Have Your Cats Become Fighting Felines?
Do you live in a multi-cat household and suddenly your cats have become fighting felines? This can be confounding, especially if the cats have lived together peacefully for some time.
To get to the root of the problem, it’s important to determine the cause. Start by observing your cats as they interact. Do you see a pattern? Think back to interactions between them that happened just before the fighting began. No episode is too small, it may be something that seems minor to us, but major to cats.
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I sit for three cats that got along very well, until one cat mistook the others reaction to an outdoor cat as an invitation to play. This led to a massive rift between the two, which they still have not totally resolved. The third cat remains friendly with both.
In her book, Starting From Scratch, Pam Johnson-Bennett identifies these common issues that can cause a rift between cats:
This happens when a cat is feeling upset by a particular issue but isn’t able to get to it directly, so he takes his frustration out on someone/something that is readily available, which may mean another cat in the house.
Cats are very territorial, and if one cat in the home oversteps predefined boundaries, this can lead to fights to regain dominance.
This type of aggression can also come into play when one cat goes to the vet and then returns home. The returning cat may have a different scent due to medical procedures done at the vet’s office, so when he returns home, the cat that stayed behind doesn’t recognize the other’s scent, so sees him as a cat new to the home.
Mending The Rift
When you find yourself in a fighting feline household, make sure there’s room for each of them to have their own escape hatch. Ensure there is a litter box for each and locate them in different parts of the house if possible.
Be sure there are vertical areas for them to access independently, like cat trees. Watch how they interact at eating time and set up separate food and water stations if necessary.
In the case I mentioned above, Feliway diffusers located throughout the house have helped calm both cats.
Once aggression between cats living in the same home starts, it is often necessary to reintroduce them.
Have you had a fighting felines experience? If so, please leave a comment, we love to hear from you!