Catfights are not unusual things for cat parents. The aggression can occur between home cats, which have been friendly to each other before. It can also come from cats who have never met or maternal fear.
There are numerous reasons leading to catfights. That is why we need to identify the causes before we conduct any solution to reduce aggression among cats. Here are causes to catfights and several practical ways for new and experienced cat parents to prevent your kittens from fighting each other.
1. Reasons Why Your Cat Fight Each Other
In this section, we would discover the causes leading to a catfight. Some reasons can be either complex or simple. Aggression can happen among cats at any time and at any place. Here is our list of the reasons why cats get aggressive towards each other.
Cat Maternal Instinct
First and foremost, we see that the maternal instinct is one of the most popular reasons. This would most likely happen if you have a mom cat who has just given birth to her babies.
The mother cat would not let anyone or anything touch her kittens, even you. If she senses a movement considered as a threat, she is so ready to get aggressive. There are strange cases of mother cats getting aggressive and eating their babies afterward.
That just sounds scary to us. That must be why many people let the cat mom alone when she is about to give birth. Involvement is only made when the cat mom engages in severe hardships.
The cat's maternal aggression not only happens when cats give birth but also when the kittens have grown up a bit. The aggression still goes on but has reduced to a certain level. It can escalate to the same rate when the cat mom senses that her babies are endangered by another cat.
Cat Territory Fights
This is also another common reason why cats fight. Like any other animal, this action of fighting for territory is a part of their natural behavior as early as when they are not a domestic pet.
Territory fights occur as there is too little room for more than one cat. The same-sex cats are more throne to fighting than the opposite ones. This can relate to the hierarchy fights as well. They can either fight for defense or domination.
Desired Resources Among Cats
The next cause is the desired but limited resources among cats. The resources can be toys, food, water, and beds. Cats or any other pet can easily fight one another over one colorful toy. To prevent this, you'd better prepare the toys, food, and beds to the rate that it is more than enough. This is not a complex reason, but it is most likely to happen among home cats.
Sometimes, playing can evolve into a fight if the cats play too roughly. The play fight and the aggressive fight are only slightly different from one another. They can accidentally hit each other too hard, leading to an unwanted fight. The signs of play fights are gentle, while those of aggressive fights are much more likely to show anger or fear.
Stress Or Anxiety
When your cats are too stressed, they can have strange behaviors and become more aggressive than usual. The cats that they used to be friendly with can now trigger the aggression, and then they both get into a fight. Keep in mind that fights among cats cannot be resolved easily. They will not leave a fight until it gets much worse. The cats can be heavily injured, as a result of a catfight.
Stress or anxiety comes from many reasons. It can be the living environment or new people are coming to the house. Or this can come from the owner through their behaviors towards cats, which are normally aggressive such as shouting or scolding at the cats.
2. Practical Ways To Stop Our Cats From Fighting
Now that we have figured out several reasons why our cats keep fighting one another. We will now come to the solutions to tackle this problem. The methods should be conducted correctly and timely. They are not too complex to carry out. All they need is your dedication to be successful.
Instant Distracting When Your Cats Fight Each Other
When you see your cats fighting, do not just stand and stare. The cats won't stop until one has been seriously injured and cannot get up to continue the fight. The fights are serious. That is why when you see them fighting each other, you need to instantly distract them from the fight.
You can splash some water at the cats, just mildly, and do it carefully. You do not wish the aggression would turn into you. Avoid touching them as this will trigger the aggression even greater. You can also distract them with delicious food or eye-catching toys. A loud noise would also work for you.
Providing The Resources
If your cats fight over resources in the house, it is easy to resolve. You will need to provide them with adequate and separated feeding bowls, beds, treats, and toys. Encourage them each time you see them act gently toward each other. Do some punishment and instant separation if you see the opposite case.
Lack of socialization is one major reason leading to the aggression of pets. Socialize your kittens as early as possible. The more socialization they get as a baby, the friendlier and calmer they become when they grow up. The chances of them getting into a fight would also decrease significantly, compared to the cats receiving little or no socialization.
Separating The Cats
You should definitely separate the cats when you see them fighting, no matter for what reason. Here is our guide.
- Cats that have just given birth to her babies: separate them from other cats in the house if you do have more than one cat. She should stay alone with her babies until her kids reach 45 days old. Then, you must slowly resocialize the cat mom and her babies to the surroundings.
- Cats that know each other and are formerly friendly: this can happen over the reason of resources, stress, anxiety, or play aggression. Separate them instantly in different rooms. Let them have their own stuff, and it is best to let them on two sides of a door. They would know what the other is doing and slowly get used to this. Slowly open the door in a few days or weeks, depending on the friendliness levels of your cats to each other.
- Cats that have never met each other: do the same as the previous case, but much slowlier. The new cats sometimes tend to be more aggressive than the cats that lived together before.
Professional Services Are Always A Solution
If you cannot define the reasons behind your cats' fights, you should contact a professional pet trainer. They can easily detect and provide you with the ideal solution. Or if you have any doubt that the fights are related to your cats' health conditions, take them to the vet as soon as possible. Professional services can never be a bad idea.
Catfights should not be taken as light-hearted. The fights can quickly escalate into something serious as our cats can face fatality or serious injuries when they fight. Distract them from fighting as soon as you see it and separation is essential. Take them to the professional services if needed. That's all you need to know about preventing a catfight.