Waking up in the middle of the night to cats fighting is terrifying. All that shrieking, yowling and hissing is definitely no peaceful way to wake up. Is all this noise as serious as it sounds?
Is it just kittens playing? Or do you have a real cat war on your hands? To find all this out we first need to find out why it is you have cats fighting in the first place.
Cats fighting is a natural instinct. A natural instinct that can be brought on by many different things. Here are our top 7 reasons why your cats are fighting and how to stop them.
The New Cat Smell
When you bring a new cat into your home your existing cat is going to be agitated by this newbie invading its space. Some cats will be more agitated than others with their new house guest.
There are a couple of ways to tackle this problem.
- Rub the new cat with a towel to get the scent off and rub the towel on your new cat. Do this several times a day for a week or so. The cats should slowly become familiar with each others smells and stop fighting.
- Try feeding the cats at the same time on opposite sides of a door. This will get the cats familiar with each others smells and they will associate the new smell with something good, like their favorite food!
- Try to mix their used kitty litter, again this will slowly familiarise the unknown scent to your cats familiar and safe place.
When you get a new cat you will almost always give it more attention than your existing cat. Just like humans, cats can get jealous too. Jealousy is especially strong in breeds such as the Siamese Cat since they create such a strong bond with their owners.
The Cure: Remember to give your cats equal attention. This way you won’t have to put up with a jealous cat attacking your new cat (or yourself!).
Aggression between cats can be quite common, especially between male cats who have reached social maturity. This is generally between the ages of two and four. You will find this happens more in males who are competing for mates.
The best thing to do to try and stop these confrontations is to have your cat spayed and neutered. If your cats are spayed and neutered and they still persist to have aggression against one another try and cover each room of your house in pheromone products. Or if you would prefer they also now have great pheromone collars.
Cats are very territorial by nature. When a new cat or new cat smell is introduced to your home your cat will feel threatened and feel the need to defend their territory.
Your new cat will also need to establish their own new territory in your home. This causes huge clashes and in tern big cat fights.
So, what to do?
- Your cat will more than likely have ‘their spot’ in your home. Keep the new cat away from this area. This will keep your cat less irritated with this ‘intruder’.
- Set up your new cat its own area away from your existing cat’s favorite spot. Make it as appealing and cozy as you can so it has no need to go and annoy your existing cat. Even try sweetening the deal with some catnip if they are not too keen on staying there.
- Give both of your cats their own ‘safe area’ at a height. Cats like to be aware of their surroundings and what better way than from above!
A Traumatic Event
You might find that your cats were once the best of pals but one day they just stopped liking each other. This is possible. A traumatic experience can have your cat associate anything/ one that was in the room when that incident occurred. Other cats included.
Because every cat has a different personality it is hard to give a one solution fix all case here. Some cats will eventually come back around and others will take a little bit of work.
Just like humans, cats get sick. When they are sick they like to be left alone. If your cat is sick there is a good chance that it will try and swipe or hiss at anything that comes near it. This includes humans, cats, and dogs.
The best thing to do is leave your cat out its favourite food. When it is feeling better it will come around to both you and your other cats.
Redirected Cat Aggression
Cats have a pretty stressful life. (Yeah right!) Sometimes they can get overwhelmed and are just in a bad mood. If your second cat gets up in up in your existing cat’s established area, it might be in the firing line for a swiping and a bite.
What to do:
Take your cat on a much needed holiday to The Bahamas. Kidding. Try to find out what is agitating or stressing your cat out and eliminate it if you can.
How To Stop Cats Fighting Mid Fight
So you have tried as hard as you can but you just can’t stop them from fighting by fixing the root of the problem. What do you do?? We have a couple more tricks up our sleeves to stop your cats fighting mid-fight.
If you walk in on your cats fighting the first thing that comes to your mind is to squirt them with water, run at them with a broom or get in there yourself to physically stop them.
Try to stay away from these tactics as this could make things worse or cause the cats to turn on you. Or even worse to stop liking you!
Here is a couple of things that you can do that will help stop the fight:
- Slowly put a large object in between them this will separate them. This gives them something else to focus on and will distract them from the fight.
- Toss something soft in the fight. Be sure to hide though you don’t want it to land on the cats then the cats associate you with the pain.
One Last Resort to Stop Cats fighting
If you have done everything and you just can’t get your cats to like each other and stop fighting, there is one last tactic you can try to use. The jail tactic.
Get yourself a fairly sizable dog cage. You’re looking for something that will be big enough to fit in a bed, food dishes and a litter box.
In a large room, have one cat in the cage at a time and the other cat free to roam around the room.
Do this for a week or so and alternate where the cats are each day.
When they seem to be getting more comfortable with each other try to have them both in the room out of the cage. They should have became more comfortable around each other and have stopped fighting – hopefully!