Sometimes, a cat can be really mean.
Although they have an unfair reputation for being aloof and distant, some cats really don’t do their species any favors when it comes to behavior.
They can be really aggressive to people and to other cats including hissing, scratching and biting.
This can cause a lot of issues at home. Even if your cat is not aggressive to you, it may be picking on your other cat or any guests you have over. So – how can you stop this?
Well, there are a range of things you can do to help stop your cat from bullying others so let’s take a look at your cat’s behavior and see which method is the best one depending on each situation!
Signs Of Aggression And Bullying
Trying to tell the difference between bullying and just playing can be very difficult.
Sometimes, when cats bounce on each other, chase each other around and even swat at each other, this can be just their way of playing and making friends.
However, there are some tell-tale signs that things are getting out of hand. Cats that are playing won’t puff up their fur and they’ll keep their ears up.
They should keep a relaxed stance while playing and will cuddle or groom the other cat later.
Cats won’t growl or hiss when they are playing so if they start to be vocal as your other cat approaches, it’s a sign that things are not going well between the two.
If your cat tries to hide or run, then they are probably scared of your other cat.
Aggression is definitely something you need to keep in check. If you let your cats fight, then things will only escalate until someone is seriously hurt.
How To Stop My Cat From Bullying
There are many reasons why your cat may be acting out aggressively. So, let’s take a look at these reasons and how you can combat them.
Boredom And Pent Up Energy
When it’s against other cats and humans, it is usually down to having a lot of pent-up energy. This is especially common for indoor cats because cats are very energetic creatures.
One way to help combat this is to make sure that you play with your cats a lot. Let them chase you around the house, set up interactive toys and engage in clicker training to stimulate your cats and wear them out.
They will less likely be looking for a fight because they are less stressed and use up their energy. Neutering or spaying your cat will also lead to less aggression because their hormones are not left unchecked.
When you introduce another cat to your home, your other cat may pick fights because it feels intimidated. It may even see the other cat as prey upon their territory.
The same goes for when you introduce guests over – your cat may see these strangers as intruding upon their territory and act aggressively.
The best thing to do here is to set up a lot of cat trees and perches around your home, especially in areas where the cats corner one another and fight.
Cats prefer to escape to higher ground and cat trees like this can help them have more room from one another.
Another tip is to make sure the cats have separate bowls and litter trays so they can feel more confident walking around your home.
One cat may push the other away from their shared bowl or litter tray, so making sure each cat has their own will reduce fighting over shared belongings.
When you have guests over, it’s best to make sure your cat has somewhere comfortable and safe where they can hide. The best option is to make sure they stay in a separate room where they have everything they need.
This will allow them to remain calm and stress-free.
When bringing a new cat home, a lot of the time people forget to properly introduce their cats. It’s not the same as just setting the cats down in front of one another – you have to slowly introduce them to each other’s scent so they can recognize each other before they even come face to face.
If you have already messed up the first introduction then don’t worry, you can re-introduce them properly.
Separate your cats and make sure they stay in separate rooms. Swap their blankets now and then so they can get used to the other’s scent while in a comfortable area.
You can also try feeding them on opposite sides of a gate or see-through door. Once they can calmly eat side by side (although separated by a screen), then you can bring them into the same room.
Distract them with toys and treats, allowing them to associate the other with fun stuff and positive experiences. This way, they will learn to see the other as a non-threat and will not attack them.
The same goes with introducing your cat to people. Be slow and have the person feed them treats and play with them. If your cat hisses, back off – sometimes, cats just don’t like people or won’t be in the mood for socializing.
This method takes the longest (sometimes even weeks) but it is the best way to introduce your cats to each other.
Cats have sharpened senses of smell so being able to smell the cat first will already make them familiar with one another before they even meet.
This familiarity will make them hesitant to attack and set a good foundation for a positive relationship.
Even if your cats don’t always get along, as long as they learn to be civil with each other and not see the other as a threat, the bullying will stop and both cats can feel comfortable at home.
So, cats can often lash out in aggression for a lot of different reasons. They may be bored or feel threatened and these are natural responses.
Cats are very energetic and intelligent creatures so they can often feel under stimulated.
Plus, they are also very territorial so it makes sense that a new cat on the scene will make them feel the need to lash out to put the other cat in their place.
However, some cats can take this to the extreme so it’s important for you to step in before anyone gets hurt. Try out the methods above and soon, your cats should be getting along with each other a lot more civilly than before!