Have you just introduced a new cat into the home? The root cause will determine how you resolve your cats’ conflicts. Although this type of aggression is usually seen in males competing for mates, it can occur between cats of any sex when territorial conflicts occur. If you’ve already done so, pheromone products like Feliway can help reduce aggression.
Keep in mind, you need coverage in every room of your house for it to be effective. Feliway now makes pheromone collars as well. Some cats are more troubled by this than others. Integrating their smells can expedite a resolution of their conflict. Rub a towel over one, then rub the same towel over the second cat to mingle their scents. Do this several times a day for several weeks. A new cat will almost always get more attention from you than your existing brood does.
Set aside extra one-on-one time with your other cats to alleviate their fears that the new cat is stealing all your love. Cats are by nature territorial, even if the territory extends no further than the end of your couch. This often results in a cat fight. Discourage the new cat from adopting one of these spots by providing her with her own special spot. Sprinkle it with catnip and put a towel with her scent on it. She won’t be poaching the territory of your existing cats, and she can mark it as her own with her scent.
If your cats won’t stop fighting even after trying everything above, it’s time for incarceration. It’s not as bad as it sounds. You want to force proximity upon the two cats without endangering either of them. Leave them alone in the room together. Do this every day for at least a week, alternating which cat gets crated. Play with them, give them treats, and praise good behavior.
If one starts a fight, put him in the crate. Continue until they can be together in the room without fighting. At that point, you can reintroduce them to the rest of the house. When one starts a cat fight, he goes back in the crate. Again, praise good behavior and reward with treats. Within a month, the two cats should be able to coexist fairly peacefully.
Through all of this, you’ll probably need to break up a few cat fights. Never reach in and try to separate fighting cats yourself. It’s good to keep loaded squirt guns throughout the house for this purpose. NEVER hit them or chase them with a broom. It will only make them more aggressive, and it can permanently destroy their trust in you. With patience and a clear understanding of cat behavior, you should be able to achieve household harmony within a month or two.
How do you prevent cat fights? Read more about cat behavior on Catster. What’s Up With Cat Humping, Anyway? A cat confused as his human works out on a yoga mat. How Much Should I Feed My Cat? A fluffy white cat eating wet food off of a dish or bowl. What I can do ? Love Tips from a Divorcee: Wanna Stay Together? I have two female cats who have lived peacefully for 4 years together as best friends. One day, one cat was throwing up a hairball and the other cat viciously attacked her. She felt extremely threatened, growling and hissing even at us, which was extemely out of character. It took about 2 weeks to re-socialize her and for the most part, things have been good between to the 2 cats. I usually put the attacker in another room where she calms down. After half hour, she comes out like nothing has ever happened and sleeps with the other kitty on the bed. These episodes are definitely not play.