Monday, October 5, 2009 1:13 PM

"The Most Effectual Top Cat"

If you remember the cartoon, "Top Cat", then you know that the title of this post is also from the title song for that show. Don't worry about dating yourself, I remember it, too! T.C., as he was called by his friends, was the "indisputable leader of the gang" of alley cats living somewhere in New York City. With top hat, cane and vest (complete with watch pocket, I believe) he surely was leader material!

As is common when art imitates life (cartoons are art, right?) the "top cat" theory is based purely on animal behavior. If you have a multi-cat household, you know that now matter how equitably you treat your "gang", there will always be one cat (usually male) at the top of the heap, keeping everyone else in line. How does he manage this? By constant vigilance and hard work!

First, a few rules about Top Cats. If you have two or more cats, one will become dominant over the other(s). If you have several females and only one male, the male will become dominant 99% of the time. I know, it doesn't seem fair, but there it is. Luckily, this is not always the case with humans! If you have more than one male, one of the males will dominate everyone else. If you only have females, only then will a female be free to become a Top Cat. By the way, it makes no difference whether or not they are all neutered and spayed (of course they are), but things will get nasty and messy if they are not, since fighting will be a common occurrence.

How does Top Cat keep his post? By constantly letting everyone below him know that he is boss (kind of like U.S. corporations). He will smack down other males who challenge him, and will keep the female (or favorite female) under his control by making her cower now and then. Hey, it's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

Does this all mean that you will never have a peaceful day with a house full of cats? Well, it depends what you mean by "peaceful". Check in tomorrow for some tips on how to keep the posturing to a minimum.
Chat later!


chicky401 Says:
October 5, 2009 at 2:18 PM

Yup this is definitely my male cat!

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Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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