Duking It Out
Cats tend to be cautious when first meeting each other, with males most likely to show aggression. Cats, as solo predators, do not have a social system of dominance and fights occur. Catfights go down like this:
- The two cats check each other out with sniffing scent glands in the face.
- The aggressive one will smell the base of the other one’s tail and growl threateningly, and the opponent goes on the defensive.
- The aggressive cat is ready to attack, and the defensive one crouches low with tail and ears down. Sometimes the aggressor will stop there, as the defensive one will back off.
- If the opponent challenges, then a fight will go down.
- The opponent will adopt a defensive pose by arching his back and turning sideways to look more intimidating. The tail curls up and bristles outward.
- The aggressor, unafraid, moves in.
- The opponent crouches down, his ears flatten, and he hisses.
- The aggressor attacks, and the opponent defends himself claws out and kicking. Kicking, clawing, and biting continue until one slinks or runs off.
When a cat turns and runs away from a confrontation, the victor cat will sometimes give chase and attack or may choose to leave the loser cat alone. Cats fight over mates and territory. Fighting is a last resort as the aggressor can many times scare off his opponent. Fighting among cats is rare because they do not want to have to deal with the other cats claws and fangs. Unneutered males are the most common fighters, fighting over territory containing females and resources.
Bacteria found on cat’s claws and teeth can cause purulent abscesses resulting from catfights. Fighting toms can get different diseases from fighting with infected cats. When a cat is threatened or cornered, it will stand its fur on end and arch its back to appear larger and formidable to the threat.
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Gotta Love Them Cats,