Have your kitties ever been perfectly fine with each other and then just suddenly start fighting? Sometimes cats flip out on each other for reasons unknown to us – but there is always a reason. Getting to the root of the reason and handling the situation as calmly as possible is very important.
What We Did When Our Cats Flipped Out On Each Other
Last week, we had all 4 of our adult cats outside enjoying some supervised fresh air and sunshine – as we usually do in the morning. Our black panthers (Friday and Zorro) have a mesh tent with a tunnel where they love to play and bird watch. Pooh Bear and Mr. Twister are allowed to free roam the fenced yard and love to stretch out on the patio.
Well, this specific morning had a very scary surprise. At first, everything was fine – as usual. Then we noticed Mr. Twister intensely sniffing a specific spot near the tent – and in an unusual move – he started digging at the spot. All of a sudden the black panthers puffed up – all hairs straight up – and started staring him down. We had never seen this before, so we just watched for a second – bad decision. Friday growled and attacked – through the mesh tunnel. Unfortunately, even though the tense emotion was directed at Mr. Twister, the only cat within her reach was her brother, Zorro.
They started fighting – the tunnel bouncing everywhere, cats screaming – and then Twist and Pooh Bear jumped into the fight. If you’ve ever heard a real cat fight – you know how scary it sounds! The chaos lasted less than a minute – but it may have been the longest minute we’ve ever experienced as cat parents! We did our best to stay calm and separate everyone – without touching or grabbing anyone – and moments later we were about to examine everyone for wounds. Zorro had a gash on his ear that was bleeding, but no one else seemed hurt. We used Oxy-Cat on the ear and contacted Pam from Purrrfectly Holistic to better evaluate this surprise situation – and clear the stress, fear and trauma they had all just experienced.
So why did this happen? We believe that there was a stray cat in our backyard and Twister was kicking up the smells by digging at a marked spot. Cats are sensitive to these smells and it can trigger serious emotions – and frightened surprise in Friday’s case. To her it seemed a strange cat was suddenly in her territory. It’s important for us cat parents to remain calm in this kind of situation. No yelling or trying to physically intervene. Scared cats may see us as part of the threat in these moments – and cause unintended harm. Separate the kitties, allow time and space for everyone to calm everyone down (I turned on Kenny G to help set a peaceful mood) and supervise interactions when everyone is ready to mingle again. Pam also recommended we start giving them Cat Calm – our natural calming formula – to keep the peace.
We are grateful to say that Zorro is fully recovered and everyone is back to their peaceful, loving, snuggly selves – but we’re also grateful for this important reminder about doing our best to better understand our cats!