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How to Get Two or More Cats to Get Along
It's challenging enough to keep one cat entertained, as you may know, but keeping two cats can be as difficult as herding cats!
Cats can fight, but they can also learn to get along. Every cat is different, and every personality is different, but there are some universal tricks to get your kitties to love each other. It may take a while, but they can eventually get used to each other.
Why Do Cats Fight?
Cats who fight are frightened or threatened because a new cat has invaded his territory. Sometimes, a hiss or challenge is a bluff that doesn't result in a fight, but it's one cat testing another.
Mixing outdoor and indoor cats can also be a challenge. Always watch and listen to their communication, including their stares, forward body positions, growling, hissing, biting on the neck and mounting behavior. Other passive-aggressive behavior can include keeping the other cat away from their food bowl, or blocking the access to a tunnel or house.
It's best to try to alleviate as many of the fears a cat may have as possible, and that includes giving each cat a place to run and hide and feel safe if they are challenged.
Most of the fights involve same-sex cats, and between the ages of 2 and 4 they are more apt to challenge as they reach social maturity. The fighting can get worse during mating season.That's why one of the best ways to avoid aggressive behavior between two cats in the same household is to neuter or spay the cats before their first birthday.
Changes in routine or even moving the cat furniture or bowls or litter boxes can increase cat fights.
Keeping Your Cats from Fighting
Sometimes if you are introducing a kitten to an older cat, the older cat won't be threatened as far as territory, as it would for a full-grown cat or another cat the same age. But, the little kitty will grow up, and the territorial disputes will get more intense as they both get older.
A cat that is too old, or too sick, could get bullied or attacked by another cat who falls into a survival-of-the-fittest mode. Supervision between them is important for a while, and don't leave them alone together until you are sure they are safe with each other.
Some cats are more sociable than others, some cats like to be alone. But, all cats need their own space, so finding a space that each cat can call its own is one of the best ways to keep cats from duking it out.
Find each cat its own space, whether it means it's own house or hammock or a perch that it can call its own to look from and watch the other cat. Eventually, they may play together in a large Cat Tower or Cat Tunnel and enjoy each other's company.
Have a separate bowl for each cat, and we have plenty of nice ones to pick from in the Bowls & Feeders area. Also, each cat may have it's own favorite thing to play with, so find a good Toy or Game specific to each cat.
Figure out when they mostly have their conflicts. Is it around meal times or play times? Do they fight for your attention? Limit the conflict by avoiding the triggers and ease the kitten friction.
Let each cat have its own scratching post and hiding place. Some cats will want their own Litter Box as well.
Reward your cats when they are playing nicely together, but don't give them catnip because that can only cause them to go a bit crazy and start fighting over it.
If A Cat Fight Starts, What to Do
If the cats have started a cat fight, the worst thing you can do is trying to break it up by getting in the middle of it. You will come out with your own scratches and bloodied hands.
Hitting the cats or throwing water on them doesn't always work and isn't always effective. The best thing to do is make a noise that could distract them momentarily. A loud whistle or scream or bang that distracts them could off-set the fight fast enough to scoop one of them up and take him to another room.
Another tactic is to throw something near the fight, a pillow or toy, that once again will distract them from their squabble and get them thinking about something else.
You know that one thing is for sure, a cat doesn't have much attention span, so they'll get tired of fighting pretty quickly after all.