I've been a cat owner for most of my life and have learned many tips and tricks for keeping cats happy and healthy.
Why Don't My Cats Like Each Other?
Do you have two cats that aren’t getting along? There could be a multitude of reasons why your cats are fighting, and you need to find out why it’s happening before you can solve the problem.
I will explain the various reasons why some cats don't get along with each other and offer solutions to help you bring peace to your household.
All cat fights are not the same. Sometimes what looks like a cat fight may actually be normal playing. This is more common with younger cats, but it can happen at any age. Cats will chase each other around the house, tackle each other, and fight like little wrestlers on the floor. It can sometimes get pretty intense, but, as long as they're not crying out in pain, there’s no need to break them up. They’re probably just having fun or trying to establish their rank in the household.
7 Reasons Why Cats Fight Each Other
- Competition for social ranking
- A new cat is introduced to the current ones in the household
- Territorial behavior
- Scents get mixed when they come home from the vet
- Personality conflicts
1. Competition for Social Ranking
If your cats are still in the getting-to-know-each-other phase (the first few months after a new cat has been brought into the home) and are doing the kind of play fighting described above, don’t worry. They’re probably battling for the alpha cat position in the household.
This happened with my two cats after they met. The play fighting went on for about two or three months. They had a good fight almost every day. Gradually, that tapered off, and they began getting along much better.
Solution: If you suspect that’s what’s going on with your cats, then just let them get it out of their system.
2. A New Cat Is Not Getting Along With Current Cat(s) in the Household
Bringing a new cat or kitten into the home when you already have one or more cats can upset the current hierarchy within the household. A proper, slow introduction will help ease the adjustment. Below is an introduction technique to try even if your cats have already met and spent time together.
How to Introduce or Reintroduce an Old Cat to a New Kitten/Cat
These tips can be used to introduce two cats when one is aggressive or to introduce two aggressive cats. You can also use this method to reintroduce cats that suddenly aren't getting along anymore.
- Separate the cats that aren’t getting along.
- Give the newest cat or kitten its own safe room. It can be a bedroom, a bathroom, a laundry room, or any room with a door where the cat can be isolated from the other felines in the household. Make this room the cat’s special place, complete with his water, food, litter box, bedding, and toys. This is an important step to calm the situation and to make sure your pet is safe and protected from the other felines.
- For the first week, the only contact the cats should have is batting at each other’s paws at the bottom of the door. That’s it.
- During this week, put a clean towel in this room and give your other cat(s) a clean towel to rest on as well. After the cats have slept on the towels for a while and their scents are on them, switch towels so both cats can adjust to each other’s scents. Do this towel switching once or twice a day.
- Also during this week, allow your existing cats to explore your new cat’s room when he’s not in it. This is another way for the cats to get used to each other’s scent.
- When a week has passed, put the cats in their separate carriers and place the carriers a couple of feet apart, facing each other. There may be some hissing or growling, but that’s normal. As they become more used to seeing each other, move the carriers a little closer together. Keep doing this carrier technique once or twice a day for a couple of days.
- Now they’re ready to meet again. I usually like to start with the two cats in a carrier on opposite sides of the room and then let them both out. Be sure someone is there at all times to supervise them very closely at this point. There can be a variety of reactions. Hiding. Hissing. Growling. Sniffing each other. Swatting. If they start to fight, break it up by clapping loudly, and then distract them with toys or a couple of treats. If it goes (relatively) well, let them spend no more than an hour together. If things aren’t going well, put the new cat back in his safe room and let them meet again like this tomorrow.
If this introduction technique doesn’t go well, and the cats are still aggressively fighting after a couple of days, you will have to start the entire introduction technique again and go through each step much more slowly over the period of several weeks.
Read More From Pethelpful
Cats That Used to Get Along Are Suddenly Fighting
There can be several things that cause formerly friendly cats to suddenly begin fighting with each other. The following are some of the most common reasons:
- Territorial behavior
- Scents get mixed when they come home from the vet
- Stress or redirected aggression
- Personality conflicts
3. Territorial Behavior
If one or both cats begin feeling territorial about their favorite lounging spot, their litter box, or their food bowls, this can cause fights. If you notice fights that seem to come from one or more of these things, you’re going to need to do some separation.
- Feed the cats in separate areas or even separate rooms, if necessary.
- Make sure you have enough litter boxes in the house and put one of them in a different place in case one of the cats has claimed a particular litter box as his own.
- See that each cat has his own resting spot, whether that’s a bed, a cat tree, or just a blanket of their own.
- If the fights are particularly bad (i.e. fur is flying or blood is drawn), be sure to keep the cats in completely separate rooms unless someone’s around to keep an eye on them.
- If you go out, make sure they’re separated.
4. Cats Don't Get Along After Surgery or Vet Visit
It’s common for cats in the home to act differently toward a cat that has returned from a vet visit. Cats communicate and share a common scent when they spend time together under the same roof. When a cat comes back from a visit to the vet where he has been handled by strangers or treated with medicine that smells funny, he is covered in a "new" scent that the cats at home find strange. This causes them to react to the cat that was at the vet as if it were a stranger. Hissing, growling, tail puffing, swatting, or even fights are possible reactions.
Fortunately, this usually resolves itself within a day or two once the “vet office smell” wears off, and the cats return to their normal routine.
- Try to schedule vet visits for each of your felines at the same time.
- If that's not possible, separate the cat returning from the vet by putting him in a separate room for at least half a day. This gives him time to groom himself and remove the "offensive" smell from his body.
- Use a hand towel to rub your cats. Then rub this towel on the cat returning from the vet to reintroduce the communal scent that everyone is familiar with.
- You can also rub a strong smell on all of your cats so they all smell alike. Try rubbing your hands with water from canned tuna and stroking all of your cats. This way, they will all smell the same. The tuna scent will even encourage them to groom themselves and each other, which is a great way for them to re-establish their family bond.
If the cat you bring home from the vet isn’t in a condition to defend herself, it’s best to keep her away from the other cat(s) until she is in better health.
Cats instinctively hide illness as a means of survival, so it can often be very difficult to know if your cat is sick, and, sometimes, by the time they do show actual symptoms, they’re extremely ill.
If one of your cats is ill, they may be more short-tempered and begin fighting with another cat they previously got along with. Also, multiple cats in a household form a hierarchy, so if your "alpha cat" is ill, another cat may be fighting to take over its spot.
Be aware of any signs of illness, such as changes in eating or drinking habits, litter box habits, or energy level. If you aren’t sure if you have a sick cat, you should definitely take it to the veterinarian to rule out illness as a cause of the new fighting.
6. Stress or Redirected Aggression
Cats like predictability in their home environment. Anytime something changes, your cat may feel stressed and be more likely to pick fights with other cats in the household.
Some possible stressors can include:
- Moving to a new home
- A new person in the home
- A new pet in the home
- Returning home from boarding
Stress isn’t always preventable, but keeping your cats’ routine and schedule as normal as possible can help reduce their stress level. Try to feed them at their regular times and make sure they have access to their favorite blanket, bed, and toys. Additionally, brushing your cats or taking time to play with them can help alleviate their anxiety.
Cats also show aggression towards other felines in the house when they are provoked or agitated by something they see but can't attack. For example, if your cat sees a squirrel outside the window but can't attack it, she might attack another cat that happens to walk into the same room at that moment. If this happens frequently enough, your other cat will start attacking the cat that was agitated, which leads to the two felines no longer being tolerable of one another.
Find out what the stimulus is that is provoking your cat, and try to remove that stimulus or remove your cat to avoid provoking her and to prevent her from taking it out on another feline.
7. Personality Conflicts
Just like people, some cats just don’t get along for whatever reason. Although felines tend to be quiet and low key, they all have very distinct personalities. Some are aggressive and bold, others are timid or laid-back and carefree. Things can sometimes get a little dicey when these personalities come together under one roof. Maybe you have an energetic young cat or kitten that’s constantly annoying your older, more sedate cat, or you have two females that just can’t seem to get along. These types of conflicts can be temporary or on-going, and the best thing to do is make sure the cats have as much of their own space as possible.
- Diffuse the situation by separating areas to eat, sleep, and use the litter box.
- Give each cat plenty of individual attention and find ways to distract them so they have something to do other than fight.
- Try various cat toys, such as the Bergen TurboScratcher, springs, or whatever types of toys your cats are most interested in.
- If the fights are extreme enough that you fear they’ll injure each other, put the cats in separate rooms at night or when you leave the house.
How to Get Your Cats to Like Each Other
- Make sure each cat has plenty of his or her own space. This means putting their food and water bowls, litter boxes, and beds in separate areas.
- Don’t give the cats catnip. It can increase aggression in some cats.
- Have plenty of their favorite cat toys around to distract them from fighting.
- Make the time they spend together as pleasant as possible. Encourage fun activities, such as playing or giving each one a treat.
- If you have a big cardboard box, open both ends and put it on the floor for them to crawl and play in. It's rare to find a cat that doesn't have fun with cardboard boxes.
- Give each cat plenty of individual attention.
- Don’t leave the cats alone together when you go out until you're confident they're not going to get into a serious fight.
- Have some Feliway on hand. Feliway is a product that replicates a pheromone that can calm cats during times of stress or fighting. It comes in both a spray and an electric diffuser. It can be purchased at most pet stores and online.
- If your cat(s) are not spayed or neutered, they will be more prone to aggressive behavior. Unless you breed cats, consider having your pet neutered.
How to Break Up a Real Cat Fight
- In a real catfight, you’ll see claws and teeth and hear plenty of hissing, growling, and crying.
- You will want to break up this type of fight, but don’t get in the middle of it.
- The best way is to clap loudly or stomp on the floor to scare them.
- Some people suggest spraying the warring cats with a water bottle, but I’ve heard mixed opinions on whether that’s a good idea.
- If you try to pull one cat off the other, you’ll likely end up getting scratched.
- Of course, remember to never hit or strike your pet. It won’t solve the problem and will only make them distrust you.
How Long Does It Take Cats to Get Used to Each Other?
According to the ASPCA, it can take eight months to a year for cats to develop friendships. Some will learn to love each other, but you might have to face the reality that not all cats will get along. They will usually try to avoid each other if a friendship doesn't develop, but sometimes fights break out and, unfortunately, persist until one cat has to be re-homed.
Do Two Male or Two Female Cats Get Along Better?
It is common to think that two female cats are more likely to cause drama, but, in reality, it is hard to predict whether cats will get along based on gender alone. Stereotypical behaviors associated with gender, however, still exist, and it's important to keep them in mind when choosing the sex of your kittens.
Neutered male cats are generally more accepting of other cats. If you have unneutered males, then they may engage in fighting or other shows of aggression to express dominance.
Females are competitive in their own way, and they usually fight for their owner's undivided attention. They also express princess-like behavior and each believes they are the queen of the house. You can imagine why having two or more "queens" in the same household can cause problems.
Does Gender Matter?
It does to an extent; however, two males, two females, or even a male-female pair can get along as long as they are introduced at a young age. Friendships can form with older cats, but they are much more difficult. If you want to introduce adult cats, be sure they are of the same size and around the same age so as to avoid bullying.
Most Cats Learn to Accept Each Other
It’s possible that some cats may never quite get along, but usually, they will learn to accept each other if you try some of the ideas mentioned above. It takes time and patience in some cases, but you should see at least some improvement.
With a little effort on our part, most conflicts can be resolved or at least reduced to the point where the cats learn to tolerate each other without resorting to serious fights.
I hope these tips have been useful to you, and I hope your cats will soon learn to enjoy each other’s company.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
Question: We rescued a young female cat and brought her into a home with three established males. The males are all pretty laid back, and interested in getting to know the new cat, but she is very aggressive and screams and goes after them if they get too close to her or us. She behaves as if she was the original cat and the males are the new cats. What can we do to get her to quit being such a bully?
Answer: From what you describe, this sounds like the female cat is reacting aggressively due to the changes in her life. A new home, a new family and three cats she sees as strangers is a lot to handle. Cats thrive on routine, so her reaction sounds fairly normal, especially if you've recently adopted her. She could feel intimidated and possibly stressed. Her behavior might also be part of her personality or related to experiences she had with other cats before you took her in.
To improve the situation, I would first work on getting her calm, settled and adjusted to your family, your home and your routine before I'd worry too much about the relationship with the other cats. I think this is something that will happen in time as she adjusts to her new home. It's a positive sign that the male cats want to get to know her.
If you can somehow keep her away from the males, even for a few days, and spend time brushing her, playing and letting her explore without worrying about interactions with the other cats, that might help. Bach Rescue Remedy Pet Formula drops in her water also might be worth a try to calm her down. (You can find this at some grocery stores in the vitamin section, pet stores or health food stores).
Once she's calmer and more settled, try letting her spend time with one of the males at a time. Let them spend short sessions together (ideally playing) until you see some improvement in how she interacts with them one on one.
Once she has a chance to get more familiar with each one, have them all spend time together for brief periods until you see enough improvement to have everyone together all the time.
I think if you do this slowly, without her having around all the existing cats at once, she might be less of a bully and become more mellow as time goes on.
Question: We have an older male cat and recently adopted a 6 year-old male cat. At first, everyone was getting along great. They were sleeping together, grooming each other, etc. Within a week, my older cat has started jumping on the younger cat and a slapping/hissing fight ensues. Both of the cats are fixed. Can you tell me what happened? Will it ever go back to the way it was and is there anything I can do to make that happen?
Answer: From what you describe, it sounds like your older cat wants to make it clear to the younger one that he's the alpha cat in your household. Sometimes the new and existing cat will fight like this from the start, and other times it doesn't happen right away.
Your older cat might have started to feel jealous or intimidated by the new one. He could be worrying that the new guy is going to be competition for your attention, food, his litter box or all the space around the house that he's had all to himself before.
This kind of fighting might go on for a while. It could be a few days, a few weeks or even on and off for several months as they sort out their relationship.
Every pair of neutered male cats I've had have fought like this for a while. It does taper off once they decide who's boss.
As long as your cats aren't crying in pain or getting injured, I wouldn't be too concerned because it sounds like the type of fighting that's typical when a new cat comes into the home. You don't have to break up the fights unless they look or sound serious.
The only things you can do to help the situation is to make sure each cat has their own litter box, gets plenty of individual attention and has their own space to rest. If you can encourage them to play, that also might help diffuse the fighting.
This is likely just a brief phase they're going through, and once they get past it, they should go back to how they were in the beginning.
Question: I have an 11-year-old cat who's been the only cat. Recently we’ve taken in a stray. My cat is so upset, remains in one side of the house and refuses to even meet the new kitty. I feel horrible. It’s been about a month, and she’s still so upset. Should I try and find a new home for our new kitty? He’s very sweet, and my kids would be crushed, but I feel bad for my older cat!
Answer: Since your cat has had you and your family all to herself until now, this is a very normal reaction. I had the same experience when I added a second cat. Though it depends on the cat, it can take a while for your existing cat to adjust. It might take a few more weeks or months before the cat starts interacting with the new cat. I know it's difficult to think you've upset your cat by adding another, but in my experience, it's just a phase, and eventually, she'll get over it. I wouldn't consider finding a new home for the second one. Just give the situation more time and find ways to encourage interaction, play and a few cat treats.
Question: We have a three-year-old male cat, and we just brought a six-week-old male kitten into our home. We've had him since July, but they both continue to fight and hiss. Our older cat seems really jealous. He even growls at me now and scratches me when I pet him, which he has never done before. Will they ever become friends, or did we make a mistake bringing another cat into the house?
Answer: I think your older cat just needs more time to get used to the idea of a kitten in the house. The kitten is probably quite a bit more active than he is, so he might be annoyed by that, too.
Try to give him space if he needs it. If he wants to hide and sit by himself, that's fine. If he comes up to you and wants attention, pet him, but be cautious until he starts acting more like himself.
Once he calms down a little, you can try getting a cat toy they can play with together. The Turbo Scratcher is a good one for this, especially with kittens. If you can get them to start playing and rewarding them with a treat if it goes well, I think this will help.
In my experience, it’s just a matter of being patient with the cat and giving him time to adjust.
Question: I have two cats. One is a big 7-year-old neutered male, and the other one is a 2-year-old non-neutered male. They can get along sometimes, but they do fight. Now my neutered cat has disappeared completely. Both are indoor & outdoor cats. Could it be that my neutered guy decided to leave the house because of the (quiet dominant) non-neutered cat?
Answer: Yes, it is possible he left because of the other cat. He could feel intimidated or jealous of the other cat and needed some time away.
Question: I just recently adopted a 4 year-old male cat. I already have a 3 year-old male. He's very calm, chill and sweet. I've never heard him hiss at another cat or person. This new cat keeps hissing at my cat. He just wants to play and smell him but the new cat won't let him. How do I get the new cat to get along with my old cat?
Answer: This is all part of them getting to know each other. The cat hisses because the other cat is still a stranger him. It will take some time, but as each day goes by, he'll realize this cat is part of the family and there should be less hissing. This can take anywhere from days, weeks or even months depending on your cats' individual personalities. If you try some of the suggestions in the article about getting them to play, making sure they have individual attention and plenty of their own space, this should help speed up the process of accepting each other and eventually playing and hanging out as friends. Good luck and congratulations on adopting a new cat!
Question: We have two female sister cats. They have been great for four years, that is until one month ago. It seems like they just can’t get along any more. Is there anything we can try?
Answer: There's usually a reason for cats suddenly not getting along. Has anything changed recently? Moving? A new addition to the home? Could one of them be feeling unwell and getting grumpy? Hot weather? It really helps to try to pinpoint what might be causing them to fight, if you can.
Basic things like making sure they have enough individual space for eating, sleeping and one litter box per cat can help. If there's a chance one of them isn't feeling well, consider asking your vet. Cats are great at hiding symptoms, and sometimes they're so subtle that they're easy to miss.
They also could just be fighting out of boredom, so try adding some interesting new cat toys, scratching posts or spend some time playing with them each day to try to distract them from fighting.
Question: I have adopted a new female cat, and my other female cat isn't being very nice to her. I'm keeping them separated for now. The new cat is in my room, and the other has the rest of the house to herself. But, at night time, I have to switch their places because my older cat cries if she doesn't sleep with me. Is this going to help them get along?
Answer: I don't think keeping them apart at night will necessarily help them get along, but it's the safest thing to do if you're not sure how they'll be together while you sleep.
I would try to do what you can to encourage them to play and get to know each other during the day. Sometimes it is just a matter of time for an existing cat to accept and be nice to a new cat. The amount of time depends on the cat.
Once you see their relationship improve and trust them to be together unsupervised, you shouldn't have to worry about keeping them separated at night.
Question: I have a one-year-old male cat named Hector. Recently, I found a lonely female kitten across the street, and took her in. Hector has been so jealous. He hisses at the kitten, bully her sometimes when am not around also. I try to bring them together and play with them, but Hector keeps hissing, not friendly at all! I’m scared! What should I do to make Hector like the new kitten?
Answer: It sounds like Hector is jealous because he's had you to himself and sees the new kitten as competition for your attention.
It's hard to make cats play, but have you tried putting a few big cardboard boxes in the center of a room? You can open the bottom of the boxes and turn them on their sides like tunnels. Cats usually love this, and they might start playing hide and seek on their own.
The only other thing you can do besides giving him time to adjust is make sure he gets lots of attention and praise. Give them both treats at the same time, so he associates the kitten with something he likes.
It may take some time, but you should slowly see improvement.
If you think that he's bullying her when you're not around, you might want to keep them in separate rooms when you're away until you're sure they're getting along.
Question: Do female cats become aggressive after spaying? My female cat attacked my male cat after a couple of weeks of being home following surgery. There didn't appear to be any reason for the attack as he was just laying on the floor.
Answer: It's possible this could be caused by hormones still in her system or just the stress of surgery and being away from home. Cats typically become less aggressive after spaying or neutering, but it doesn't happen all at once. If it continues, you might want to ask your vet for their thoughts.
Question: I just brought my new kitten home and she is curled in a ball sleeping. My 4-year-old cat keeps growling at her. What should I do?
Answer: The growling is a very normal reaction because the 4-year-old cat sees the new kitten as a total stranger in his or her home. You should try to keep them in separate rooms when you're not there to supervise them for the time being.
I would try the Introduction Technique discussed in the article to give them a chance to get to know each other gradually over a period of time. I've found it makes the adjustment period easier for both of them and the kitten won't feel threatened or intimidated by the older cat's growling. It can be a little work, but the patience and extra effort usually pays off and your cats will become comfortable with each other and learn to get along.
Question: I have three cats; two have been introduced to the resident cat over the past ten weeks, one male and one female. Resident cat accepted the male at first but now fights with him. Both females hiss and growl at each other, and the resident cat is sleeping outside after being chased off the property by the new female. How do I assist these cats to tolerate each other?
Answer: I assume these are all adult cats. They can take longer to warm up to each other than kittens.
It sounds like you've done a great job introducing them over a period of weeks, so it's probably just a matter of them needing more time to accept each other. When they're all together, offer some new cat toys, treats, things to climb on or whatever it takes to try to get some positive interaction and distractions from hissing, etc. It's likely they'll start to get along better with a little more time.
Question: We have a fifteen-year-old female cat. She has been around our two dogs or the last thirteen years, and the only cat for the last four years. We adopted a one-year-old male cat about a month ago, and lost our oldest dog just over a week ago. My older cat wants nothing to do with our new cat, hisses, growls, and clings to me if I pick her up. She is refusing to use the litter box and has resulted in urinating in our bed. Do you have any suggestions?
Answer: It sounds like your older cat is very stressed and upset about the recent changes and loss of your dog. Because she's older, these things are harder for her to adjust to. If she were my cat, I'd check with a vet to rule out any medical cause for her urinating in the bed and refusing to use the litter box. It could just be a reaction from the stresses, but it's safer with a cat of her age to know for sure. Other than that, she will probably just need time to calm down and accept the new cat in the home.
Question: We have a six-year-old female cat. We lost our fifteen-year-old male cat last year. We decided to get a new friend. The new cat is also six-years-old, and female. We have had the new cat for about two weeks. They swat at each other no hits have landed. We couldn't do a slow intro, as the old cat was very curious as to what was in the carrier. How long should it take for them to at least not swat at each other?
Answer: It could take a few more weeks, or it might go on longer. It depends on your cat's personalities. I think your existing cat will eventually stop seeing the new arrival as a stranger (or competition) and will start to appreciate having a friend and companion as she had before.
Question: How can I help my cats get along? I have a four-year-old neutered male, and an eight-month-old neutered male. I have the had the baby now for 6 months and my male is always hissing, growling, and now scratched the little ones head. The situation has gotten worse, I need help.
Answer: It’s hard to get some cats to get along. It could be a personality clash, or maybe he’s acting out because he’s bored, stressed or is worried the younger cat is trying to take the alpha role. Usually, by the six-month point, you see some improvement in their relationship.
You can try the Re-Introduction Technique even though it’s been six months. Keeping them separate for a while might also be a good idea since the one scratched the other.
You also might want to put a Feliway Classic Plug-In Diffuser in the rooms your cats spend the most time together. This can help make them feel calmer, and might help with the older one’s aggression.
Once they’re together, try to encourage them to play because that seems to help with bonding. Don’t use catnip because it can make cats more aggressive.
If those things don’t help, you can ask your vet about medication to help calm the older cat until he’s not continually hissing and going after the younger one.
I hope it works out between your cats and thanks so much for your question!
Question: How do I fix this situation? I attempted to introduce a third cat to my home, and within the first few hours, my existing dominant cat attacked my other cat. I removed the new cat from the situation, but now my two existing cats hiss, scream and fight at the sight of each other. I have kept them separate for a little over a week, and switching their spaces, so they know each other’s scents. The non-dominant hisses when he sees the dominant/aggressor, and then all hell breaks loose.
Answer: It sounds like introducing the new cat caused your existing cats stress, and the fighting is just their way of dealing with it. Cats like routine and sometimes all it takes is one thing to throw off the balance that they're used to. It's especially hard with cats that aren't kittens anymore. From what you describe, you're doing everything right. Just try to keep their routine, feeding, play, etc., very similar to what they are used to, and that should help to reassure them. I don't know if you plan to bring the new cat back or not, but if so, try to do the same with him or her (a slow introduction and then a routine). Patience and time are usually the two best solutions for dealing with cats that aren't getting along well.
Question: I have 5 male cats and I've adopted a female stray cat from abroad. She's been with us for 4 months and is a very loving cat. The male cats are very laid back and have shown no aggression to her but she won't allow them to come anywhere near her. She has the safety of my bedroom which she refuses to leave and if any of the other cats try to enter she attacks them until they run off. How can I get her to not only get on with the other cats, but to also leave the bedroom?
Answer: It sounds like your female cat is having some trouble adjusting to being around five male cats. I don't know whether she lived with other cats or not before you adopted her, but if she didn't, this might be intimidating to her. She probably feels safest in the bedroom and sees it as her personal territory to defend.
The only way to get her to start interacting with your other cats is to get her out of the bedroom and keep the door shut so she can't sneak back in. This sounds harsh, but as long as she can hide from them, this behavior will probably continue.
Before you do this, you might want to get her a cat cube bed that she can crawl into and feel safe. Keep this in your bedroom for a few days so she can go into it and knows it's hers. Right before you get her out of the bedroom, put this cube someplace else in the house so she can hide if she really needs to.
Observe how she gets along with the other cats under your supervision. It's great your male cats aren't aggressive, but you'll need to be the judge of whether you will need to let her back into the bedroom at night or when you're not at home. You might need to do this until you feel confident everyone's getting along and feels comfortable.
This might be a slow and gradual process, but once she's doesn't have the option of hiding away from them as much (or eventually at all), I think she'll settle into your home.
Since she's still a kitten, try to get her to play as much as possible in order to focus on something fun, rather than trying to attack the others.
Question: I have had two cats - one female one male - for about three years, and I recently got a new female cat about three months ago. She has no problem with the other two, but the two other cats hiss and growl at her even if they aren’t near each other. What should I do to help them all get along?
Answer: Some cats are more accepting of a new cat than others. Adding a new cat changes things, and they need time to adjust. You can make sure they all have enough space and separate areas for food, water, and naps if necessary. You can also try a Feliway Diffuser in the areas your cats spend the most time together. If it's just hissing and growling, I wouldn't worry too much. It might continue for a while, but hopefully, as time goes on, their attitude toward her will improve.
Question: I have two cats. One is older and has been here for awhile, and the other has been here for almost a month. They still constantly fight to the extent where fur is ripped off. What do you suggest we do?
Answer: Have you tried any of the steps mentioned in the article? If not, I suggest starting with the 'Re-Introduction Technique,' where they'll be kept separate at first and then be re-introduced slowly. If that doesn't work, you can check with your vet to see if there's a medication he or she can give to help calm them down. If they are still fighting to the point of possibly getting injured after that, you might need to re-home one of them. But, I hope some of the suggestions in the article or from your vet can help, so that's not necessary. It does take some time, even months, for some cats to get to the point where they aren't fighting.
Question: I recently adopted a two-year-old neutered male cat. I already own a five-year-old male. They met briefly. I heard my cat hiss when the younger tried to tackle the older. Now the older one wants nothing to do with the younger one and hides. Is this normal?
Answer: Yes, it sounds like a very typical reaction for cats just getting to know each other. They see each other as strangers, and it can take a while for them to accept that this cat will be there every day. Your five-year-old cat might also see the new guy as competition for your love and attention and be jealous for a while. The good news is that they do get over it and eventually the hissing and hiding will taper off. It can take some patience and putting up with some hissing, sulking or fights, but most of the time it works out.
Question: I have two nine-month-old kittens. A month ago I took in a twelve-year-old cat. I introduced them gradually, there has been no actual fighting but all are worried around each other - less of an issue when they have access to the garden but while I am at work and overnight they are all shut in. Currently, the twelve-year-old cat is shut in the spare room when I'm not there, but he is getting quite depressed about this. Can you offer any advice?
Answer: Can he trade places with where you keep the kittens every other day or so, so he's not stuck in the same room?
When you're home and can check on them, try to have them all together as much as possible, so they start getting more comfortable around each other.
It's a good sign that there's no fighting. It sounds like they all just need a little time to get to know each other.
Question: My cat, who we rescued, is paranoid at times of the other cat. Whenever our other cat gets underfoot and lets out a loud meow, our paranoid cat goes into a state and attacks the other cat (thinking the other meowing cat is about to get aggressive towards him just because he meowed loudly after getting under our feet). I'm thinking of using CBD oil or maybe putting some hormone they advertise into the air to calm him down. Have you any other solutions?
Answer: I haven't tried CBD oil, so I'm not sure how it works. I have used Feliway which comes in a spray as well as a multi-cat diffuser that you can plug in an outlet in rooms where your cats spend the most time together. There's information on the Feliway website on how and where to use these products, so they work the best.
Bach Flower Remedies has a Pet Rescue Remedy formula for fearful cats. It's used by adding a couple of drops to the cat's water and could help with the aggression.
You also could try distracting them both with a cat toy before the one cat has a chance to go after the other.
If none of these things work, I would ask your vet. Medication to help calm him is also something that might reduce his anxiety and reaction to the other cat.
Question: I'm moving to a new home with one of my friends (a new home for her too), and we both have two male neutered cats. Hers is about four years old, and mine is about two. I know that this will cause both of them stress due to the moving and new place. Should we separate them from the beginning or let them explore the new house and each other from the beginning as this is a new situation for both of them and none feels comfortable already?
Answer: I think the second option you mention could work since this will be a brand new experience for both of them. Let the cats meet and explore together as long as someone’s around to see how it goes. From there, you can decide whether you need to keep them separate for a while or not. Because they're both in someplace new, it might make their introduction easier than if one was brought into the other's territory.
Question: I have a fourteen-year-old male neutered cat who is very scared of the about a year-old stray male cat who has not been neutered that I have been trying to adopt. What should I do to make them get along? Sometimes the younger cat will attack the older cat. The stray is very friendly to me, but not to my other cat. What should I do?
Answer: Since the stray male has not been neutered, this might be one of the reasons for him attacking the older cat. A male cat that isn't neutered can be more aggressive, even if he's friendly with you. I wouldn't leave them alone unsupervised if you think one could get hurt.
If you can have the cat neutered, that would be my first thought. After that, he should gradually become more mellow and be less likely to go after the older cat.
Because of their age difference, they might not play all the time and act like best friends, but I think that's the best chance of these two guys at least co-existing.
Question: I have two cats that I adopted together. They have been together for about three years. They don't love each other, but they co-exist just fine. About six weeks ago, I had to take in my Mom's cat. She had to go to a nursing home. Her cat is a 17-year-old female and doesn't seem to want to even look at the other girls. Do you have any suggestions? I hope that they can at least co-exist peacefully.
Answer: This is quite a bit of change for a cat to go through at one time, especially a senior cat that's probably set in her ways. It sounds like the way she's behaving has more to do with missing your mom and being in a new home than her dislike of the other cats. She likely needs more time to adjust to her new living situation before she'll be interested in the other cats. Cats get very bonded with their owners, and a change like this can really affect them.
As long as she has enough of her own space, love, and attention, she will likely come around and start being more friendly with the others as she adjusts. Because she's 17, it might take longer for her than if she were younger, but I do think it's possible that they can all co-exist.
Question: I have a 6-year-old female cat that is not spayed. I recently rescued a 7-year-old female cat who is spayed. The new cat does try to get along, but my other cat won't reciprocate. Is it because one is spayed and the other isn't?
Answer: Since your 6-year-old cat is not spayed, she might be feeling more territorial about having someone new in what she considers her space, but even cats that are both spayed often take time to get along.
Since you said this is recent, it might just be a matter of time for her. Your cats being similar ages, and the new cat wanting to get along are both positive signs that it can work out.
Question: How do I deal with a cat who fights with a sibling after the sibling just took a bath?
Answer: Some cats get upset seeing another cat with its fur all wet and smelling clean. This causes them to react to the other cat as if it's a stranger. I'd suggest keeping them in separate rooms until the cat that got bathed is dry and brushed. After that, a few cat treats might distract them from fighting as well.
Question: What calming pill can I give my cats to accept the kitten?
Answer: You can try Bach Flower Pet Rescue Remedy which is homeopathic and often helps to make cats calmer and less stressed, which might help them accept your kitten.
It's given by putting drops in the cat's food. You can buy it online or at some health food stores. I've also seen it at Whole Foods.
As far as pills, you can ask your vet about medication to help calm your cats if they think it would help.
Question: I have a ragdoll, and of course, they are a larger breed. She likes to what I call "hatch the kittens that I adopted. She backs up and sits right on their head and shoulders, so they can’t get up. The kittens are Angoras small cats. My cat weighs 13 pounds, and the kittens weigh six and eight pounds. Do I need to worry? Otherwise, they get along OK with a few booping sessions here and there. One of the kittens is no longer afraid of her, but my cat can still overpower them.
Answer: I haven't heard of a cat sitting like that. Because of the size difference and you said they couldn't get up, I would be concerned and not leave them alone together until the kittens are bigger and better able to get away from your cat. She might just be trying to let them know who's boss, but it's better to be safe than sorry. They will all likely get along eventually, but I would be cautious for now and supervise them when they're together.
Question: How do you introduce a kitten to an older cat? Someone gave me a three-month-old kitten, and I have no idea how to help them get along with each other. I have four other older cats in my house as well. We are trying to get them to smell the new kitty, but we are too afraid that it will be too overwhelming for the new kitty, or that the other kitties would start hissing, etc. at her.
Answer: I would keep the kitten apart from the other cats at first until you see how they react. Have the kitten sleep on a blanket or towel and then put that around the other cats, so they get used to her scent. Since you have four other cats, it might be overwhelming to have them all together at once, so try having her around one or two at a time and see how that goes. Have her spend a little more time with the cats each day, under supervision. If any of the cats aren't behaving well with her, keep them in carriers so they can see each other, but not start a fight. You will have to be the judge of your older cats' personalities and how you feel about trusting them with a young kitten. Some cats are fine with a new kitten; others might take more time. The introduction technique is also a good idea because the kitten will feel safe and the others will have more time to adjust to a new family member.
© 2012 carolynkaye
Melanie95 on September 03, 2020:
My two cats don't get along especially since i've stopped letting them out. The male is pretty affectionnate towards her and has a playful attitude, but the female reacts aggressively everytime a cats tries to interact with her. She hisses, growls and even screams. What should I do to discourage the male from interacting with her ?
Elizabeth on September 02, 2020:
We have three cats--an older male and two younger females, mother and daughter. Mother and daughter do NOT get along at all. They got long fine until the daughter turned 1 and had a litter of kittens (they're all fixed now.) She got really aggressive towards her mother and her mother despised the kittens. I thought it would die down after the kittens left but it never did. Daughter acts like the boss of everyone and her mother seems scared of her but also growls any time her daughter comes near. So there's some aggression on both sides. The male mostly stays out of it and he and the mom get along well enough to sit together but he avoids the daughter too.
They don't need to be best friends but I'm tired of the growling and chasing each other. I wished they'd get along better. What can we do?
HeidyO on August 30, 2020:
Hubby & I adopted Myko on Aug. 1st...
didn’t want him to get lonely & just adopted Gwenie yesterday... Myko (Make) is 3 months & Gwenie (female) is 2 months.
Myko is not liking her . He’s fighting with her, but not clamping down all the way.. she plays back or completely ignores him until he pounces on her. Then she’ll let out a quite meow or hiss. Right now we have her in another room trying to make them interact under the door, he won’t even acknowledge she’s there.
I cried myself to sleep because I felt like Myko wasn’t going to love his new sister & I didn’t like my hubby scolding him when it’s his house & toys.
Not sure what to do here .
Grace on August 13, 2020:
I’m very worried. We have two female cats. The first cat we’ve had for about 11 years. We got our second cat 5 years ago. They have never gotten along. We feel horrible for the older cat because it’s caused so much stress and we have tried many stress relievers such as aroma sprays, we have the litter boxes and food dishes in desperate rooms, we got a cat water fountain so they both drink more water and it calms them, and the elder has a safe spot. At this point I don’t know what to do and they both seem more on edge lately. They had a cat fight the other week, and the second cat’s fur was pulled, thus concluding being on edge. We don’t know what to do at this point because we don’t want to get rid of either cat and we’ve invested money in the vet and as said before aroma spray, etc. Please if anyone has advice let me know.
EmmaD8 on August 11, 2020:
I have a 3 year old cat who I adopted when she was pregnant. She is a big softy. When she had her kittens, she was a great mum and all but 1 kitten were rehomed. We kept one male kitten who is now nearly 1. They regularly have awful fights with the male kitten being the instigator and I’m worried that they’ll either get hurt or it will stress the mum out.
Is there anything I can do or do I need to consider rehoming the kitten. They are indoor cats and I have tried the Feliway plug in
Shaila Pacheco on August 09, 2020:
I have a 4 month old cat and i barley got a 4 week old kitten but my 4 month cat is pouncing and bitting my kitten i dont know if there playing or fighting. Sometimes my kitten cries.
Melanie Youngblood on August 02, 2020:
I have 2 sibling cats, Mischief and Shylo.Mischief bullies Shylo. Shylo won't leave the bedroom because mischief won't let him. Mischief will come upstairs just to pick a fight with him. Shylo is so stressed out he isn't eating right, he's lost weight. He isn't using the litter box and he stays hidden in the cat condo. I don't know what to do. I have been reading on melatonin. Is that a good idea?? Any suggests Other than getting rid of one will be appreciated
Mel on July 21, 2020:
I had 4 cats 2 male and 2 female, around 5 years +- all. I recently got 2 new female cats and one of the males and one of the females that we had is now bullying and attacking the 2 new female cats. It's been like already 5 weeks and the old cats can't seem to get to like the new cats. We tried switching blankets, we tried the interaction in the cages and everything you could think of but nothing is working.
Do you think hormonal treatment can work or what is your opinion?
Liz on July 20, 2020:
I have 2 female cats at home, the younger of the 2 is definitely the dominant one & feels she is in charge of the house, while the other cat is very laid back. Well we just brought in a kitten, about 6 weeks old and male. I know to keep the separated and slowly introduce them to each other. But the dominate female REFUSES to even go anywhere near where is kitten is. I brought the kitten out of the room for a little bit to give some attention to him and left the door open for the other cats to explore the new ones scent. The older cat again is fine, but the younger dominant one hisses at the room and then peed on the floor. I am worried she is not going to even try to smell the new kitten
Atdtmommy on June 30, 2020:
My out cats were all getting along then the a Mom cat after having her kittens 2 weeks ago became aggressavive to me. And we have two other male cats she suddenly does not. Get along with one of them even though up till the day or two after she had her kittens she was fine with everyone.
Do you think she will get out of this stage as i need to catch her soon to get fixed
And when do you think these little fur babys will come out of where ever mommy had them i can wait to meet the little bunddles and get them gendered and fixed at right age.
Sadly i just moved into the neighborhood and momma cat was dropped off here already pregnant so once she is done feeding her babies she also will get fixed.
Kunal Pradhan on June 29, 2020:
I have two male cats who have been together since birth. They used to be find of each other but have suddenly started fighting after a year and a half. Both of them were not neutered, but recently I have neutered one of them. The neutered cat has suddenly become more aggressive towards the intact male who is suddenly acting docile. What can be done in this situation?
Andrea on June 26, 2020:
I have 3 cats 1 girl (7 years) 2 boys (6&4 years) all orange tabbies. They get along great and we’ve never really had any issues with them.
We adopted an 11 year old female about 6 months ago. She has hyperthyroidism and is very sweet and mild tempered until she gets around the other cats. It’s clear she gets very agitated when she sees or knows when one of the cats are around. The other 3 don’t mind her, but are also very curious about her.
She was a stray before and don’t have a whole lot of background, but she loves people.
We have separated her from the other cats because when she does come in contact with them she tries to attack or hisses and growls at them, which causes big fights. They all protect each other so when this happens she gets overwhelmed and will pee wherever she’s at.
When she is in the room she is a totally different cat. How do we help her get more comfortable around the others?
Lisa on June 22, 2020:
I have 2 tuxedo female cats. One I got at 5 weeks old- she will be 4 in August, and a 3 year old(got 2 1/2 yrs ago). They get along. I adopted a 7 month old cat from the pound. The 3 yr old was a bit of a bully at times to the kitten, and the kitten was a bit fearful at times. Fast forward 9 months and all of a sudden the now 16 month kitten is attacking the 3 year old... it just started one afternoon! Her eyes go black, and at times she stalks her, chases screams and the claws come out viciously! The 3 year old and even the 4 year old are fearful now and are afraid to walk around the house. Ive yelled and stomped when the creaming fights happen and I have smacked the kitten on the bum, I’ve put her in another room by herself (with food and litter). The vet gave me a prescription of Prozac but I’m against it- I just bought the feliway plug in, but how do I get them to get along again??
Rose on June 22, 2020:
I have recently gotten two cats o e is two day in my house and the other is a day in the house and all that's happening is hissing/tapping each others heads
Sab077 on June 20, 2020:
I have a rescue cat who is 4 and shes a female and i just recently got a 3 month old kitten whos a male , all she does is hiss and growl at him is this normal ? Im scared she might hurt him when im not home , my older cat is keeping her space from me aswel
Jasmin Worden on June 11, 2020:
Hi there! We recently got a 8 week old kitten, after 2.5 weeks we decided to get him a friend and picked up a 7 week old kitten.
They’re about 3 weeks apart. (Both males)
Our first kitten we got is not being very nice to the new baby, he’s pouncing in him and biting him.
New kitten is unphased by him, he wants to play but older kitty is too rough with him.
It’s Day 2 - We bought a calm diffuser and some new toys.
What else can we do?
Cindy Barr on May 30, 2020:
We took in a pregnant stray in February. We took her to vet and was told to keep her separated from our 8 1/2 yo Maine Coon male. We did that and about week later, mama kitty had 5 beautiful babies. We have had mama and babies in our bedroom since Feb. 7 and on May 1st (after several trips to vet for different kitten issues) we introduced mama to our MC.
Our MC growls and hisses at the mama and if kittens get too close, he hisses at the kittens. He hides under the couch or runs down into the cellar. We are keeping the mama and babies. All have been spayed and neutered and have all their shots and chipped. Please help us. We feel terrible that our wonderful MC is so scared. Thank you
Elin Darbo-Egan on May 30, 2020:
Four years ago I bought two Siamese brothers Maurice and Toulouse. They were inseparable until Toulouse sadly died on the road aged 2 years. Maurice was bereft at the loss of his brother, as was I, but as a result we became even closer than we had been before.
At Christmas, a year and a half after Toulouse died I introduced very gradually a female Siamese kitten to Maurice. This went beautifully well and he bonded with her and showed both his caring and playful side. They would play endlessly chasing each other and then spend the rest of the day in a heap grooming each other.
As she got to around 6 months (she is now 8 months) he started becoming annoyed at her constant chasing him, but as he is a gentle cat he would just hiss then run away from her making her chase even more.This has escalated to the point where he now hisses and swipes at her whenever he sees her. She in turn gets very frustrated by his change of behaviour and charges round the house like someone possessed. I thought things would improve once she was spayed and could join him outside but that has made no difference.
On occasion he still jumps into her bed, licks here all over and falls asleep using her as a pillow. He is a dominant cat but a passive aggressive one (used to sit on his brother).I now try and keep them separated to give him a breather, which I hope will calm them both down. Any ideas of what would help restore the harmony between them?
Myf on May 20, 2020:
We have two male cats, one (Seefa) is nearly 2 and we have had him since he was 10 weeks. The other (Mr Moo) was adopted from RSPCA and is nearly 5. I lived apart from my husband with Mr Moo for 6 months. A year ago we started living together again and since then, Mr Moo always chases Seefa and won’t let him in the house. Seefa seems to be very scared if the bully and spends most of his time on the roof, where Mr Moo can’t reach him, he only comes inside when we lock Mr Moo in the bedroom. How do we get them to be together??
Jasmineee06 on May 06, 2020:
Hi i recently just got a new kitten, but at home i have a 20 year old cat who's always had the house to herself. When i bring the kitten downstairs my older cat just hisses at her and hits her with her paw. After i've taken the kitten upstairs away from that, my new cat will be really aggresive towards me and just hiss at me for no reason. Any tips for helping them to get along?
Jessica on May 04, 2020:
okay so i have a 12 week old kitten and devided to get her a play mate. Soni got a 6 week old girl kitten well brought her home and my 12 week old kitten keeps hissing at her what can i do. Is this normal. Does this mean my other kittwn dont like cats
firstname.lastname@example.org on May 04, 2020:
We adopted two cats (male and female) at about 3 weeks old - they are now 7. They were found abandoned at a garage. We bottle fed Comet & Cleo and they played wonderfully together and with my then 18 year old cat. Move 2 - 3 years on and Cleo started disliking Comet, her brother (I have been told that cats from the same litter can have different fathers, but they even look identical). My old boy passed on a few years later (Cleo did not have a problem with him) and she still continues to dislike / hate Comet, hissing at him, fighting with him. We stay in a complex surrounded by beautiful gardens and they both come in and out as they please. They have separate eating areas or on some days Cleo doesn't mind eating close to Comet. They have separate sleeping areas and do their business in the garden. I have tried putting different cat litters in places - they don't use them. We are emigrating soon to a 2 bedroom apartment, from our spacious home. From sunny South Africa to snowy Austria. How are these cats going to fair together, not going outside like they used to and being in a small space. The vet feels at a loss. It's been 5 years of dislike. Comet is such a lovable chilled cat and Cleo has always been highly strung and stressed - very territorial - but she's also a sweetheart when she wants to be. We use the smelly plug ins to calm her and she always has a fresh calming collar on. Because of all the packing up for the move, Cleo is more stressed than normal and I feel terrible for Comet - it amounts to abuse ... imagine being hated and picked on every week. He cowers and won't sleep on the bed anymore - he is just not happy. I cannot imagine putting my healthy babies to sleep / or one of them and I chose to be their Mommy - I cannot give one of them away. Please help me - I just want everyone to get along. My last two cats got on so well - she used to clean him and they played so nicely (it was beautiful to watch) ... what is wrong with Cleo ... or me - I feel like I've failed as a Mommy here!? She goes through phases of being okay and then not. A friend recommended a pet counsellor type of person, who came to see us a few years ago - it was a waste of time and money. I will try rubbing the tuna water on them both, but it's been years and they have come and gone from vets (same day), they were both fixed in their first year, they get equal love and attention. Please I will try anything to have a happy household and happy pets.
sammy on May 04, 2020:
How would you stop a year old kitten and a grown cat to get along
Shadow23 on April 26, 2020:
Hello i have 3 kittens one is a male and he has a sister then we got another girl kitten given to us. A day after we got the kittens they would have been 6 weeks old when we got them they are now 4mnths old and the male kitten is spraying all the time on our bed and pillows but mostly towels they have 2 litter boxes between them how do we stop him from spraying on everything please
Naura on April 25, 2020:
I have 2 cats which are about 7 months old or more and they never hissed at any animal or people so i adopted a new one which is about 3 months old, when i bring the new kitty home my 2 cats looked at it very confused both of them hissedat the new kitty and stay very far for eachother..this is really sad cause the kitty just wanna be friends with them but they refused
Lauren on April 25, 2020:
I have 7 month old kittens, they are both boys and both brothers. They were great up untill i decided to feed this stray cat that comes by my house i fed the cat twice and the first time my cats were fine and accepting of thier kitty friend. The second day my black cat hissed and growed at the stray my other tabby just watched them the black attacked the tabby it happed two times. That night and the following day the cat came back to visit during the day. My back cat attackedy tabby once again. Now the tabby is hissing at his brother. But there are times where he will lay with the black one and sleep or even clean him then something snaps and he starts hissing i dont get it they just took a nap laying together and now the tabby is hissing ? Please if anyone knows what will stop this please i stopped feeding the stray and cleaned the area with bleach and my door
Lana on April 15, 2020:
I have a 6 year old female cat a 2 year old male cat and a 7 month old cat the 6 year old hate both cats and will hiss and run away if she sees the others but likes the 2 year old a little better than the 7 month old put the two males love each other and the 6 year old isolates her self and never gets in ten feet of 7 month old I don’t know what to do and I just want them to get along any suggestions?
Shoni on April 11, 2020:
I have 4 kittens of 4 month with their mother cat . One of them i gave for adoption to other family and they already have 1 cat. One day i just call that adopted kitten to see her and when her mother cat met with her. she started growling and hissing at that kitten and i returned that adopted kitten to their new owners . From that day my cat is also badly hitting their other 3 kittens who are living with us . What should i do in this situation?
Morgan on March 13, 2020:
We had two 11 year old cats and one passed away and we could tell the other was very lonely, so we have introduced a younger pretty laid back make of the same size to try to give him a friend. It has only been about 2 day and there has only been some hissing and growling and hasn’t been any big fight yet. Do you think there’s hope for friendship between the two?
Ana on March 04, 2020:
Hi! I had 3 cats, 2 females and one male, all neutered. The oldeste is a female, and the only cat in the house for 5 years. Then we brought in the male, when he was a baby, and a week later they were best friends. One year later my next door neighbor movee to another city, and left her cat behind, a 5y old house cat. She is the sweetest thing and adopted us! :) But my female didn't like her. We had to separate every thing, beds, food and water and the toilet... It went, more or so, smoothly until the male was stolen from us almost a year ago... Now, she simply doesn't tolerate the other female, so much so, that this week she really injured her. And have the logistics to have them in separated rooms. My older female is the type of cat that doesn't play with anything, she's just so bossy and serious. The other is the most sweet thing I've ever seen. I don't want to give any of them away. The older one was always mine and the other, was already abandoned once... I really don't know what to do more... (Sorry for my English)
Jodie Adams on February 20, 2020:
Hi. I have a female cat and a female kitten. They’re sisters from a different litters. There’s a year and one month between them. Ruby (older cat) did not like Sophie (kitten) at all. It took a couple of weeks for them to be in the same room as each other. I am very confused about both of my girls behaviours. Ruby (older cat) will initiate play with Sophie (kitten) but then Ruby will get annoyed when she’s had enough. She occasionally grooms Sophie (kitten) but not for very long. Ruby is a much more laid back cat that her younger sister. Sophie (kitten) will groom Ruby for quite a long time. Until Ruby gets annoyed and nips Sophie. Also Sophie (kitten) will pin Ruby down to the floor sometimes and it seems like they’re fighting. As you can hear them making noises. Sophie also will follow Ruby to try and initiate “play”. Sophie only had one sibling to play with so I don’t think she has developed the right skills. Me and my husband are concerned and I wouldn’t want Ruby (older cat) to be miserable. It’s a shame because when they do play they can play lovely. I fear that my little Sophie may have to be :(
Mary on February 19, 2020:
I have an 8 year old male cat, that up until June 2019, lived with another male cat , who passed at 20. I thought he needed company, and brought in a 1 1/2 yr old female, who is very sweet. If I give him calming vitamins he is fine with her, but when he wont take the vitamins it is an all out cat fight, him attacking her, and when she runs away he goes back for more. She has her own room, and I bring her in the sun room and he can see her. While she is in the sunroom he paws at the glass, but once she is out he attacks. It has been 7 weeks. I am trying another calming capsule, to sprinkle in the food. Any other ideas? How to know if they will ever get along.
Brittany on February 12, 2020:
My cat, Keo, was inside every day until he matured and cried to be outside and has been doing well as an outside. However, an inside cat, Dixie, moved in and the two has not been introduced until Keo started wanting to explore inside again. At first, Keo was friendly to Dixie but Dixie hisser and scared him away. I tried slowly bringing him back inside but he was scared of Dixie, but one day Keo attacked Dixie and tried approaching her aggressively. I originally thought I only had to get Dixie used to Keo but now I have to worry about aggression on both sides. What can I do? Also, Keo is not fixed yet but i'm not sure if getting him fixed will solve this problem entirely which is why I'm still asking for advice
Kym on February 08, 2020:
In December we adopted a, then, 10 week old kitten - We already had a 6 year old rescue cat who has really taken to the baby, she'd become so maternal with the little one and washes her and plays with her, but the kitten's energy and constant need for attention and to play from the older cat was making her become reclusive and there'd be times when she just wanted to be left alone. We decided to get another little kitten to befriend our current kitten in the hope that they'd play with and entertain each other and Cleo would get a little more peace and quiet. We found a little kitten who is the same age as our Harley, but from the second that Ivy entered the house, Harley has gone MAD! She hisses at the mere smell of her on our clothing and the second she catches sight of her. We have had a couple of moments where they are both very curious in the other and have played with the same toy, but Harley is still hissing at her and today, despite having had a really lovely calm moment where they were both playing with the same toy, Harley chose to chase Ivy and backed her into a corner and was really went for her.
It has only been a week, but I'm terrified that I've misread the signs in Harley and that I shouldn't have introduced a new cat into the mix. I've got feliway, I try encouraging them with toys, I keep them seperated except for short bursts of supervised play and I continue to introduce the smells into each other's space. What else can I do?
carolynkaye (author) from USA on February 04, 2020:
Chelsea, There's a chance they'll get along. It's good they're similar ages because that can make things easier sometimes. Any time two new cats meet under one roof it's a big adjustment for both. The steps in the article can help make the transition less of a shock and give them a chance to become friends. Patience and time usually work when adding a new cat to the home.
Human on February 02, 2020:
For more information they all are adults. Two females and one male who is the one that pees. He gets along very well with the people but not other cats. And they are all fixed. Please help.
Human on February 02, 2020:
I have owned these cats together for many years but they never have gotten along. They have different territories and litterboxes and food and such as recommended, but one cat will spray everywhere. He was rescued from a hoarder house with many many other cats so it makes sense that he does not like other cats and is territorial, but the peeing is a very bad problem. Everything reeks and he doesn't seem to understand that he shouldn't be doing it. How can I help this? Will getting them to be friendly stop the territorial spraying? How can I do this when they have already been introduced a long time ago and nothing major like a vet visit has caused a sudden contention?
chelsey on January 30, 2020:
I just adopted a 3yr old Male cat. Now my friend is in a situation where I may have to take his female cat. My male cat is fixed. But he was rehomed due to not getting along with the new male cat from his previous home. Would my cat & my friends girl cat have any chance of getting along. My cat is 3yrs old my friends cat is 2 yrs old.
Jessie on January 29, 2020:
I have 2 female cats 5 and 6 years old We just got a new male kitten that is 5 months now and he has been neutered. He is always attacking one of my female. Is there anything i can do?
jthompson789 on January 28, 2020:
I have a 5 year old cat that is mine and my girlfriend that just moved in and she has a 2 year old sphinx. My cat is not liking the new change, hissing, growling and attacking the sphinx, he has marks all over him and I'm afraid things may get worse. What can I do to get my cat to be accepting and not attack the other cat?
darklink07uk on January 12, 2020:
I've had 2 cats since they were kittens for 3 years ( brother (Olympus) and sister (Indy)
I got another one after 3 years as a kitten (female (Athena) and she was taken away from her mother a bit early (she was a rescue) and was a bit fiesty.
The brother was killed after 4 years and 6 months later a stray (meatloaf) just moved in. He gets along great with the kitten (now cat) and they play all the time.
They do chase indy sometimes, Athena mostly. I've made a new cat flap for the sole use of indy. In the last few years she been ruining my carpet by pissing in certain spots but in various rooms. We keep the cats from getting on her (as much as we can), she has her own space. I've just freshly re carpeted my room and kept the door shut for 5 days. I went in today within 30 seconds she pissed everywhere.
I've tried everything at this point but I think rehoming is the only answer. I'm just hoping someone has other suggestions that I may haven't tried.
She's been to the vet to make sure she's in good health, I've tried all the feliway / pet rescue things, she's got her own room and pet door, she gets treats, I spray Athena and meatloaf if they bother her.
This has been going on now for 4 years and it's only indy pissing everywhere and I really don't want to rehome her but I don't think I've got any other options
Dennis M Struk on January 09, 2020:
I have two female cats, a Maine Coon (Bunnie) and a black & white American Short-hair (Babie). It's fairly obvious that my two girls aren't siblings, but they've always been friendly with each other, up til early this morning when they started raising a ruckus. I adopted both of them from a shelter several years ago when they were both about 4 months old. I have no idea of whether they came from homes or whether they are both feral. Both cats are strictly indoor cats, which is fine with me, and they've always seemed to be happy with this arrangement. I live in a very rural, area near forest country, and I don't want them getting outside; predators, ticks, etc.
In any case, they've both always been loving with me and each other. Bunnie and Babie have always played together, shared toys and have engaged in grooming each other on a daily basis. They are affectionate both with me and each other; they love to cuddle with me and many times, have slept curled up together, but mostly, they will sleep and take their naps apart from each other. They've gotten along great for about four and a half years. Bunnie is nearly twice the size of Babie, and it seems to be Babie that is suddenly the dominant cat! They've had momentary squabbles before, as cats will sometimes, but THIS is different- They've never been this violent with each other before. At least, not while I'm at home. Right now, I have them both separated so they won't kill each other, but I can't keep them separated for any extended periods because I'm in and out of the house. They will need to eat and drink, and take care of their "calls of nature". They've always shared their food, water and litter box. I live in a small place, where having two sets of each would not be practical, and they've never had a problem with that. Besides which, I live alone, I'm retired, disabled, (half of my right leg was amputated 10 years ago), and I'm not in the best of health otherwise, either. These are circumstances which preclude me from having a dog- But I've always preferred to have cats, anyway. I've had several cats over the years, but this is the first time that I've experienced this problem. I can't watch these two cuddlers/renegades 24/7, because I generally go out every day, even if it is only to get my mail down at the end of my driveway.
HELLLP!!! What do I do in my situation..?
Shanna on January 05, 2020:
I have two cats that arent getting along. The first, Sam, is a stray we started feeding back in March who is now a sweet indoor/outdoor cat. The other, Dakota, is a stray (siamese/cross eyed) we found outside in a parking lot and brought home in late November. The problem is Sam attacks Dakota almost once a day and Dakota, who can be very sweet will equally act super aggressive (hiss, bite, scratch) towards me. I believe part of the problem is Dakota is hard of seeing and doesn’t realize when she’s about to get attacked by Sam and its traumatizing, plus its a new environment (we’re all new to her). With that said, Im not sure if my house is a healthy environment for her as much as we would love it to be. I was hoping to provide her a home, not stress her out. Do you have any advice?
Amber Currier on January 04, 2020:
We have two cats. One male and one female. They have been very close till recently. They started attacking each other. The vet told us to fix the female so we did. Its been a couple of days. They were hissing and growling at each other. Then yesterday they attacked each other again and swatted at the dog. We dont know if we should wait . We love them both but cant go on like this. We have an older dog we have to put down soon as well. Also...another smaller dog who gets stressed from the fighting. Should we just wait it out? They are segregated again right now.
Emma Green on January 03, 2020:
A few months ago, we took in a new cat. They never really got along. They have never had serious catfights, just playing. But I am worried that my older cat might be having some health issues. She's lost a lot of weight, is more picky about her food, and doesn't often use the litterbox. What should I do?
Ada F on December 30, 2019:
We have 4 cats and until we got the 4th two years ago, all were getting along. Now our 4th which is a 2 year old male and our 3.5 year old female are constantly fighting. It has gotten worse over time and turns into blood curdling screams with fur ripped out, scratches, now the female ends up peeing and pooping during the fight. All are up to date on their vet checks and the female cat does have a heart condition she is on meds for and the vet also suspects there may be some neurological issues from suspected inbreeding (all of our cats are strays we adopted). The 2 year old is on prozac. We have 5 litter boxes all over the house and it is not working. We feed the royal canin cat calming food, we tried CBD oil for both (did not help), feliway (made no difference), and pheromone spray to put on all of the bedding. Food and water are readily available in multiple locations throughout the house and lots of sleeping areas with options to climb up. We have resorted to thunder vests for both. That worked for a while, but now it doesn't seem to do much. We try to spend equal time cuddling and reassuring both cats. The main aggressive fights happens at night in the room our female spends most of her time in. She usually becomes aggressive with the male for entering and then he retaliates. I am extremely stressed due to this and my husband is considering rehoming the 2 year old male. I do not wish for this to happen since we have become very attached to him. The other two cats get along fine with him and the 3 year old female independently.
I have read conflicting advice on how to deal with and break up the fights, how to encourage peace, etc. And most of the advice is for new cat introductions not existing cats becoming more aggressive. We are separating them in the evenings by closing the door to the room our female stays in. I worry that her isolation with lead to her feeling ostracised.
Any ideas on how to handle this and restore peace?
David on December 22, 2019:
We have gotten a kitten but she keeps fighting the older cat and stopping her using the litter box and the older cat allways hissing and growling at her what's best to do kitten hasn't been neutered but older one has
Nadia A on December 14, 2019:
I have a male cat in my hometown (Potasio) whom I had to leave behind to study out of the state. I then adopted two male cats and decided to bring one home with me. So my other cat (Octavio) is now sleeping in my mother's bedroom, while the other one roams all about the house and outside. Octavio is very vocal so Potasio heard him and they stared at each other from the cracks beneath the door. Octavio was very laid-back and even briefly showed his belly, but Potasio wouldn't stop growling and hissing at him. Eventually he got tired and went away.
Today I saw Potasio again and I was petting him and he was purring. He then decided to go to my room (where Octavio's carrier is) and caught a smell of the carrier. From then on he began growling and hissing nonstop, even at me and other people, I tried getting close, but he'd keep hissing at me, then I gave him his favorite toy to see if he would feel better but it was no use. I decided to give him some space, but I don't know how to properly introduce them.
Octavio and I will be staying for a month and I'd hate for him to stay cooped up in my mother's bedroom. But I fear for what might happen if they fight, since Potasio is older and a lot bigger than Octavio and often displays a more aggressive behavior. Both cats are neutered.
John R on December 13, 2019:
We have 2 cats. One is a female stray 8 year old cat (MILA). She the most loving and well behave cat ever, and we adopted 1 year male ca (ARTHUR). They are being together for about 1 year. The younger ARTHUR, 2 year old now, just bothers the older one, MILA, just WAY too much. He chases her, jumps over her, bites her, and keep her out of our room at night. He just want the whole room for him. Mila just hisses at him and runs away and he just keep chasing her around. Is there anything we can do to stop that behavior? We would love if they can be just enjoy each other companies without the hissing and the chasing. MIla seems to be stressed out...
Alyssa F. on November 24, 2019:
We have had a kitten since she was 3 weeks old. She has been treated like royalty, and has been the sweetest kitten. She is two months old now, and calm but playful. We decided to get another kitten early on so that she would adjust easier. We expected some fear and stress, but she has become aggresive. The new kitten is also 2 months old, but she is extremely sweet. This kitten W as adopted from a shelter, so she has seen other cats and is not phased by it. Our original kitten has no memory of another cat, so it is new to her. The new kitten will lay back and take the attacks, while our original kitten attacks her and us. She wants to play normally, but as soon as she smells the new cat on us she freaks out and attacks us. She hisses and growls all day even when the new kitten isnt around. We dont want the new kitten to feel unhappy here, and we dont want our original kitten to feel jealous or angry. What do we do? Its only been two days, but the level of her aggression is worrying. Ill add the new kitten is spayed, but original kitten is not. Please help!
Roberto Mora on November 13, 2019:
I had two female cats. Two weeks ago my wife decided to adopt a third female one. It has been a difficult time with our first cat and the recent adopted. I think both are fighting for the territory and the throne of the house. The middle cat already acepted the new cat, but the older in the house always is hissing and roaring the new one. We have used pheromones and they haven't worked. the former two are three years old and the new cat has just one year and half. The new one and the oldest are not sterilized.
Glenis Moore on November 02, 2019:
We have three cats: two males aged 7 and 5 and a little female aged 3. We have also just taken on a female rescue cat that is about 1 year old. Both of the male cats seem fine with her. The older one just ignores her and the younger one keeps trying to play with her. However, the three year old female hates her and hisses and growls at her through the screen door we have put up. We are worried about what to do as we cannot let the two females in the same room together at the moment. Any suggestions. We have had the new cat for about a week.
Nicola Johnson on October 26, 2019:
I have 2 female cats, one is 4yrs and the other is 2yrs old and they do not seem to be keen with my 15week old Male kitten.
I have kept them separated, done the scent swapping and the visual content for the past 4 weeks. However, when I have tried to introduce them properly the girls hiss & growl at him. When they do this i put him in his carrier & separate them. He can be full on charging at them which i don't think helps.
My question is should I just leave them to hiss & growl at him so they can figure each other out & only separate them if they seem to be stressed or end up fighting?
I feel i maybe separating them too soon but i am worried what will happen. If they hiss & growl once or twice i just separate them...should i leave them abit longer?
Clover on October 25, 2019:
I have a 12 year old female, and a male that I suspect is 3-5 years old. My older cat hates him. What do I do?
Mahsa on October 22, 2019:
I have a 7 month old male cat and we brought a 3 month old female cat about one week. He was hissing at her and looks so upset from the first and after few days they start fighting today I saw my male cat is fighting with her and have a position of mating I separated them because my female kitten is to young but how can I avoid them when I’m not at home?!
I don’t wants to put them in separate room because the reason I brought her to home is my male don’t feel lonely when we’re at work.
May I find any solution for the situation we’re in now
Jamela on October 09, 2019:
Hi I have a skitsy 1 1/2 female and I just got a new 4 month old female kitten. The older cat won't even hardly come around me anymore and the meet and greet sessions don't last very long before the older one goes away. The kitten is in a room of its own and the resident cat has the house. How do I let the little one out without scaring the older one? Any suggestions?
Gwilly66 on September 30, 2019:
At wits end.....
We have a 10 year old female cat who has been an outdoor cat but had a Collison with a vehicle in June and broken pelvis, in March we introduced a male cat who was 6 months old and very much in need of a home. She hates him but she had to be kept in a crate/cage to help her heal. Now she’s on road to recovery we have decided to keep her in and also keep him in as he is crazy and not sure he would cope outside or us losing another cat. They fight she growls at him he jumps on her it’s a nightmare I’m so upset.
We lost another male cat 5 years ago and they got on just fine!
We have them separate at night when we are out we are doing everything and am at a loss what to do next please please advise we really don’t want to regime him but.....I’d be devastated to let him go but hate making our girls life a misery
Fae - Merlin on September 24, 2019:
Please help me !
I have an 8 yr old female cat and an 18 month old cat my newbie cat has taken over the house and my beautiful older cat hardly comes in any more. I miss her so much how can I get her to come home and stay for cuddles and just be happy indoors again. I show her so much affection when I see her. She does come in to feed but that's about it. I'm seriously considering rehoming my young cat but I love him too. However it's been a year and Merlin has slowly driven Fae out. He's not aggressive to her he rolls over and lays down but she would just rather not be around him. In the garden she tolerates him. I've tried several techniques to get them to get along but nothing seems to work. I'm obviously doing something wrong. Should I just rehome Merlin ?
Brea on September 19, 2019:
Hi, I have read what was posted and would like to hear your response to my problem. I have three female cats and one male cat; all fixed. The male cat gets along great with all the animals in the house, but the females hate each other. They all have been with us for about 5 years now and its gotten worse. Two of them have been pooping and peeing in about the same areas as the other one. We think one of them is sick and the other is marking her territory. All three fight but the older two do it more than the youngest whom seems to just do it for fun at times, but its quite a stressful scene to see them gang up on the oldest randomly and then turn on eachother. We are going to go to the vet to check if one is sick and then get pheramones to see if that will clam them down. It is also somethimg new for us cause we have only had male animals in the past. Please help, I hate seeing my babies like this and having no clue whats really the problem.
Jordan on September 10, 2019:
Hello. I have two female cats that we’ve had since they were 3 months old, and they are now 3 years old. They were from the same litter and have been together their entire lives. Lately one of them has become very defensive around the other for no reason. She doesn’t mind being in the same room as her or even being right next to each other, but as soon as my other cat starts to approach her while making eye contact, she will hiss and run away. Usually my other cat responds by chasing her, which makes the other cat hiss more. But as soon as we get the other cat away she’s fine and comes back out to see us without hiding. We’ve kept them separated for almost a week and each have their own spaces, but whenever we let them out this happens. We’ve been rewarding positive behavior and giving them individual and joined attention but nothing seems to be helping my one cat be comfortable around her sister. What can we do to get them back to normal?
amanda on September 01, 2019:
my my sister got a little ginger and my cat as been getting into fits with this ginger cat and he took a chunk out of her and i think she thinks the kittens the gingers baby so i think she's afrade because she dosent want that to ever happen again or she's looking after the family
Shirley on September 01, 2019:
I just picked up a stray kitty(male) and my soon-to-be 3 year old male cat is sometimes hostile towards the kitty.
Fight occur at least once a day especially at night. The older will purposely find the young one to bully. I was observing because I am not sure if it is playing or fighting. Not much claws and teeths used but theres a lot of hissing...Both are not neutured yet. Before neuturing them is ther anything I can do to make them get along?
Jazelle on August 21, 2019:
We just got a new female kitten and we have had our other cat for 8 years now and she is trying to attack the kitten the kitten is about to get spade and get her first set of shots what should we do to help
JudyTK on August 18, 2019:
I rescued a kitten, spayed female now and she is 4 1/2 yrs old. We had a very old dog when she came to us and she was fine with her. We got a puppy 2 yrs ago, which makes cat about 2. She stayed upstairs away from puppy for a year. We went on vacation for a week, left her home with big bowls of food and water. When we got home, she finally came downstairs and became part of the family again.
3 wks ago I rescued an 8 yr old spayed female Ragamuffin, who is the sweetest cat I have ever met. My resident cat has been amazingly aggressive.
I have tried keeping their lives completely separate but my resident cat is pretty clever at opening doors. They each have their own bowls, litter boxes and rooms. Resident cat if she gets out will get under the bed, opposite end, where the new cat stays and will just lay there and they both hiss, growl and hair flies. I break it up as fast as I can and resident cat leaves. New cat would come out in the house in the beginning but after these attacks she no longer will come out from under the bed unless the door is closed and I am feeding her. She has been pooping in her litter box, which is the foulest smelling cat box I've ever experienced. Last night she pooped in her crate instead.I have been cleaning her litter box 2x/day. Resident cat is starting to pee and poop in the living room when she is out of her room. I was switching cats being in the house vs.their room but new cat won't come out. This morning I put resident cat in her room and decided she would stay there with door closed for however long it takes new cat to feel safe. She is out of her room but hiding next to couch right now. We bought the cat litter that the previous owner used and I bought pheromones to use in each of their rooms. I've tried the feeding on each side of the door, etc. but nothing seems to be working.
I don't want to return the Ragamuffin but need help getting these two to at least ignore each other. Thank you so much for any help you can offer.
Hannah on August 16, 2019:
Hi, I have recently moved to my sisters who has a 18 month old and i have a 13 year old cat. They have seperate rooms. Seperate water, food, litter trays. However when my sisters cat (18 month old) goes by my 13 year old cat. My 13 year old cat always goes for my sisters. You can see my sistets cat wants to play although its her house and her teritory. We havs tried feliway and spray bottle. Nothing seems to be working. Can anybody help me out please??
Joe Duffley on August 13, 2019:
Charlotte one suggestion for u might be don't let your older cat outside. It's bringing in unfamiliar scents and might be one reason why the kittens immediately started to act. I have seen this happen to someone before. Sorry just a thought since u said nothing else has changed.
Deb Baert on August 07, 2019:
Hello.. so I have two cats, one is 12 and one is 6 and they have from the beginning been the best of friends. My hubby and I moved out to our lake lot for the summer, we live in a quite spacious fifth wheel, and the cats have always come on the weekends. However, it started one day when the resident golf course cat made his way to our deck on night and my oldest spotted him and ran out on the deck to attack.. well my husband immediatly intervened and took Milo my oldest back inside. Well Bailey the younger one, was at the door and the moment Milo was brought back in, he literally attacked Bailey and the fight was on. We got them separated thankfully and I kept them separate for a day and a half as that was all it took. Then a few weeks later, Milo caught sight of the big bad Bruce out the window one morning, and again he right away turned on Bailey. So again, before work I separated them and by time I got home they became best buds again. Then one day, Bailey was in the living room area, and he was alone with blinds closed and he was growling to himself, I went outside and low and behold, Bruce, the cat was there under my trailer so I shooed him away. Now jump to this last weekend. My cats were on my deck, both of them on their leashes as always, and they were smelling away on the deck, so something caught their attention. well Bailey came to check it out and Milo turned and hissed, so again we right away separated them. I did my normal reintroduction and it only took a few hours, then they were friends. But that night Milo was in bed with my hubby and he got sick.. like a lot, so we cleaned it up and the two cats came out to the living room with me. Well Bailey was sitting behind me and I reached up to pet him and I realized his head was wet, he had gotten in the cross hairs of the puke.. I know gross. So I tried to wipe it out, and he got mad with me and walked away. Well as soon as he seen Milo it was on again. So again, they got separated. The next day after doing the feedings and playing on opposite sides of door, I opened the door so they could sniff and they did.. Bailey followed Milo out and was sniffing him and then as soon as Milo turned around it was Bailey who growled and hissed, and then separated them again. Since then I have not been able to get them together.. this is the longest it has been it is day 5. It is breaking my heart because I feel bad for the one that is in the bedroom. The one that is in the living area is calmed and relaxed and so is the one in the bedroom once they get comfortable. I am always swapping them out too.. but I am really concerned they won't go back to normal. And we move back into our condo beginning of October. I am hoping by then we can have this fixed. because I hate they are separated and cannot be together right now. I am trying to do all the things, but I have not tried doing the carrier thing, do you think I should try putting them in their carriers, to see eachother a little bit at a time. Any suggestions. This is really stressing everyone out.
Charlotte on August 06, 2019:
Hi. Trouble in my house. I have three rescued cats. The first, a neutered male, is about 13, yrs and grumpy.The second is a spayed female, about 8 yrs, loves the male and the two of them are