How To Stop Cats From Fighting
21 December, 2011
Cat fighting is a natural behavior, and the key to getting cats to stop this behavior is to understand why they are fighting. Of course, when you introduce a new cat into the home, there will be tension. However, if your two cats are or have just stared fighting, below are some reasons that your cats might be fighting.
Male cats are often involved in inter-cat aggression, which most often occurs when a cat reaches social maturity between two and four years of age. Although this type of aggression is usually seen in males competing for mates, it can occur between cats of any sex when territorial conflicts occur.
The first step toward eliminating this form of aggression is to spay and neuter your cats. If you’ve already done so, pheromone products can help reduce aggression. You can buy some at your local pet store or get a recommendation from a Veterinarian.
Give me my space!
CATS ARE TERRITORIAL
Cats are by nature territorial, even if the territory extends no further than the end of your couch. When you introduce a new cat into your household, the new cat will need to establish territory and your existing cats will need to defend theirs. This often results in fights.
Each of your cats probably has a “spot” they call their own. Discourage the new cat from adopting one of these spots by providing her with her own special spot. Sprinkle it with catnip and put a towel with her scent on it.
Consider providing the new cat with her own cat tree. She won’t be poaching the territory of your existing cats, and she can mark it as her own with her scent. Or, establish new separate cat spaces in your home. Set up a decorative panel screen in the corner of a room, or reposition your furniture to break up a large space, carving out a new territory for your cat.
SET UP A BARRIER
If your cats won’t stop fighting even after trying everything above, it’s time for some serious territorial divide. It’s not as bad as it sounds. You want to force proximity upon the two cats without endangering either of them.
Get a large dog crate – do not use a cat carrier. Place it in a spare room, and put one cat (with a litter box and bed) in the crate and the other cat outside the crate. Leave them alone in the room together. Do this every day for at least a week, alternating which cat gets crated. When things appear to be less volatile between them, let them out together in the room (but don’t leave them alone together). Play with them, give them treats, and praise good behavior. If one starts a fight, put him in the crate. Continue until they can be together in the room without fighting.
At that point, you can reintroduce them to the rest of the house. When one starts a fight, he goes back in the crate. Again, praise good behavior and reward with treats. Within a month, the two cats should be able to coexist fairly peacefully.
BREAKING UP CAT FIGHTS
Through all of this, you’ll probably need to break up a few cat fights. Never reach in and try to separate fighting cats yourself. Instead, squirt the cats with a squirt gun or toss water on them from a distance (so that they’re not aware that you’re the source of the water). It’s good to keep loaded squirt guns throughout the house for this purpose. Alternatively, loud noises (an air gun, a can full of pennies, or banging a pan) can be effective.
You should never hit them or chase them with a broom. It will only make them more aggressive, and it can permanently destroy their trust in you.
I hope these tips help and your cats live together in a happy home! Build a cat profile!