Some cats aren't interested in living in peace. Cats may not get along for a variety of reasons. The most prevalent is undersocialization, or a lack of positive interactions with other cats while they are young. Because he's fearful of the unknown, lacks feline social skills, and dislikes the disruption to his routine and environment, if your cat grew up as an only cat with little or no contact with other felines, he may react angrily when he's finally introduced to another cat. Consistency is preferred by cats over change. This is especially true if the change involves introducing a newcomer into your cat's established territory. Cats are a solitary species with strong territorial instincts. While some cats prefer to share their territory with their neighbors, others prefer to keep a safe distance. It may be particularly difficult for two unrelated males or females to share space. A feline personality clash could be another source of conflict. Cats don't normally get to choose their housemates, and we humans don't always do it right. In some circumstances, however, cats get along perfectly until the other cat is linked with something frightening or unpleasant (such as fireworks or the stench of the veterinarian office). In certain circumstances, the cats' relationships evolve as they grow older. If a cat reaches the age of one to three years and then gets into problems, social development could be a factor.
Any unexpected changes in your cat's behavior could be an indication of a medical problem. Please contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if you detect any odd physical or behavioral signs, or if your cat stops eating.
Aggression by Mothers
A mother cat with a litter of kittens may hiss, snarl, chase, swat, or try to bite another cat, even if they were previously amicable. Once the kittens have been weaned, the mother's aggressiveness normally lessens. Spaying maternally aggressive cats is a smart approach to avoid future litters and aggressiveness issues.
Aggression is a game.
Because all feline play consists of fake violence, it's normal for kittens and young cats to participate in rough, vigorous play. All in good fun, cats stalk, chase, sneak, pounce, swat, kick, scratch, ambush, attack, and bite one other. It's mutual if they're playing. They frequently switch roles. In play, their ears are usually front, their claws are out but do not do injury, and their bodies tilt forward rather than back.
Every day, alternate the cats' rooms so that they both have some variety and can smell each other's odours. To perform this safely, you may need assistance.
If both of your cats appear relaxed after a few days, crack the door open an inch. If they stay calm, open the door a little wider, then a little wider. If the cats remain calm, they may be able to be reunited. If they react aggressively, such as growling, spitting, hissing, swatting, or other displays of aggression, separate them again and continue the gentle reintroduction procedures below.
Rubbing a little tuna juice on their cats' bodies and heads has worked for some cat parents. The cats become so engrossed in grooming, which is a calming activity, that the other cat is less likely to harass them. Because they can't reach the juice on their own heads, the cats may groom each other if things go well.
If the aggression is severe or occurs between cats who have never gotten along, consult your veterinarian.
Separate your cats for a longer period of time, as indicated above, then reintroduce them at a much slower pace, such as several days to a few weeks.
Provide daily reintroduction sessions that progressively move the cats closer and closer together under observation, rather than simply opening the door to reintroduce the cats.
Using harnesses and leashes, or keeping one or both of your cats in crates, you may find it easier to control your cats throughout the sessions.
Keep both cats occupied with food or play during the sessions. Begin by spacing them far apart. Keep the sessions to a minimum. Make it as simple as possible for them to succeed.
To avoid a recurrence, keep your cats separated between reintroduction attempts.
Only leave your cats alone together unattended when they can eat and play quietly within a few feet of one other. At first, trust them exclusively for brief amounts of time together and progressively extend their time together.
Behavioral medicine may be useful in lowering the hostility of a dominant cat and the dread of a fearful cat, making the reintroduction proceed more smoothly and swiftly.
If Your Cats Aren't Getting Along
Don't hesitate to seek advice from a board-certified veterinary behaviorist (Dip ACVB) or a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or ACAAB). One of these certified professionals can assess the situation and assist you in managing or resolving the disagreement between your cats. Please visit our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help, for information on finding a behaviorist in your region.
Reward the behavior you desire. When you notice your cats interacting in a nice manner, give them praise or toss them some treats as a reward.
Use pheromones to your advantage. An item that imitates a natural cat fragrance (which humans are unable to detect) may help defuse tense situations. While the problem with aggression is being treated, apply a diffuser.
If the fight between the cats is minor or if they used to get along, consult your veterinarian.
Distinguish your cats by keeping them separated in various rooms for a few days or perhaps a few weeks. They can still hear and smell each other while avoiding direct contact this way.
Food dishes should be placed on opposite sides of a closed door so the cats will not fight over them. This will motivate them to stay together when they're having fun and feeling good about themselves.
Make it a point to rotate the cats' rooms on a daily basis so that they are exposed to each other's scents and learn about each other's habits. You may require the assistance of a coworker to do this task properly.
After a few days, if your cats seem relaxed, try opening the door just a smidge more. You can try opening the door a little more each time they remain calm. Depending on how relaxed the cats stay, they might be ready to be reunited again soon. Separate them once more and follow the procedures for a gentle reintroduction listed below if they show any signs of aggressive behavior (such as growling, spitting, hissing, or swatting).
Rub a little tuna juice on your cat's body and head if you have had luck with it. Grooming is a calming activity for cats, so they are less likely to be bothered by the other cat while engaged in it. A lot of cats may groom each other because they can't get to the juice on their own heads if everything goes smoothly.
To avoid a recurrence, keep your cats separated between reintroduction attempts.
Cats should only be left alone unattended when they can feed and play quietly within a few feet of one another. First, trust them for small periods of time together before progressively increasing it.
Behavioral medication can help calm a fearful or aggressive cat, making the reintroduction process go more smoothly.
If Your Cats Aren't Getting Along, Try These Techniques
Don't be afraid to ask for help from a board-certified veterinary behaviorist (Dip ACVB) or a certified applied animal behaviorist (CAAB or ACAAB). Your quarrel between cats can be evaluated and resolved with the help of one of these certified professionals. Please visit our post on Finding Professional Behavior Help to locate a behaviorist in your region.
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