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punishing aggressive play/dominance?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Just wondering if it was a good idea to punish aggressive behaviour in my cats? From what I can tell, it looks like they're trying to establish dominance, but neither of them is willing to back down. My mother maintains that they're going to fight anyway, and why bother trying to stop it, I maintain it shouldn't happen and I'm trying to get them to associate fighting with a bad experience. I've been trying the spray bottle, and I just recently pulled out the shake can (man do they not like THAT one!! ). I realise I can't correct them when I'm not home, but every little bit helps, right?

It's mostly the male that goes after the female, but she's gotten a few good pounces in herself. I'm not worried about them hurting each other, I just wish they'd get along better....
post #2 of 4
Are your cats spayed and neutered? If not getting them fixed will help the situation a great deal, so will interactive play time with them one-on-one. If they are not hurting each other, just growling, rolling etc..then they are trying to figure out the hierarchy of their small group and both want to be the lead cat. They will work it out, as long as there is no bloodshed, and no chance of the female getting pregnant, they will work it out among themselves.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

yes, they're both fixed. They both have all their claws, and are strictly indoor cats. They got along fine (they even snuggled together... it was sooo cute!) until the male hit the 1 year old mark. Then they started to get on each others' nerves. At first it was just rolling around and kicking at each other, and we figured it was playing. But as Elmo(m) got bigger, Kermitte(f) couldn't pin him down as well anymore. They've started clamping down on the other's neck and holding until the other "squeaks" get OFF me! 'Mo's got a few scratches here and there, and we try to keep the nails trimmed, so they don't really hurt each other, but so far, I haven't seen much improvement in the arguing.

Should we try and encourage the one we'd like to be dominant? (like with dogs: feed the dominant first, pet him first, pay attention to him first, etc...)
post #4 of 4
If you can figure out who the dominant one is, then yes. But as they grow up, they will change the position in the home, or at least challenge it from time to time. When you see them locked together, throw a noisy toy over their heads onto something that also makes noise, like a tile floor to make them think "prey" and distract them. Or take the water bottle and shoot it over their heads or into a plant or a corner of the room again to make them think prey. If it gets to much of a scuffle, take a dark blanket, and settle it over them, that will startle them out of the behavior and not allow you to get clawed. Do you have a tall, tall cat post? That will help as well. The dominant one will go to the top and keep the submissive one on the lower levels with no real contact between them.
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