It’s a cat lover’s worst nightmare. That awful moment when the yowling goes silent and thumps and bumps and hisses take over. Cat fights are terrible things, and the best way to stop one is to prevent one.
First, recognise the signs.
There’s play fighting and there’s serious fighting. Knowing the difference can save you a lot of energy and allow the cats to develop the self-defence skills that will protect them when real fights happen.
“Try to recognize the body language and signs that happen between your cats before an all-out war begins,” advises Catington Post. “If you hear growling, see ears pinned down, fur puffed up, and hissing… those are typical signs that a fight is about to happen.”
The best way to break up a cat fight is to prevent it entirely. This isn’t easy, as cats are highly independent, territorial, and tenacious, but you’ll kick yourself if you don’t try. Here are a few ways to mitigate the risk altogether.
Keep your cat in at dusk and dawn. This is a tough one, because this is when cats instinctively seek the outdoors to hunt, prowl, prove their prowess and find a partner. But if there’s a testy relationship between your cat and another in the area, keeping them separated at this time may reduce the likelihood of altercations.
Separate cats’ access to each other. If your cat has an issue with a neighbour’s cat, find out if there’s a way to separate their territories. It might take a bit of collaboration with the neighbours. If it works, you’ll be purring. It might mean blocking off one cat’s access to your home or encouraging your own cat to start using the back way. Whatever you work out, make sure that cat’s new mandatory zones have shade, warmth, shelter, and fresh water.
Didn’t work? Here are 3 steps to safely breaking up a cat fight.
- And lots of it. Spray with a hose pipe or toss a bucket of water over them to startle the brawlers. You can try clapping or shouting to make a big enough noise to startle them, too but the more serious the set-two, the less attention they’ll pay to outside stimulus. Remember, they’re trying to kill each other.
- Toss a blanket, or towel, between them, not over them. Done right, this will separate them. Done wrong, it will make the situation much worse by trapping the frantic felines in darkness with tearing teeth and slicing claws. If you don’t have a blanket, you can try using a softish cardboard box, but don’t use any hard materials like wood. Cats are fast but they are soft.
- Get a mop between them and try to separate them (that blanket could come in handy once they’re separated. And then that box could come in even handier to keep them separated while you get them into completely different parts of your home. You may not be able to separate them for long if they’re equally strong, but this approach can be helpful when there’s a clear leader in the fight because it can give the kitty less inclined to win a chance to get to safety.
NEVER: put your bare arms into a scuffle. You could lose an eye nevermind be cut into pieces.
Whether you succeed or not, for an examination if you suspect they’ve had actual physical contact. You might not see a serious laceration from a filthy claw that could lead to a nasty infection or an abscess. An unknown or stray cat could carry contagious diseases that are transmitted in fights. Either way, it’s best to get your favourite felines checked out, and the good news about this nasty situation is that dotsure.co.za pet cover can help pay for it.
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