Objective—To determine whether the direction of
dominance as determined by agonistic interactions
away from food was different from the direction of
dominance as determined by access to a resource in
Procedure—Dyadic relationships and hierarchy
formed from observation of agonistic interactions
away from food were compared with those formed
from interactions at the food bowl. A cat was scored
as subordinate to another cat if it lost 3 of 3 interactions
or lost ≥ 75% of the interactions when > 3 interactions
Results—Cats were observed for 449.4 hours.
Hierarchy rank determined by agonistic interactions
away from food was significantly correlated with rank
determined by interactions at the food bowl. In 27 of
31 dyads, the direction of dominance was the same
for food bowl and agonistic relationships, which was
significant. In post hoc analyses, when considering
the relationship between 2 cats, the heavier cat most
likely ranked higher in each hierarchy; however, age
was not significantly correlated with either hierarchy.
On the basis of dyadic information, the older cat in a
dyad was more often dominant in agonistic interactions.
Males had a higher mean dominance rank than
females; however, sex had no effect on rank determined
by interactions at the food bowl.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Factors influencing
dominant-subordinate relationships are of interest
for understanding and treating behavior problems
such as aggression and resource control. The outcome
of agonistic interactions away from food was related
to, but not perfectly correlated with, the outcome of
interactions at the food bowl, although winners of
those agonistic interactions tended to have control of
food. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1548–1556)
Objective—To evaluate associations between relatedness
and familiarity with the affiliative behaviors of
maintaining proximity and allogrooming in cats.
Animals—28 privately owned cats in 1 colony.
Procedure—15 of the cats had 1 or more relatives present
representing 5 genealogies. Each cat was observed
in 15-minute intervals for 3.5 hours during the study. All
occurrences of allogrooming behavior were recorded. At
the onset of each 15-minute observation period and at 2-
minute intervals thereafter, the identity and location of all
cats within 1 m of the observed cat were recorded.
Results—Relatedness and familiarity was significantly
associated with the number of times a cat was within
1 m of another cat and how often a cat was groomed.
For relatives and nonrelatives that were equally familiar
to a given cat, relatives were significantly more likely to
be within 1 m and to be groomed.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Familiarity
and relatedness are significantly associated with
allogrooming and proximity of another cat. This may
be important when considering adoption of 1 or more
kittens and when adding a new cat to a household in
which other cats are present. Adopting small family
groups may result in higher rates of affiliative behavior,
stronger bonding, and lower incidence of conflict
than periodically adopting single unrelated adult cats.
(Am J Vet Res 2003;64:1151–1154)