Why Do My Cats Hate Each Other?
If you find yourself wondering "why do my cats hate each other?", fear is usually the bottom line. Reasons vary though, and sometimes medical issues can be a cause—especially if your cats have lived together for a while and gotten along. Thankfully, aggression issues between cats can often be resolved.
The key, of course, is discovering the reason or, at the very least, using trial and error to discover what works to calm the bad blood between your cats. If the cats have been in the same household for a while without incident, the first step is a visit to the vet to rule out medical issues. From there, you can start to search for the solution that will work for you.
Methods for Preventing Aggression Between Cats
What may help your cats depends on the reason for the aggression. Note that these methods won't work for every cat, but if you're committed to keeping your cats together, you should try as many as you can.
Give Cats Personal Space
Have two of everything: beds, scratching posts, food and water bowls, etc., so the cats won't feel like they have to fight to keep what's theirs. For litter boxes, the best formula to follow is number of cats +1= the total number of litter boxes you should have available in your house.
A Way Out
Installing a cat door into a room where the passive cat can retreat may be all it takes to calm things down. You can even get a cat collar that controls the cat door - if you only put the collar on the passive cat, he/she will be able to access the room as needed.
You've probably heard of products such as Feliway that helps cats feel calm and relieves stress through the use of pheromones. Many pet owners have had great success when using such products to calm aggression between cats.
What If Nothing Works?
It's important to be patient. If you just adopted a new cat, it can take weeks to months for the two cats to get along. Allowing your cats to get used to each other takes time.
The next step is to seek professional help. Animal behaviorists are many times able to help minimize or completely eliminate problems between pets. Consulting a professional will give you peace of mind that you are truly doing everything in your power to make the relationship between your cats work.
In some cases, nothing you try will help your cats get along. If the issues are minor, such as occasional hissing or swatting, you can probably keep both cats in the same household. If the aggression is more severe, it may be kinder to rehome one of the cats. While this is a very difficult decision, it's one that some pet owners have to make in order to prevent injuries and excessive stress to the cats. Finding a new home can be difficult, but there are tools available to help you find a safe, loving family for your cat. Rehome is a website devoted to helping responsible pet owners find new homes for their pets, and the site features many resources to help you get started.
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