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Why is my Cat Aggressive with Other Cats?

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: January 1, 2018
Why is my Cat Aggressive with Other Cats?

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Did you know aggressiveness is one of the most common problems in domestic cats?

Although we must not make the mistake of associating cats with aggression, as they are usually quiet pets, we must remember that cats are not as sociable as dogs. A cat does not see why it should accept another cat: in many occasions, it doesn't even accept the presence of human members of the family in corners it considers its "exclusive domain".

Cats have peculiar and strong temperaments, which sometimes can cause cohabitation problems. In this AnimalWised article we'll explain why is your cat aggressive with other cats and how to act.

What is aggressiveness among cats due to?

Have you decided to welcome two or more cats into your home? This can be a good choice, as each will benefit from the other's presence, but this also increases the risk that the cats develop aggressive behaviors.

The main reasons why your cat is aggressive with other cats include:

  • Stressful situations: cats usually begin to manifest intolerance and aggressiveness with each other when they suffer changes in their routine such as moving, visits to the vet, trips or vacations.
  • Inadequate socialization process.
  • Territorial conflicts.
  • Disease or wounds: pain can lead to aggressive reactions in cats.
  • Hunting instinct: a cat's instinct can cause aggression, as they are predatory animals.
  • Heat: when a female cat in heat is close by, male cats can turn aggressive towards each other.
  • Suspicious smells: when a cat goes to the vet or has a bath, its body odor may change. The other cat, not detecting the same smell, may attack it because it think it is a stranger.

If your cat attacks another cat, you should never try to calm it down with treats, because it will learn that aggression is rewarded.

Why is my Cat Aggressive with Other Cats? - What is aggressiveness among cats due to?

What do if my cat attacks another cat

Minor assaults are mostly manifested through snorts and screams. These conflicts between cats are noisy, but they rarely cause serious harm: you must understand that this is a natural and normal form of feline communication.

Should a case of mild aggression from one cat to another occur, human intervention should be minimal:

  • Interfere by diverting the cat's attention towards more positive stimuli, such as a game or toy - not a treat.
  • Don't try to separate the cats, but leave doors open so that the cats have freedom of movement and can leave whenever they feel like it.
  • Pheromone therapy can be used to stabilize the behavior of both cats.
Why is my Cat Aggressive with Other Cats? - What do if my cat attacks another cat

What do if my cat seriously hurts another cat

When a cat attacks another seriously, you will notice how one of the fighting parties is clearly dominant while the other is very passive. Cats will use claws and teeth in this sort of assault, and human intervention is essential.

  • Separate the cats while respecting their eye contact. Use a sort of fence that keeps them apart but allowed to see and sniff each other. At first, keep the food and water bowls away from the fence. As time goes by, progressively place them closely.
    When no aggressive or fearful behaviors are observed, the cats can be put back together. It is important that during the separation, and in spite of it, games and playing between the two cats be encouraged.
  • Pheromone therapy is also an excellent choice to stabilize the behavior of both cats.
  • In cases of very high anxiety, and always under veterinary supervision, sedative drugs and / or antidepressants may be used.

Obviously, we recommend that before using pharmacotherapy you count on the advice of a specialist in feline behavior and opt for more natural means to prevent your cat from becoming aggressive.

Now that you know why is your cat aggressive with other cats, don't miss the following articles:

Why is my Cat Aggressive with Other Cats? - What do if my cat seriously hurts another cat

If you want to read similar articles to Why is my Cat Aggressive with Other Cats?, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.

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