When you live in a home with several cats, then you will recognize that cat fights unfortunately occur fairly often. Although your cats usually like each other, they can and do fight every now and then. Why are my cats fighting all of a sudden is a common question most cat owners ask themselves at some point. Cats have their own motives for fighting and cats show their dissatisfaction with other cats by starting fights. Understanding how to stop a cat fight and why they happen can make both you and your cats’ life easier.
Understanding Why Cats Fight
Social climbing: Male cats in particular will fight one another for social status with neutered males doing this too. When you have lots of cats in your home, specifically more than one male, a top cat is typically thought of as the alpha cat and they will be at the highest level of your cat hierarchy. You can tell who is who when two cats posture their bodies against each other, then begin screaming at each other. When either of the cats backs down, then a fight is frequently avoided but if neither cat wants to give in, then an attack will begin with one cat jumping and trying to bite the neck of the other cat. They will be put on their back and will attempt to bite their assailant and kick with their legs. These cats may go through this numerous times prior to walking away. Often there are no major wounds sustained in these types of fights. They practice this form of dominance fighting as kittens and usually you will not have to get involved.
Marking territory: Lots of cats fight to claim their own space. Cats can fight because they sense that an unwelcome cat has occupied their terrain, even when the cats appear to get along and have been living together for a long period of time. All cats feel this way about their space, and this is true for both male and female cats. Different to what countless people accept as true, female cats are from time to time just as territorial as male cats. Where you have more than one cat in your home, you may see that one of your cats’ hisses and hits at the other cat every time they sense that their territory has been entered. Commonly this will occur when you bring a new kitten into your home as they are defending their area.
Anger: Your cat will also fight another cat because of some sort of redirected aggression which particularly true with indoor cats. If your cat is sitting in a window looking outside at another cat in the yard, they may start to feel territorial and hostile towards this cat, but then this cat cannot be attacked, so in its place they might use their anger to attack another cat close by. You may also see this redirected aggression when dispensing cat treats. If one of your cats get to the treat first, the other cat may want what they have. The cat that wants to eat the treat might become angry and aggressive and begin to jab or howl at their friend.
When you discover your cats fighting every now and then, you need to know that this is fairly common in even the nicest of cats. Most of the time, you will be asking yourself are my cats fighting or playing but you will usually be able to tell if they are just playing around or if they are being serious. It will be time to stop a fight as soon as it gets nasty or else let your cats to try to figure it out for themselves. When it gets too much, you may feel the need to stop the fight, but you will want to do it cautiously. The most loving of cats will sometimes inadvertently scratch their owners when they are being aggressive to another cat.
How to Stop My Cat From Bullying My Other Cat
It is important that when you find your cats bullying each other, it is best not to chastise the cats for their behavior. A cat is not bullying on purpose, it is in their nature and so they do not understand punishments for fighting. Not wanting to share food, toys or their space is a natural instinct in cats so try to ensure they all have equal supplies of these. Usually the best thing is too only interfere in a fight when it is essential. If you notice that your cats are being more hostile, more often, it could be time to discover more about why they are not happy together. Are they fighting over a food bowl or is one cat bullying another for the key window location? To stop bullying simply ensure every cat has their own place to withdraw to when they feel overawed by the other cats in your home. This will really help in preventing bullying in cats. Find out more about water bowls for cats here.
Putting a Stop To Cat Fights
Seeing your cats fighting can be upsetting, watching two cats that you love hurt each other can be sad. Your initial instinct may be separate them, but this can put you in harm’s way. Luckily however there are other ways to stop cats from fighting:
- Divert them: Cats often get very absorbed with a fight, nevertheless you can try and divert their attention. Pick up something you recognize that they love like their favorite toy and make a lot of noise with using it. It may distract their attention long enough to stop the fight. Head over to our reviews of cat toys and interactive cat toys for more alternatives.
- To dramatically stop a cat fight, you can make loud noise, like a clap with your hands. Since almost all cats are alarmed by loud noises, the cats in the fight should both stop to see what is making the loud noise.
- Use water: Where distraction does not help, another kind but real way to stop a cat fight is to have a water spray bottle on hand which can be used to release a fine gentle mist of harmless water. This usually gets your cat to stop in their tracks without being scary.
The vital thing to remember when you try to stop the fighting is to think about yourself and not get hurt.
Cats Fighting Outdoors
From time to time, when your cat is outside, they might get confronted by another cat. Cat attacks can be a regular thing and most owners have stories of the local cat that keeps bullying their cat each time they are allowed outside. This is particularly upsetting if your cat is kind and gentle and is not likely to fight. The wounds from these types of fights can entail several trips to your vet. The best way to stop cats from being aggressive in this situation is to simply keep your cat indoors and keep them out of harm’s way. Letting them go outside after dark can be particularly risky. If you do not want to keep your cat indoors all the time, you can attempt to discover who the other cat belongs to and if something can be done. In turn, if you hear your cat is suffering, go outside and help them out. The majority of cats run off at when they see a person approach so you might not have make too much of a fuss, just show up.
When cat fights keep happening, inside or outside your home, you will probably be looking for a more lasting answer. A cat that continually gets into fights might be suffering from a variety of aliments or simply just have poor socialisation skills.
- Socialize your cat: The main motive for many cat fights is poor socialization skills. Some cats just do not understand how get along with others. There are lots of books and online videos that can teach you exactly how to help your cat start getting along better.
- Go to the Vets: Cats frequently fight where they have a surplus aggression. This can often be a symptom of an illness, especially if the fighting is a recent development that you may not be aware of. If there is any doubt you should take them to your vet and get them looked over.
- Cat behaviourists: Once you have established that your cat is not sick but continues to have a large amount of aggression, look into taking them to visit an animal behaviourist. Becoming much more common and easy to find online, these cat experts are good at solving problems for cats who keep on fighting. You will pick up tips on how to train your cat to handle their aggression better.
Seeing your cats fight can be upsetting, nonetheless it can be resolved. Just follow the strategies above and separate your cats safely whenever a fight happens. Furthermore, attempt a more long-term plan if think that they might need a more lasting solution. These fights can be resolved, and they do not need to be a permanent problem.