Dealing with Fighting Cats

Cats will argue with each other, despite their general loving relationship. This is normal and they will get over it. However, if your cats are continuously fighting, it shows there is some deeper issue going on. Here are a few steps to help bring peace to the home.

Investigate the Cause

Sometimes, something as obscure as a new cat moving in next door can be the cause of feline aggression. For example, if you have a male and female cat, and your male cat sees the new cat spray a bush in his cat zone, this can cause your male cat to fight with the female cat in your house, over territory.

Even something as simple as rearranging the furniture can start territory wars between cats. Where previously they had clearly established boundaries and rules about whose sofa was whose, now they must fight it out again to ascertain rules about who sleeps where and when.

If you have a new cat to introduce to the household that is fighting its new roommates, see our article ‘introducing new cats’.

If You See a Fight

It can take up to two days for a cat to settle down after a fight. So if you see a fight happening, separate them, and then leave them separate until they have both calmed down again. Just the sight of the other cat can send them back into an angry and frightened state, and aggression can keep escalating this way. After two days, you can slowly reintroduce them again, and you may find that they return to their peaceful ways.

Set Up Cat Zones

Cat fights are most commonly caused by territory or resource guarding. Make sure that the most prized resources for a cat are in ample supply. This means several litter trays, feeding in separate spots, and lots of places to escape. Cats like to be high up where they feel safe, so provide cat towers or trees in strategic locations, so that one cat can ‘own’ one and the other can ‘own’ another.

If there are large open areas in the main rooms of your house, use screens or move the sofas to provide separate areas for each cat, with their line of site blocked. Although some cats will share resources such as sofas, many will develop a mutual respect for each others ‘zones’ and have separate sleeping and resting areas.