Cat Fighting: Understanding Why Cats Fight

Cat outdoors mid meow

[This article was written by a qualified veterinarian. For more information please read our About page.]

It can be discomforting to see your catfighting, whether with their partners in the house or with other cats outside the house. But there are ways to stop catfighting in the short and long term. In this article, we will explore why cats fight, how to stop your cat from fighting, and, if so, what long-term solutions you can find.

What are the reasons behind cats fighting?

  • Territory: Cats are considered to be territorial animals, and they will often fight to defend what they believe is their territory. This is most common in outdoor catfights, where cats believe other cats have occupied their space. In turn, the cat may believe that your cat should not be here. But there are also fights between cats that live together. If you have more than one cat in your home, they will often fight over the issue.
  • Aggression and Hostility: Some cats can be aggressive by nature. Male cats are particularly aggressive and keep fighting. A female cat, along with a litter of kittens, can throw, grill, chase, swat, or try to bite another cat that comes close, even That he was friendly with before.
  • Rough play: Sometimes, cats get rough during playing, and it seems like aggression, which ultimately results in fighting, but it is not possible in all cases. A better way to overcome this is to separate them during playing.
  • Health problems: If your cats are not fixed, a sudden fight may be due to puberty. Cats hide health problems, but they may withdraw or become aggressive if they are not feeling well. If this behaviour persists, it may be time to take them to the vet for a check-up.

Research and book published by DB Adams, G Baccelli, G Mancia, and A Zanchetti tell us about the Cardiovascular changes during naturally elicited fighting behaviour in the cat. Many factors, including hormonal surges that come from the brain, stimulate the fighting body muscles.

Different Types Of Cat Fighting

  • Full contact fight: where both cats are locked together. They may fight like this whenever they see each other, possibly causing injury
  • Partial contact fight: This is where cats throw in the other paws’ direction with their contact, with or without real contact.
  • Body language that looks aggressive: One cat may bite another cat with physical stress. Their ears will be turned backward, and their backs may become arched, and their tails may flutter.
  • Aggressive sounds: These usually growl, more guttural sounds, or screaming
A brown and white cat fighting a ginger cat under a large car tire

Different steps to stop your cat from fighting

1.Identify the causes of the conflict

The most excellent way to stop your cats from fighting is to sort out the root cause! If you are not sure why your pets disagree, first observe them and find out the undesirable behaviour throughout the day:

2. Identify the housing issues

If there isn’t enough space to hide, climb, your cats’ sleep, you see conflict in the area. Make sure your pet has enough personal space where they can escape. Sharing space near other kitties can be stressful, especially if they want to avoid conflict.

3. Increase in kitty resources

Like housing issues, lack of personal resources such as food, water bowls, and trays can lead to disagreements. Plan to have each resource for each kit in the house, and check that each one is easily accessible.

4. Be Careful With Rewards and Attention

Be sure to reward your kitties for being calm and not being aggressive! Daily one-to-one games with your pet can also limit your aggressive competition for attention – and help your cats eliminate any extra energy!

5. Separate the cats if required

It is sensible to separate your cats if they are bothering each other, especially if one or both cats are getting sick from stress or if you are starting to see a hidden and abstinent attitude.

Also, many research studies have suggested that the level of affection of cat towards the owner or pet-owner bond is more strong if you keep a single cat as compared to a group of cats. Also, male cats exerted more influence over the behavioural trait of friendliness toward humans. 

6. Call the vet

So, if your generally calm and peaceful pet has started to fight, it would be wise to see your doctor see if anything is wrong – sometimes aggressive behavior can sign that the kitty is not well. !

Lastly, whatever solution you choose, be sure to give your cats time! It may take some time for your pet to respond and change their little attitudes.

How to break/Stop a catfight?

When your cats are aggressive towards each other, a fight will likely end at some point. They will possibly end up bleeding and scratching. Deterioration is an excellent way to prevent cats from fighting. Loud noise/music can work, but only if you are out of sight will you not be seen as a third offender in battle. Try clapping, banging on a pot, or throwing a large, soft object like a pillow near cats. If it’s scary and quite annoying, chances are you’ll see cats running away.

If your cat keeps fighting on, whether with other cats or with the weirdest cats in the neighborhood, you may need a more permanent solution. A cat that is always in a fight may be more aggressive or may have poor social abilities.

A black kitten play fighting with a white a brown kitten.

Here are some top instructions on how to help your cat in the long run:

Vets: Cats often fight because they are aggressive. This aggression can be a sign of an illness you don’t even know about. Take them to the doctor and get them checked up. Your vet-doc will be able to advise you on how to proceed.

Animals Behaviourist:

If your cat is not sick but still has a large amount of unresolved violent behaviour, you can take them to an animal behaviourist. These specialists are good at resolving issues for cats that keep fighting, and they can train your cat to handle its aggression better.


One of the main reasons for cats to compete is poor socialization. It is not easy for cats to know how to share or accompany other cats. You may need to re-socialize these cats so that they know how to walk around others. You can take them to cat training schools to improve their behaviour. In turn, there are books and YouTube tutorials on how to improve your cats with other cats.

Changes To Your Home:

There are changes you can make in your home to try and help your cats stop fighting. When we had multiple cats in our home, we used Feliway for multi-cat households. The pheromones in the product relaxed the cats, so they weren’t so aggressive towards one another. We also brought more toys and games to keep them busy and distracted. Owlie’s brother Hector really responded well to this.

We brought them a mixture of toys, but they really loved the crinkle cat bag toy the best.

It can be annoying to watch your cats compete, but it can be remedied. Just follow the guidelines of this article to try to separate your cats when there is a fight.


Rochelle is a self-claimed crazy cat lady and proud cat mum to Owlie! She has owned, rescued, and fostered cats throughout her whole life. Rochelle created Cats On My Mind as a hub for likeminded cat parents to get all the information they will ever need to give their fur babies their best life!

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