In my opinion cats aren't aggressive towards other cats for no reason. Don't forget they are related to the larger wilder versions of the cat family. Of course they hunt, have territorial and survival instincts, which will bring out their natural, aggressive streak, but for them to be hostile otherwise could mean that they have suffered some type of trauma. Problems will arise in your household if you own more than one cat with behavioural problems.
Different types of cat on cat aggression can be identified and associated to an origin. Whatever aggression is displayed by your cat it can help you to observe and note down their behaviour, in order to get to the root of the issue.
If you have a rescue cat, that may have had a traumatic background, then you will have to be very understanding and observant to their needs. Allowing them their little quirks and habits is usually not a problem for most owners, but attacking behaviour towards any other cats you have could be a dangerous situation. Ask yourself if you're prepared to take this on before visiting an animal shelter and find out as much as you can of their past. Think about your other cats characteristics and how it will affect them. You will only add to the new cats trauma if you have to take them back to the centre. Some wounds never heal, remember you may never fully understand or know your new cats history. So, if you are taking a rescue cat on, keep in mind that patience and lots of love are the best treatments for any cat that has had a disturbed background.
Maternal aggressive, behaviour usually only occurs in mother cats. Although some male cats will be protective over a litter of kittens as well. Some female cats are thankful of other cats when they look out her new litter; others will be very possessive and protective and will not trust another cat to be nearby. The over-protective mum will have a fight with any cat, male or female, it won't matter to her. She can inflict serious damage to the other cat if she senses any threat to her kittens.
The most common form of hostility between cats is inter-male aggression. Of course, in life, you will get the more dominant male on occasion (boys will be boys) and he'll usually fight for the highest cat position in the household. The pecking order of a cat's social structure means that one male should be in charge over all others. When another male cat enters the household, one of the two cats will instinctively claim the - top cat - position. Usually, one of the male cats will back down and the leader will be decided. However, if both male cats are equally assertive, it could present for an alarming situation.
Territorial, aggressive behaviour between cats can be directly associated to inter-male aggression, because both types of aggression are attempting to hold the dominant position. By nature cats are very territorial and don't always take kindly to a new cat being introduced into their home. While some cats may be friendly and docile, others can be highly territorial and may attack the new cat so that the top position can be owned. Although territorial aggression is slightly more common in male cats, especially those that are not neutered, female cats are not exempt from acting in a territorial manner.
The best way to help feline aggression is to figure out which type your cat has. All varieties are behavioural problems, but humans have to understand that they're still natural behaviours. Therefore you cannot punish an aggressive cat. This will not help him or you. You can't erase his natural instincts.
These tips may help you to deal with an aggressive cat.
Firstly deal with the aggression by trying to work around it.
Maternal aggression is not something you can interfere with, there is no way to discipline a mother cat without making her turn on you. Reprimanding her will only make her think that humans can't be trusted around her litter, as well. The main thing you can do is to keep the kitten den away from other cats in the household until the mother cat accepts that her kittens are not in danger, and that she can trust other cats in the home.
Inter-male or territorial aggression is usually not serious, the best way to settle the matter is to let the male cats figure it out between them. They will determine who will be the dominant male in the house, not you. While a cat owner should never excuse fighting, the matter can be easily resolved if the male cats can naturally select who the leader will be. Sadly, if the cat aggression becomes too serious and dangerous, one of the cats may have to be re-homed.
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