My cats decided to fight all night

by GAil

Introducing two cats

For a week now I have kept the two cats separated. They take turns in a dog kennel where they can see each other and in the rest of the house. One has the kennel, the other has a room when they need to be apart.

I have purchased Feliway, and noticed they are calmer. One was always skittish. We called her scaredy cat because she always hid and didn't like to be petted.

She tolerated me in small doses... now she is lying on my sofa, purring and demanding attention. The other was always friendly.

My question is, how long do you think I should wait before putting them back in the same room?

Editor's note: I'm sorry to hear that your cats are having this issue, but I'm glad to hear that you've got them separated, and the Feliway is working, if only a little.

Some cat lovers have had success with Bach's Rescue Remedy and others have used Jackson Galaxy's herbal products as well.

Now, down to business, but first off, my usual caveats:

Any change in behavior can be a warning sign that something else is wrong. Medical problems in cats have a strange way of showing up as a change in behavior.

I've seen situations where one cat in a house is sick, and the other cats start hissing and fighting with the sick cat. Tensions rise, and it's a mess.

It could, of course, be as simple as the cats were looking at each other and a car backfire scared one of the cats. It's difficult to know what happened.

Second, it's not so much a matter of "waiting" as it is a matter of doing slow introductions and taking baby steps along the way.

Waiting for them to get along again implies a passive approach, but you need to take specific steps in order to help your cats get along. It may not happen by itself, and it will go much more smoothly if you control the process.

I described the process of introducing cats here.

While that situation is a bit different from yours, the same principles apply when doing a reintroduction of two cats that have been together for a while, but are fighting.

Jackson Galaxy explains the basic concept in his article on cat-to-cat introductions here and also goes into specific steps and tips in the video below:

That's pretty much a class on how to do reintroductions by smell first, then sight, and using happy experiences (food and play) to slowly bring the two cats together. I hope that helps and please keep us updated on their progress.

Comments for My cats decided to fight all night

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My cats fighting
by: Lina Mahmassani

My Minoush is nealy 25 yrs. old. When she was 10 yrs. old, I had to get Casper (he was lost having gone out of his home). I hadn't had Internet and so did not know about the procedure to introduce them. Minoush got jealous and wouldn't accept him. After 12 yrs., she still hisses and snarls whenever he is near. He wants to play with her, but she would have none of it. So he gets angry and tries to annoy her. She doesnt wan't to be petted. What can I do about it?

Editor's note: Watch the Jackson Galaxy video I posted on this page and follow the advice. Twelve years is a long time, but it's worth a shot.

Good starting point - medical!
by: Kahana

Awwww, I hope that your kitties get back on the right paw with each other! It must be so sad and frustrating that they can't be together.

I think the medical check for both as first step is a good idea. I learned my lesson the hard way, and now, any behavioral change gets a trip to the vet. I hadn't thought of behavioral as in "relationship", however, and this is a good reminder.

Best wishes to you and your kitties!

Same thing!
by: Keller Jones

Same thing happened over the past 2 weeks, from best friends to bitter rivals, with female beating up the male! Gave each of them "me" time and kept them separate for a night or two. The male was so relieved and grateful, and the high strung female feral missed her dedicated time with me at night.

Regardless, they have short memories and are not like humans. It all started like the first responder said, with a loud noise, and associating the other ANIMAL with it. For us, it was a huge neighborhood male feral, who was provoking my male and I have 50 feet of glass for back wall, floor to ceiling.

Animal control was called, and we're waiting on a cage. I would reintroduce kitties in a loving, calm soothing voice and gave each the space they needed. I did however, break up bullying fights with water spray. Good luck. All is well, for now, over here.

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