Anyone who lives in a multicat household knows that sometimes kitty siblings just don’t get along. Sometimes they fight like, well, like cats and dogs. Is there anything you can do to defuse the fireworks? Here are some tips that can help to solve your problems with pet aggression.
What’s Mine Is Mine
Felines are extremely territorial critters. Even if two or more cats have lived together for years, you may still notice that one cat has staked out a certain place in your home. If anyone else invades his or her space, the fur may fly, with hissing, growling, and spitting.
Contrary to popular belief, the female of the species is often more territorial than the males are. This is probably a protective instinct in mama cats. In the wild, toms will kill kittens, so the mother cat will chase off any strangers to protect her babies.
I’m Large And In Charge
In any household with more than one cat, there is always a boss cat. Even if you have two neutered males, there will always be a certain amount of jockeying for position. Sometimes an older female is the kitty-in-charge.
Depending on how serious the bickering is, you probably want to let the cats work it out among themselves. Usually all it amounts to is growling at each other, with fur standing up, and backs arched. One cat will often back down and walk away, effectively accepting that the other is the boss.
Sometimes, however, the cats will actually make physical contact. One cat will jump on the other, trying to bite the other cat’s neck, while the other responds by laying on his back and attacking with his or her hind legs. They may then give up and walk off. This may happen several times, until they decide who the dominant cat is.
I’m Mad At That Cat Outside, So I’m Gonna Smack You Around
This is called redirected aggression, and it’s pretty common, especially with inside cats. Your kitty may be very displeased at that stray cat or the neighbor’s dog who’s wandering around in HER yard. She can’t get to the offender, so she relieves her stress by taking it out the other kitty or even the dog.
What You Should Do About Felines Who Fight
You need to understand that kitties will have disagreements with each other. Usually it doesn’t go any further than growling or hissing or taking a swing at the other kitty. Kittens especially will annoy the whiskers off an older cat. The best way for a young cat to learn his manners is for an older feline to give him a swat when he needs it.
Usually it’s best to stay out of the little spats. They have a way of working themselves out. However, if the problem escalates into a real cat fight, use a spray bottle to break it up from a distance. Don’t get in the middle of it. Cats are very well-armed, and you could wind up getting bitten or clawed.
If things are getting out of hand on a regular basis, it’s time to figure out what the problem is. You may need to feed your little darlings in separate rooms. Each kitty should have his or her own litter pan to prevent one cat from bothering another in the litter box. You may also want to use a natural remedy for feline aggression or for a stressed cat.
Most importantly, every cat in your household should have a special place where he or she can go and not be bothered by other pets (or small children) in the home. We all need time by ourselves, and cats are no exception.