The hissing, the yowling, and the potential for real harm to one or both cats. Watching your cats fighting can be heart-breaking. If you have more than one cat living under your roof, you may be familiar with catfights. We've put together a few steps that will help you calm the tension and teach your cats to get along.
To help your cats get along, try to pinpoint the cause by paying attention to when and where your cats fight. Here are a few reasons why your cats might be fighting:
Changes in environment
Your cats are going to become more aggressive when you move into a new house, rearrange the furniture, or even put the food bowl in a different spot.
Changes in routine
Cats are creatures of habit. When their daily ritual gets interrupted, they might lash out and take it out on each other.
Cats like having their own space and mark their territories with scent. They will often fight to defend what they believe is their territory, and your house is no exception.
We suggest trying to gently separate them, as long as you are sure you are not in harm's way.
Understand feline body language
Your cats' eyes, ears, body, and tail all attempt to communicate their feelings. Learn about postures and cues to look for here!
Distract your cats
Find something you know they love, such as an interactive toy, and make a noise with it. This might get their attention and stop a squabble between them.
Separate your cats
Put your cats in separate areas with their own food and water bowls, litter boxes, and beddings. Make sure to spend plenty of quality time with each cat in their respective areas.
Offer plenty of vertical spaces and hiding places
This allows your cats to escape and hide when they feel threatened or afraid and have more of their own space, and reduces conflict.
Provide an abundance of resources
Having multiple food and water bowls, litter boxes, and toys can prevent fighting over resources. Adding an extra set is even better.
Reinforce good behaviour
If you see your cats interacting in a positive way, praise them and toss tasty treats to reward them
WebMD advises not to do when your cats are fighting:
- Do not let them fight it out. Never let your cats fight it out and try to distract them with a loud noise or sudden movement to break their concentration on their fight.
- Do not punish your cats. Never punish your cats for aggressive behaviour toward another cat. Punishment can make fearful or aggressive behaviours worse.
- Do not try to calm or soothe them. Instead, give them space.
ASPCA also makes note that any change in behaviour can be indicating an underlying medical condition. If you notice any unusual physical or behavioural symptoms, schedule an appointment with your vet to find out if there is anything wrong medically.
Featured image by Maria Sanchez