Ask the Vet: What Do I Do If My Cats are Fighting?

Feb 1, 2019 by

Domestic Cats on Window Sill
 
If you have more than one cat at home or your cat encounters another cat, they may fight. Here’s what to do to break up the situation and prevent further fights from happening.
 

Breaking Up the Fight

 
First, never break up a cat fight directly as you may get scratched or otherwise hurt. Fighting cats can be extremely aggressive. You also should never chase or hit fighting cats — with your hand or anything else.

It’s better to break up the fight from afar. Standing several feet away, grab a spray bottle filled with water and give the cats a few squirts. Especially if they can’t tell where the water is coming from, this will throw them off, and they should detach.

If this doesn’t work, try making a loud noise. Bang on a kitchen pot, shake a jar of coins, or play loud music.
 

Why Cats Fight and What to Do

 
There are several reasons cats may fight. Generally speaking, one of the following may be the cause:

#1 – A territorial dispute: When a new cat enters the “territory” or chosen spot of another cat, fights may break out.

What to do: If both cats are your own, establish unique spaces where each cat can sleep or play. You shouldn’t have cats share all the same spots. Give each one their own cat tree, for example.

#2 – You’ve just brought home a new cat: The moment you bring a new cat home, there will likely be fights. It’s the “new cat smell” that really triggers your old cat.

What to do: If you’re getting a new cat, try to initiate them into your household via smell before you actually bring them home. For example, rub the new cat with a towel, then rub the towel over your old cat or your old cat’s bed to mingle the scents.

#3 – Random hormones: Between the ages of two and four, cats are often especially aggressive because of hormones.

What to do: Try a pheromone product such as Feliway to calm your cats and create better security in their own environment. Also, if you haven’t already, spay or neuter your cats

#4 – Jealousy: If you’re giving more attention to one cat, chances are your other cat may become jealous and aggressive.

What to do: Simply even out your attention. Give more attention to the cat who’s acting jealous, and make sure your overall affection and play-time is as even as possible from now on.
 

Have More Questions About Your Cat’s Behavior?

 
Our skilled and experienced veterinarians at Sunset Veterinary Clinic are here to answer all of your pet-related questions. If you have concerns about your cat’s behavior or other inquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

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