When you own more than one cat, you may at times be faced with fighting among them. Even if your cats generally get along well, they can have an argument from time to time. Sometimes these fights are harmless but occasionally they can pose a danger for one of your cats. Only by understanding why this happens can you know how to train your cats and help your pets to get along better.
Cats are territorial felines, and this is one of the main reasons for the worst fights between cats. This problem is more common when you bring a new cat into your home, but it can also happen among cats that have been living together for a long time in the same house. One of them, regardless of its gender, suddenly seems to need to 'own' the territory more fully, and sterilizing cats does not always prevent this, it only makes male cats less aggressive in defending their territory.
A situation that frequently happens and that may seem strange to you is when one of your cats is inside the house looking out the window and sees another cat or dog crossing "his yard". He may want to go out and chase it and if he can't, he may take out his aggression on your other cat inside the house. This is known as displaced aggression.
When you have two or more cats, they will establish a ranking system with one of them at the top, and this hierarchy is established by fighting. Normally the top cat will be a male, the alpha male. If you have neutered males or females, the rank will be established through posturing and threats, usually no more than that. It is frequently very like the play of kittens and the cats will only hiss, howl or try to bite and then walk away as if nothing has happened. But if you have two un neutered males, they may fight a lot and can cause each other some serious injuries. The solution to this problem is neutering or finding a new home for one of the males.
Normally you don't need to intervene in a cat fight, but if you see things are getting nasty you can scare them with a sudden loud noise, such as clapping your hands or shouting. Throwing water at them will also separate them. But never try to get between them if you don't want to be scratched and injured yourself.
Because fighting is normal for cats, there is no point in punishing them for doing it. They will not understand the reason for the punishment. If you can't stand the fighting you should consider what they may be fighting over. It could be over the litter box, the food bowl, or the best place to sit at the window. You can give each cat his own food bowl and litter tray and bed in a quiet place where each cat can retreat to.
You can help your cats get on with each other by separating them and understanding the reason for their fighting.
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