I've seen my cats bite each other, and after some research, I found that it was the cat claiming dominance (letting the other cat know "I'm the Alpha").

What surprised me was that one of my cats (named Fearless) started doing it to his mom, and the mother (named Booboo) didn't like it at all. It hasn't broken out into huge fights (yet), but the two seem eager to show who's the Alpha. Fearless is about 9 months old now, if that makes a difference. The mother cat is around 6 years old.

My Question:

Should I prevent the offspring from claiming dominance in this situation? Is it a bad thing for the offspring to be the dominant one? In our world, the offspring showing dominance would be frowned upon, but the cat world seems to have some exceptions.

Some other details about home-life for my cats (which relate to this situation): The mother cat has another offspring (named Fatty (not actually fat though)) that doesn't do this, although it seems as if Fatty is starting to hop on the bandwagon by giving the mother difficulties during bath time (which hasn't happened since Fearless decided to start showing dominance towards Booboo). Fatty and Fearless are from the same litter. If both were to show dominance over the mother, would this trigger some emotional effect and make the mother depressed? (This is more of a bonus question; would be nice to get the answer, but answering the main question alone is good enough for best answer.)

  • Dominance doesn't really apply with cats. Kittens fight with anything that moves and many things that do not move.
    – Oldcat
    Aug 28, 2014 at 17:15
  • 3
    Cats are much less social than dogs, so this whole 'dominance' stuff is even more useless.
    – Cedric H.
    Aug 29, 2014 at 7:28

1 Answer 1


Cats do have a social pecking order when living in a group, but it's not anything you need to enforce. If Fearless starts picking fights with Booboo, make sure that there are escape routes through the house so that Booboo doesn't get cornered (this would start a huge fight since Booboo wouldn't have escape as an option).

If there are any locations in your house where the fights tend to happen, then try adding vertical escape routes (such as wall shelving) to make sure that Booboo can escape if she wants to.

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