How to Break Up a Cat Fight
By Mike Ray
Here are some tips on how to do it without hurting you or your cat…
1. Avoid hitting the cats or getting your hands anywhere near their mouths. Hitting could make the situation worse and could cause the attack to be redirected toward you.
2. Spray the aggressor with a water hose. If this doesn’t make a difference, aim for the nostrils.
3. Hold a broom between the cats to separate them.
4. Use a noisemaking device such as an air horn to drive the animals apart, and be prepared to move away quickly or defend yourself.
5. The quickest way to break up a cat fight is loud hissing, spitting, and a glass of water appropriately applied (aim for the face).
6. Put a magazine or a newspaper between the two cats to block their vision of each other. This works where the cats are in a frozen position, but not yet making contact. It allows the frightened one to run away (if it can) and you can pick up the dominant one if it is tame. Without blocking the sight of the other cat, picking up or even touching the aggressive cat can make the attack start. Usually the frightened cat is cornered and can’t get away, so your only option may be to move the aggressor after blocking it’s view.
Abscesses resulting from cat fights can pose serious health risks and are expensive to treat.
A cat can become infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) when it is bitten – such as in a cat fight. FIV will be transmitted only if the biting animal is carrying the virus.
There are some areas of the world that do not have FIV though it’s far better to be on the safe side. Having a well trained cat that comes with called is the best preventative way of stopping cat fights. If the cats that are fighting are both your cats it’s clearly a sign you need to make some changes to your household.
When cats are aggressive usually it’s because they are stressed. If the cat fights are the result of a new cat being introduced into your house you need to gradually introduce the cats to each other over the course of a few days and do your best to reduce the stress level of both cats.
To reduce your cat’s stress, provide lots of perches so she can get away from other cats, and ideally have separate areas of the house they can live in, until they start to accept the other cat.
Patting one cat just after you’ve patted the other cat is an easy way of having them start to associate the smell of the other cat with you. This is vital as they’ll be relaxed and enjoy your company (if they don’t you’ve got bigger problems, be sure to read our other articles). They’ll then link the good feelings they have about you with the other cat.
Within a week or so you should have a happy multi cat household. The same method applies to introducing a dog into the house (or breaking up a cat and dog fight).
If your cat has been hurt you should get your Vet to check her over. With so many cats now living in urban environments, problems between cats of different owners are increasing. You may want to de claw your cat and keep her inside (or simply trim her nails every so often and supply scratching posts- this is cheaper and more humane for her).
Indoor cats have a much longer life span and you get to bond with her as she is around more often. A well trained cat can be allowed outside but tends to want to be close to you most of the time. Something you can do to help this occur is to tell your neighbors to not feed your cat, that way even if your cat wonders she’ll most likely come home when she’s hungry.
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