are not pack animals like dogs and consequently their group behavior is
quite different. Their social structure is based on territorial control.
While cats may form friendship or alliances with other cats, they are also
capable of living completely on their own. The social structure that develops
when several cats live together can be difficult to understand. Hissing
or hiding may seem irrational but the actions can reflect the social status
of each pet. Cats raised with other cats are much more likely to be compatible
with others than those raised alone. Territorial control is established
by the scents that they leave. A cat will rub up against furniture, a wall,
or anything else he or she may want to declare rights with a scent. Fights
or aggressive behavior are usually the consequence of a territorial dispute.
A hierarchy then develops from these situations. Usually the dominant male
cat prevails, though female cats can gain high status too. It is necessary
for an owner to respect the social hierarchy that becomes apparent. Trying
to make them equal can lead to fights, and create stress for your cats.
While cats are fairly adaptable to a variety of living situations, it is
beneficial to provide each pet with its own area, and make sure each cat
receives individual attention.