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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.
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.