If you have a multi-cat household, you know that cat fights happen a lot. Even if your cats get along, sometimes they will unfortunately chase or attack each other.
Although humans may not understand why our cats fight , they have their reasons for fighting . Some of these reasons are similar to the reasons why humans have disputes. Cats express their discontent with other cats when they decide to fight.
Why do cats fight?
It is difficult to know why two cats are fighting. We can only orient ourselves based on the cat character and the situation that occurs, trying to guess. The main causes of fights between cats are the following:
They fight for their territory
Cats are by nature territorial , even if the territory doesn’t extend beyond the end of your couch. One of the main reasons cats fight is because they feel that an unwanted cat has invaded their territory, even if it is a cat that has lived with them for a long time. Cats are much more territorial than dogs . Contrary to what many people believe, female cats are sometimes just as territorial as males. They are simply defending their territory.
If you introduce a new cat into your home, the new cat will have to establish a “home turf”, and your existing cats will have to defend theirs. This often ends in a cat fight.
Each of your cats probably has a “place” that they call their own.
Consider providing the new cat his own cat tree . Or, establish new separate “cat spaces” in your home.
When you find your cats fighting, it is best not to punish them, cats do not understand punishment and fighting is a natural instinct in cats. The best thing to do is to only interfere when necessary.
If you find that your cats are fighting more than they should, it’s time you found out why. Do they fight over a litter box, a food bowl, or the main location of a window? Make sure each cat has their own “stuff” and a place to retreat when they are overwhelmed by other pets in the house. This will go a long way in preventing fights.
Social hierarchy within the group
Male cats frequently threaten and fight each other over their social hierarchy , despite what you may think, even neutered males can do this.
If you have several cats, especially more than one male cat, one of them is considered the “alpha male” and will be at the top of the feline hierarchy.
Two cats can curl their bodies, and then start howling and yelling at each other. If one of the cats moves away or backs away, then fighting between them is avoided. However, if neither wants to throw in the towel and give up, one cat will attack the other by jumping forward and trying to bite their neck. The other cat will fall onto its back and attempt to bite or scratch the attacker with its hind legs. The two cats could go through this multiple times before separating. Injuries generally do not occur in these types of fights.
Cats also fight as a result of some form of redirected aggression and this is quite common, especially with indoor cats. Your cat could be looking out the window at another cat or dog crossing the garden, he begins to feel territorial and aggressive towards this cat, but since he cannot be reached, he can attack the other cat in the house.
Another example would be when you are giving your cats treats. A cat may get to the treat first and start eating. The other wants a piece, but the cat that is eating may become aggressive and start howling at the other cat. Usually this is unusual… because they feel like their home is their “refuge” if everyone tries their best to get along.
Cats fight for their hormones
Male cats often participate in the aggression of another household cat, which occurs most often when a cat reaches social maturity between two and four years of age. Although this type of aggression is generally seen in males competing for mates, it can occur between cats of either sex when territorial conflicts occur.
Spaying and neutering your cats is the first step in eliminating these types of cat fighting . If you have already done so, pheromone products like Feliway can help reduce aggression. Keep in mind that you need coverage in all the rooms of your house to be effective. Feliway now also makes pheromone necklaces.
Jealousy causes cats to fight
A “new cat” will almost always get more attention from you than your current progeny. Spend extra individual time with your other cats to ease their fears that the new cat is stealing all your love. Jealousy is more likely to be a common problem with certain breeds such as Siamese who bond closely with their people, and need a lot of assurance that “their place in your heart” is assured.
In another article , I show you the steps to follow to put two cats together, who have just met, and avoid fights between them.
A matter of smells, … and associations
It may happen to you that when a cat returns from the vet, his companion spits on him and is aggressive. This is due to the fact that the cat that stayed at home recognizes the “vet smell”, causing in him bad memories of his visit to the vet in the past. It will be so annoying that you will release your tensions by attacking your partner.
The fight as part of the game between cats
A fight as a game is silent, or almost. When cats jump on top of each other, they make fairly soft, short, repeated balls, and they don’t hurt each other. Sometimes we can hear some screeching. But sometimes, it also happens that a playing fight turns into a real conflict, simply because one of the cats is not willing to play anymore.
Another case: one of the cats jumps on another to play, but the other does not want to … which leads to the first one to aggression, because he needs to vent his frustrations!
How to stop a cat fight before it happens
Usually the only method of deterring two cats from an impending fight is to surprise them by surprise , making a noise as close to them as possible. A loud clap of hands, or a metallic noise that draws their attention and distracts them, might be enough.
Another idea could be to try to separate two cats that are fighting with water, using a spray or something like that, the impact with the water should distract them from the fight and give you time to attract them, perhaps with something to eat.
What not to do in a cat fight
When the fight is taking place, good advice, never try to physically separate the cats on your own . Putting your hands between two fighting cats could have very serious consequences, with scratches and bites the cat would seriously hurt us.
Separating them with your feet could make you feel more protected thanks to shoes and pants, but this is not a good idea, the cat will think that you are participating in the fight and may decide to jump on you. Not even scolding the cat after recovering is a big move, our little cat immediately after a cat fight feels very vulnerable, and could take his reprimand as an attack directed against him, and could react violently.
NEVER hit them or chase them. You will only make them more aggressive, and you can definitely destroy their trust in you.
With patience and a clear understanding of cat behavior, you should be able to achieve home harmony within a month or two.
Summary: If you find that your cats fight occasionally, you should know that this is common and quite typical for cats. Most of the time, they will do it by playing. But when the fight is violent, you must bear in mind that stopping a fight is very delicate; try to get your cats to figure it out on their own. Still, if you feel the need to stop a fight, you should do it carefully.
Even the most affectionate cat can aggressively bite or scratch you. To stop a fight, you can make some kind of loud noise, like cats are startled by loud noises, they will both stop to see what the noise is doing. You can also spray water on them to interfere with aggressive behavior.
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