Cat Fighting – What should I do?

Posted: October 23, 2017 by Anita

My cats are fighting.  At first, I thought they were engaging in play fighting.  I’m surprised as to the aggressor in these fights because Shrek loves giving love bites and those claws of his are deadly. However, I’ve been noticing that Shrek is coming away from these encounters, wounded.

Are my cats fighting or playing?

My cats are definitely fighting.  This is a new behavior for both Shrek and Clara. When they first came home, they were inseparable.

cat fighting

 

Cat fighting

 

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Now cat play between the 2 friends has become cat attacks.  And here’s how I can tell:

  • Catfight sounds – growling and constant hissing when they engage in their “play fighting”.
  • No switching up of roles.  When cats are play fighting, they take turns being offensive/defensive.  I’ve been noticing that Clara is always the offensive aggressor.  Shrek is always running off once it becomes too intense for him.
  • Shrek has numerous wounds from their encounters.  So much so that I will be taking him to the vet to make sure his wounds are healing fine with no signs of infection.
  • Shrek has been avoiding Clara like the plague. As I’m writing this, he’s on his favorite spot on my bed, licking his wounds.  Obviously, he’s not having fun.

Cat fighting

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Why do cats fight?

Cats are very territorial. As Clara has warmed up to me, she is allowing me to pet her more.  And I’m learning that she loves to be scratched behind the ear. She has begun meeting me at the door when I arrive home.  And her favorite spot when I’m working at my table is right near my computer or sitting on my mousepad.

cat fighting

But lately, I’ve been working from my bedroom (Shrek’s territory) because I’ve been engrossed with what’s been happening in the world and my bedroom is where my television is.  I’ve realized that she’s been quietly vying for my love and attention in a way that is totally different from Shrek, who’s so in your face; not to be ignored. Has Clara been feeling neglected?

How to stop cats fights?

My behavior towards Clara and Shrek has to change.  When I think about it, Shrek gets the majority of my attention because he just commands it.  He’s not be ignored.  Clara is more subtle and laid back.  I misread her behavior as “I don’t want to be bothered”… “don’t touch me. But what has really been going on is that she needed time to warm up to the new humans (my son and I) and now that she has she wants our attention also. Clara just has a quiet nature that is so opposite of Shrek’s “in your face; don’t ignore me” attitude.  So here’s my plan to stop my beautiful cats from fighting and for them to go back to being pals:

  • Separate interactive play time
  • Shrek is a hogger when it comes to mealtime.  I will move Clara’s food/water dish to a separate area.
  • Time for two cat litter boxes placed in separate areas.  I started out with two litter boxes but put one of them away since they both ignored the 2nd litter box.
  • Ensure that I’m giving equal love and attention to Clara as well as Shrek.

My lesson in this is that every cat is different therefore must be treated differently.  And sometimes they just need their own space.

What do you think?  If you have multiple cats in your household, how do you handle the “play fighting”?