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Sexual agerssion towards female

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all,
I have a 4 year old neutered male, Max, and a 3 year old spayed female, Sydney. Max frequently displays sexual aggression towards Syd when he is trying to "play". He jumps on her from behind and bites the scruff of her neck. It is obviously uncomfortable for her as he is a bigger cat and she is quite petite. He is quite a pest when he wants to play and will even go so far as to bite her side and take out chucks of fur. Usually this bothers her enough that she attacks him and then he is happy.

Is there anything that I can do to curb this behavior? I have punished him using a stern voice and clapped my hands. It's hard to get him into a time-out because he just runs away from me as soon as I get close (he knows he's in trouble).
post #2 of 7
Many times sexual posturing is a show of dominance. How long have Max and Sydney been living together? Who is the Alpha Cat? Is there a challenge for the Alpha Cat position?

Since both cats are desexed, I would assume it is dominance issue. There are many things you can do to help Max assert his position without the sexual posturing and aggression. First, make sure there are vertical levels that they can use, like cat trees, shelves, etc. The Alpha cat will almost always take the highest perch. When you feed them, give Max his food or treats first. Same when you come home - greet Max first. Play with Max first, then with Sydney. If he feels comfortable that he is head-cat, hopefully the agression and posturing will subside.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
They have been living together since Syd was a kitten. Max is definitely the Alpha cat and Syd has never tried to challenge that. The cats have many things to play on but unfortunately Max is quite the scaredy cat and doesn't really like to climb and jump. His biggest accomplishment is getting onto the countertop. Ever since we adopted Syd, we have been making a point of greeting Max first, feeding him first etc. One thing I failed to mention is that Max is a feral (although it would be hard to tell now). Would that makes his instincts more pronounced? Also, is it wrong to punish him for his behavior?
post #4 of 7
Candy, I think the fact that Max comes from a feral background is quite telling of his behavior. I know my little girl, who came to us as a tiny feral kitten, maintains a lot of feral characteristics even though she has been inside with us most of her life.

As for punishing him for it, that's kind of a tough call. On one hand, he is only doing what seems perfectly natural to him - claiming and maintaining his dominance. On the other hand, it isn't a good thing for little Sydney to have chunks of fur pulled out. Hopefully someone with more experience with a similar situation will answer...
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks Heidi...that was sort of my dilemma with punishing.

Max was really bad for the first year that we had him...he would attack us all the time...and not just to play! We had him for a good couple weeks before he would even come close enough that we could catch him. He is WAY better now but still will turn on us every now and then for no reason.
post #6 of 7
Well I have a similiar situation in my house. Russell was from a farm and I got him when he was a small kitten. Two vets swear black and blue that he's feral. He exhibits traits of feral and domestic cats so I don't really know. I never got to meet his momma.

Our female cat is one that we rescued from the vet's office. She is truly a domestic cat. I only arrive at this conclusion since she's terrified of being outdoors for long periods of time. Short stints on a lead she's ok though.

Russell will do the same thing to Esper like Max does to Sydney. I usually let things be but as soon as things get to be more than just play, usually Esper growls or hisses or Russell growls, I step in and separate them. I don't punish either cat. I merely separate them and let them get a hold of things, (hopefully), while they calm down.

Only once have I ever had to use water to separate them. This was a last resort. They were literally rolling around the lounge room like tumbleweed. I was too slow in getting to them. Luckily, no one was hurt.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply.

Max never really hurts Syd and after she plays with him for a bit, he leaves her alone. I guess I will try to catch him for time-outs...but the little bugger runs away all the time.
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