Cat Fights Seen in the City! The Reasons Why Cats Fight

Cat Fights Seen in the City! The Reasons Why Cats Fight

Why do cats often get into fights?

We often see cats engaging in quite intense battles with each other.

This time, we will explain the reasons cats fight, along with their personalities and the flow of the fights.


Table of Contents

1. Causes of Fights
↳ 1-1. Territorial Disputes
↳ 1-2. Fights Over Females
↳ 1-3. Just Play Fighting

2. The Process of Cat Fights
↳ 2-1. Assessing Each Other's Size and Intimidating
↳ 2-2. Biting and Cat Punches Start the Fight
↳ 2-3. The Fight Ends When One Stops Attacking
3. How to Prevent Fights
↳ 3-1. Neutering
↳ 3-2. Keeping Indoors
↳ 3-3. Avoiding Stress
↳ 3-4. Separating Incompatible Cats
↳ 3-5. Watching Over Fights Without Intervening
4. In Case of Injury
↳ 4-1. Check the Injury and Disinfect
↳ 4-2. Take to a Veterinary Clinic


1. Causes of Cat Fights

Cat fights, frequently seen both in the streets and at home.

Firstly, what kind of personalities do cats have? Within their familiar territory, they are confident and believe they cannot lose a fight.

In the wild, they have places within their territory where they do not want to be disturbed, like sleeping spots and feeding areas, so they cannot afford to lose.

However, they become timid outside their territory.

Within their territory, confident cats mainly fight for three reasons.

Besides the briefly mentioned territorial disputes, fights over females and mere play fighting are also common.


1-1. Territorial Disputes

Cats fight to defend their territory.

Being able to defend their territory is directly linked to being able to live comfortably in their familiar space in the future.

Usually, the resident cat living in the territory wins against outside intruders.

This is because they understand the area well.

Cat fights over territory are more common among male cats.


1-2. Fights Over Female Cats

Male cats have an instinct to pass on their genes.

Therefore, if they are interested in the same female cat, they will fight with other males.

Female cats also have an instinct to mate with strong males, so they emit pheromones to attract more males and instigate fights among them.

The strongest cat will mate with the female.

The mating season for cats is roughly from February to April and June to August. During these seasons, fights over females become more common.


1-3. Just Play Fighting

Sometimes what looks like a fight is just playful interaction.

Intense play can be worrisome to onlookers.

However, there are noticeable differences between play fighting and real fights.

In a real fight, cats growl, their fur stands on end, and they aim for the neck.

If there is no hostile atmosphere, they are just playing.


2. The Process of Cat Fights

Let's explain how cat fights actually start.


2-1. Assessing Each Other's Size and Intimidating

Like other animals, the larger the cat, the more advantageous in a fight.

Therefore, before starting a fight, cats need to decide if they should challenge or accept a fight based on size.

If there's a big size difference, they won't fight.

Small cats almost never win against larger ones, so it doesn't turn into a fight.

However, if both decide to fight, they start with a staring contest and intimidation, leading to the fight.


2-2. Biting and Cat Punches Start the Fight

If both cats continue to stare and intimidate each other without backing down, the fight naturally starts.

They don't fight to kill, but depending on the reason for the fight, it can lead to serious injury or death.

This is because they not only punch and kick but also bite the neck and use their sharp claws.

However, the fight continues until a resolution is reached, with one cat continuously attacking or chasing the other.


2-3. The Fight Ends When One Stops Attacking

When one cat stops attacking and cowers or runs away, it's considered a surrender.

At this point, the fight is resolved, and the other cat stops attacking.

Cats don't fight more than necessary.

In this respect, they might be considered more peaceful than other animals.

Some cats even start grooming in the middle of a fight, which is like a temporary truce.

This is thought to be a way for the losing cat to calm down its nervousness.


3. How to Prevent Fights

How can we prevent cat fights from happening in the first place?

It's always better to prevent fights than to let them happen.

Please take measures to prevent your cats from fighting.


3-1. Neutering

If you have a male cat, neutering reduces aggression.

The need to pass on genes diminishes, so they won't fight over females with other males.

Neutering also reduces loud vocalizations that can bother neighbors and weakens territorial instincts, reducing injury risks.

The male's instincts weaken, making them more peaceful and less likely to fight.


3-2. Keeping Indoors

It's recommended to keep pet cats indoors.

Outdoor cats are more likely to fight with stray cats and face risks like accidents and diseases.

Indeed, the lifespans of completely indoor cats differ significantly from those not kept indoors.

Keeping them indoors protects them from various dangers.

If they seem eager to go outside, it's okay to take them on a walk with a leash.


3-3. Avoiding Stress

Stress can lead to unnecessary fights and destructive behavior.

To ensure a comfortable environment for your cat, keep their litter box clean, provide multiple cat towers indoors, and create safe hiding spots.


3-4. Separating Incompatible Cats

Some cats just don't get along, and neutering doesn't always solve this.

For incompatible pairs, it's best to keep them out of each other's sight to prevent fights.

Consider separating their living areas or creating barriers between them.

However, be careful not to get injured while separating them.


3-5. Watching Over Fights Without Intervening

If a scuffle starts, it's best to let it play out without intervening.

Cat fights end when one submits, and the outcome often determines their future hierarchy, preventing future fights.

In cat society, relationships are built this way, so it's not good for owners to interfere.

Watching them fight might be distressing, but it's best to wait it out.


4. In Case of Injury

Cat fights can be fierce and sometimes result in injuries.

What's the appropriate way to care for these injuries?


4-1. Check the Injury and Disinfect

After a fight, cats are often agitated.

First, wait for them to calm down before checking their injuries.

Directly touching the wound can cause pain and fear, leading to aggression.

Avoid touching painful areas and disinfect any bleeding wounds.


4-2. Take to a Veterinary Clinic

If the injury is severe, take your cat to a vet after administering first aid.

For any health issues, a vet is the best option.

If the fight was with a stray cat, there's a risk of infection as stray cats may not be vaccinated or in good health.

It's generally best to keep pet cats indoors.



Cats mainly fight over territory, females, or just for play.

Neutering and providing a stress-free environment can reduce the frequency of fights.

It's good for both the owner and the pet cat to create a peaceful living environment.

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