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Catfights can be common occurrences and happen for many different reasons. They can be extremely frustrating and often difficult to deal with. Cat aggression is most prominent between animals of the same gender and can intensify during mating periods. So how can you stop your cats from fighting?
Determine The Cause The question to ask is why do cats fight in the first place? Cats often fight because of fear as well as through play. Any changes to a cat’s social group or environment can lead to heightened aggression and increase the chance of fights. Social changes may include loss or alterations to group dynamics. Cats dominate territory with cheek rubbing and urination. There is a lot of feline aggression associated with territory and can include hisses or staring but other behaviour can include nape biting and getting in the way of food and social interaction with other cats. Determining the cause for fights between your cats is the first step to stopping the action.
Identify Vulnerable Cats Some cats are more likely to be the subject of inter-cat aggression than others; often when they are older or ill. These cats often have body language that shows they are vulnerable, making them an easy target. By identifying which of your cats is the most likely target for fights allows you to take necessary steps to protect them from harm.
Increase Space One of the best ways to reduce the risk of a catfight is to increase the amount of territorial space the animal has. This helps to limit the amount of social space they share, so increase the amount of toys or provide more feeding stations.
Don’t Tolerate Bad Behaviour It is important to be aware of the interactions you have with your cats and the way in which you behave towards them. It is not a good idea to reward cats when they behave badly. Whilst providing food to a bad cat you may reduce their bad behaviour in the long run you will not solve the problem.
Improve Freedom Electronic cat doors may also help to reduce catfights. These allow a retreat for vulnerable cats that are the victims of a fight. The cats are fitted with a collar and a sensor. The cat door will only open for a cat, which is wearing one of these which prevents the aggressor from following the victim into their retreat.
Speak to Professionals If catfights persist then it may be worth consulting an animal behaviourist. They may prescribe drugs which can help to calm your cat down and although they cannot eliminate the bad behaviour completely, they can help calm your cat using varied techniques. They can help you to understand why your cats are behaving in a particular way and often their solutions will be easy to implement. You may need to provide footage or evidence of the catfights or behaviour prior to a consultation so consider setting up a video camera in your home to catch any catfights on tape.
Keep Them Protected If your cat is injured during a fight it is important that you seek medical help immediately. This may be expensive so it is worthwhile visiting leading brands for insurance quotes to ensure you are prepared in advance of any injury or illness.