How to Resolve Conflicts Between Cats



Make sure your cats have space.,
Take steps to reduce competition for resources.,
Create a relaxing environment.,
Provide alternative paths through your home.,
Keep resources separate.,
Introduce your cats with scent handshakes.,
Don’t punish your cats for fighting.,
Avoid forcing cats to engage each other.,
Reward cats for coming together.,
Supervise interactions until conflict is resolved.,
Play with each of your cats separately.,
Provide proper health care.,
Never abuse a cat or allow one to be abused.,
Learn when you need to separate or rehome your cats.

Before taking any other steps to resolve conflict, assess the amount of space your cats have. As relatively solitary and territorial creatures, cats need a decent amount of space. Without the proper amount of space, your cats are more likely to come into conflict.

If two or more cats are confined to one bedroom for large amounts of time, they might come into conflict. Instead of cooping multiple cats up in a room, consider letting them roam. If you need to cat-proof the house, do so.
If you have many cats in a small apartment or home, you may want to consider moving to a bigger place. However, if this is not an option, then providing some hiding places, such as cardboard, can help to alleviate some of the tension.
If you have many cats and a small home but can’t move, you may want to consider letting your cats roam outside. However, carefully consider the risks and rewards before letting your cats roam outside freely.;
, A common source of conflict between cats is competition for resources. If cats are forced to compete for limited resources, they’ll undoubtedly come into conflict. To prevent this, make sure that everything your cats need or want are available in large quantities and in multiple locations. Think about:

Litter boxes. You may want to consider providing multiple litter boxes. You should have one litter box for every cat in your household plus one extra litter box.
Food. Provide multiple food bowls throughout the house. Your cats may benefit from eating in separate areas of your home.
Water. Station water bowls throughout your home.
Toys. Buy multiples of toys so your cats won’t fight over a favorite., One of the most important things in resolving (or even preventing) conflict is to create an environment which lacks tumult or conflict. By creating a relaxing environment, you’ll establish an environment where it is easier to resolve outstanding conflict.

Avoid blasting music or TV programs.
Sort out domestic disagreements between family members. Cats, like people, are sensitive to unhappiness or arguments among their caretakers. If there is a lot of conflict in your home between people, there might be more conflict among the cats.
Discourage small children from chasing your cats around. In addition, don’t stress your cats out by forcing them to spend time on your lap or next to you. Let them come to you when they want to be a lap cat.

, Cats like to avoid one another rather than having confrontations, so try to provide alternative pathways through the house. This will allows your cats to avoid meeting if they choose.

For example, if you normally keep a door closed that would allow your cats to have two options for passing through an area of your house, then try leaving it open and see if this reduces the fighting.

, Separate your cats’ resources, such as litter trays and food bowls. Avoid placing them in one location, which the more dominant cat could monopolize. Try placing two or more food and water dishes in separate locations of your home, and spread the litter boxes out in your home as well.

, This will help your cats to feel less threatened when they meet. This is normally something that you would do when bringing a new cat into your home, but you can also use a scent handshake for your existing cats.

Start by separating the cats, such as by putting them into separate rooms. Then, after a day or two of separation, swap their bedding so that they can get used to each other’s smells.

, An important way to manage your cat’s behavior is to not punish them for their conflict. Ultimately, if you scold or punish your cat, you’ll reinforce the negative associations that your cats have with each other. Make sure to not:

Yell at them for fighting.
Use a spray bottle to punish your cats after they come into conflict with each other.
Hit them for fighting with each other., While it may seem like a good idea to make two competing cats play with each other, this is quite possibly the worst thing you can do. Not only will you cause conflict, but you might help create a negative association with you. This will undermine all of your efforts to resolve conflict.

Never lock cats in a room to make them interact.
Don’t pick one cat up and bring it to another cat.
Instead, coax the cats into coming to you at the same time. This way, they’ll be able to see that the other cat is approaching or is present, and they’ll have the ability to run away if they want., The best way to manage your cat’s behavior is to reward them for positive interactions. By rewarding your cats for positive interactions, you’ll help them build healthy associations with each other.

Give your cats treats when they are around with each other without conflict.
Verbally reinforce positive behavior by saying “good kitties!” or “good cats!”
Avoid invoking jealousy among your cats by petting one or the other when they are interacting. This could cause more conflict. Instead, offer them treats at the same time., One of the most helpful things to do is to supervise all interactions until the cats have resolved their conflict. You’ll probably find that by refereeing your cat’s actions, you’ll help them establish more cordial relations.

Instead of forcing cats together, allow your cats to voluntary enter into a relatively neutral area so that they can interact.
After allowing the cats to enter a neutral area, keep them distracted with food, toys, or yourself.
Consider adding a layer of supervision with harnesses or leashes., Cats that don’t get to display natural behaviors such as hunting as more likely to be testy with one another. Diffuse the situation by regularly playing with each cat (separately) so they expend energy.

For example, you can use a laser to play with one of your cats or use a wand for some one-on-one playtime.

, As a good caretaker, you should provide good healthcare to your cats. By providing good healthcare, you’ll make sure that your cats don’t have problems that exacerbate or cause conflict in your home. Ultimately, a licensed veterinarian might be able to identify or rectify conditions that are causing problems for you and your cats. Conditions that might contribute to conflict include:

Rabies., One of the greatest ways of both resolving and preventing conflict between cats is to make sure that they’re treated well. Ultimately, a cat that is abused or neglected will be a cat that may develop psychological problems and may be more prone to conflict.

Never hit your cat.
Don’t yell at your cat
Avoid letting small children tease or torment cats, especially kittens. Instead, explain to children how cats are intelligent and sensitive creatures who need to be loved and nurtured., While it may be the last thing you want to consider, you may need to consider separating cats or rehoming one. You should, though, only consider this if one or both of the cats’ health or mental health are in danger.

If your cats frequently get into fights that result in one of them getting hurt, you should consider separation or rehoming.
Consult your veterinarian or a trainer before separating or rehoming a cat.
If you don’t want to consider the rehoming option, do what you can to separate your cats in your home. You may want to confine one cat to the upstairs and another to the downstairs.
When considering rehoming, always place your cat with a reputable rescue organization or a trusted friend. Do not advertise “free cat” on Craigslist or similar websites. Cats given away in such a manner are often hurt or killed by new owners with malicious intent.

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