Cat playing or establishing dominance ?

by Alissa
(San Jose, CA)

Nayla & Lucy

Nayla & Lucy

My younger spayed female cat Nayla has just turned 3. My older spayed female cat Lucy is 8. The younger cat has now been with us from a shelter for just over 2 yrs since she was 8 months old. She is a very lovable and affectionate cat who rarely leaves my lap. Lucy is not a lap cat and tolerated Nayla but kept her at a distance until recently and they are now coexisting pretty well together, sometimes they even play and chase each other around when Lucy feels comfortable as she has always been a little of a scaredy cat. Over the last few weeks, right after being fed Nayla is now jumping on Lucy (I think she wants to play) but Lucy wants none of it and hisses and hits out at Nayla and tries to run away. Nayla is very persistent and will chase Lucy around while Lucy hisses and snarles at her. I feel that Nayla is just coming into her own self right now as an adult cat but is she trying to be playful or is she showing her dominance over Lucy ? Should I be stopping these outbursts which seem to occur right after feeding ?

Thank you,


PS Lucy is the DMH and Nayla is the DSH. Both my cats have been officially diagnosed by a veterinarian dermatology specialist as having environmental allergies causing atopic dermatitis and will lick their bellies and inner legs clean of hair if not medicated. Nayla has been like this since she was a kitten and with Lucy it has built up over the years. They are otherwise healthy and active cats.

Answer by Kate
What lovely cats and they look so comfortable together in the picture.

Basically the behaviour you describe is normal cat behaviour. ie it may be that one cat wants to play and the other doesn't or it could be that one cat is trying to dominate the other cat. this is also normal and they will normally settle down into their respective places with only the occasional little spat.

i really don't think there is anything to worry about and you should not interfere as it will prevent the normal cat and cat relationship from building. they did not have structure just like us and there is always a more dominant one.

Thank you for contributing to my site and showing us your beautiful cats.

best wishes Kate

Click here to post comments

Return to Cat Questions Archive two.

I'd love to hear what you think of this page or my site. Let me know if you like what you have read or if it has helped you with a problem.

It's easy to do just leave a comment in the box below and click the like / share or +1 to let others know about my site. Thank You It really is most appreciated.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.