The followers come to the leaders. Cats demonstrating fear aggression may flatten their ears against their heads, hiss, bare their teeth, or crouch low to the ground with their tail tucked under their body, and their fur may stand on end. Cats raised alone during their early lives may not learn this important lesson. Cats that are in pain may act aggressively toward people or other pets in an attempt to avoid touch, movement, or certain activities that might worsen the pain. Handling, bathing, grooming, and nail trimming can also cause this type of aggression. This process can take weeks to months, depending upon the cats involved. When a cat is excited by a stimulus but cannot respond directly, the cat may redirect his aggression toward a human or another cat. Signs of fear include dilated pupils, ears flattened and held outward, whiskers flattened or pressed downward onto the face, tail closely wrapped or tucked under the body, and head held upward while lying prone ( Figures 1 and 2 ). This aggression commonly takes the form of swatting, chasing, and attacking the encroaching individual. Watch for a raised paw, which denotes the latter. Remember, more assertive cat assumes all other cats should be, or want to be, assertive, too. Play aggression: seen in cats that have not been properly socialized, Fear aggression: caused by unfamiliar stimuli, Petting-induced aggression: may be due to overstimulation, Redirected aggression: caused by an exciting stimulus that a cat cannot directly respond to, Pain-induced aggression: seen in cats experiencing pain/discomfort, Status-induced aggression: directed toward individuals to assert social dominance, Territorial aggression: directed toward individuals to assert territorial dominance, Maternal aggression: protective behavior seen in queens that have recently whelped. They arch their backs or actively stalk each other, according to the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Adult male cats may threaten, and sometimes fight with, other males. Cats that block doors with their bodies or swat at other cats as they pass may be demonstrating this type of behavior. Go find your own!” The less dominant kitty has to find another place to pee, which is usually on … Signs of aggression include dilated pupils, ears flattened backward on the head, tail held erect with hairs raised, and an arched back. She will walk up to him and bow her head down in invitation for him to groom her. Territorial Cat Behavior. They may also urinate in areas that the other cats frequent, push other cats out of the food bowl until they are done eating, and make the other cats feel threatened. Attacks are usually avoided if one cat backs down and walks away. These behaviors can occur as sexual challenges over a female, or to achieve a relatively high position in the cats’ loosely organized social dominance hierarchy. Aggression, defined as hostile or violent behavior intended to dominate or intimidate another individual, is a fairly common behavioral problem in cats. It was a rocky first 6 months that we had the new kitten. After it’s done, the male cat will often run away, whereas a female cat will be thrashing. Whether a cat (or human) is biologically male or female is dictated by which sex chromosome (X or Y) they got from their father's sperm. Male Cats Like Hunting and Feeding. You can't show a cat that your dominant. It's an act they start doing as kittens when nursing, so it's a … These cats are less tolerant of others and liable to hog resources, such as food bowls and litter trays. It's usually easy to pick out the dominant dog in a pack, but hierarchy among cats is a bit more convoluted. Determining the cause of a cat’s aggressive behavior is important, as different types of aggression may be managed differently. The scent produced by these glands smells the same to humans no matter which cat produced it, but your pets can tell who made a particular marking. If so, preempt the aggression by distracting the cat with play or denying access to places that encourage the behavior, such as under the bed if the cat hides there before pouncing. List of dominant behaviors which can occur in dogs (this list is not yet complete). A relaxed cat is not swatting or hissing, has normal sized pupils, ears held upright, and normal tail posture, with the tail held upward with no flicking, twitching, or hairs on end. Learning appropriate play is an important part of a cat’s socialization, and this normally occurs during time spent with littermates. The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine: Conflict Between Cats, Arizona Human Society: Understanding Feline Body Language [PDF]. I have 2 cats, One is almost a year and a half and the other is 9 months old. The better choice between males and females for you depends on a few things. A recent study reported that 27 percent of cats relinquished to shelters for behavioral reasons were surrendered for aggression. Cats that block doors with their bodies or swat at other cats as they pass may be demonstrating this type of behavior. To avoid inter-cat conflict, it is advisable to train cats out of dominant traits. Sometimes, aggression may be redirected toward a human after an aggressive interaction between indoor cats. Inter-Cat Aggression They can make a multi-cat household a misery. Dominance hierarchy, a form of animal social structure in which a linear or nearly linear ranking exists, with each animal dominant over those below it and submissive to those above it in the hierarchy. I already have 2 Litter boxes and 2 food dishes but this isn't helping any. To obtain any of the red or cream color/patterns in female kittens, the sire must be one of the red or … Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists, on Long Island. 2 “Male cats are often more friendly than female cats,” says Susan Saffron, author of several books on pets and founder of the National Association of Pet Rescue Professionals. Cats can display aggression for a number of reasons. Males are in general friendlier, but they spray and howl for female cats unless neutered. For reasons that remain unknown, some cats may suddenly become aggressive when being petted. Cats are more territorial than dogs by nature, and they can also be more solitary. This type of aggression involves much ritualized body posturing, stalking, staring, yowling and howling. Pain-Induced Aggression The Dominant Cat. She will sometimes return the grooming, … There are a few types of Female cats can be just as territorial as males. It is particularly important to supervise cats that display this type of aggression when they are in the presence of young children, who often want to pet cats but miss the visual cues of impending aggression. To intervene in play aggression, first determine if there is a pattern to when and where aggressive behavior occurs. This step should be done repeatedly over several days, with a smaller distance between the cats each time. A cat crouch can be preparation for an attack. A comprehensive poll of feline veterinary practitioners several years ago actually rated male cats as more affectionate than female cats. Finally, after 6 months, they worked things out and are now friends. Ideally, owners should prevent physical contact between small children and a cat with a history of petting-induced aggression. They may stalk their target, whether animal or human, and will often pounce from a hiding place as the target passes by. Maternal Aggression Seriously, though, cats really don't do "dominance". Regardless of their cause, recognizing the signs that a cat is fearful or aggressive can help prevent injury to pets and people. Walking away and ignoring a cat engaged in play aggression may teach him that inappropriately aggressive play results in no play at all. They may fight over a female, for … Does a Cat Know What a Kiss & a Hug Means?→, Why Does My Cat Massage Me With His Front Paws?→. The best way to deal with fear aggression is to identify and avoid situations that produce a fearful response. Cats may occasionally show signs of aggression toward people or other pets when they want to establish social dominance. If they won’t eat, move them farther apart. In most cases, there is an equal chance for either type of sperm to make it to the egg, which always has an X chromosome. Many aggressive signs are accompanied by a fearful body posture and facial expression, and with submissive behavior. If this is your trouble, provide more resources. They may show aggression toward newly introduced cats, and occasionally other animals or people, that encroach upon their established domain.