Why Is My Cat Attacking My Other Cat?
There are many possible reasons why your cat might be attacking your other cat including lack of space, social maturity, a medical issue, or environmental changes. Fortunately, solutions can usually be found that allow the cats to continue to live together and to overcome their aggression.
Since you can't just ask your cats what's wrong, pinpointing the reason for aggression will usually be a process of elimination that involves simply trying various solutions. Note that if the behavior started after the cats had been together some time, a medical issue may be to blame. When a cat is in pain or uncomfortable, he/she may show signs of aggression, even if he is typically docile.
Once medical issues have been ruled out, there are other things to try to reduce cat to cat aggression.
Give Cats Their Own Space
Cats like to have their own space and can be quite territorial. Having to share a small space, food bowls, and litter boxes is a common reason for aggression. While you probably can't expand your home, you can add space for the cats by providing additional perches, kitty condos, or even investing in an outdoor cat enclosure that allows cats to safely spend time outdoors.
Also, place food and water bowls and litter boxes (one litter box per cat plus one additional litter box works best!) for each pet, so the cats won't have to share.
Provide an Escape
If one cat tends to be passive, install a collar-controlled cat door that leads to a quiet room. Only place the collar on the cat that gets bullied. This will allow him a way to get away from the aggressor and give the bully cat a cooling off period.
Many cat owners have had great success by using pheromones to stop one cat from attacking the other cat. These products, which come in spray and diffuser form, calm cats and are, in some cases, a very effective way to eliminate fighting.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder? Maybe not, but it will give you a chance to properly and slowly reintroduce the cats. Check out our blog article Introducing a New Cat or Kitten to Your Cats for more guidance.
If the methods above are unsuccessful, enlist the help of an animal behaviorist. The good news is that in the majority of cases, with time and patience, the issue can be resolved to the point that the cats will be able to live together peacefully—even if they aren't the best of friends.
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