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What to Do about 2 Cats Fighting

Learn what to do about two cats fighting from board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. E'Lise Christensen, DVM in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Do you have a couple cats that are fighting at home? There are many different tips that can help you help them get along better. First thing you might want to know is, why are they fighting at all? Well, there's a few different reasons that cats fight. One, is that there might not be enough resources for them at home. If there aren't enough food and litter box stations, enough attention from people and enough space and resting areas sometimes cats will fight over those items when they wouldn't if they had enough to play around with.

The other thing that can cause cats to be aggressive with each other is if one or both of them get fearful of something entirely different than the other cat. For instance, some cats are fearful of noises and when they get stressed, they actually target the other cat with their aggressive behavior. So, regardless of what's causing your cats to fight, the most important thing is separate those cats as soon as you can.

Get them each their own space with a litter box and some food, water and of course plenty of attention. Then when you're ready and things have calmed down a little bit, you can find out which treats are your cats favorites or maybe event heir favorite toys and set up sessions where they're able to play with each other, but at a far distance. For instance, they might be able to just take treats from different people at a distance and be calm and quiet while doing so.

If you notice that the cats are hissing or growling or staring at each other, that's not a good session. The goal is for them to look really calm and comfortable the entire session. A session like this might only last one to ten seconds. You want to keep it really short. Short enough so that it always ends on a good note. Once you feel like you've done that, end the session and you can repeat it a couple times a day.

Gradually, you can move the cats closer and closer together and even let them engage and play together or what we call parallel play where maybe you give a wand toy to each cat at a distance from each other. Over time since they will be having many, many positive interactions with each other they can help develop a more positive relationship even if they'd previously had a good one, but not it's on the rocks.

The other thing you should consider if you're having troubles with this is talking to your veterinarian. Inter cat aggression or aggression between cats is a really common problem in cats and it can cause a lot of distress in the household. So, make sure to reach out to your veterinarian if you start having troubles and these tips don't help. That's how you work on inter cat aggression.

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