Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Why Are My Cats Fighting All Of A Sudden

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Helping A Cat To Cope With Change

Why cats attack suddenly

Cats are creatures of habit, so changes to their structure and routine cause significant anxiety. If your cat does not feel secure, it will feel increasingly nervous. The most significant changes a cat can undergo are:

  • A new living environment
  • Getting a new pet
  • The arrival of a new person/baby

A cat will notice if its owner is missing for longer than normal. Likewise, cats experience bereavement if a person or animal companion dies.

Whats The Difference Between Play Fighting And The Real Thing

Many bonded cats enjoy play fighting and will chase each other, roll around and bat each other with their paws. Play fighting is often silent, with plenty of gaps in between as each cat repositions itself. The biting is gentle and causes no injury or pain to the recipient and the claws are usually retracted. There is no reason to break a play fight if it continues at this level. Play fighting can, on occasions, escalate and any hissing or screeching could indicate that one is getting a little too rough for comfort. There will also be a rapid recovery to normal after play fighting and no obvious tension between the pair at other times.

Types And Causes Of Feline Aggression

If theres no medical reason for your cat acting aggressively, one of the following could be in play:

Fear aggression. Fear aggression may occur in situations that make your cat feel threatened or trapped. If your cat feels afraid, they may act in aggressive ways to defend themselves.

Maternal aggression. Maternal aggression may happen when an animal or person approaches a mother cat and her kittens. The mother cat may growl or hiss, swat at, chase, or even try to bite another cat who gets too close, even if they typically get along. Maternal aggression usually goes away after the kittens are weaned from nursing. If a female cat is maternally aggressive, consider spaying to prevent any more litters.

Play aggression. All feline play consists of mock aggression, so rough play is nothing out of the ordinary. Cats may stalk, chase, swipe, sneak, pounce, kick, ambush, and even scratch or bite each other during play. However, play can lead to overstimulation, which can escalate to aggression. This commonly happens between cats with a significant age difference.

Territorial aggression. All animals can be territorial, and cats are no exception. When cats perceive their territory is being encroached upon, they may hiss, swat, growl, and even stalk and/or chase the intruder whether thats another cat or a person.;

Also Check: How To Make A Kitten Stop Biting

What Do You Do If Your Cats Are Fighting

Watching your cats fighting can be heart-breaking; here are two animals that you adore and they are hurting each other! While your first instinct might be to jump in and separate them, do be careful. Cats can be aggressive they are worked up like this, and you may get a lot of scratches for your efforts. We suggest trying to gently separate them, as long as you are sure you are not in harms way.

Distract them: Cats can get very engrossed with fighting, but you can try and distract them. Find something you know the love, like a toy, and make a noise with it. This might get their attention and stop the fight.

The most important thing to remember when stepping in to halt the fighting is: dont get hurt and dont make you cat more stressed/scared with the techniques used. So dont be aggressive towards your cat, and dont use heavy-handed techniques.

Contact A Professional Cat Behaviorist If Additional Help Is Needed

Why Are My Cats Fighting All Of The Sudden

This is particularly important with a specific type of aggression called redirected aggression. This involves a single event that frightens one or more cats and, in this moment of fear, one attacks the other. A common example is if two cats are sitting on a windowsill and an outdoor cat appears which suddenly frightens the cats. A sudden loud noise or a sudden injury can also cause this behavior. Its extremely important that the cats remain entirely separated until both cats are acting like their normal selves;and then a slow re-introduction is needed. This process can be a challenge and is best done under the guidance of a professional.

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Cat Aggression Happens Due To Stress

If a cat lives in a highly stressful environment for example, a home in which people are fighting or a home with too many cats its quite possible for that cat to be quick to respond aggressively. Like children who live in homes with a lot of verbal and physical violence, or a lot of unspoken anger, cats often act out the dynamics of their human families.

Having Your Cat Checked By A Veterinarian

After we separated the cats, we took them in to our veterinarian and got them checked out. I was convinced that the girl, Zsa Zsa, had a urinary issue, which I believed Rajah looked at as a weakness and thus created his aggressive behavior.

Zsa Zsa was found to have crystals in her urine, which can increase the risk of urethral obstruction thankfully, it hadnt progressed to that point yet. Cats are also at an increased risk of urethral obstruction during times of stress.

Now, I was trying to figure out if this development created the riff or was a symptom of it. Rajah’s urinary tests came back clean and Zsa Zsa was sent home with medication and quickly recovered.

I have since changed their diet primarily to wet food, which our veterinarian recommended to help avoid future mineral crystals forming and the potential of an actual urethral obstruction.

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Advice From An Expert

Cats are actually still very independent creatures, which comes from their background of being free ranging in the wild with their own territories, veterinarian Dr. Andrew McWilliam told SheKnows. When you put multiple cats in a household together, it essentially makes them compete for resources.

What often makes this worse is that people will have all of those resources located in the same place. This competition can bring them into contact at the same time, which can be a stressful experience for them.

Treatments to try

  • Instead of heading straight for prescription meds, try changing up the environment so that the cats can have more of their own space.
  • Put water and food in different places around the house rather than in just one area.
  • Make sure to have one litter box per cat, plus one more, and put them in different, out-of-the-way places.
  • Try using a feline-appeasing pheromone spray or plug-in diffuser to help calm cats.

Why Is My Cat Attacking My Other Cat

#AskNHV: How Do I Stop My Cats Fighting?

There are many possible reasons why your cat might be attacking your other cat including lack of space, social maturity, a medical issue, or environmental changes. Fortunately, solutions can usually be found that allow the cats to continue to live together and to overcome their aggression.

Since you can’t just ask your cats what’s wrong, pinpointing the reason for aggression will usually be a process of elimination that involves simply trying various solutions. Note that if the behavior started after the cats had been together some time, a medical issue may be to blame. When a cat is in pain or uncomfortable, he/she may show signs of aggression, even if he is typically docile.

Once medical issues have been ruled out, there are other things to try to reduce cat to cat aggression.

Recommended Reading: What Temperatures Can Cats Withstand

What Makes Cats Feel Afraid

Cats have an array of fears and phobias based on their instincts. Most are rational, but not all. Common things that cats are afraid of include:

  • Loud noises

All cats will display these behaviors from time to time, but your cat should not be constantly frightened and skittish.

Recognizing The Triggers That Cause Cat Fighting

Next, think about the triggers that might be causing the fights. For example, your cats may fight when both want attention from you, or they may become territorial and fight over preferred resting places, or they may fight when they see another cat outdoors.

Before you reintroduce the cats , create a plan for how to minimize the triggers that cause fighting. If the cats primarily fight over resources, such as access to food or resting places, provide them with abundant resources. Since a cat will find it much more difficult to guard four food bowls rather than one, aggression is much less likely to occur if you provide more bowls. If the cats attack each other after seeing another animal outdoors, block visual access to the outdoors. Opaque wallpaper for windows works well in this situation.

If the cats are fighting over access to and attention from you, you can teach them that this behavior is not rewarding, that it drives away your attention instead. You can do this by paying close attention to the warning signs of anxiety and aggression, which include dilated pupils, growling, a direct stare at the other cat, tense body posture, and a swishing tail. When you see these signs, get up from what you are doing and leave the room. The cats will be left with nothing to fight over.

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Cats Can Get Aggressive Due To Frustration

Redirected aggression is the term for violent acts carried out by cats because they cant reach the object of their predatory passion. For example, an indoor cat who sees another cat walking by or marking his territory in his turf may get into a highly reactive state. At that point, anyone unfortunate enough to be nearby, whether thats another cat, a dog or a person, may end up on the receiving end of the cats aggression.

Cats May Be More Like Humans Than We Realize

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Even the best of friends can be annoying on occasion, forcing us to just ignore their calls. Some of us may even have family that drive us crazy. So, cats that are familiar can also find a reason to hate one another. That being said, I had never personally watched my own cats getting in well a cat fight.” Until recently.

We adopted siblings as kittens from a shelter and for the past three years, despite having polar-opposite personalities, they have been very affectionate and at times inseparable. In fact, originally the two were adopted along with a third sibling, but due to a freak accident, we had to put him down shortly after the adoption. A horrible situation and I only mention, because that loss brought the other two cats closer. Again, until recently.

Story Update:

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How Can I Stop My Cats From Being Aggressive Towards Each Other

Inter-cat aggression in a household can potentially be managed by identifying the primary trigger and attempting to remove it. If the trigger is tension between members resulting from their incompatibility or constant competitive challenges, then the environment can be adapted to include additions that may limit the need for such constant conflict. It has to be remembered that these may well have become incompatible cats and re-homing one or more should not be ruled out as it could be the kindest option for all concerned, however that doesnt stop you trying to achieve peace.

There is no quick fix for aggressive behaviour and the best advice is to contact your veterinarian to discuss a referral to a behaviourist. You may find it useful also to follow this general advice. All cat resources should ideally be provided in the formula one per cat plus one extra, positioned in different locations to ensure all members perceive them to be in plentiful supply. If you have accurately identified separate social splinter groups, such as a couple of cats that have clearly paired up, and space is limited within the home then one per social group plus one extra may be sufficient.

How To Break Up A Real Cat Fight

  • In a real catfight, youll see claws and teeth and hear plenty of hissing, growling, and crying.
  • You will want to break up this type of fight, but dont get in the middle of it.
  • The best way is to clap loudly or stomp on the floor to scare them.
  • Some people suggest spraying the warring cats with a water bottle, but Ive heard mixed opinions on whether thats a good idea.
  • If you try to pull one cat off the other, youll likely end up getting scratched.
  • Of course, remember to never hit or strike your pet. It wont solve the problem and will only make them distrust you.

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My Cat Is Hissing But Not Attacking

Maybe your cat isnt full-blown attacking the other but is hissing. You might be wondering, Why is my cat hissing at my other cat all of a sudden?

If your cat is starting to hiss at others, a primary reason this happens is due to some physical pain.;If your cat isnt feeling too hot, they might not want another cat around who could make it worse.

Say you have an older cat that might be developing arthritis, then they might not want another cat to get near for fear of them getting hurt. It could be a surface wound or something internal that you cant see.

Of course, it could also indicate that they arent in the mood to play. If you have a kitty who is advancing in years and another younger cat, it might just be incompatible energy levels.

If you have a sneaking suspicion that it is due to pain, make sure to schedule an examination at your vet.

Cats Need Vertical Territory

Why do Cats Drool

If youre at all familiar with my work or have heard any of my conference lectures, youve heard me say that we live in a horizontal world but cats live in a vertical one. You have some prime real estate within your home that isnt being used real estate that just may make a difference in whether you have a happy cat household or an unhappy one.

You can increase vertical territory in so many ways. If the budget allows you can go over the top and create amazing vertical space or you can do very cost-effective changes. Your cats will appreciate any vertical enhancements as long as theyre safe, secure and comfortable.

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Why Are My Cats Fighting All Of A Sudden 5 Reasons For This Behavior

There is something so disheartening about two best pals turning into enemies. If your cats have always gotten along but seem to be at each others throats all the time nowyou know there has to be a reason. Sometimes, you just need to brainstorm a little to find out what that might be.

Well discuss five main reasons why your cats might be quarreling. Plus, we will go into depth on specifics to dig deep into the underlying factors. Hopefully, with this insight, you can solve their worrisome woes and help them square their differences.

Behavior Changes To Watch Out For In Cats

Adrienne Kruzer, BS, RVT, LVT, has worked with a variety of animals for over 15 years, including birds of prey, reptiles, and small mammals.

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Knowing which cat behaviors are normal is the key to recognizing any behavioral problems;or changes in your pet feline. Once you know what behaviors you should expect to see in your cat, you’ll be better able to identify any changes that may be a cause for alarm.

Recommended Reading: How To Make A Kitten Stop Biting

Other Types Of Aggression To Consider

Maternal Aggression

A female cat with a litter of kittens may hiss, growl, chase, swat or try to bite another cat who approaches, even one with whom she was formerly friendly. Maternal aggression usually subsides once the kittens are weaned. Its a good idea to spay maternally aggressive cats to prevent future litters and future aggression problems.

Play Aggression

Its common for kittens and young cats to engage in rough, active play because all feline play consists of mock aggression. Cats stalk, chase, sneak, pounce, swat, kick, scratch, ambush, attack and bite each otherall in good fun. If theyre playing, its reciprocal. They change roles frequently. Their ears are typically forward in play, their claws may be out but they dont cause damage, and their bodies lean forward not back.

How To Break Up A Catfight

Why Is My Cat Scared All of a Sudden?

When your cats are aggressive toward one another, it’s likely that a fight will break out at some point. To avoid escalating the brawl, resist the temptation to break it up physically. You’ll only end up bloody and scratched and potentially lose the trust of one of your cats.

Distraction is a better approach to stopping a squabble between cats. Loud noises can do the trick, but only if you’re out of sight so you’re not seen as a third aggressor in the fight. Try clapping your hands, banging on a pot, or throwing a large, soft object like a pillow near the cats. If it’s frightening and distracting enough, it’s very likely that you’ll see the cats running to hide.

Also Check: Is Lavender Plant Safe For Cats

Does Gender Matter

It does to an extent, however, two males, two females, or even a pair of male and female can get along as long as they are introduced at a young age. Friendships can form with older cats, but they are much more difficult. If you want to introduce adult cats, be sure they are of the same size and around the same age so as to avoid bullying.

It took a little time, but these guys are now best friends!

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