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Volume 24(3), Autumn 2014

Commissioned paper

Fear or anger?


Currently, anxiety is thought to be the underlying factor in many categories of aggressive behaviour. Thus managing the underlying fear or anxiety will be an important part of dealing with cats exhibiting aggressive behaviours.

Did you say meow?


Click here to listen to

cat sounds and try to understand what they

are saying!

Communication is about sending and receiving messages between two or more parties. The messages can be ‘posted’ to be read by other cats as they encounter it, like

scratch marks.

Please leave a message

Hiss, purr, meow -

Fear, aggression, communication, body language

and social relationships in cats

by Kersti Seksel

Social groups


How many social groups do you see?

Click here to find out.


As knowledge about the normal behaviour of cats and their social behaviour has increased over the past decades, many beliefs about aggressive behaviours, its causes and management, have changed.

Failure to understand what will promote friendly, amicable behaviour and what will promote aggressive behaviour can lead to various behaviour problems, including aggression and conflict over resources, such as food, resting sites and litter boxes.

Thus, understanding the natural social organisation, relationships and communication of the cat and how this impacts on cats is essential if we are to better manage cats, especially those that live in multi-cat households.