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How to Stop Cats From Fighting: 5 Vet-Reviewed Tips & Tricks

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cats fighting

How to Stop Cats From Fighting: 5 Vet-Reviewed Tips & Tricks


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Intact cats are territorial and on the prowl for mates. You can curb aggressive You love your cats, and you’d love for them to get along with each other. Are catfights taking away from the peace and tranquility of your home? If so, read on for tips on having a happy, multi-cat household.

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Before You Start

Cats can be cranky if they’re hurt or sick. You should make a vet appointment if you notice any other behavioral issues such as a change in appetite, excessive urinating or defecating, or sleep. After you’ve ruled out any health conditions, you can move on to these DIY methods to stop cats from fighting.

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The 5 Tips & Tricks to Stop Cats From Fighting

1. Neuter & Spay Your Cats

You can curb this behavior by neutering and spaying your cats. It’s also a responsible choice, as over 3 million unwanted cats end up in shelters every year in the U.S.

Black cat with cone
Photo Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

2. Don’t Expect Your Cat To Share

Most cats are independent creatures that prefer their own space. Give each cat separate food bowls, water bowls, and beds. Multi-cat households should also have multiple litterboxes. You should have one litterbox for each cat, plus one extra. Place a cat box on each floor of your home, if possible.

maine coon cat standing on top of litter box
Photo Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

3. Go Slow With Introductions

Adding a new feline friend to your household is exciting but stressful for the resident cat. It’s wise to keep the new cat in a separate area of your home for the first few days. That allows the new pet to get used to the sounds and smells of your home without becoming overwhelmed, and the resident cat will have a chance to get used to the idea of a roommate.

If that goes well, move on to separating the cats with a baby gate. The gate will allow the cats to see each other but prevent them from fighting. The last step is a face-to-face greeting, but don’t rush the introduction process. It can take two cats several days or even weeks to get used to each other.

two cats_Thomas B., Pixabay
Photo Credit: Thomas B., Pixabay

4. Try Feline Pheromones

Products like calming diffusers and calming sprays contain synthetic cat pheromones. This scent is naturally soothing to a cat and can lower the feline tension level in your home. However, the products don’t always work immediately. Read the product’s instructions; some sprays require several applications for your cat to experience the full benefits.

spraying on cat
Image credit: Vaillery, Shutterstock

5. Add a Cat Tree or Perch

Most cats feel safer in elevated and cozy spaces. Your pets may be fighting because they need more privacy and time away from each other. A new cat tree or perch will give your cats room to spread out and have time alone.

two cats_Thomas B., Pixabay
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

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Are My Cats Playing or Fighting?

Cats engage in friendly play-fighting, which looks and sounds different from a real catfight. Kitties that are having a good time will be mostly silent. Playfighting does not involve hissing or growling. There is also a balance in play-fighting, where the cats take turns pouncing on or chasing one another.

During an aggressive fight, cats will yowl, howl, and hiss. They will also pin their ears back. Generally, one cat will be the pursuer while the other runs away.

cats fighting
Image Credit: rihaij, Pixabay

How Can I Break Up a Cat Fight?

It takes some skill to break up two cats who are fighting. You don’t want to rush in and try to get between the cats. You can end up scratched or bitten. If you can, wedge a longer piece of cardboard or wood between the cats.

You can also try to come behind one of the cats and pick them up by the scruff of their neck.

Once you break up a cat fight, separate the two felines into different rooms to allow a cooling-off period.

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Final Thoughts

An undiagnosed health condition may be responsible for fighting if two cats previously got along just fine. Take your cat in for a check-up if you notice any other behavioral changes like an increased or decreased appetite, lethargy, and litterbox issues. Play fighting is a normal activity for felines, but it’s vital to carefully end the fight and separate your cats if you notice the play has become serious.

Featured Image Credit: Samarskiy, Shutterstock

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