Bringing two cats together can sometimes be complicated because they are very territorial animals and also very feisty and playful when they are young. When a new animal joins the household, it is often seen negatively by the first cat who does not want it on its territory, the cats then fight for reasons of territoriality.

If it’s two cats that arrived at the same time, they may be competing for your attention and for certain corners of the room. Sometimes it’s a simple game. The level of aggression and the meows will let you know if it’s a simple game or not.

Many situations can cause a cat fight and it is necessary to understand the causes in order to act correctly. I tell you right away what you need to understand and apply to prevent this from happening again.

Fighting cats: Differentiating between play and fight

Sometimes what you think is a fight is actually just a game, especially in young cats who develop their natural hunting instinct in this way, especially if they don’t have access to ‘outside.

To know if it is indeed a game, you can check the following things:

  • They chew gently: This is a sign of play, which they can reproduce with you . Biting is also linked to the hunting instinct but is mainly used as a sign of affection in the game.

  • They make ball rolls: Which is linked to fun and not to aggressiveness and violence. They love to do this when they are still very young and do it within their litter in the wild. It is usually a sign of socialization.

  • They run after each other: They also do this for fun. It is also always related to their natural hunting instinct. Even if in this case it will be necessary to calm things down if they do it inside because they could break furniture and injure themselves.

Young cats are very playful, and often bicker, which is completely normal, they should be allowed to do so as long as they do not show signs of hatred towards each other.

Stages of the fight

A fight between cats does not break out all at once because they prefer to avoid physical confrontation. It is also for this reason that cats mark their territory outside and that they always smell a new territory to know if a cat is established there.

Even feral cats whose territory is tied to survival prefer to avoid confrontation whenever possible. They are aware of the injuries they could sustain.

The conflict will thus occur in several stages :

To prevent episodes of fights between cats, pay close attention to certain warning signs of a physical conflict:

  • Intimidation  : Cats will first try to impress themselves by raising their hair, spitting and meowing. The goal is often to put the other aside from a possible attack and to avoid physical confrontation. It’s a very animal behavior, but I’m sure you could find it in many humans.

  • The fighting gait: Sometimes a cat will want to fight and will start to walk sideways and slowly to jump on his opponent who will do the same if he wants to fight.

  • The physical conflict: The cats will start by kicking each other without using their claw, the objective is to hurt without hurting. The one who takes the upper hand will win over the other and the fight will stop there.

  • A possible degeneration: If cats show their claws, the stage of a simple fight is over, but this rarely happens and especially in wild cats.

But why are my cats fighting?

There are several reasons that can cause a fight in the cat. It is necessary to find the precise cause in order to be able to defuse conflicts in the future. For each cause, I give you the solutions to put in place to stop the heckling between your cats.


This is the main cause of violence between cats, even for indoor cats. You can check this if the fights are happening in common places or if a new cat has just arrived and the old one is attacking it for no apparent reason.

Cats will always remain territorial, even in the domestic state, but fortunately, there are solutions to put in place to avoid feline conflicts due to territory:

  • To each his own personal corner  : Whether it is to eat, drink or relieve himself, each cat needs a personal space. Also, do not mix bowls and litter boxes as this will cause animality due to the fact that the cats will smell each other’s scent in their corner which must be personal to them.

  • Use calming pheromones  : Cats are very sensitive to smells and certain pheromones will calm them. If you associate their moments with these good smells, their aggression will naturally decrease when they are together.

  • Have the same treatment with both  : Otherwise, conflicts will arise because they consider you as their own. This is also why they rub against you to deposit their smell.

An unpleasant odor

If one of your cats carries an odor that the other hates, it can attack him. Some smells that seem pleasant to us are unbearable to them, such as citrus fruits.

Try to see what is causing this smell, maybe he is sticking his nose in household products for example. Bleach odors, for example, excite cats because they have a similar pH to cat urine.

If you notice that he has an odor that really shouldn’t be ingrained in him, you can wash him with cat shampoo or talk if he hates water.

A health problem

Whether it’s stress or a more serious pathology, a cat that suffers from it can become violent and attack anyone who gets too close to it.

  • Check if a new element stresses him: Cats hate change and he will have to get used to it or remove it if the cause is harmful. For example, moving or the arrival of a new member of the household can cause them great stress.

  • See a vet if his behavior changes or he appears to be in pain and aggressive when approached. The veterinarian to provide him with appropriate treatment. With age, some cats may experience mental degeneration, especially after the age of 12.

How to stop them from fighting?

Here are the best methods to achieve peace between your cats:

  • Separate their territory well: This will prevent fights in more than 90% of cases. Territory is the number one cause of cat rivalry issues. Their litter box, their scratching post, the bowl and their water bowl must always be personal to them and they must preferably have a personal corner where the smell of the other is not present.

  • Make sure they both have enough to eat and drink. A battle for food may rage. Remember that a cat’s stomach requires a regular supply of food.

  • Reward them when they are calm or when they play with each other: To create a positive anchor in them. With, for example, a food that they love or a moment of play, you will obtain peace after several anchorages.

  • Diffuse Calming Pheromones: This will help them tame each other. Cats’ sense of smell can be used both ways, positively and negatively. It is a solution which does not solve the problem at the root but which allows an immediate effect if the situation degenerates.

  • Do not interrupt a conflict: Because they will repeat it later when you are no longer there. Slow them down gradually by petting them or changing their focus to something that attracts them.

  • Sterilize your cats: Unsterilized cats are much more aggressive. If they are males, conflicts are guaranteed because their hormones are in turmoil. Unneutered cats are naturally more violent and more territorial than neutered ones.

  • Play with them: While maintaining equal treatment for everyone as this will allow you to bring them closer and avoid new conflicts.

  • Go to the vet: As a last resort if nothing helps, because it may be a pathology creating violence in one of your cats. Especially if they were adopted from a shelter and went through difficult things in their childhood.

  • Don’t scold your cats: Punishing your cats to stop them from fighting is not a good idea because they will associate the times spent together with something bad and it will make the situation even worse.

  • Give them something to spend: To channel their energy. It can sometimes be difficult to get your cats to exercise well when they live indoors. But the solutions are not lacking, you can for example take a cat wheel or electric mice or fish.

  • Go see a behaviorist: If you have young cats, certain factors can make them naturally very aggressive, such as sterilization done at the wrong time.

The different behavioral signs of latent aggression in cats

The violence of the cat can be guessed by observing the body language of the feline:

  • Ears back  : He is annoyed or angry. You can see him doing this when you approach him and he doesn’t want hugs. It is usually the first point that shows that he is not happy.

  • Dilated pupils  : He may be nervous or be prey to aggression. It’s usually a sign of excitement, often related to hunting. He will have dilated pupils when he sees a bird through the window.

  • The low and folded tail  : He is restless, this is also a sign of calm before the storm.

  • The arched back: He is frightened or angry. This is the “fight or flight” position. It is the last stage before the attack or flight, if he seems to be afraid, he will flee, and vice versa.

What if a cat outside the household fights with my cat?

In this case, it is better to be careful, especially if it is a wild cat, more used to fighting and more aggressive.

At first, avoid letting him go at night because it could be dangerous for him. During the day, let him go if you are at home and he can come back.

If the cat belongs to another owner, go see him, because he too will prefer that the fights between cats stop and you can set up the higher named points.

If it’s a wild cat, scare it away when you see it and if necessary, throw rocks and pieces of wood at it to scare it. If that’s not enough, diffuse scents where the wild gets in, like white vinegar or pepper repellents. The idea is to use a smell that the cat hates to keep it away.

What to do when they are alone together at home?

When your two cats are alone at home, when you are not there, the situation can be critical because they can hurt each other if the fights are violent. So, make sure they can’t cross each other, and unfortunately, your cats will have to be isolated, each in their own corner.

The difficulty is that they will have to be in a room large enough not to feel confined. So put on everything that can reassure each of them and leave them in their room apart from each other.

Cats that fight the last word

Correcting the behavior of two cats fighting is easy to put in place as long as you find the cause and act on it. Good habits are enough to overcome it.

However, don’t delay because the sooner you act, the easier it will be to resolve the situation, and moreover, your cats could get hurt if they go too hard in the cat fight.