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Why Your Cats May Not be Getting Along

why your cats may not be getting along

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Have you ever wondered why your two cats don’t get along and yet your neighbor’s four cats all live in harmony? Many cat parents live in households with more than one cat and there are no issues, but for others, tension is ongoing. What causes some cats to simply not get along? And, could you be missing some subtle signs that indicate all is not peaceful between your cats?

There’s a very long list of reasons why the cats in your home may not get along, including lack of socialization, poorly done socialization, medical issues and so much more. From what I see during many of my in-home visits though, the most common reasons are:

How the environment is set up

The cat parent’s lack of awareness regarding subtle signs of conflict

Number and Placement of Resources for Your Cats

Even though cats are social animals, it’s their nature to hunt alone. They don’t hunt in packs and the prey they pursue is very small – enough for one meal. Even if your indoor cat doesn’t engage in outdoor hunting, he’s hardwired to be protective of his resources. Some cats are more concerned with their resources than others.

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Conflict Between Cats Bubbling Below the Surface

The social interaction between your cats goes smoothly when everyone feels they don’t have to compete for food, safe places to eliminate and safe napping areas. In many households though, I see cats put in an environment where there’s ongoing competition for resources and not enough personal space. The tension and conflict between the cats may be subtle enough that the cat parents don’t even notice or they misinterpret it until the situation gets to the point where one cat starts spending more time alone or all-out war is declared with fur flying and banshee screams. You may have not realized the subtle signs of conflict during mealtime as one cat consistently backs off when the other cat enters the room. You may not have paid much attention during playtime to how one cat is the main participant when you get out a single interactive toy for both cats. Or maybe you’ve just gotten used to the fact that one cat claims your bed at night and won’t let the other cat up there.

5 comments

  1. We have 2 cats Gizmo is 12 and Buddy is 2 we rescued Buddy he has been with us for 1 year now.The problem is that he likes to jump on Gizmo and bite him to the point where Gizmo hisses at him. We know that Gizmo has accepted Buddy and he wants to play but Buddy always bites him. We treat them both the same we don’t favor. We don’t know why
    Buddy is like that could you help.

    Thank you

  2. I guess I am lucky, I have a 14 year old male and 13 year old female and they are great pals. The female watches him avd wants to know where he is most of the time. They fit the typical female and male stereotype. She is territorial about her territory, if I am cleaning her area. She wil watch and I better straighten it up! The guy is a typical guy, he doesn’t care Things being in order, just wants his food and a comfy place to ret!

  3. My cat is 12 years old he was 2 days when we found him he was orphan his name is ginger but as he grow up he was so mean to other people
    To everyone
    except us
    even the cats of nieghbors or stray cats male or female no difference
    We tried really hard for him we liked him to make friends but he never did my family think it’s because he didn’t see cats when he was a kitten now we found another orphan kitten his name is lucky we take care of him till he starts eating dry food then my friend will adopt him I love lucky very much of course ginger too but I don’t think they will get along ginger starts hissing when lucky gets close but he doesn’t​ care if he is at home and apparently if lucky gets older he will go near ginger and would like to play with him im scared ginger could kill him I really wanna know what we did wrong that ginger became so mean we never talk to him in harsh words or hurt him that he is behaves like this I would like to know bcuz I won’t like lucky to be same

  4. We have the same problem with our cat Boots. She doesn’t like people and will only go by certain people for a minute to rub on them. If someone tries to pet her, she hisses. We picked up a stray kitten, Milo and he loves to play. We are in the process of getting his shots and next week he will be old enough to get neutered. The problem is he bothers Boots. She hisses at him all of the time, and doesn’t want to play. At first he would leave her alone, now he will chase her if she isn’t sitting on the couch or sill. Twice she defecated on our couch and I think it’s because he was messing with her. Will they ever get along??