Cat fights – How to manage fights between cats in your home

by | Cat Care |

If you’re a cat owner, you may have had the experience of waking up to your cats chasing each other, loud hissing, or some other tell-tale sign of a cat fight. The ASPCA has some great information on their website to help understand this behaviour!

Here are their suggestions for managing the aggression between cats.

Suggestions for managing your cats

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    Never let the cats “fight it out.” Cats don’t resolve their issues through fighting, and the fighting usually just gets worse. Interrupt aggression with a loud clap of your hands or spray from a water gun.

  • Neuter the cats. Intact males are particularly prone to aggressive behavior.
  • Separate their resources. Reduce competition between the cats by providing multiple, identical food bowls, beds and litter boxes in different areas of your house.
  • Provide additional perches. More hiding spots and perches will allow your cats to space themselves out as they prefer.
  • Don’t try to calm or soothe your aggressive cat, just leave her alone and give her space. If you come close, she could turn and redirect her aggression toward you.
  • Reward desired behavior. Praise or toss treats to reward your cats when you see them interacting in a friendly manner.
  • Try pheromones. You can purchase a product that mimics a natural cat odor (which humans can’t smell), that may reduce tensions. Use a diffuser while the aggression issue is being resolved.

The ASPCA also makes note that any change in behaviour can be indicating an underlying medical condition. They suggest if you notice any unusual physical or behavioral symptoms, or if your cat stops eating, to see your veterinarian right away.

For more information on types of aggression to consider and other reasons why cats may be fighting, see the ASPCA’s full blog here.