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Social behavior: This is how cats solve conflicts


Cats have a sophisticated social behavior to get along with their peers. Sometimes there are no conflicts, but usually the velvet paws try to avoid arguments. Two cats meet and sniff each other friendly - Shutterstock / Seiji

There is a so-called relative ranking among cats, which also determines social behavior. This means that it usually depends on the place and time which cat dominates and which one is inferior. To find out, however, the animals only go on a confrontation course in exceptional cases. In principle, they prefer to resolve conflicts in a peaceful manner.

Cats like to avoid conflicts

Cats mark their preferred hunting and resting places with scent marks that they distribute in their area with scratch marks and urine. It can happen that several velvet paws occupy the same places, but at different times of the day. The clever animals can also take this information from the fragrance brands of their conspecifics. In this way, they can organize their day so that they don't get in the way of other cats.

If this happens anyway - for example at passages or area boundaries - one cat usually lets the other pass and only then enters the path afterwards. With this social behavior, the cat conserves its strength - after all, it cannot hunt so well if it has previously spent or even injured itself in a dispute with its peers.

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But there are also sympathies and antipathies among cats that can influence social behavior. If the animals are neutral to each other, they usually walk past each other and do not let conflicts matter. Often you can see appeasement signals similar to those of dogs. Yawning, turning your head or blinking are part of it. Contemporaries who like each other and are friends sniff each other and greet each other with noses and short rubs. If the trust between the animals is particularly high, the other cat's butt can also be sniffed.

Despite the usually peaceful social behavior, it can happen that two cats cannot stand each other. Or a cat tries to fight for a certain place in the territory of another cat. Then conflicts arise that have to be fought. In males, their mating behavior is added as a potential for conflict when they have discovered a cat in heat. Then they fight with their peers for the favor of the cat lady. Most of the time, the opponents of the cat try to show off first. They stare at each other until someone dodges and sneaks away. Or they make dark rumbling sounds and go into a fighting stance to threaten the other. If, in exceptional cases, nobody gives in, there is a fight.