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Cats sometimes seem to mirror human behavior -- for better and for worse. Both male and female cats can act as bullies, picking on other cats. At its root, aggression is a survival tool, used for things like hunting, mating, and protecting territory. Female cats can also display maternal aggression, which helps them safeguard their kittens.
If you’re noticing bully-like behavior, your female could be acting out simply because she can. Perhaps the male is timid and she has a reward to gain, such as food or coveted space, by pushing him back. The more likely reason is that she feels threatened by the male and is ultra-defensive with him.
Pam Johnson-Bennett’s book Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat -- Not a Sour Puss has some great tips on how to curb inter-cat aggression. They include the following: