Your cat is fighting each day, and your neighbours are not smiling anymore? Do you know the cat fight is serious or just a play? How to stop it?
The certified animal behaviour consultant, and the author of 35 bestselling pet books, Amy Shojai believes that “cat-on-cat” fights can result from some aggression, such as play aggression, or fear aggression. Most intercat attack involves intact same-gender cats and gets worse during mating season. That’s why spaying decreases or prevents about 90 per cent of catfights.
Amy Shojai explains:
The top reason for a catfight is improper introductions. It is a cat “rule” that a strange cat should be kicked out of the territory, so just dumping the newbie in with your crew asks for trouble. Once cats experience an altercation, that can predispose them to future fights because the experience was so unpleasant, scary, painful, etc. Think of it this way: the more cat’s practice being aggressive, the more likely they are to trigger into a fight at each other’s presence. Feline territorial aggression is notoriously hard to correct, and marking behaviour is a hallmark of a potential attack. Outdoor cats are more aggressive on their home turf, and the cat closest to home usually wins the dispute.
10 TIPS TO PREVENT A CATFIGHT
- Reduce the urge to fight by adding more territorial space, so the cats don’t have to share climbing, hiding, and perching areas. Create a house of plenty with MORE toys, cat trees, litter boxes and feeding stations than the cats can use all at once.
- Electronic cat doors that can only be opened by the collared victim cat will allow her to access the entire home yet retreat to a safe area the aggressor can’t follow. These pet doors open in response to the magnetic “key” inside the collar. Look for “keyed” pet doors at pet products stores or on the Internet.
- Avoid rewarding poor behaviour. For instance, giving food or attention to the aggressive cat may calm the angst but actually pays her to be a bully. Instead, catch Sheba before she gets hissy and redirect her behaviour with an interactive toy, such as a flashlight beam, to lure her into play in another direction. That can also help her associate good things with the other cat—rather than with being nasty.
- If the toy doesn’t work, interrupt with an aerosol hiss. Then once the cat walks away and is calm, reinforce the desirable response—acting calm—by offering a treat, toy or attention.
- Go back to basics and treat the aggressive cats as though introducing them for the first time. It’s best to give the victim cat the choice location of the house and sequester the bully cat in the isolation room.
- If you see no significant improvement within a week, talk with a veterinary behaviourist to see if drug therapy may be helpful. CBD Hemp oil may help control the aggressive behaviour in the bully cat, while decreasing the “kick me” defensive posturing and vocalizing of the threatened cat. CBD pet supplements aren’t a cure but can be a tool that helps training work more effectively.
Finally, you can discover more exiting facts about why cats fight in this book!