Alpha Cat Syndrome

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Alpha Cat Syndrome
Alpha Cat Syndrome

Video: Alpha Cat Syndrome

Video: Alpha Cat Syndrome
Video: Alpha Cat Rejects New Kitten 2023, September

It is believed that cats are gentle and friendly creatures that need master's support, affection and strong hugs, and purr cutely in your house on quiet evenings. But not all cats are so cute and docile. Some of them have their own intentions and an obvious tendency not to compromise.

Muzzle of a gray cat with green eyes close up, photo photograph
Muzzle of a gray cat with green eyes close up, photo photograph

These are "alpha cats". They are natural leaders; they refuse to obey and try to control almost any situation. These cats love their food when they want it, and as much as they want it. They can only occasionally allow you to touch them, they have strict deadlines for this. They are indignant when comments are made to them, and also, when they feel like it, demand attention to themselves, access to somewhere or ask them to give something. The alpha cat doesn't belong to you - you belong to her, or so she thinks.

Alpha will bully and pressure you to take immediate action when she doesn't like something. She may bite your nose or finger to get you out of bed in the morning.

They may scream for food until you give up. They can growl at you if you get too close to them while eating, and some cats can protect their toys and sleeping places. And be careful when you want to take the alpha cat in your arms or pet her if she is not in the mood. She can bite or scratch you at any time.

Probably the most common sign of alpha cat syndrome is affection-induced aggression. Alphas can jump into your lap and let you pet them, but not for long. And when the cat considers that there is enough affection, her eyes will narrow, she will cast a glance in the direction of the hand caressing her and will begin to quickly wave her tail from side to side. This is an omen of impending disaster: suddenly the cat will hit, bite you, and may even twist so that it can attack you with its paws and teeth.

What to do? In essence, you need to show the cat who is in charge here, who really decides everything, and who provides it with all the comforts. Then and only then will her "star fever" be replaced by recognition and respect. The cat behavior change program is called "Nothing can be gained for this." This is an uncompromising leadership program, according to which the cat will be forced to earn everything she needs from the owner. The program is based on small workouts in which your cat will have to complete some task before getting what she needs.

Nothing can be gained for this

Don't make concessions. Make a list of situations in which your cat usually becomes aggressive, and deliberately avoid these situations. If your cat bites you, forcing you to get out of bed, kick her out of the bedroom at night. For the first time, you will need earplugs so as not to hear the cat screaming and scratching at the door, but the period of persistence will pass in a few days. If your cat bites you when she sits in your lap and you pet her, then do not let her jump into your lap until she learns to behave herself. Also learn to recognize warning signs and limit your affection.

Classes. Contrary to popular belief, it is fairly easy to teach a cat to follow commands. The best way to accomplish this is by clicking and treating your clicker workout in three steps.

Step one. Teach your cat that clicking a plastic frog or clicker portends a delicious treat.

Step two. The cat learns to understand that it can trigger a clicker click if it performs some specific action.

Step three. The cat is rewarded with a click and a treat only if it follows the command given to it.

Take the sit command, for example. First click and just give the treat to the cat. This is called "recharging" the clicker. Then click and reward the cat when it sits down on its own. When the cat understands what the point is, begins to establish contact with you and sit down to hear the click (and receive a reward), move on to the third stage, adding additional incentives, in this case the word "sit". Using this technique, I taught my cat the “sit” command in three days, and after that she does not forget it. Try teaching your cat one command per month. If you take this course, then one day you will find that all of your cat's behavioral problems (including "bite") have disappeared.

The cat under the bed is preparing to attack, photo photograph
The cat under the bed is preparing to attack, photo photograph

Don't just give food. Feed your cat twice a day to control her food intake. When it's time to feed, your cat will be hungry. Make her execute the “sit” command before clicking and placing a bowl of food in front of her. Feeding becomes a reward. If you do not follow the command "sit", you will not receive food even in due time. If the cat has learned to "sit", then the execution of the command at your request will not complicate it. Skipping one or two feedings will increase her appetite and thus increase the likelihood that she will take the command for granted the next time. This convention before feeding will indicate that your cat has good manners and respects you. Thus, she will kind of tell you please.

Weasel training. You should pet the cat “in limited quantities” to develop its need for your attention. The cat must earn some kind of affection and attention - for example, by responding to a voice command or a hand signal. This is especially recommended for cats that show aggression when you pet them. Even if your cat has done a good enough job to merit your affection, be prepared for unforeseen situations. Sly sidelong glances and tail twitching are signs that it's time to end. To avoid this situation, do not pet your cat for too long and never try to coax her with petting when she is aggressive.

Hide the cat toys and only give them to her when she does something to deserve them. Let her play with the toy until she loses interest in it, then pick up the toy and put it in the toy box (or dresser).

Limiting games. Games not only help your cat let off steam, but they are great fun, so your cat should deserve them too.

Never react if the cat is trying to get your attention. Pretend to be deaf. Go away. Disappear. Give the cat what it wants later, when it is convenient for you, and only as a reward for successfully completing a small task ("sit"; come when called or wait patiently).

Fire department. If your cat tries to bite you or is aggressive in some other way, leave her alone for a few hours (walk away or take the cat to another room). If, due to its violent behavior, the cat loses your company, then she will soon realize that you are not a big squeaking toy; she will understand that you have serious intentions, and you are not going to be her victim. Cats learn. And you should too.

Dr. Nicholas Dodman, translated by © Zooclub portal (