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Cat Rankings - Understanding Behavior

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, I have a question for those of you experts on behavior. Is it possible for a domineering cat to NOT be the "alpha cat?" For example, Napoleon D. can be very domineering at times, but I don't think he is the alpha, b/c Cassie fights back when he is. Sometimes, he does win their fights, but for the most part it's Cassie who is the victor.

If you need more examples, I can provide. But the reason I ask is because I noticed something interesting the last few days. Usually if they are being good kitties, I will give them snacks. Well, I put Cassie's down first, then Napoleon second. Napoleon usually eats his straight away. But Cassie did something interesting -- she watched him as he ate, and then she ate hers. That doesn't sound typical of an alpha. But she lets him know her limits and he doesn't care LOL.

What do you guys think?
post #2 of 4
Sometimes this is hard to qualify, but young Pete, because he was at the bottom of the barrel, decided that he would become the dominant cat. No fights, no arguments, but he just "pushed" his way to the top. Until........little Diddo showed up.

She joined the pack at three days, (the fastest any cat of mine has intergrated into the pack) and instantly became the dominant cat.

Go figure.
post #3 of 4
That's an interesting question. What you might have are two cats, neither of which is a complete alpha cat, but each with alpha tendencies. In other words, in some times, places and situations, one cat is going to be dominant and other times, places and situations the roles are reversed. It's going to be interesting figuring out who is what, when and where!!
post #4 of 4
Hi, cats don't have 'packs' or alphas. Wolves and dogs do. Cats have territory, and by extension food, love, sex, beds, toys, etc. They also have childish attitudes about who can beat up the other one TODAY, but tomorrow that can all change, and depending on things we can't see, smell or ever understand, a cat who was a 'victim' half an hour ago will be seen lying next to the victor now, and hiss at him/her over their food later, but still be chased off a bed at night. If you try to make too much sense out of cat behaviour, you'll go nuts! Of course, some are naturally more domineering, especially the guys, and especially if there's another guy around to 'show up', but if the less dominant cats know there's a place they can go and be safe, and you protect any kittens that are being seriously picked on (they do need to learn some lessons), that's about all you can do, because while a squirt of water or anything else might make a cat stay away from another one for 5 mins. while you're there, he'll be right back to his macho stuff the minute you're gone, but ... they do have to be neutered and you do have to use a little common sense.
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