Alpha male cats are dominant, natural-born leaders. They may bully other cats or even their owners into getting what they want when they want it. They may act aggressively for attention or to get more food. You might be the owner, but the alpha male cat believes he owns you. Through behavior modification, you can teach your alpha male cat to get along with others and be a sweeter, gentler pet.
Pay attention to his behavior. Keep track of situations or times when your cat is aggressive or misbehaves. Avoid these situations as much as possible. If your cat always bites your feet in the morning to wake you up, do not let him in your bedroom when you go to sleep at night. He may whine at your door for a few days but ignore this. Also, pay attention to warning signs prior to your kitty's exhibiting more dominant behaviors.
Schedule feeding times. If you feed your cat at the same times each day, twice a day, you will have control over when he eats. He will learn to anticipate his feeding times and will in turn be hungry when it is time to eat. Wait to feed him until he sits on the floor. He will associate sitting down with being fed, so he will also learn that not sitting means he will not get to eat. If he misses a meal because of his behavior, his increased hunger will help ensure better behavior at his next meal.
Ration out the attention you give him. If you only pet him at certain times, it will help you train him to do the things you want in exchange for the attention he wants. An alpha male cat should only be given attention when he is behaving himself. Some alpha male cats get irritated when they are petted longer than they desire. Keep petting sessions short and watch for signs of petting-induced aggression, such as tail twitching and sideways glances.
Put away toys and games. Give your cat his toys when he has done something to deserve them. Then, when he is finished playing or appears to lose interest, take all of the toys and games away. Store them them in a toy chest or drawer. Rationing the toys and games will help your cat learn that they are a reward for good behavior.
Never respond to your cat's alpha behavior. If your cat is being demanding, attention-seeking or aggressive in any way, simply ignore it. Pretend you do not see him, walk away or give your kitty a time out in another room. Do not feed into the behavior or engage in a confrontation. Give the cat proper attention later, but only after he has done something to show he deserves it, such as sitting calmly or coming when you call him.
Gabrielle Nicolet has been writing and editing professionally since 2004. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Northern Illinois University. Nicolet is also a certified nutrition, wellness and weight-management consultant with American Fitness Professionals and Associates.