Cat picking on another cat

by Jen Timms

I have four indoor cats in my house, three are male and one is female. The younger male picks on the female and is constantly chasing her and picking on her. She is always running away and hissing at him. But he will not leave her alone!

Please can you help and tell me what I can do to stop him from giving her a dog's life as to put it.

Thank you,
Jen Timms

Dear Jen,

Cat aggression is one of the main cat behavior concerns, especially toward other cats, even within an indoor cat family. Although it is hard to tell from your letter whether your male cat is truly being aggressive toward your female or just wants to play, there are many tips to be found throughout the cat behavior section of this site to help your kitties live more peacefully with one another.

Also, you haven't mentioned whether all of your cats, especially the two engaging in this behavior, are neutered. Keep in mind that spaying and neutering your pets can help reduce cat behavior problems ranging from aggression to urine marking and help reduce risks for many cat illnesses in the future.

Please visit this question from another reader regarding Fighting Cats for tips on changing your cats' environment, using positive reinforcement techniques, and even important tips about your body language, to help reduce the fighting or "picking on" behaviors in your cat family. The individual who asked the question was in a situation very similar to yours, so I am sure that you will find some helpful tips there!

If you have further questions or would like to write back with an update, you are most welcome to do so at any time. Remember, with time, patience, and by following the steps outlined on the Fighting Cats page, the cat aggression problems you are having CAN change!

All the best,
Dr. Neely

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