How to Stop a Cat Fight and Why They Happen
Why are my cats fighting all of a sudden? This is a common question that most cat owners ask at some point. Unfortunately, catfights are more common than we think. Plus, your gentle, cute, and adorable feline buddies can transform into wild savages as they fight each other – scratching, biting, and trying to hurt each other. For every cat owner, this is not a sight you can get used to (or want to get used to). So, in this article, we will find how to stop a cat fight and why they happen.
Why Do Cats Fight?
You cannot stop a problem without first getting to the root of the cause first, right? Unfortunately, you cannot sit two irate felines down and ask them what the issue is all about. Conflict resolution doesn’t work that way in the feline world. Catfights can happen at home between two siblings or two indoor cats fighting while sharing the same home. It can also happen outside between your cat and perhaps ale neighbor’s. Most often, cat owners do not see it coming as the fights can occur unexpectedly. Every cat owner’s first impulse will be to stop the fight to prevent their cats from getting injured. But before we find out how to stop our cats from fighting, let us find out the reasons why cats fight.
- Social Status
Yup! You read that right. This usually happens among male cats in an attempt to gain social recognition. Whenever there is more than one male cat around, there is always the alpha cat, which is typically the top cat. Cats have a social hierarchy that requires out-fighting each other to climb up. These types of fights are usually unexpected and very aggressive. Two male cats will scream at each other with their bodies postured in a way to launch as they size each other up. Sometimes, the fights never happen as both cats walk away. But when the fights do happen, they can be bloody as the cat launch in an attempt to bite each other neck and throw each other to the ground. These types of fights only happen between mature cats that have reached a mature age. This is usually between two to four years old and is mainly driven by hormones. If you have several male cats, then the best option is to spay your male cats to neuter them. There are also some medications available to help reduce the aggression in such cats.
You may know by now that cats are territorial animals. They usually mark their territories by spreading their scent around their territory (and this includes their humans). They do this by rubbing their heads against objects they consider within their territory, and by spraying. The last thing a cat wants (aside from their humans not at their beck and call) is another cat encroaching on its land. As a result, these kinds of fights mostly happens outside, just like the fights for social status. However, if you have more than one cat at home, such fights can also be common as one cat may mark out a section of the house as its territory. It can also happen when a guest cat shows up in the house. In order to make such fights less common, try to reduce the amount of large space that you have at home. You can do this by placing a piece of furniture or any other thing to break up territorial spaces. Also, make sure that each cat has its own toy. And, for the love of peace, do not give on cat’s toy to another.
Yup! You read that right. Aside from being very territorial, cats can be very jealous creatures. And they are not afraid to show it. One thing a cat is mostly jealous of is attention shown to another cat. This may happen when you bring in a new cat and try to give it extra attention to make it feel at home. Beware of the jealous cat that will be lurking around the newbie. Also, jealousy can be associated with some specific breeds of cats, such as the Siamese, as they bond more closely with their humans than other cat breeds. Thus, anytime you introduce a new cat to your home, be sure to give the old residents some reassurance that their places have not been taken. Also, try as much as possible to give enough attention to all your cats.
- Playing Rough
Sometimes, what may seem to you as a fierce fight may only be your two cats playing rough. When cat play, it always has the tendency to get rough. This is very normal, and there is no reason to worry. Also, sometimes, a simple game of tail-chasing could end up a little chaotic when one party becomes a little too aggressive or competitive. All of a sudden, a mini-war breaks out, and a quick fight ensues. These kinds of fights do not last long, and the cats will resume their friendship once the argument is over.
- New Guy Effect
Cats can become very aggressive when there is an introduction of a new cat. Although this has some links with jealousy, there are some differences. Jealousy is usually as a result of showering one cat with too much attention and making the other cat(s) feel left out. The new guy effect is simply the appearance of a new face in the neighborhood or home. A cat will attack a new cat to indicate immediately who the boss in the hood is. It is also a way of showing dominance.
How To Stop Cat Fights Before They Happen
“How to stop my cat from bullying my other cat?” is one of the most common questions cat owners ask. There are times when you may notice the bad tension build up between two cats in your home for several reasons. It may be one cat’s attempt to bully another cat or one of the several reasons we have mentioned earlier. When this happens, you have the opportunity to stop potential cat-astrophe even before it happens. When you notice that tempers are rising and blood is beginning to boil between two cats, and no solution is working, then it is time for some cat detention time. The intention here is to separate the two cats for a while. To do this, you need to purchase one large dog crate. Note that we mentioned a dog crate and not a cat carrier as the former has more than enough room in it for a litter box and a small bed. Once you have your large dog crate, find an empty space (preferably a spare room) and place it there. Put one the irate cats in the crate together with the litter box and the bed and leave the other one outside. Do this for about a week. All this while, swap the positions of the cats every day until they both sign a peace treaty. Or, better still, until tempers cool down. When both cats calm down, they can be allowed into other areas of the house. Use this technique again if they cancel their peace treaty.
It is important to note that you should never attempt to chastise one cat for bullying another as it is normal cat behavior. Before you resort to the crate solution, find out what is causing the problem between the two cats. If it is about one cat not wanting to share its food or favorite toy, try giving them separate meals and different toys.
How To Stop Cats Fighting With Neighbors Cat
One very common problem of having an outdoor cat is the possibility of engaging in a fight with other cats. One of the several reasons mentioned above could be the cause of a ‘street fight.’ However, no matter what the cause or reason for the fight is, protecting your cat from such fights should be your number one priority. The immediate solution when you find your cat in such a fight is to distract your cat with your presence. This is because most cats will take off at the sight of a stranger. If the two cats are too engrossed in the fight to notice your presence. Try distracting them by making a loud noise as cats hate loud noises. But no matter what you do, never attempt to touch any of the cats.
However, distracting them is only a short term solution. To stop your cat from engaging in such fights in the future, keep it locked indoors. That is the only effective way. Plus, aside from the possibility of fighting with a neighbor’s cat, there are a thousand and one other dangers that your cat will face when it is outside. They range from vehicular accidents to the risk of being stolen.
In conclusion, catfights are something to expect when two or more cats live in your home or neighborhood. It is a normal cat behavior that has several causes – all of which we have discussed. No matter what the cause of a fight is, there is always the danger of fatal injury. We have gone through some long term and short term solutions to help you stop your cat from fighting. But, no matter what you do, or the reason for your cat engaging in a fight, never chastise your cat as that will not help. Also, no matter what you do, never attempt to separate two fighting cats with your hands as you may get injured.
- Conflict Between Cats – OSU