Controlling Aggressive Tom Cat Behavior

If your cat is a tom cat he can often display aggressive behavior. Here are some of the reasons behind your tom cat's aggressive behavior, and some tips on how to control it.

Aggressive Play Acting

One of the most common causes of aggressive cat behavior is play acting. Nature intended your cat to use his claws and teeth to hunt. Many cats play-act hunting behaviors. This is easy to recognize because your cat will crouch and flatten his ears; his pupils will dilate and his tail will swish back and forth while he stalks and pounces other members of the household.

The key to controlling this type of behavior is to discourage, from the beginning, any type of rough play that includes scratching and biting other members of the household. While your cat may be allowed to scratch and bite his favorite toys, he should never be allowed to scratch and bite another cat or a human in your household.

Territory-Based Aggression

Territory-based aggression is another common problem for tom cats. A cat is an incredibly territorial creature, especially a stud cat. Territorial disputes among cats develop gradually; if one cat is more assertive than another, the less assertive cat often makes concessions and begins to display stress-related behavior such as hiding and spraying. If both cats are assertive, however, violence can occur.

Solve this problem by introducing new cats into your household in stages. Put the new cat in a carrier, in a separate room, for one or two weeks. During this period your new cat's scent will permeate the house, letting your other cats know about the new arrival.

Later, let your cat out of the carrier but keep him enclose to his room. Let the cats interact with one another for short periods, under supervision, until you're sure they're going to get along. You can offer all of your cats treats afterwards to encourage good behavior. If they fight, don't punish; separate them until they calm down.

Aggression Towards Humans

Cats who are improperly socialized early in life, between the ages of five and twelve weeks, especially, may grow up to be fearful of humans. Such cats will assume a characteristic position, with ears laid back, tails curled inward and bodies tilted away from the perceived threat. They may lash out at anything that approaches them; they may hiss and their eyes may dilate; their hair may stand on end.

Begin correcting this problem as soon as it first occurs. You don't want it to become a permanent part of your cat's personality. The best time to socialize a cat is when it is a kitten. Kittens should be frequently and gently handled by owners, children and strangers and introduced to other cats and dogs, if possible.

To socialize an adult cat, begin when it is relaxed and happy. Start by scratching and rubbing its head; move on to stroking its back and the base of its tail. Make no sudden moves; speak to the cat soothingly while you're petting him. Watch for signs of agitation in the cat and stop when these appear.