Why Aren’t Your Cats Getting Along?

FK_CatBehavior_400x325For a lonely kitty at home, the best remedy is a companion, right? But instead of getting along like siblings or civil playmates, your frisky felines are at each others’ throats. What’s the deal?!

There are a number of reasons why your feline friends might not be getting along. Cats, much like people, will definitely be a little reclusive and territorial once there’s a new kid in town if they’re not used to company.

Kitties that have had no socialization with other feline friends make a routine of its own. Any change or funk in its groove may upset them. This may cause them to not be as welcoming to new additions as you hoped they would be.

Sometimes it may be hard for two unrelated males or two unrelated females to get along well, but it’s also highly dependent upon personality. Just like being assigned a roommate in college, cats don’t necessarily get to choose their housemates, and it may mean that your cats can have a negative nature towards each other.

However, there are a few factors that may cause your cats’ relationship to grow backwards too. Negative and scary situations, such as loud noises or unpleasant smells that are associated with one cat, may cause fear or stress in the other cat. Maturity levels are also an important dynamic in the relationship.

Here are some steps the ASPCA advises that you can take to make your home a happy place for both your cats.
• Make sure you see the signs before one cat walks all over the other. A more timid cat may hide, spend more time alone, show signs of sickness, and only access shared resources when the other is not around. The more assertive cat might intimidate the timid cat from eating, accessing sleeping areas, playing with toys, or even blocking its path.
• Give them a sense of ownership. Individual food, toys, bowls, beds, and even litter boxes in different parts of the house will make them less competitive.
• Don’t let your cats duke it out. Letting them fight will only make them more aggressive and hostile towards each other. If you feel a battle about to erupt, put a stop to it with loud clapping or spraying them with a water gun.
• Neutering or spaying your cat will subside their aggressive behavior.
• Give your cat space when he’s having a fit to let them calm down, so you can avoid being their next victim.
• Make sure to pay equal attention to both your cats to avoid competition.
• Use positive reinforcement and reward your cats when they are interacting with each other in a positive way.

As far as cats who’ve gotten along and are mildly aggressive or cats who’ve never gotten along and are severely aggressive towards each other, it’s may be a good idea to separate them in different rooms. For mildly aggressive cats, it may take a few days and for more aggressive cats a longer period time to reintroduce themselves to each other. But encouraging them to be close to each other, giving them the ability to smell and hear each other, and providing them with daily reintroduction sessions is key.

But if your cats become unruly don’t be afraid to ask for professional help. It may take more than your patience to get your crazy kids to get along. It’s not always easy but it can be done!

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