Creating kinder, gentler experiences for pets


Need Help? 

Call 1-800-372-3706
to speak to a Veterinary Behavior Technician

Paws for Help!


Help is at your fingertips by library, email and phone!


Helpful Links 

Cat Housemate Fighting

Feline Body Language



 Cat Behavior Library  

Feline Aggression Toward Kittens

Aggression Toward Kittens

It has been observed that occasionally a male cat will kill young kittens. This is possible, and usually occurs in free ranging cats where a new dominant "Tomcat" (unneutered male) enters and takes over an existing group. Killing the young kittens facilitates the queen coming into season again. It has been postulated (Overall, 1997) that this function ensures male cat certainty in paternity for kittens raised on resources in his territory.

Very rarely a female will kill her own young. This is thought to reflect a poor maternal instinct, coupled with an abnormally elevated predatory instinct. If this occurs, the queen should be spayed.

In multiple cat households, cats may fight if resources are limited.  Resources include food, water, scratching posts, beds, litterboxes and human attention.  Up the resources to lower the aggression.

Aggression Between Adult Cats

Cats often fight among themselves for a variety of reasons including fighting over territory or a female in heat. If allowed to roam, all cats are at much higher risk for disease and fight injuries than neutered cats. In some cases, the cats will never get along, and must be permanently separated.

However, in most cases it is recommended to keep cats 100% indoors, and follow some simple guidelines to keep the number of cats down, and the positive social interaction up.

MyABN      Library      Contact ABN       Privacy Policy 

Copyright 2001-Present - All Rights Reserved - Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS  | Animal Behavior Network & Affiliates