Conflict Between Cats

Conflict Between Cats

There can be different kinds of cat-on-cat interactions. Which matches your cats’ behavior most?

Direct, or Obvious, Aggression

Signs of Obvious Conflict:

  • Biting
  • Hissing, growling, spitting,
  • Wailing or screaming
  • Chasing

How to Stop Cats from Fighting:

1.

Interrupt conflict by walking through the room or distracting the cats by tossing a toy nearby. If the aggression is severe, you may need to consult a veterinarian or qualified animal behaviorist.

2.

Have multiple food bowls, water bowls, and litter boxes spread throughout the house so that one cat cannot block the others from having access.

3.

Give each cat plenty of hiding areas and vertical spaces, such as cat trees, to spend time.

4.

Place a FELIWAY® MultiCat diffuser where the cats spend the most time. You may need more than one if the cats spend time in different rooms.

5.

Reintroduction – separate the cats to their own rooms or areas. Rub each cat with towels and then introduce those towels to the other cat. Next, let the cats see each other through a glass door or screen while eating. Then increase contact by letting one cat wander free briefly while the other is in a carrier. Remember this takes as long as it takes. The most common mistake is rushing. Long-term fighting is associated with scratching or biting at initial meeting.*

* Levine, E., Perry, P., Scarlett, J., & Houpt, K. A. (2005). Intercat aggression in households following the introduction of a new cat. Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

Indirect, or Less Obvious, Aggression

Signs of Less Obvious Conflict:

  • Remaining hidden
  • Stalking
  • Staring at each other
  • Crouching
  • Twitching tail
  • Blocking each other, especially preventing entering/exiting of rooms or access to food or litter box
  • Shaking, shivering, trembling. This is a sign that is understood by cats as one cat avoiding an interaction with another cat

How to Help Cats Get Along:

1.

Interrupt the cats when they stare or stalk one another. This can lead to an increase in the aggression between the cats.

2.

Have multiple food bowls, water bowls, and litter boxes spread throughout the house so that one cat cannot block the others from having access.

3.

Give each cat plenty of hiding areas and vertical spaces, such as cat trees, to spend time.

4.

Place a FELIWAY® MultiCat diffuser where the cats spend the most time. You may need more than one if the cats spend time in different rooms.

5.

Reward calm and desirable behavior from the cats. Praise or toss treats to the cats when you see them interacting in a non-aggressive manner.

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