How to Deal With Cats That Don’t Get On

Fighting Cats

Multi-cat households can be a great source of stress if your pets are not on good terms with each other. Cats are usually not as naturally sociable as dogs and will not necessarily get along well. In some cases, they will never be best friends but can be encouraged to accept each other and develop some degree of harmony. Here are our tips for dealing with cats that don’t get on.

See How Things Develop Initially

Cats who have recently been introduced to one another will often be aloof and may also be aggressive for some time after first meeting before settling into a routine of some sort. If your cats were not recently introduced and the situation has not got better without intervention, you will need to start taking some steps to try to change things.

Build Positive Associations

Help your cats to see each other in a more positive light by associating one another with pleasant experiences such as treats and toys. In the long term, this can make them much more inclined to spend time together without becoming hostile.

Introduce Interaction Gradually

If the situation is particularly negative, you may want to limit the amount of time that your cats spend together directly and introduce their interaction on a more gradual basis. For example, you may start by bringing them together indirectly at mealtimes with wire mesh as a barrier.

Greater interaction can be developed slowly but surely, especially after meals when they are more likely to be relaxed and receptive. More direct contact can be encouraged by rubbing tuna juice on each cat’s head to see if they will start to groom each other. It’s often a good idea to tire them out a bit before contact so that they will be less likely to become aggressive towards each other.

Give Them Space Apart

Kitty perches will give your cats an opportunity to spend time away from each other. This is particularly important if one cat is acting aggressively and the victim(s) would benefit from having somewhere to go that is out of their way.

Could Medication Help?

If your vet suspects the difficulties your cats are having in getting along are due to excessive anxiety or behavioural issues, they may prescribe a calming medication on a short term basis to help with these problems such as Feliway or Zylkene.

Cats who don’t get on are unlikely to ever become best friends but with time and patience, you may be able to encourage them to develop some degree of harmony and co-exist together. As a worst case scenario, you may need to think about re-homing if the situation does not improve but this should be a last resort if everything else has failed.

Have you had a multi-cat household that didn’t get on? Were you able to encourage them to get on better? We’d love to hear your stories! 

[Photo Credit:  _Xti_]