Are my two tom cats fighting over me!

by ~Silvermist~
(United States)

I have two toms, Graycloud and Slim (both brothers). I pet them both all the time and spend every second of every day I can with them and they both get along with each other just fine.

But, one day, when my oldest cat, Graycloud, (by a month), was sitting in my lap, Slim came padding up, heading toward me. Graycloud started growling and hissing and even tried to bite Slim. I was like, ‘What the heck?!’

And after that moment Graycloud wouldn’t let Slim anywhere near me! If he even tried to approach me Graycloud would start growling.

Now I’ve read on this site somewhere that cats “Gurgl” when they “Courtship, our are mating” or whatever. He’s been doing that everytime he sees me also since that moment. I know the sound because I listened to at least three diffrent audios of it for domestic cats. O-o…..


Hi ~Silvermist~ thanks for sharing this unusual behavior. I have changed the title to indicate what you think and what I think might be happening.

It sounds weird, as you said in your original title, but I believe that it is possible for male cats to fight over a person where there is a close relationship between cat(s) and a person. There may be some sexual context as well.

In a crude sense Graycloud thinks he has won the right to mate with you! Don’t take that the wrong way. He sees you as a cat and his behavior is instinctive.

Male wild cats do sometimes fight over females. Lions come immediately to mind. Although lions rarely fight over females, they can get badly injured fighting for mating rights.

That said I’ll do some research today. What I have written is just a gut feeling without more thought. And it is a rather extreme idea.

Someone else visiting may have seen the same behavior with their cats and have a different answer.

I have to say that I have never read about this behavior in the books that I have on cats. I have a number of books. I have to conclude that it is probably quite rare if my suggestion and your thoughts are correct.

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

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Are my two tom cats fighting over me!

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Mar 07, 2012
Male cats fighting, need to be neuter! NEW
by: Anonymous

Very commendable these 2 cats are allowing you to be their friend, a special connection between cats & humand.
It clearly seems your tom cats perceive you as a feline female & owned you, you must neuter ASAP to prevent serious problems. Neutered males don’t roam, fight nor spray & live healthier,live calmer & longer.
Silvermist will be happy too just knowing she has done what needs to be done in taking care of these Toms.
Wish you the best,
a cat lover/rescuer for over fifty years

8 thoughts on “Are my two tom cats fighting over me!”

  1. I’ve not yet read, but have open to read the “how can I stop my cat’s jealous behavior?” but wanted to chime in on this old thread.
    I have two cats about 2 years apart both male and both “it’s” as they were fixed before coming home and this was done while kittens. At the time there was a female in the house, but they both took to me. Over the years the females (people) have come and gone where it’s just me now, but you betcha there is a chain of command. The oldest followed me around like a dog would. The oldest seemed to dominate the younger one, but the youngest grew up to be a large cat and I’ve noticed things have changed. The youngest now follows me around like a dog would and seems he is keeping the oldest from getting attention. I try for that to not happen but the oldest no longer gets on the bed. Sadly they are both over 10years old and the youngest is dying of cancer so I expect the oldest to start getting on the bed again. Also sadly, it has taken me a long time to come to this conclusion, but I have to say there is truth in cat dominating humans from other cats. Rest assured I personally am not female.
    I am looking forward to reading the link.

    • Hi Robert, thanks for sharing. You confirm that there is a lot of heirarchial stuff going on with cats and humans, and humans are in the loop. People are part of the cat family. There is little research on this. I think it is very interesting and there could be more work on this because it affects household harmony and the success of the cat to human relationship.

  2. You might be surprised to know that all female mammals appear to emit the same pheromone during estrus. So the male cats may be able to sense when a human female is in heat.

    study here

    Eventually Singer isolated the protein that triggered this clear-cut response. “Aphrodisin,” as the researchers called it, appears to be a carrier protein for a smaller molecule that is tightly bound to it and may be the real pheromone. The substance seems to work through the VNO, since male hamsters do not respond to it when their VNOs have been removed.

    Many other substances have powerful effects on lower mammals, but the pheromones involved have not been precisely identified and it is not clear whether they activate the VNO or the main olfactory system, or both.

    Humans are “the hardest of all” mammals to work with, Singer says. Yet some studies suggest that humans may also respond to some chemical signals from other people. In 1971, Martha McClintock, a researcher who is now at the University of Chicago (she was then at Harvard University), noted that college women who lived in the same dormitory and spent a lot of time together gradually developed closer menstrual cycles. Though the women’s cycles were randomly scattered when they arrived, after a while their timing became more synchronized.

    McClintock is now doing a new study of women’s menstrual cycles, based on her findings from an experiment with rats. When she exposed a group of female rats—let’s call them the “A” rats—to airborne “chemosignals” taken from various phases of other rats’ estrous cycles, she discovered that one set of signals significantly shortened the A rats’ cycles, while another set lengthened them. Now she wants to know whether the same is true for humans—whether there are two opposing pheromones that can either delay or advance women’s cycles. In this study, she is focusing on the exact time of ovulation rather than on synchrony.

    The most direct scientific route to understanding pheromones and the VNO may, once again, be through genetics. Working with sensory neurons from the VNOs of rats, Catherine Dulac and Richard Axel found a new family of genes that “are likely to encode mammalian pheromone receptors,” they reported in 1995. Axel and Buck’s teams also found a similar family in the VNO’s of mice.

    Both groups estimate there must be 50 to 100 distinct genes of this kind in VNO neurons. Since then, Buck’s team and that of Catherine Dulac, who is now an HHMI investigator at Harvard, have found a second family of likely pheromone receptors in mammalian VNOs; these, too, are expected to include about 100 genes. “Now we have to match up pheromones and receptors,” Buck declares.

  3. Hi there,
    I have a simular problem. I have two cats; a ten year old male and a three year old female. The ten year old came to me when he was about six months old. He’s a very sweet cat who loves other cats and kittens, a real father figure.
    The three year old was my brother’s and his ex’s cat. She’s very playful, but has some personality problems since they both abandoned her. First it was his ex, then she lived mostly outside and the my brother left her…. to me… He knows I can’t stand leaving such a cutie behind. She was 1,5 back then.
    Since then it’s been hard to connect with her, seeing her trust issue’s, but till recently I finally gained her trust.
    Now this is where the problem begins. Lately they’re fighting over me; who gets to sit on me, who gets to sit on the last thing I touched, etc. The young one gets really jealous when I pet or hug my old one. Even though she gets equal attention. The old one doesn’t get jealous so much, he just want lie cosy with her on my lap and clean her and such. Which she doesn’t like or something and starts attacking him.
    I really don’t know what to do anymore and I’ve read a lot of books about cats; bad and good ones.

  4. I just want to add to this…neutered cats can and DO fight, because my two neutered cats fight over me all the time. They both get along with each other well but if I pet either of them, a fight will ensue. They are both constantly vying for my attention and if I give it to them while the other is watching all hell breaks loose. They don’t do this with my husband. 🙁

    • Wow, is my first reaction. I will keep your comment in mind because I might do a story about this phenomenon. I guess from a male cat’s perspective they are fighting over a large female cat 🙂 ..who is very nice to them and who they like a lot. It must be proof that the domestic cat sees us as a cat. That is my belief anyway.


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