How To Get Cats To Get Along Together
Some cats just love being aggressive and can’t seem to get along with other felines.
Under-socialization is a major factor that has been linked to cat aggression. The cat might have undergone certain negative experiences with older cats when it was young.
A cat that has grown up and lived all alone without contact with other cats can become aggressive when one is eventually introduced. In such a case, the cat lacks cat social skills and is afraid of the unknown.
The introduction of a new feline disrupts its environment and routine. And, that can cause it to become aggressive towards other felines.
Felines prefer consistency in their environment and routines. They don’t like change, especially if it involves the arrival of a new cat in your home, the established territory of your kitty.
Naturally cats are territorial animals. Whereas some withdraw to keep a distance from the new cat, others overlap their territories to offer it protection.
A couple of cats of the same gender without any familial relationship often experience the hardest time when it comes to sharing space and getting along, whether their playing with the best toys for cats or not.
Feline personality clash can also cause two or more cats to become aggressive towards each other. Cats don’t choose their roommates, but you do it for them.
And, although you might pick what seems right or best for your feline, it might not match its unique needs. Sometimes, cats get along well until something unpleasant such as a veterinary clinic odor or fireworks comes along. Your cat associates them with other felines.
Cat relationships also change as they grow and become mature. Social maturation causes cats to begin experiencing behavioral issues and troubles as they age and become at least 3 years old.
A sudden change in your cat’s behavior could point to an underlying medical condition. If your feline stops eating, or exhibit sudden behavioral or physical changes, it’s time to visit a vet to rule out any likely disease.
Types Of Cat Aggression You Should Know
Aggression in cats can either be maternal or playful in nature.
- Play Aggression
Kittens and cats love engaging in rough, active play. Mock aggression is an important part of active play. In the process of having fun, cats sneak, swat, ambush, attack, chase, kick, stalk, scratch, and pounce, biting each other.
That’s reciprocal if your cats are simply playing. When that happens, they often change roles. During play, your cat’s ears are forward.
Also expect to see their claws out and bodies learning forward. But, the claws don’t cause damage on your body or the cat’s.
- Maternal Cat Aggression
A female cat is often aggressive, especially if it has kittens. The mother cat chases, growls, swats, hiss or bite another feline approaching its young ones. And, it doesn’t matter if the approaching cat was once friends with yours.
However, once kittens are weaned, maternal aggression usually ends. Spay your cats that exhibit maternal aggression to prevent issues related to aggression and litter boxes in the future.
7 Tips To Managing Two Cats That Don't Get Along
- The moment you see the cats fighting, stop them. Never let them fight to resolve their differences. Cats never do that and the fight can only get worse. Clap your hands loudly to disrupt the aggression. Alternatively, spray a burst of compressed air or water gun on the cats to stop fighting.
- If the two cats share resources, be it beds, food bowls or litter boxes, separate them. But, make sure they’re all identical so that they don’t begin fighting over one resource that looks different.
- Neuter the fighting cats. Unneutered males tend to be more aggressive towards other cats.
- Reward cats that show good behavior. Give them treats or simply praise them for behaving well.
- Don’t try to soothe or calm down the cat showing aggressive behavior towards the other. Otherwise it might turn against you. Give it space to calm down on its own. It just needs time.
- Administer Feliway pheromones to reduce tension between the two cats. The product has a cat’s natural odor that only the felines can smell.
- Provide extra resting perches and more spots for hiding. It provides them the space they need to hide and get alone time.
If The Aggression Is Mild And Between Cats That Were Previously Friends...
- Separate them for weeks
- Put them in the same room, but place food bowls on opposite ends behind a closed door
- Separate the cats in different rooms, but switch them daily to get used to each other’s scents.
- Open the door gradually if they appear calm and relaxed. But, if you notice any signs of aggression (such as hissing, spitting, swatting, growling, etc.), separate the felines and follow the procedure below for helping cats that have never gotten along to relate better.
- Rub tuna juice on your cat’s heads and bodies; grooming relaxes aggressive behavior. The might end up rubbing each other if the therapy works well in calming them down.
Severe Agression Between Cats That Have Persistently Fought Each Other
- Separate the cats for a long time, maybe several weeks or months. Reintroduce them at a slower pace, in days or weeks instead of daily.
- Use reintroduction sessions to get the cats closer instead of simply opening the door gradually. Make sure you supervise the sessions so they end well.
- Use leashes and harnesses to control and confine the cats in crates during reintroduction sessions. You must take charge for your efforts to yield fruit.
- Distract the cats with play and food to keep them busy. At first, keep them far apart, but within distance where they can notice each other’s presence. Keep the sessions short and ensure it works for the felines.
- After every reintroduction session, separate the cats to avoid a relapse. Gradually reduce the distance between the cats during each session.
- Once you’re able to hold the sessions with the cats near each other, leave them together for a short time then take them back to their separate rooms. Gradually increase the time they spend together after each reintroduction session.
- Administer medication to minimize a cat’s domineering aggression or a skittish cat’s tight nerves or fear. The medication can help make the reintroduction sessions a success.
If the cats still can’t get along, find a reputable board-certified vet behaviorist (Dip ACVB) or a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or ACAAB) to offer assistance.
The professionals can assess the issue and help resolve the aggression or conflict between the two felines.
Some cats just can’t live together in peace. If that’s the case with your cats, find one a separate home instead of confining them to a life of stressful coexistence that might go for several years.
Stress isn’t good for you, neither is it for your cats.
Contact us to learn more about how to deal with cats that don’t seem to get a long and what else you can do about it.