Matriarchs of the Pride

Meowllo evewypawdy hope yous havin’ a gweat week. Well da Bloggin’ A to Z challenge modewators wuz here yesfurday and weez not been kicked out. Whew (runs paw across forehead) So we covewed 2 letters in one day, K fur Kittens and L fur Law. So today’s letter be M. Well lately there seems to be gweat discussion amung ow bloggin’ counterpawts on Facebook ‘bout whedder or not cats have a hierarchy; or as da doggy peeps call it…an alpha. So we fawt dat we wuld tackle dat subject today. Hmmmm this bloggin’ challenge sure has us duin’ a lot educational stuffs, huh?. Anyways, anypawdy hoo has evew owned a doggy knows da hooman needs to assert themselves as da alpha or there’s gunna be lots of purrawllems at their house. So duz da same hold twue wiff cats? 

 dw Dezi1383

As you know there’s just Lexi and me. But before me mommy had sis Lexi and her 2 bwofurs. And mommy also fostered and always had a house full of kitties, so she can tell ya’ ‘bout whether or not cats have a hierarchy. But first lets take a look at the history of cats, both large and small. Even as late as the 1970’s scientists thought that the only social cat was the lion pride. Held together by it’s close matriarchal leadership where all the females share the duties of raising the young, hunting and feeding the pride and even fighting off intruders when their male is away. The only standard used to determine the results were those of the dog pack. But as anyone who has ever owned both cats and dogs know they are completely different and one can’t study cat behavior based on that of a dog.

dw Lexi lunge look1
I’z da Top Cat heer. I’z took oweber frum minez brofur Lucky when himz went too hebben.

More recent studies have shown that like lion prides the feral cat colony has a similar matriarchal hierarchy. So now we move into the house and look at the altered cats living under your roof. When all cats in the house have been spayed or neutered less attention is placed on the sex of the cats in determining who will be in charge. The humans in the house can also play a role in determining who gets to be Top Cat; we’ll tell ya’ more about that later. More often than not the top cat in the household is the one that’s been there the longest. In our house mommy makes sure that sissy remains in the top spot as she has been here longest. Cats living together will divide up territory within their house. That’s not to say that one cat won’t go into the territory of another such as pawdee boxes, water bowls, cat trees, beds, etc.. However these things are typically surrendered quickly when the top cat wants to claim them.

 dw Dezi3676

Typically the top cat is given a wide berth. Play time is a great time for watching the behavior of your cats and observing who is the head cat in your house. The lower cats look to the top cat for approval. The top cat usually is deferred to in every thing. All subordinates recognize the authority and experience of the top cat. Sometimes these behaviors are subtle. So subtle you might not even see them. When the top cat walks by a subordinate might flatten their ears, divert their gaze downward or drop on their side or belly to show submission. Subtle changes in the household can affect the fragile hierarchy of your little pride of house lions such as an illness in the cats (top cat especially) or a family member, a move, a new cat or kitten, or any number of other changes. You humans can help to keep the hierarchy in tact. How you ask? Well let me tell ya’.

 0dw Lexi cat tree2

It’s something mommy’s been doin’ for years to keep order in our house and make sure we get along. Mommy says it makes for introducing new furries and changes a whole lot easier. First recognize there is a hierarchy in your feline family and determine who is top cat. It’s not always the meanest or biggest. Mommy says she likes it to be the kitty who has been ‘round the longest cause subordinates will learn appropriate behaviors from them. Always refer to the top cat first in everything. Top cat gets fed first, petted first, greeted first, talked to first, and so on. We think you get the idea. And first does not mean that subordinates have to wait till the top cat is finished, it just means their plate is filled first, or set down first, they get the first treats and so on. Mommy says it’s sometimes hard especially if a subordinate is friendlier or more outgoing than the top cat because we’ll be the ones meeting you at the door. But mommy says ignore that and go straight to the top cat to greet and then everybody else. If you have a large feline family it helps to identify the rank of all cats and do the above in that order. It’ll for sure help keep the peace in your house. So we may not be called Alphas but we do have a hierarchy. It’s a fragile one but it exists. 


Till da next time………………………………..Be Blest!!!


Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses  

Dezi and Lexi



Mommys personal experience after years of being a cat owner, trainer, and rescuer.

37 thoughts on “Matriarchs of the Pride

  1. Mee-you Dezi an Lexi thiss was a thott purrvokin post! LadyMum has onlee had one kat at a time so shee did not know bout thee ‘top kat’ idea.
    Mee knowss when mee was livin at thee farm inn thee house Aunty TinkerBelle was ‘top kat’ an then there was mee an then Tyerrone mee Brofur.
    Now mee iss ‘top kat’ here mew mew mew as mee iss thee onlee kat here…
    Tyerrone iss more confeedent now that mee iss not there beecause mee tended to bee a bitt ‘too ‘top kat’ 😉
    Fankss fur a grate post!
    paw kissess Siddhartha Henry an LadyMum xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep yous be top cat at yous house fur sure. And dat be pawsum ’bout yous bwofur. Mommy sez dat altho’ weez always have a top cat, she’s still da weal top cat in ow house. MOL

      Luv ya’

      Dezi and Lexi

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Mee was a bit of a ‘bullie’ to mee Brofur Tyerrone…iss true Dezi an Lexi…mee feelss badlee now that mee was ruff on him…
        Mee wunderss if hee finkss of me? An if so, if hee can furgive mee?
        Lady A iss yur ‘top kat’ fur usre…LadyMum iss top ‘lady’ here an mee iss top ‘Purrince’ mew mew mew…
        paw kissess Siddhartha Henry xxxx

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yous didn’t know and cuz of yous eye and feelin’ sickly and all yous purrawlly wuz actin’ out sum too. Yous shuldn’t feel bad. Hims luvved you anyways weez sure.

          Luv ya’

          Dezi and Lexi

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Mee-you fankss fur understandin Dezi….Tyerrone was sicklee allso…mee not pick on him when wee were sick; it was aftur wee were all bettur…
            Mee told LadyMum mee feelss badlee an shee showed mee thee foto of mee an Tyerrone togehter snugglin…so hee must have furgiven mee….
            paw kissess Siddhartha Henry xxxxx

            Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so right about having a pecking order. Before Andy’s mom Ginger ran off to the bridge she was the undisputed top cat. If she wanted a certain spot she would walk over to the spot and the other kitties would get up and give her the spot. She groomed all of the cats too. When she went to the bridge Shelly and Tater both wanted to be top cat. Shelly has taken over as queen of the house. Andy is king of the house. He grooms all of the girls and they all follow him around. Everybody loves Andy. Love, Cali, Andy, Tater and Shelly (C.A.T.S)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Minko despite illness and small size (always has been smaller), is the top cat here.

    When there three kitties here all at once, there was defurnitley a pecking order shall we call it. More like a hissing determining factor…the lower cats hissed and spat, but they gave in…else a scuffle would ensue, with top cat getting his/her way anyhow…

    Pipo will get up and stalk off to another spot if Minko decides he wants it…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Very interesting post! Delilah is top cat around here, or The Queen as we call her. Then Sampson, Caster, and finally Sophie. Sophie is at the bottom even though she has been around longer than Caster because she doesn’t care about any pecking order – she just goes with the flow. Also her disability probably has something to do with it. Even though she is at the bottom, the rest of the gang looks out for her and takes care of her. When we were dog-sitting for our grandma’s dog and she stayed with us for two weeks, Sophie followed her around everywhere and tried to play with her. Ellie didn’t like it and ignored Sophie. This upset Sophie, which in turn upset the rest of the gang. Delilah, Sampson, and Caster started ganging up on Ellie because they weren’t pleased with how she was treating Sophie. It was all very interesting to watch unfold! So even those who are on the bottom of the order are taken care of by the others.
    Another example we have seen of the order is when we brought Caster in. Sampson wanted to be clear that he was above Caster and gave him several “talkin to’s.” He was never physical with Caster, but he poofed up and towered over him and meowed and meowed in ways we had never heard before. He did this 2-3 times, and then that was it.
    Thanks for this cool post, girls!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Very interesting! We have an heirarchy in our home… Delilah is the top cat, or The Queen as we call her. She was the first kitty, and she’s also the bossiest! MOL! Then comes Sampson, Caster, then Sophie. Sophie is only at the bottom because she doesn’t care about being in charge or not. She just goes with the flow! (Also, her disability probably has something to do with it too.) Caster was the last cat we brought in, and when he arrived, Sampson made it known quite a few times that he was above Caster in the pecking order. He never physically let Caster know, but he gave Caster “a talkin’ to.” He poofed up and towered over Caster and meowed and meowed and meowed in ways we had never heard before. He did this 2-3 times over the course of a few days, and then that was it. Delilah just slaps Caster around sometimes. MOL! And then there’s Sassy — Queen of her upstairs domain. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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