How to stop your cats from fighting

Is your house a war zone because your cats are fighting? Are they hissing and growling and chasing each other all over? Are you ready for it to stop?

Cats are not like dogs. Although cats can hang out together and even like company, they are solitary predators. Since dogs are social most of the issues you will experience with them will relate to dominance within their packs. Cat problems do not relate to dominance, but attention. In a lot of ways cats can fall into the same two categories we use for people- Introvert and Extrovert. Your introvert cat will want a safe place to hide and your extrovert cat will want new places to explore. If your introvert (or reactive) cat does not want attention it will scream and hiss . While this might make it look like this cat is the problem causer, it is actually the other cat who is making all the trouble!

The problem is that cats are incredible predators and will respond to prey stimuli- like running. So if one cat runs away, the other (extroverted cat) will chase. It is irresistible to them.  This creates a circle that can see hard to break. This additional attention pushes the reactive cat over the edge and this, in turn, makes the other cat want to continue the chase.

It can be hard to stop this cycle, but one way that will help is to provide safe areas for each cat. The use of cat climbers and window perches will help your cats have a place to call their own. It is best to have several cat climbers if you have several cats. This is also true of the window perches. You do not want one cat to be on the only window perch and have the other cat try to take it away. By providing many desirable locations for your cats you will limit the times of confrontation. Placing several desirable locations in each room will allow both cats to occupy the same space without bothering eachother. It is also best to provide interactive toys.

A bored cat will be more likely to cause trouble- like a child. Some cats are more active than others and when they have sat in every spot and done everything they can find to do, they will turn to bugging the reactive cat. Playing with your cats with a feather toy or laser pointer will give them an outlet for their energy.  Even low cost items like a box sprayed with catnip can give them something new to investigate. By giving each cat what they need- whether it is a place to be alone or something new to check out, you can drastically reduce the times your cats will clash.

If the issues continue it is best to use a spray bottle to discourage the extroverted cat from giving too much unwanted attention to your introverted kitty. These steps should help to return some normalcy to your home.

-Danielle Oudenhoven


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6:27 pm | by Richard Jordan

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