We all know that some cats struggle to play nice. People who own more than one cat will know that they will fight sometimes and may end up hurting each other. However, there are ways to encourage your cats to get along and stop fighting.
There are multiple reasons that your cats might fight, and it can be prevented if you can understand the signs that might be the beginnings of an attack.
Give them Space
Some cats might view each other as a threat; cats are territorial and defensive animals after all. If either of your cats has a ‘special space’ where they like to relax, try and prevent your other cat from entering these areas. Examples of your cats’ special spaces may be your bed, a comfortable chair, lying on the clothes on your shelves; any place where your cat seems to spend a lot of their time. This is because your cat may think your other kitty is trying to take their favourite spot, and your cat may fight them to protect their space. You can prevent cats from entering the others relaxing area by giving them their own space to relax separately. This could be giving them their own bed to sleep in, their own litter box, or even encouraging each cat to stay in certain rooms with treats and toys: for example, putting catnip on a new cats bed can make them more likely to stay in their own bed instead of interfering with the other cats bed. Cats can usually happily co-exist; but when they’re trying to chill cats can turn on each other.
A cats aggression towards your other cat might be due to a hidden illness. If your cat has suddenly become violent when it hasn’t been significantly aggressive before may be the signs of a brewing illness. Perhaps you should take your cat to the vets if they start fights with your other cat for no reason or if the other cat is just trying to play to see if there is any underlying illnesses’ causing their behaviour.
Also, your cat may start fights if they’re feeling scared or tense. For example, if they see a something threatening in the garden which makes them feel agitated then they may take it out on the closest thing to them; which is often your other cat. This is the most common cause of aggression between cats. If you think this is why your cat is violent, keep a close eye on them when they’re looking out of the window so you can calm them down if they start to seem tense.
The scent of a new cat can put your cat off making friends with them. When you bring a new cat home for the first time, maybe you should rub them with a towel or your other cats favourite toys to make them smell familiar. This can help your new cat make a good first impression which may prevent fights in the future.
It’s okay if you don’t notice the signs of a fight; as you can also calm them down once they start to fight too. Don’t try and touch the cats while they’re fighting, by either picking one up or standing between them, as you’ll end up covered in scratches and this may even make them angrier than before. Instead, stand far away and make a loud noise; you can do this by clapping your hands or maybe banging against something. This will shock your cats, making them run away or too interested in the noise to continue fighting. Alternatively, you can throw something soft near them while they’re fighting, making sure you don’t hit them but also making sure it’s not too far away that they don’t notice it. Again, this will distract them and will most likely end the fight.
The most important thing to remember is that your cats’ fighting is normal: all cats will do it at some point as it’s in their nature to be protective. But it’s still helpful to know some tips to prevent fighting if you’re worried about your cat being harmed.