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September 3, 2018 |0 min read

Why Cats Fight and What You Can Do About it

Written by

Sharilyn Vera


When you introduce a new cat to your household, a period of adjustment is expected. If you have a multi-cat household, then you know that skirmishes occur from time to time. But, when should you be concerned? And when your cats do fight, what, if anything, should you do about it? Sometimes knowing why your cats are responding aggressively can help you decide what to do. Here is what you need to know.

Fighting for Territory

Cats are very territorial. In fact, they can be more territorial than dogs. If your cats are not getting along when they are in close contact, especially if one of them is a recent addition to your household, they could be protecting their space. Ease tensions by giving them each some dedicated space. Get your cat's scent on a blanket or towel and then put that item in a place that is their personal, dedicated space such as a bed or box. This lets each cat know what space belongs specifically to him.

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Simple Aggression

Sometimes cats, like people, just don't get along. One of the best ways to remedy this situation is by helping them to create positive associations with one another. This can mean giving them each treats when they are in the same room or feeding them together. Try putting their food dishes in the same room at meal times. Make sure the dishes are close enough that your cats can see each other but far enough away to give them each space so that they do not feel threatened.

Misplaced Aggression


Cat Scratching Hand


When your cat gets riled up but cannot release that energy at the object of his aggravation, he may vent at the nearest possible subject. Take the example of your cat sitting in the window and seeing another cat in the yard. He may be angry at that cat for invading his territory but cannot get at the offender when a pane of glass stands in his way. If you then approach your cat to pet him, you may come away with a serious scratching. The best way to handle this situation is to remain calm and give him some space. Your cat did not mean to hurt you and punishing him will not help.

Social Ranking

When two cats meet, especially if one of those cats is new to the household, it is normal for there to be some posturing. They may even howl at one another and wrestle. The two are trying to establish dominance. They may go back and forth making noise and wrestling for several rounds but are unlikely to do any real damage to one another. Such bouts eventually resolve themselves and rarely require your intervention.

Illness

Most pets, especially cats, are pretty good at hiding when they are sick or injured. If one of your cats tries to play with another and is uncharacteristically rebuffed, you may want to take a closer look. Just as you are generally not in the mood to play when you are sick, your cat may similarly be agitated when he does not feel well. If he is under the weather, he may respond aggressively to a friend who is being a little too energetic toward him. Products such as Pretty Litter in your cat litter box can help to alert you to illness in your cat. It is the world best cat litter. If you suspect, for any reason that your friend is sick, take him to the vet.

You love your cats and like any pet owner, you want them to get along. When your cats don't get along, figuring out why can help you determine a course of action. Usually, the problem is easy enough to solve and sometimes does not even require intervention. If you are concerned that your cat's behavior is the sign of a health problem, take him to a vet right away.

 Sources:

1. https://pets.webmd.com/cats/aggression-between-cats-in-your-household#1

2. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/aggression-between-cats-your-household

3. https://www.battersea.org.uk/pet-advice/cat-advice/how-do-i-stop-my-cats-fighting-each-other

Written by

Sharilyn Vera

Sharilyn is a proud cat owner, long time storyteller and researcher. Her work spans beloved podcasts, television shows, media outlets, and independent documentaries. She likes to strike a balance between education and comedy, which you can hopefully tell when you read her articles!

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