I already did a post about behaviour change of Elliot, related to our new babycat here.

Our 5 year old neutered male cat, Elliot, is bullying other cats in the street. He is a relatively large common housecat of about 6,5 kg (not fat).
As far as I know, there's no other cat in the vicinity which could pit oneself against him.

Towards humans, Elliot is very friendly. He has no fear of strangers, likes getting stroked by anyone and also has no problems if little children carry him around. Almost every friendly contact with humans make him purr.

He has been a dominant cat since he was big enough to mess with grown cats, circa at the age of 10-12 months (he got neutered at the age of 6 or 7 months).

The first year after his birth (I was living at my parents house back then), he has lived with 3 other cats in a large house with a large garden. There was plenty of room for them to avoid each other if they weren't in the mood for other cats, but most of the time they hung around together (all 3 males, no female).

Elliot could mess around with them at a relatively young age, but he didn't bully them. They played a lot, as neutered male cats do, they trashed each other sometimes but in general, they've been peaceful. I moved out from my parents' and Elliot did not move with me.

About half a year later (1,5 years old at this time) Elliot begun to attack the oldest tomcat (14 years old, getting weak of old age) several times a day. These attacks haven't been a game then, they where designated to kill.

One day Elliot really almost killed the oldest and my mom asked if I would take him, as Grandpa is too old to adapt to a new environment.

The next day, Elliot came to me. He adapted fast, Grandpa recovered, everything was fine. We got a second tomcat half a year later. They've been friends for a while. 2 years later, the younger tomcat got overrun by a car and Elliot was on his own.

At this point, the story from the linked post at the beginning starts. Short story: We got a baby cat (female), result: he didn't came home anymore. We gave that baby cat to a trustworthy other person, Elliot came back home again.

Now as he is on his own again, Elliot started to bully other cats. As far as I've seen it or heard from neighbors, he doesn't try to kill, just harass them. If they run away, he goes after them for a while, until he loses interest. There is one single cat, which is a tomcat as well, which he doesn't bully. This cat is about 2/3 of his mass and of dominant nature as well. I've never seen them fight, but when I see them together, they don't look like friends as well.

What could I do to stop this bullying?

Just in case this takes a role in his territorial behavior.

Elliot is an very active hunter. Some days, I've seen him 2-3 times with a freshly caught mouse, which he always eat himself directly.

There's an acre about 300 meters from our house, where I've seen him hunting. One of the bullied cats has its favorite spot on the direct way to this acre. This cat had this place, before we moved to that village. He also catches and eat pigeons, if they're careless.

A neighbor told me he found a dead marten in his lawn which has been killed by another animal (bite marks, size of a cat, at his throat). I don't know if it was Elliot. Martens aren't easy enemies for cats. As far as I know, martens have significant higher chances to win a fight than cats have.

  • 1
    Seems like the most obvious answer is to stop letting your cat outside.
    – rlb.usa
    Sep 22, 2015 at 15:31
  • From several km² territory to 70m² Flat. This would be cruelty to animals.
    – jawo
    Sep 22, 2015 at 16:04
  • @Sempie One day Elliot really almost killed the oldest ... it's already cruelty to animals. Pick whichever evil is lesser.
    – rlb.usa
    Sep 22, 2015 at 16:53
  • 1
    Many cats are perfectly content with a small territory that's entirely theirs rather than a larger one whose boundaries they have to fight over... and with appropriate furnishings they can use vertical space to expand their possibilities. (Mine love the 8' tower I recently added in the living room, and some of the bookcases also give them climbing/observation-post opportunities.) Different, certainly, but calling it cruel is a bit of an overstatement.
    – keshlam
    Sep 22, 2015 at 21:54
  • 1
    @keshlam I agree with you. It is hard to make an outside cat become an inside cat but vertical space is huge, huge thing for cats. Indoor cats also have dramatically longer life expectancies {1} . I feel like the answer that Sempie wanted was how to make their cat be nicer/ less-killy/ less-bullyish and outside of neutering, which he already had, there just isn't such an answer.
    – rlb.usa
    Sep 22, 2015 at 23:32

1 Answer 1


Unless you're willing to keep him under control, I'm afraid you'll just have to let the cats work out who defers to whom. The good news is that most of the noise and posturing is just that; it rarely takes more than a brief tussle to decide who's boss, and it's mostly threat rather than serious fighting. "So's your mama!" "You want some of this? Well?" "I'm not afraid of you! I just have better things to do." "Sure, punk. Whatever you say."

Those tussles can do some damage, admittedly, but it's usually minor and most of it doesn't come to that. And cats can be spitting at each other one minute and then, having settled the matter, sharing a sunny porch the next. They may never be grooming buddies, but as long as they agree on who's in charge things will be relatively peaceful.

And this may pass quickly, as he gets over the ego-boost of having driven his rival away.

The alternative to letting the cats resolve it is to keep him from interacting with them at all.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.