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Discerning the cat hierarchy...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
How can you tell the hierarchy of your house?

I need some clues - I'm starting to think that our hierarchy might not be as cut and dried as I'd assumed.

[Feel free to get sidetracked with hilarious stories, they're my favourite part!]
post #2 of 14
The oldest is not necessarily the top cat-in my case out of 4 he is tied for bottom place!! Bobber my almost 7 yr old is the queen bee-with my 2 yr old bakker in a close 2nd!! The others just try to stay out of their way.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC
The oldest is not necessarily the top cat-in my case out of 4 he is tied for bottom place!! Bobber my almost 7 yr old is the queen bee-with my 2 yr old bakker in a close 2nd!! The others just try to stay out of their way.
No, I get that - but what is it that tells you that Bobber is queen bee, and that the oldest is on the bottom of the hierarchy?

I'm really looking for things to look for in their behaviour generally, toward each other, toward their physical environment, towards us, etc.
post #4 of 14
Tiger is definatly the king! Even over Jake (the dog). Anyone who comes in the house has to pass his inspection and approval. I should also add he is "father" to Reilly. She is HIS kitten. Matter of fact, she used to nurse on him when she was littler. Anyone, anything, any animal that comes close to her better be ready for a butt whippin by him
Reilly, well, we love Reilly but she is not the brightest crayon in the box.. She just goes with the flow. She's not the aggressor that tiger is. I could probably bring in a Bengal Tiger and she could care less as long as she gets her share of the food
post #5 of 14
The bootm two do not like confrontation-when Bakker climbs on Grizzly to lick her to death she just takes it rather than running away!! Bobber just seems to own the house!! When I lost Sheba almost 2 yrs ago Bobber quickly established she was the next in line not fighting if you knew her she can be quite aloof.
post #6 of 14
Whitey and Patches essentually share the reigns of the household...I see it cause 1) Whitey is control of play time. Well OK not "control" as we know it by...more or less he forgets that there are 4 other cats in the room
2). Patches wakes me up on Saturday and Sunday BY 8:00 am for feeding.

Otherwise after I feed in the morning Whitey gets the first bowl, Patches the second, Luna the 3rd and the Beauty gets whoever is done first.
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunasmom
Whitey and Patches essentually share the reigns of the household...I see it cause 1) Whitey is control of play time. Well OK not "control" as we know it by...more or less he forgets that there are 4 other cats in the room
2). Patches wakes me up on Saturday and Sunday BY 8:00 am for feeding.

Otherwise after I feed in the morning Whitey gets the first bowl, Patches the second, Luna the 3rd and the Beauty gets whoever is done first.
Tiger eats first and Reily 2nd. He's good about it though. When he's done he will scoot the saucer over to a patientlly waiting Reilly like "Ok, I'm done" and he will groom her while she eats and purrs.
post #8 of 14
8-Bit is the alpha here. He will pin down Scratch and hold him by the scruff of the neck. Scratch, of course, hates this with a passion. 8-Bit can't stand when Scratch is in the highest spot, he will jump up out of a dead sleep, trill at him, and then bat him down from said spot. Scratch, however, is generally good natured and will put up with it to a point. I have seen him run up to 8-Bit and swat at him then run away. That always makes me smile.
post #9 of 14
In my house I think the hierarchy is Zakk, Rocky, Cookie then Suzie. My clues:
Zakk HAS to eat first. He jumps up on the counter when I serve wet food. Rocky doesn't usually, but he doesn't like wet food, also he doesn't jump that much due to his vision. However, when he sees one of the younger two eating dry food, although we have 4 dishes, he noses them out. Cookie will jump up and eat the wet after Zakk.
Play fighting: Rocky is constantly challenging Zakk to mini wrestling sessions. Zakk usually wins and doesn't back down, plus he gets loud if he is mad. Zakk also smacks the younger two on the head if they get too close.
Grooming. Rocky loves grooming the younger ones. He has tried to groom Zakk, but zakk doesn't usually put up with it. If Cookie starts wrestling Rocky, Rocky pushes him down, grooms his head vigoursly while kicking him at the same time. He usually just lightly grooms Suzie on the head.
Body language. Which cat strides through the middle of a room that already has a few of the other cats? Which cat timidly runs around the edge of the room?
Affection. Zakk is very independent.. He gives loving to hubby at night time and when he thinks he is gonna get food. Other than that he does his own thing. Sometimes we think he thinks he is top over us too.. He has tried bopping us on leg when he is mad.
Rocky is Mr. Needy.. however sometimes when he comes up to get pet, Mr. Cookie runs up to get affection too... although normally cookie isn't that into snuggling.
From what I can tell.. Rocky is trying to vie with Zakk for top cat, and Cookie sees Rocky as his challenge. Suzie is very shy with humans and with the others so she really isn't in the running. She is also the smallest by far.
post #10 of 14
That's a tough question with my two...i haven't figured it out for sure. Lucky was here first and generally thinks she's the queen of the house, but if Rambo noses in on her food she lets him, and when he was away for a night at the vet she was so upset.

Now with the two new fosters having the run of the house Lucky has decided to assert her dominance. You can see the fosters bee line around her if she's sitting in the middle of the hall, and only warily coming up to her. Rambo on the other hand is very easy going and has been seen wrestling with both of the fosters (and losing terribly - his name is ironic!)
post #11 of 14
We were just discussing this the other day as a matter of fact.

Pandora is our oldest furbaby (her birthday being February 21st of this year) and Pearl is the youngest (being born a month later).

And we've noticed that it appears that Pearl has taken on the role of being the dominant cat. My DH and my FIL both noticed it the other day and my DH asked me why I supposed it was (being that Pearl was there 2nd and she was younger).

I told my husband that it was perhaps due to her breeding as well. Being that she is half Siamese, and Siamese tend to be a dominate cat. (At least that is my understanding.).

I've noticed it too, if I have Pandora sitting in my lap, Pearl joins, no problem.....but then Pandora wakes up and it appears she feels obligated to leave at once.

Pearl is in my lap and Pandora won't even attempt to join. She will go to the top of the chair and sit above my head. But will not join Pearl.

Pearl is very affectionate, well they both are, but Pearl feels the need to rub everything (which is a form of marking)....she must have her tail petted as well. She is actually quite a priss and very demanding.

Pandora doesn't care so long as you are petting her.....

Pandora is eating well she's a pig, but Pearl comes up and it appears to be the rule that Pearl must be given a go.

So Pandora leaves and waits for Pearl to finish before she continues her munchies.

Though they do sleep together when it comes to their human pets, they have to have their own time with them. If you know what I mean.
post #12 of 14
I'd say my Alpha cat is definately Simba. He pounces on and pins down the other cats. He expects to be fed first and not on the floor like the other cats, but up on the counter. He's the most agressive in play as well as in giving and recieving love. He's a very "in your face" kind of little guy.

I'd say the bottom two are Shane and Angel. Shane runs from Simba, and Angel is shy of all of the kitties. Funny thing is, Shane is the biggest cat. He's about 2 1/2 times larger than Simba.

SunLee who is the most delicate of all of my cats surprises me. Although she has no interest in being top cat, she's almost an equal play partner with Simba and will chase him around the house. They play great together, until Simba gets a little too rough.
post #13 of 14
You were asking how can you tell ........ Zac&rocky (sp?) said some easy things to tell ......... who walks in the middle of a room and who walks along the edges ? the one in the middle is usually the alpha. Cats dont always have a...... this one first, this 2nd, this one 3rd set up. Some can be equal alphas with another just below them.

You can also tell by the ones that find the highest locations. The higher they go. the more dominant.

When a situation is tense, the more dominant cat is less stressful.

A dominant cat also may mount another cat to show his dominance.

And who is dominant now can also change. Hope this helps.
post #14 of 14
Stumpy and Scarlett share the alpha role in my house (king and queen).

Stumpy always eats first at the food bowl. If he jumps up to eat, others will back away and wait until he is done. If they nudge in, he thwacks them on the head and they back off. If any other cat is at the bowl when Stumpy is not present, more cats will join and they eat in a big circle.

Scarlett is the smallest cat by far (7 pounds), yet NOBODY messes with her - I saw her beat up my 18 pound Tigger one time. I'm not saying this in a bad way, but she is a little prissy, and anyone that gets too close to her is driven away. She allows some cats to come close to her, but only when she wants them there. Poor Sage absolutely loves her and follows her around the house. When she is in a REALLY good mood, she will allow him to come up and lick her head. Most times she just thwacks him away. She allows Steve and I to be her bed, and more often than not will be on top of one of us. We don't dare turn her away.

Stumpy has been ill of late, and I've been watching the household very closely to see who he is handing over his alpha role to. While Spanky, Dakota, and Eight-ball all want the spot, Eight-ball is too grumpy to the other cats, Dakota is simply domineering, but Spanky is a friend to everyone. Stumpy is grooming Spanky for the role. Stumpy has started to allow Spanky to eat with him, and allows Spanky to keep watch over the other cats. We are actually glad that he picked him, as Spanky is a very good cat and I personally would have picked him for that role. But that is not up to me.

And nearly forgot. Stumpy will mount other cats when he is so inclined and mostly picks on Bob. Spanky has started doing this also but does it only to Oscar.
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