The drawings show the varying aggressive postures of the domestic cat from Paul Leyhausen’s study Cat Behavior (1979). The book is still available on Amazon at the staggering price of US $690.05 for a new copy! Second hand the book costs $214. Thanks but no thanks. I hope I am not in breach of copyright. Technically I might be but I would argue fair use and I am indirectly promoting the book, sort of.
Each drawing presents a different cat posture and in the top left corner are the letters A (offensive) and B (defensive) under which is a subscript of numbers 1-4. 1 = weak and 4 = strong.
I must say that the postures illustrated show a range of cat body language which I had not fully recognized before in terms of its complexity. Of course I am familiar with cat body language and have written about it some time ago. However, this takes offensive and defensive cat behavior to a different level. I don’t know how accurate it is. The author’s book was published in 1979. People have a greater understanding of cat behavior today. Nonetheless, the drawings are interesting and are worth studying if you are interested in cat body language.
Dr Desmond Morris
Dr Desmond Morris writes about cat fighting in his book Cat World. He describes the moment an attacking cat approaches a rival. He says that the cat twists his head in a characteristic manner. At a distance of about 3 feet the cat raises his head slightly and tilts it to one side. His eyes are always fixed on his enemy. The attacking cat then moves forward slowly and tilts his head in the other direction. This may be repeated several times. Dr Morris believes that the head tilting is in preparation for a neck bite which will happen when he finally attacks. It is also a signal to the other cat that he will receive a neck bite. Dr Morris calls this the “intention movement”.
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