Fighting

Among domestic cats, males are more likely to fight than females.[125] Among feral cats, the most common reason for cat fighting is competition between two males to mate with a female. In such cases, most fights will be won by the heavier male.[126] Another common reason for fighting in domestic cats is the difficulty of establishing territories within a small home.[125] Female cats will also fight over territory or to defend their kittens. Spaying females and neutering males will decrease or eliminate this behavior in many cases, suggesting that the behavior is linked to sex hormones.[citation needed] When fighting, cats make themselves appear more impressive and threatening by raising their fur, arching their backs, and turning sideways, thus increasing their apparent size.[117] Often, the ears are pointed down and back to avoid damage to the inner ear and potentially listen for any changes behind them while focused forward. They may also vocalize loudly and bare their teeth in an effort to further intimidate their opponent. Fights usually comprise of grappling and delivering powerful slaps to the face and body with the forepaws as well as bites. Cats will also throw themselves to the ground in a defensive posture to rake their opponent's belly with their powerful hind legs.[127] Serious damage is rare as the fights are usually short in duration, with the loser running away with little more than a few scratches to the face and ears. However, fights for mating rights are typically more severe and injuries may include deep puncture wounds and lacerations. Normally, serious injuries from fighting will be limited to infections of s ratches and bites, though these can occasionally kill cats if untreated. In addition, bites are probably the main route of transmission of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).[128] Sexually active males will usually be involved in many fights during their lives, and often have decidedly battered faces with obvious scars and cuts to the ears and nose. Sex steroids, also known as gonadal steroids, are steroid hormones that interact with vertebrate androgen or estrogen receptors.[1] Their effects are mediated by slow genomic mechanisms through nuclear receptors as well as by fast nongenomic mechanisms through membrane-associated receptors and signaling cascades.[2] The term sex hormone is nearly always synonymous with sex steroid. The non-steroid hormones luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone and gonadotropin-releasing hormone are usually not regarded as sex hormones, although they play major sex-related roles. Cat behavior generally refers to the behaviors and habits of domestic cats, including body language and communication. Cat behavior may vary among breeds and individual cats. Many common behaviors include hunting techniques and reactions to certain events as well as interactions with humans and other animals, such as dogs. Communication can vary greatly depending on a cat's temperament. In a family with multiple cats, social position can also affect behavior patterns with others. A cat's eating patterns can also vary depending on the owner's choice of food or eating times/quantities. In the case of a family having two or more cats, one cat may become dominant over the other cats. Usually the case being a female.