Before resorting to any extreme measures, use common sense to ensure that your cats get along. For example, if you are planning on adding a new cat to your family, gradually introduce the new-comer to the old cats, instead of dumping the new cat on the old ones – you might think of it as a new play-mate, but cats are highly territorial, and will consider new cats as rivals.
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Look for reasons behind the hostile behaviour, so you can work on preventing fights, as opposed to having to break them up – cats might fight because they are ill (this tends to amp up their aggression levels), because the other cat has an unfamiliar scent (generally picked up during a trip to the vet), or because they are venting their frustration on each other.
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Arrange things in the house so that your cats do not feel the need to fight each other. Give them separate food bowls so they do not fight for food, make sure their litter boxes are separate so they have more peace and privacy, and give them separate cat beds or a cat tree with multiple layers, in order to help them feel safe. Remember that given their territorial nature, cats are not big on sharing. Keep your felines individually happy, comfortable, healthy, and well-fed – this will go a long way in preventing fights.
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However, sometimes a cat fight is inevitable, no matter what you do to avoid it. If a fight does break out, there are a number of methods you can use to break it up. The most subtle and indirect of these methods is using a jar filled with coins, or any other noise-maker, and shaking it to make a loud noise. If you are lucky, and the altercation is nothing more than a mere tiff, the cats will get distracted, and stop fighting in order to look for the source of the noise.
If both cats are in for a serious battle, however, a mere noise is not likely to distract them. In this case, use a spray bottle or a squirt gun to blast them with a stream of water. This should surprise the cats and deter them from their aggressive behaviour.
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Finally, if they show no signs of breaking it up, throw a heavy blanket over one or both of the cats. This is likely to startle both felines and halt the worst of impending battles, causing both cats to run for cover as they forget all about the fight.
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