Why Do Cats Fight? And Who Do They Fight With?

Abhijeet Modi
Oct 12, 2023 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Oct 27, 2021
two cats armwrestling fight battle

It might be very disappointing that we can't communicate with our little furry friends, and neither can they tell us what they feel.

They cannot communicate, and you might be in a situation where you are wondering why cats keep on fighting. They might sometimes howl or hiss at each other for no reason, but they do always try to convey something through their behavior.

The beauty of having a pet lies in the fact that we start to understand their behavioral patterns.

Cats are pretty challenging to train, and they don't take instructions like dogs, but one has to work a lot less to keep a cat as a pet.

Now, humans are accustomed to kittens meowing at each other and play fighting, but as they grow up, the cats start to fight with each other, and it is essential to learn how to stop them from getting into fights.

Cats tend to use gestures and sounds to communicate with people about their needs and intentions, and when they see other cats getting the same attention, they start to get jealous.

For a cat to be aggressive, there can also be medical reasons which must be properly taken care of from the very beginning.

You might want to learn more about other fun facts about your furry little friends. So go ahead and look at some other articles like why do cats like milk and why do cats headbutt.

How do cats determine their territory?

Animals are known to be territorial, and while cats are more aggressive towards it, there might be a reason if they start to fight and show aggression all the time.

Cats are natural hunters like dogs, and this behavior makes them project aggression when someone tries to step into their territory. Cats determine their territory depending on where they spend most of their time.

They tend to exhibit natural marking behavior, such as scratching or rubbing their scent on the area. The natural pheromones that come from their body have a particular smell that helps them to mark their territory. This, according to an animal behaviorist, makes cats feel safe and secure.

Pets rub their bodies on furniture, walls, beds, pillows, and so on, and this is simply to leave their body odor on objects to let other pets or animals know about their territory. Scratching is more of a visual marking, and normally cats tend to scratch doors and walls.

They can also choose their separate bowls and have their food in a specific corner of the home. If other cats try to enter their space, then they might start fighting.

How to handle an aggressive cat?

Cats are generally aggressive and show signs of hissing or biting when they are dissatisfied. Dogs are much bigger predators and, therefore, always are seen fighting with cats. But even dogs and cats can become comfortable staying together.

If a cat is showing signs of aggression, then that means they may have behavioral issues, and you should treat the feline with care. Cats show aggression to dominate their owners or other cats, and this aggression can hurt other cats or create situations where cats are fighting.

To avoid catfights, it is important that the owners understand the reason for their behavior.

More than often, this aggression starts due to stress or breach of territory. The symptoms should not be ignored when the cats show aggression, and they may need help to become calm again.

The first thing that an owner should do is check if the cats have any medical issues due to which they are projecting aggression, and if that is the case, they should be taken to the vet.

If there is more than one cat in a household, they must be taught to live together from early stages so that they get along.

You should avoid punishing your pets as it builds up tensions and fear in the cats.

If a new cat is introduced in a house, then it is important to follow the tips of a vet and give them time to get together, and not expect them to be calm when there is a sudden change in the house.

Suppose a new cat is made to stay in the same house suddenly as other cats, then they might start fighting and become aggressive.

Food, in these cases, is one of the best ways to tame aggressive cats.

What is it like to have one or more cats at home?

Households with a multi-cat situation can sometimes become very difficult to control as cats are very territorial. More than often, the aggression between cats can hurt the owners or other cats physically.

But again, just cause two cats or more live in the same house does not mean they won't get along. Most cats that live in the same house end up just tolerating each other until and unless they are siblings.

To avoid conflict, they become territorial and start scratching or rubbing their scent on the space most of their time. Bowls need to be separate, and even litter boxes should be separated to avoid aggression and fights.

It is easy to understand if the cats are comfortable with each other when they stop fighting and can share the resources and play with each other without fighting. This is why you need to create a safe routine to help your cats learn not to be aggressive towards each other.

How can you tell whether they're playing or fighting?

There are several signs in the cat's body language, which helps humans understand if they are calm or will start fighting.

When more than one cat inhabits the same space, they can be fighting a lot of the time. Cats take some time to get comfortable with each other.

The signs that could help humans understand if the cats are playing are their ears are pointed forward, and their body is relaxed.

If the pet has dilated pupils and is hissing or their ears become pointed upwards, puff up their fur and tails, then this behavior is a clear sign that the cats are fighting or going to start fighting.

There are also times when they are found to be playing and wrestling with each other, but then they take turns and let each other bite without showing aggression. If they make a loud noise while they are seemingly playing, the cats need to be stopped, as one of the others will get hurt.

Why do they fight with their siblings?

Cats are known to be territorial, and this behavior stays even if they stay in a household with their siblings.

Cats of the same litter fight less often but don't stop fighting and biting each other whenever they feel threatened of losing out on their owner's attention or food.

If the feline animal feels like they are losing on food or their territory is being invaded, they could start to fight and show the behavior of aggression no matter what. Male cats are more aggressive than female cats, but cats of the same sibling group tend to get together more than stranger cats.

In the case of cats from different litter groups, they can be fighting more due to territorial issues or basic feline personality clash.

Male cats also are more aggressive than female cats and try to instill fear in them, and therefore cats of different genders can also have a hard time staying together. This can be solved by creating boundaries between the kittens from an early age.

The cat's feline sense won't be that aggressive with its siblings if they are taught well.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do cats fight, then why not take a look at why do cats pant or Persian cat facts pages?

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

Abhijeet Modi picture

Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

Read full bio >