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Q: help! how to stop two cats from fighting ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   6 Comments )
Subject: help! how to stop two cats from fighting
Category: Family and Home > Pets
Asked by: banchan-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 02 Dec 2002 08:56 PST
Expires: 01 Jan 2003 08:56 PST
Question ID: 117802
hello dear researchers~!

ok.  heres the scoop:

i have two cats.  one cat i have had for 3 years.  she is kind of
asocial and skittish, prone to jumping at the slightest things.  she
was spayed at something like 6 or 8 weeks (before i even got her) and
seemed ok other than her coldness (i thought i was being a bad mommy,
but now i suspect its just her ;).

i just got a second cat on 11 of october.  this guys a young (we dont
know his age for sure, but hes probably about one years old), very
friendly male cat.  outgoing, curious, loves to play.  unfortunately
for him, he was neutered early november (bad for him, but good for
us!) and he has recovered just fine.  hes the same that he was from
the beginnning.

the only problem is, is that hes the alpha cat (hes MUCH stronger and
MUCH heavier than the female, even though hes so much younger and a
bit smaller physically; he has got a lot of muscle) and he harasses her
like every hour.  what he will do, typically, is chase her and tap on
her back or her tail, which usually makes her REALLY pissed off and
then they get into a fight which ends up in both of them being
scratched on the nose or their foreheads.  the whole thing lasts maybe
30 seconds.  but it happens like every hour.

when theyre tired, though, they will sleep peacefully in the same room
without any fights.

they have never been friendly to each other, though.

its been almost 2 months and sometimes we will keep them apart because
were afraid that one of them is going to lose an eye, but most of the
time, we leave them two alone and free to roam the apartment.

what can we do?

we kept them apart for the first 3 weeks by keeping the male alone in a
small room so that they could check each other out, smell each other
and become more familiar, but towards the last week, he kept whining
non-stop and because they seemed to get along well enough (with the
quick little fights, but none of the terrorising behaviour that
happened when they first knew of each others existence), we finally
let him out of the room.

i hope that this history helps in you helping me.

please ask for any clarifications!
Subject: Re: help! how to stop two cats from fighting
Answered By: digsalot-ga on 02 Dec 2002 10:18 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi there

First of all, you have a situation which is only a couple of months
old and may yet clear up on its own.

Just to give you some of my background experience with cats, when we
lived in Las Vegas, my wife and I had a total of 42 cats. (not all at
once)  Only four of them were our regular "family."  Needless to say
we were cat lovers.  My wife is now gone, but I still can't live
without a cat.  A home without a cat is just another piece of mundane

What we did in Vegas was adopt, then adopt.  We would go to the Clark
County animal shelter and bring cats home.  We would make sure they
were healthy, spayed or neutered if needed, introduced them to being
around other cats.  (Our own four became great hosts after a while)
and then find new homes for them.  We interviewed prospective kitty
parents and insisted on inspecting the house where the cat would be
taken.  We would not allow cats to be adopted by anybody who had a
child or childred under the age of ten.  It's not good for the cat and
not good for the smaller kids who might like to play rough.  After a
couple of years doing this, it got to the point that the animal
shelter would call us to let us know they had a hard to place animal. 
These were usually older cats who for one reason or other had been
left behind by their humans and were usually down in the dumps.  Cats
do mourn their losses.

So, handling fighting cats was not unusual.  Our own cats pretty much
stayed out of the fray.  They just got used to a steady stream of

Now when you see two cats fighting, one thing you might do is to pour
some cold water over them . A good soaking will usually break up the
fight. Never reach into a cat fight.  I've made that mistake and both
of them turned on the "peacemaker."  Needless to say, my tetanus shots
were up to date. Whatever you do, don't hit them with brooms,
newspapers or any other solid object, even if your cat is the one
getting the worst of the situation.  Most of the time that only makes
both animals more aggressive and once again one or both may turn on
you once they identify the fact that you are the one holding the

If you have a cat fight on your hands and don't have any water
available, make a loud noise such as clapping, banging a pan, etc. 
Cats hate loud sudden noises and it often will end the confrontation.

One of your cats may smell funny to the other.  Sometimes it may take
three or four months to get one cat to accept the scent of another as
'normal,' and will continue to fight till that situation is cleared
up.  However, there is a way to clear that up a little faster.  First,
rub a towel over one of the cats.  Then rub the same towel over the
other cat.  Now the cats will smell (kinda, sorta) the same and peace
can be restored.  That is the reason kitty never attacks the cat in
the mirror after having seen a reflection once and checking it out. 
The cat in the mirror has no scent.

Some people with more than one cat never have a problem with fights,
but others find that their cats are always getting it on in some arena
or other. One reason cats in the same house fight is that there isn't
enough "territory" for each.  It's not a question of square feet. 
Each cat has his own internal sense of space. In order to satisfy each
animal's need for a separate territory, try repositioning a large
piece of furniture.  In other words, rearrange the furniture so that
it breaks up a large space, creating two or three smaller areas. If
each cat has a space of his own, it may put an end to the fighting.

You can create more separate cat spaces in your home by setting up
decorative paneled screens which are available at most furniture
stores.  Set one up in a corner to create space front and back.

You can buy a "cat tree" which will perform a similar function.  Cat
trees are tall towers with several carpeted shelves.  When you bring
one of these trees home, each cat will usually adopt a shelf as its
own.  Since the cat then has "its own" space, they are less likely to
fight over territory.

Now if you have tried all of the above and nothing works, you may find
out that by constantly breaking up their fights, you are merely
prolonging the situation.  That's because what they are fighting over
has never been settled.  It may (and usually is) fighting over who is
to be top cat.  And cats don't have any sexist chauvenism.  The "Top
Cat" can be either male or female.  In that case, settle your nerves,
and let'em duke it out as long as they aren't getting torn to pieces. 
A few nose scratches are minor.  As for losing an eye, cats have been
fighting for a few million years and one eyed cats are still rather
uncommon.  The adds are strongly in your favor that one or the other
will cry uncle and submit before either one gets seriously hurt. 
After they have established their boundries (on their own), the
fighting usually ends completely.

Now my own fuzzy named Milo has been sitting on my lap as I'm writing
this (his usual position) and I would swear he's nodding at the
advice.  Milo is now 23 and is one of the original four from Vegas. 
So, I guess he understands these things.

Search - google
Terms - cat fights, stopping cat fights

Websites used - I really don't remember.  I clicked into and out of
several of them and they all basically said the same thing, so I just
started typing.

If I can clarify anything before you rate the answer, please ask.  If
I can't get back to you,  - - Milo will.

banchan-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
thank you very much for the tips.  i will be rearranging my furniture
and hopefully the cats will fight less.  i also feel better about
letting them just fight and figure things out for themselves and im
MUCH less worried about one of them losing an eye, even though these
fights sound so nasty!

it sounds like i got a great answer from someone with a lot of

Subject: Re: help! how to stop two cats from fighting
From: aceresearcher-ga on 02 Dec 2002 10:33 PST
GREAT ANSWER, digs, and right on the money!

We just integrated a new kitten into our home, to replace a life-long
feline companion who finally had to be put to sleep. It took our 3-1/2
year-old cat around 10 days to adjust to the interloper. Now they will
play and sleep together, and when the kitten is shut in a separate
room to eat their special food, the older one will either sit outside
the door, or come and find me to get me to let the kitten out.
However, just as frequently, the kitten will try to sit next to (or
on) the older cat, or play-attack him, and the older cat will growl
and swat back. Hopefully, this will pass with time, but at least we
aren't worried anymore that they will kill each other.

Digs' recommendations for creating new territorial areas, sharing
scents, and just letting them duke it out are all excellent.

We use a squirt-bottle with both short- and long-range settings to
discourage bad behavior. You may consider getting one of these, if you
don't have one already. While it is probably best to let the cats work
out their hierarchy on their own, if they get too rough on each other,
the squirt bottle may put an end to that particular episode.

Good luck!

Subject: Re: help! how to stop two cats from fighting
From: espresso-ga on 02 Dec 2002 11:56 PST
I also agree with the spray bottle of water to break up a fight.
I was told by my vet, when one of our cats was sick and
medicine-smelly, that a tap of vanilla on each cat behind their necks
makes them all smell "similar" to each other.
Subject: Re: help! how to stop two cats from fighting
From: rebeccam-ga on 02 Dec 2002 12:23 PST
I'll add a counterpoint just from my own experience... Sometimes it's
best to let them duke it out, painful and annoying as it can be.

We had a similar experience integrating a young male into what had
been a single cat household.  We broke up their fighting in various
ways, but with an unintended result... When the older female got old
and less able to defend herself, the young male (Pete) picked on her
terribly.  We talked to the vet about it, and he said since we'd never
allowed her to establish dominance through their initial fighting, she
was now vulnerable to him.

After she passed away and we got another new kitten (Nikki), we left
them alone to fight.  When Pete got old and feeble, Nikki treated him
kindly, because Pete made it clear early that he was in charge.

Just another opinion to consider.  Good luck!
Subject: Re: help! how to stop two cats from fighting
From: cattamer-ga on 08 Aug 2003 08:46 PDT
I see that these comments are old, but if anyone is still reading...
I have a new female kitten and am having trouble getting the 11 month
old male to accept her.  When tired they are fine...share a dish even,
sleep next to each other tolerantly, but as soon as she awakens he is
stalking like a fiend. I am afraid to let them duke it out, like you
say, as he is so much larger.  When he gets on top of her and is
biting, she is very vulnerable. (They are neutered and spayed) I am
trying the squirt gun with only temporary results.  He tries again
later. He can't let it go.  She is very easy-going and generally likes
him...not afraid usually even after a bad bout.  He is just a bully.
No hissing or spatting ever on his part...wants to be with her if she
is separated from him.  He is just very aggressive.  Would he really
harm her if I let it go???  It has only been 2 weeks, by the way, and
he IS obsessed with sniffing everywhere, so the scent thing must be an
issue.  I will try rubbing them both down.
Subject: Re: help! how to stop two cats from fighting
From: sweetdemon-ga on 09 Sep 2004 00:25 PDT

I read your comment and was wondering what action did you result in
using? I recently adopted a male kitten who is about 3 months old to
be buddies with my 6 month old neutered male (give a kitten an kiten
to play with), at first they got along but now the two will not stop
fighting. Its only been 4 days but its driving me crazy all the
growling and hissing, plus I live in an apartment and we are not
suppose to have cats. I have tried everything from eating in diffrent
rooms, purfume on the nose, and even baby powder on both of them to
make them smell the same. I fell the same way its absolutly horrible
to watch them fight. They start out playing then my older one will
chase the litle one ragged and them bite him.  Then there will be
times when my older one will chase the little guy and sit on him and
lick him to death so I dont know what to think. I have even seen the 3
month old chase the 6 month old, which turns bad only for my little
one to end up on his back with the big guy biting him. Is the big one
really hurting the little one? Dose anyone have some advise?
Subject: Re: help! how to stop two cats from fighting
From: gehtaht-ga on 10 Dec 2004 05:44 PST
well I too have problems with 2 cats is a brief(I
hope) summary of the story....we have 4 cats....2 males (neutered and
front declawed) that have been together for years....well when my wife
and I got married we integrated the cats...her 1 female at the time
was not spayed yet or declawed...after 1 day together she went in and
had it down....I understand the top cat thing...but 1 of my males has
been bullying her all over the place....she is now scared of him and
hisses anytime she sees him...she is also hissing at the other male
cat who is gentle and just want to play....but now the wanna be top
cat is getting vicious with her and biting hard just last nite bit
through her ear....we are at our wits end with him...he is a great
other then that...if it is a dominance ting then why does he still do
it...he has proven the superiority over her many is not a
space thing coz she is always hiding in one place and he has the rest
of the house...but he seeks her out...

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