Have you seen cats fight? It is no surprise if you have. Cats are known to be extremely dominant. They will naturally protect their space or territory.
Sometimes, it is difficult to tell the reason for the fight. Some cats appear to be more aggressive than the others.
I remember this neighbor’s cat that persistently tries to trespass on our front yard. My pet cat, being territorial considers that act an attempt to challenge him.
True enough, a messy fight happens!
What do you do when cats fight? I have compiled several handy tips to get you on your toes when cats rumble and put those paws up.
Tip 1. Do I hit the cats with my hands?
Avoid hitting the cats with your own hands or any part of your body.
Hitting the cats with your hands seems to be the most convenient or usual way to respond.
Using force on cats can cause more aggression. When cats feel the urgent need to protect themselves, they will attack you instead.
Tip 2. What can I use to break up the fight?
The very sound of it freaks them out.
Try to separate the cats by getting a water hose. Let them hear the sound of the surging water.
It should attract their attention and run.
If that does not work, go for their bodies and let the force of the water spray them away. Another place to target is their nostrils.
It will bother them and make them leave if you aim at them.
Tip 3. How can I extend my arms between the fighting cats?
It is not recommended to use your bare hands to break the fight. You can think of
something that will create an extension for your hands.
Grab a broom with a long stick or handle to protect yourself from getting scratches. Place the broomstick between the cats to grab their attention.
This will distract them and hopefully stop the fuss.
Tip 4. Can I use things that make noise?
The idea is to turn the cat’s attention away from the fight by making some noise.
If you do not have a water hose or a broom, you could scan your surroundings to find anything that produces a loud sound.
You could use an air horn or a Pet Corrector that can be placed at a strategic spot in the house to prepare yourself for such events.
Tip 5. What if I have a cup and water around?
You could be resourceful and use any materials around the house.
Instantly grab a plastic cup and fill it up with water and splash the water into the cat’s
Tip 6. How do I distract the cats?
Do you have a newspaper around you?
When the fight is at a standstill or when the cats are at a resting position, immediately grab the paper.
Place it between them to stop them from making eye contact with each other.
This will give them time to calm down or escape from the fight.
You could then take the calmer cat when the dominant one leaves.
For safety’s sake, do not pick up a cat in the middle of their fight or just when they are about to start fighting. The cats could pounce at you and try to hurt you instead.
Tip 7. Does clapping my hands work?
One of the most practical tips is to put those hands together to create a big clap.
When fights are not that aggressive, this is doable and convenient.
Just the sound of the clap will leave the cats startled and distracted.
This works not just for cats but for dogs as well. Nobody wants their pet cat to get hurt from an aggressive fight. Aside from the hassle it causes, catfight can lead to injuries such as abscesses which could potentially pose serious health risks.
Depending on the injury, treatment can be costly. Early detection will be necessary.
If you think that your cat has an abscess, let your veterinarian have a look to get the treatment your cat needs.
If cats bite each other and one of them is a carrier of the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), the other cat is likely to get infected as well.
I will suggest that you immediately bring your pet cat to the vet.
Dealing With Fighting Cats
You never know when cats will fight. The rule of thumb is that you keep your composure and be resourceful.
If you execute these suggestions with safety precautions in mind, I am pretty sure you are ready to break up cats when they are fighting.
Life with Aggressive Cats
If you have more than one cat and all live under the same roof, you are already familiar with catfights. The technical term for this is “inter-cat aggression.”
It can be very frustrating for cat owners and very risky to the cats. Sometimes it can lead to injury and drawing of blood.
It’s never a good idea to allow cats to fight it out. It isn’t a boxing match where you wait for someone to be declared the victor. No one wins in this scenario, and no conflict is settled. Everyone is the loser.
*The Reason Why Cats Fight
Cats don’t usually fight with one another. They show dominance by posturing and “bluffing” that don’t result in violence.
Cats can get along. If not, they can learn to tolerate or avoid each other.
Cats being aggressive to each other is the result of three things: fear aggression, play aggression, and redirected aggression.
· The cat in the lowest rank in the hierarchy (usually an older cat or a kitten) can be a target of bullying by other dominant felines. A cat that acts weak and submissive is an invitation to get bullied.
· Changes in the status quo like rearranging house furniture and litter boxes can cause infighting.
· The majority of cat-on-cat aggression comes from same-sex cats during the mating season. It can be prevented by neutering or spaying before it gets older.
· The addition or departure of felines in a social group may prompt violent encounters.
· A change in the cats’ routine is so stressful that they sometimes lash out at each other.
· Territorial disputes among cats can lead to aggression. It sometimes comes from overcrowding and the lack of territorial space. Some conniving cats may sometimes lure others to their territory and “teach them a lesson” for trespassing. Territorial aggression is hard to fix. The cat closest to the home turf usually wins the fight.
· They reach maturity at two to four years old. That is the time that many challenge them for social status.
· Cats use silent or vocal communication to elevate their rank within their social hierarchy. They challenge each other by staring at one another, growling, hissing, nape bites, forward-facing body position, and mounting behavior. Another way is to block access to food, attention, and playtime.
*Putting an End to the Catfights
If you have many cats in your domicile and the scene of many a catfight, you have to do your best to stop it. It is mostly for your emotional wellbeing, and also for your cats. Try to follow it and also know the sad truth: some cats may never get along.
· If you can, add more space for your cats in your home, like new places for perching, climbing, and hiding. Add more litter boxes and toys. Since they are territorial and competitive by nature, this reduces fights if they each have stuff for themselves.
· Think about installing an electronic cat door that can be opened by a submissive beta cat. It allows the cat to get access to the entire house while having a safe spot where the aggressive cat can’t go. The door only opens with a magnetic key inside the collar. It is available in all major pet stores.
· Don’t reward the aggressive cat with food and attention. It will halt the catfights for a short period only. Try to catch the bossy cat before it freaks out. Redirect the behavior with a toy, like a flashlight beam, to focus its attention on something else.
· If toys don’t work, break up the bad behavior with an aerosol hiss. If the cat behaves, then reinforce the good behavior with a delicious cat treat.
· Try to introduce alpha aggressors to the submissive cats as they have just met for the first time. Give free rein to the weak cat and keep away the bully cat.
· Try consulting a veterinarian about medication to control the cats’ aggressiveness.
· Try to do controlled meetings with the aggressive and submissive cats. Feed them tasty treats and play with them so that both will associate each other with enjoyment and food rewards.
· Try using cat pheromones to suppress aggression. Pet stores have products that mimic pheromones. It will reduce stress significantly.
· Get a litter box and food station for each cat in your household.
In stopping catfights, distraction is the key. Try banging a pot or throwing a pillow close to them. If it is distracting enough, they will scatter and hide.