Tired of the embarrassing situation your cat puts you into with your neighbor with all those reckless fights with the neighbor’s cats? You’re not the only one. We’ve all been in that situation at least once as cat parents, where we’ve had to awkwardly apologize for something our cat is solely responsible for, and proud about!
Does your cat end up in too many fights with the neighbor’s cats? And is that leaving you concerned about whether or not to let them outdoors at all?
Well, don’t worry. In this article we’ll see what could be the possible underlying causes for such catfights and what can we do to prevent them from happening.
More often than not, a proper gradual introduction between cats prevents catfights. Cats are territorial animals, and they take time to acclimatize to the new scents of other cats and make sure that the other animal is not a threat. Given proper time and personal space, cats befriend each other. Do NOT force cats to befriend each other.
So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it!
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Why Does My Cat Fight Other Cats? Is it Normal?
It is absolutely normal for cats to end up in fights with each other. There are a few reasons why your cat might end up in fights with the neighborhood cats.
1. Territorial Animals
Cats, thanks to their instincts from their wild ancestors, are very territorial.
This is evident from how they tend to rub their cheeks on every furniture in the house to put their pheromones as a way of marking territory.
This territorial instinct is what makes cats very defensive when they see another feline counterpart is seen in what the cat has marked as his or her territory.
This is why when the neighborhood cat wanders into your verandah, he or she is often in for a hard knockout challenge from your cat.
2. Natural Or Unnatural Aggression
Different cats have different personalities. Your cat, or the neighborhood cat, may just be naturally aggressive. Sometimes the aggression can be enough to kick off a fight between two cats.
Unnatural aggression can often be a sign of distress in the cats. If your cat is usually very friendly but has suddenly been acting aggressive, it may be a subtle sign of distress.
It will do you good to observe the body language of your furry buddy not just when the neighbor’s cat is around, but also at other times of the day.
If your cat continues to show strange signs of aggression towards events that usually don’t tend to annoy him, it would do you good to take your pet to the vet.
3. Rough Play
Despite their adorable caricatures and domesticated attitudes at most times of day, cats are finally the descendants of wild ancestors.
And, as is common knowledge, cats aren’t nearly as domesticated as dogs are. Cats tend to give in to their wild instincts pretty often.
One of those is rough play. Sometimes, what we may see as a “fight” is just two cats playing in their own rough, fun ways.
Do not interrupt their playtime, just keep an eye on them to ensure that the rough play doesn’t escalate into a full blown fight. In this case, like many others, cats can be like humans too!
4. Lack Of Socializing Skills
To put it bluntly, cats are not pack animals unlike dogs who descended from wolves. Cats are solo players – be it hunting, eating, resting or just surviving in the wild in general. These instincts of wild cats have seeped into the domesticated generation of kitties too.
While there is substantial change in their levels of friendliness, we still haven’t reached the finish line of the friendship race. So, most cats take time to befriend other cats, or even other animals in general.
7 Easy Ways To Deal With Cat-fights!
While these ways do not guarantee a complete conversion of your furry feline friend from a wild, mildly domesticated animal to the Dalai Lama of Felines, these sure are a starting point to at least reduce the tensions between your Tom and your neighbor’s Garfield.
1. Consult An Animal Behaviorist
An animal behaviorist, as the name suggests, is a professional trained in feline psychology and behaviors. They know how to deal with not just aggression but also the other general moods of a cat.
Gaining insight into the emotional being of your cat with the help of an animal behaviorist will not only help you in reducing your kitty’s aggression, it will also help you understand the emotional needs of your cat better.
You’ll find substantial improvement in the overall relationship you share with your little buddy. Now, isn’t that a win?
2. Guide And Help The Cat With Socialization
As I’ve already said, cats are not pack animals. They are solo players.
And so, a little help and a lot of patience will go a long way in helping your cat socialize not just with the neighbor’s cat, but also with the cute neighbor themself (wink, finger guns 😉).
3. Microchip Operated Cat Flaps
If the problem isn’t exactly with friendly neighborhood cats but with strays that come over and try to attack your buddy, a good way to ensure his or her security is to invest in a microchip operated cat flap.
If your cat finds itself in a dangerous situation, it is able to get back into the house quickly and easily through the cat flap.
Cats can be very fickle animals – they can demand to be let out, only to immediately want to come back inside again, so having a cat flap would make it that much easier for you.
The pet microchip cat flap identifies cats using their unique pet identification microchip; unlocking only for your pets and preventing strays and neighborhood cats from entering your home.
The Microchip cat flap does not require any collar or tag to activate it, which could become snagged or lost.
4. Introduce Him Or Her To The New Cat Gradually
If it’s about helping your cat acclimatize to the new cat or kitten, a good first step will be to let them take the first step at their own pace, when they’re comfortable and ready to socialize.
Do not force your cat to be in the same room as the new cat if they don’t want to.
Cats acquaint themselves with other cats gradually. A possible way to slightly speed it up would be to take a clean sock, rub it on the new cat’s face gently, and let your cat know and identify the scent of the pheromones.
Other than that, there’s really nothing more you can do than to have patience and give the cats their space.
5. Keep Him Or Her Indoors
If your cat has always been an indoor cat, getting used to the outdoorsy environment with other animals can be very difficult for him or her.
So, if it works out for you, you could keep your cat indoors instead of forcing it to be more outdoorsy.
6. Neutering The Cat
This one’s for all the cat parents with a furry boy. If your cat is showing too much aggression everywhere and every time, you could consider neutering.
Neutering is a drastic step and should ONLY be done if the vet says so. Consult the vet.
7. Consulting The Vet
This is a vague continuation of the pointer above, but regardless of whether your cat is a baby boy or not, unnatural aggression accompanied with other changes in body language must not be taken lightly.
Cats are famous for being “silent sufferers”.
So, if your cat shows signs of unnatural aggression and unusual changes in body language, take him or her to the vet immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get my cat to stop attacking my other cat?
If one cat keeps attacking a particular cat, the first step is to separate the cats from each other completely — in separate areas of the house. Do not allow them to paw at or smell each other through a door. If they must be in adjoining rooms, place a barrier at the bottom of the door.
Will cats kill each other?
Cats, whether domestic or wild, are unlikely to fight “to the death” as long as they have a way to break off from the fight and get away. Cats that can’t get away are in danger of being killed; as a cat owner, it’s your job to keep that from happening.
Why is my cat aggressive to other cats?
Cats are very territorial, much more so than dogs. Territorial aggression occurs when a cat feels that his territory has been invaded by an intruder. … It’s not uncommon for a cat to be territorially aggressive toward one cat in a family, and friendly and tolerant to another.
Do cats get jealous of other cats?
Just like some people, cats can become jealous when they feel they’re being excluded or their environment has changed drastically or suddenly. … A lack of personal space, beds, or other belongings can also encourage jealous behavior if a cat feels threatened by another pet.
How do you know if cats don’t like each other?
Check out these signs, if you find them, it means that it’s becoming seriously bad between the kitties:
1. Claws literally coming out.
2. Cat’s ears directed back.
3. Cat’s hair standing on end.
4. Cat’s growl.
5. Cat’s hissing, since they’re very vocal about their anger.
Cats are territorial animals and they will often fight to defend what they believe is their territory.
This is most common with cat fights that happen outside the house, where your cat believes another cat has encroached on their land.
While it is pretty normal, a little vigilance will go a long way to keep your cat healthy and safe.
How do you deal with your cat’s aggression? Let me know in the comments section below!