The Top 10 Ways to Prevent Bullying and CatFight
Catfight, also known as inter-cat violence, are something you might be familiar with if you share your home with more than one feline. Regular catfights can be dangerous for cats, frustrating for cat owners, and occasionally even bloody. There are steps you may take to defuse the situation, but it’s not a good idea to let the cats “fight it out.” This rarely settles conflicts and usually makes matters worse.
The Causes of Cat Conflict
Cats frequently display their social position through posture and non-lethal “bluffing” communication. If they get along, they may usually learn to put up with or avoid one another. It’s likely that this won’t always be the case, and arguments could happen.
Play aggressiveness, fear aggression, or redirected animosity are the main causes of cat-on-cat fights:
- Spaying or neutering cats before their first birthday can minimize or prevent 90% of inter-cat aggression instances. Intact same-sex cats fight a lot, and the fighting gets worse during mating season.
- The weakest cat—often an elderly or frail cat—may become the victim of bullying from the other cats. Bullies are encouraged to become more aggressive by victims’ actions such as slinking, projecting servile body language, hiding, and other victim-like actions.
- Changes to the cat’s social group, such as a member’s arrival or departure, may lead to an increase in confrontations.
- Changes in the environment, such as moving or rearrangement of cat furniture, feeding, and litter box stations, might lead to fighting.
- Go back to the basics.
- When they reach social maturity at 2 to 4 years old, kittens start to compete for status.
- Cats that are confined are more inclined to fight over territory. With their pee, cheek rubs, and patrols, cats damage stuff. Some shrewd cats lure people into their territory before “punishing” them for trespassing. Marking behavior is a warning indicator of impending conflict, and cat territorial aggression is notoriously challenging to control. Outdoor cats are more combative when on their own yard, and conflicts usually favor the cat that is closest to the home.
- Cats interact with one another verbally and nonverbally to elevate their social status. They compete with one another by blocking access to food, play, or attention, hissing, growling, mounting behavior, and neck biting. Power grooming, which involves fiercely licking another cat to make it run away, is a behavior practiced by some dominant cats.
Prevention of Violence
If catfights are a regular occurrence in your house, you must take action to stop them in order to protect the health of your cats as well as your personal safety. Behavioral conditioning can take weeks, so the process won’t be quick. Keep going, but remember that not every cat will get along.
- By establishing more territorial area, cats can avoid having to share the climbing, hiding, and perching locations where disagreements may begin. Since there were more toys, cat trees, litter boxes, and feeding stations, there was less competition for resources.
- Imagine a cat door that is only accessible by an electronic cat wearing a collar. The submissive cat now has access to the entire house and has a place to hide from the aggressive cat. The magnetic “key” inside these collars, which are available at pet stores and online, opens the doors.
- Don’t support inappropriate conduct. While providing food or attention to the aggressive cat may temporarily reduce the tension, it encourages the bully. Instead, catch the attacker before it hisses. To change its behavior and encourage play, use an interactive toy like a flashlight beam.
- If the toy isn’t working, use an aerosol hiss to correct improper behavior. Once the angry cat has calmed down and backed away, praise its good behavior by giving it a fun reward, toy, or extra attention.
- A routine shift might cause cats to grow so fearful that they may turn against one another. Take into account initially introducing the risky cats. Introduce the passive cat after the violent cat has been segregated and has been given a few options inside the house.
- To learn more about the potential benefits of specialist therapy, speak with a board-certified veterinary behaviorist. Certain medications may lessen the bully cat’s aggressive behavior while reducing its defensive stance and vocalization. Introduce the cats to one another under controlled circumstances. While medicine is not a cure, it can be a tool that enables further training to go more smoothly. Using cat carriers or a collar and leash in a hallway or large space can be helpful.
- During the controlled meetings, give the cats tasty treats or play with them to help them form positive relationships with one another and pleasurable rewards.
- Try using pheromones to reduce tension. Pet stores provide items that mimic the smell of a cat; although they are odorless to humans, they can significantly reduce tension. Diffusers are more effective than sprays.
- Ensure that each cat has its own feeding area and litter box space. If you have the ability to add another set, doing so is much preferred.
If all other measures to break up the fight have failed, two indoor cats may need to be permanently separated or relocated to a different home. Think of it as enriching your cats’ lives and ensuring their happiness wherever they are rather than as giving up.
How to Put a Catfight to Rest
If your cats are aggressive toward one another, a fight will most likely break out between them. To stop the fight from escalating, resist the impulse to intervene physically. You’ll only get scraped and bloodied, and you run the danger of losing the trust of one or both of your cats.
A better tactic is to divert attention in order to break up a cat fight. Loud noises might be effective, but only if you are hidden from view to avoid being mistaken for a third aggressor in the battle. Try clapping your hands, beating on a pot, or throwing a large, soft object like a cushion toward the cats. If it’s startling enough and distracting enough, you’ll probably see the cats running for cover.
If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your family pet, know the pet’s health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.
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