack of confidence.

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Question from Cathy:

My 5 year old cat just started hissing and fighting with her mother cat. I can’t figured out why now all of a sudden, no changes in the household, she won’t allow her near me, on the window sill, or near the scratch toys. They are both indoor cats.

Answer from Amy:

Hi Cathy,

Cat aggression usually comes from situation when a cat wants to dominate (offensive aggression) or feels threatened (defensive aggression), but first of all we have to know that it is never the cats’ interest to be involved in an aggressive fight because cats are very cautious about their safety and like to conceal their vulnerability from others. That’s why it is hard to read if a cat is having any discomfort because they are masters at masking pain but that’s a different story (Cats are masters at masking pain)

Usually a cat fight involves hissing, swatting and a bit of wrestling and biting, but they never bite into each other very hard and usually get separated when one cat surrenders and leaves.

Cats like to send warning signal through staring, walking with the hindquarters lifted, turning the ears flat to the side, etc.. However, these usually happen for purposes such as territory rights or for food.

Sometimes cats fight or even bite when they play. If they get really aggressive, you can clap your hands really hard, the loud noise will separate them apart. However, if they continue to grapple,  you will need to keep them in two separate rooms until they cool down. Never physically intervene or engage in a cat fight because they may turn their aggression towards the mediator.

In your case, it sounds like your 5-year-old cat is being territorial against her mother by blocking her entries to the window sill and the scratch toys. The reason that she won’t let her mother near you is because