Cats

5 Tips to Stop Cats from Fighting

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To you, the cat is a new friend, but your resident cat might see him as new threat.
Tyson Paul/iStockphoto | Aleksandar Jankovic/iStockphoto | Hemera/Thinkstock (2) | Ivy Reynolds/Getty Images

You think you're doing your cat a favor by bringing home a companion and playmate. But your cat might see the newcomer as a rival and a threat, especially if you immediately thrust them together. Keep the new cat segregated from the other one (or ones) at first, says Jane Brunt, a feline-only veterinarian and member of the CATalyst Council, Inc. And make sure the new cat has its own stuff: a separate litter box, food and water, perch, scratching post and toys. "Then, gradually introduce the new cat to the resident cat, letting your resident cat first just see the new cat, then eventually letting them be around each other a little. Sometimes this takes a couple weeks," Brunt explains.

Be aware that cats are also territorial. Your resident kitty probably has a favorite spot or two for snoozing or watching the goings-on in the neighborhood. Discourage the new cat from honing in on these spots. Even better, encourage the newbie to adopt his own special place by finding a separate spot, then setting a towel there with his scent on it, and perhaps some catnip.

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