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Alpha Cat Dispute

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
It looks like we have a dispute over who is Alpha Cat at my house. Trent currently has it, Ophelia wants it. Since I've never gone through this before (Trent's been Alpha since they were kittens because he was a couple weeks older and always bigger) I have a couple questions for our experts.

I know we should let them figure it out, but it's automatic reaction to yell when we hear the growling and squealing. How do you know when the tiffs have gone too far? Trent's always played a little rough with Ophelia, and she learned quickly that Daddy comes running if she squeals so she's pretty vocal there. How will we know that the dispute has been settled?

The other thing I've noticed is that Ophelia has recently become more affectionate toward us. She was a feral kitten and never real cuddly. Trent was the cuddle-bug. Is this another way that she's claiming Alpha, by "claiming" us more?

Thanks for your help!
post #2 of 7
I wish I could give you a real answer on how to handle the situation. Telling them to knock it off is okay. It will at least give them a time out.
When you have 2 cats who are fighting for the alpha position, one of a few things will usually happen. One will back down and let the other be alpha. One will become a poriah, and then you will notice them hiding and trying to stay away from the other. OR, they will continue to battle for the #1 position.
There's not a whole lot you can do to help them. They have to work it out between the two of them. Paying equal amounts of attention to the two of them can help. You can even try spending some one on one time with each of them in seperate rooms.
It sounds as if maybe Ophelia is either just getting more affectionate, or she's finding more comfort in spending time with you rather than her feline buddy.
I really think it comes to a head when they start to fight to hurt each other, or if one becomes a poriah cat.
post #3 of 7
What is an "alpha cat"?
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
The Alpha Cat is the top cat in the pecking order, the others defer to that cat. They generally sit on the highest perch, eat first, get whatever they want. The others will back down.

Thanks for the answer Sandie. I guess we'll just wait and see how it goes.
post #5 of 7
Dumb question, but what a poriah cat? I've never heard of this term before. Just curious...
post #6 of 7
I think she mispelled "Pariah", which if you aren't familiar with that word, means "an outcast".
post #7 of 7
Cat hierachy.
Dominance is a key part to life in a multiple cat home. Cats in multiple cat homes will quickly establish a dominance hierarchy amongst themselves. This is a commonly accepted order status in the cat world and should not be interfered with by owners. In such a hierarchy one cat will take the top dominant position. This cat will then be known as the 'alpha-wolf-cat' so to speak. The lowest cat on the totem pole is known as the pariah. This set up is normal and should not be interfered.
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