Bringing home a new kitten is an exciting time. You get the benefit of adding more furry creatures to your home. Everyone in the family is excited and ready to pick up these new kittens.
As soon as you get them home, though, you start to notice they seem tense, and they often get into lots of fights.
It is common for kittens from different litters to fight. Kittens may do this to help claim their territory, let off steam, and decide their social ranking in the home. Slowly introducing each kitten to each other, and giving them lots of love, is the best way to minimize these fights.
Even though it is common for your kittens to fight, there are simple steps you can take to help limit these fights and make your home more peaceful.
This article will look at some of the most common reasons why your kittens like to fight, and some of the simple steps you can take to help prevent and stop fights.
Why Do Kittens Fight?
When two kittens grow up in the same litter, they have time to get used to one another. They have been near each other since birth, and they don’t feel threatened or intimidated by the other cat.
This bonding is lost when you bring together two cats from different litters. As a result, the two kittens may start to fight.
If you live in a home with more than one cat, you know that catfights are common. Even good-tempered kittens can get into fights.
Each cat has their own reason for fighting, and they could be similar to why humans have their own disputes as well. For the most part, cats will express their discontent with one another by picking fights.
When you bring a new kitten home from a different litter than the original, there are several reasons why the two cats may start to fight. Some reasons include:
To Claim Their Territory
Many cats will fight over territory. They may feel like the other one invaded their territory. If both kittens are new to the home, they may fight to decide who is in charge of the home.
Cats are very territorial, and their gender doesn’t have a lot to do with it. Female and male cats can be territorial.
If you have two kittens living in your home, you may notice at times that one of them may hit and swat at the other if they feel their territory or personal space is being invaded.
This also happens any time you bring a new cat into the home. When this happens, you will know the kitten is just defending its territory.
Providing a special area in your home that only belongs to one kitten can help. This allows them to have their own territory without taking over the whole home.
When you have more than one cat in the home, especially if one of these cats is a male, then fighting over social ranking may happen.
No matter how many kittens you have, one will want to become the alpha male to be on top. Both kittens will be in the fight to gain this position, though.
If one cat doesn’t back down and gives up that position, a fight may happen.
Cats may also choose to fight to help them redirect their aggression. This is more common with cats who stay indoors. Your cat may look outside and notice other animals walking around.
They may feel aggressive and territorial about the animal outside. Since they can’t leave the house, though, this aggression is turned towards the other cat in the home.
There are many reasons why your kittens will become aggressive with one another when they come from different litters. They may become aggressive over a treat, feel territorial over a spot in the home, or demand more attention than others.
How to Stop the Fighting
It is important to use the right steps to help introduce your two kittens to one another to make sure they get along and don’t feel threatened in the process. Here are some of the steps you can use.
Slowly Introduce Them
You may be excited to bring your two kittens home to one another or bring a new kitten into the home where another has already lived, but your cats may not be too thrilled.
They already have to adjust to a new living arrangement. Now they have to worry about competition from another cat in the home.
Instead of trying to bring the two cats together instantly, give them some time to get to know one another. If possible, put each cat into their own room for a few days with a special blanket.
Allow them to curl up in, sniff around, and use the blanket. After a few days, take the blankets and switch them around.
This allows each cat to get used to the scent of one another. And it does it in a non-threatening way.
When you are done with this part, bring one of the cats into the room with the other. You may choose to leave them in a pet carrier to make it a little easier.
This can help them to explore and get to know one another. Once they have time to adjust, they can be let out to play and get along.
Give Both Kittens Attention
Don’t fall into the trap of giving one cat more attention than the other. Even if one of your kittens seems to enjoy the attention more, try to share your love and affection evenly. Both kittens will notice, and it may start a fight.
If you sit down on the couch and pet one kitten, make sure to invite the other one over to get attention as well. If you spend some time playing with one kitten, take that same amount of time to play with the other.
Like having young children in the home, it is important to give adequate and equal attention to both kittens to avoid fights.
If you get to the point where the kittens are home and already in the middle of fighting, you may want to distract them.
Don’t get in the middle as this just leaves you with scratches and angry cats. Find something you know, both cats love, like a toy, and make noise.
Sometimes all your kittens need is a little distraction.
When the kittens hear the noise of their favorite toys, like these SmartyKat Catnip Cat Toys, or maybe a bell you use to signal a treat or mealtime, it may be enough to get their minds off the fight and onto something else.
After trying a few distractions and finding they don’t work, you can try out a water spray. Simply use a water spray bottle, like this BAR5F empty plastic spray bottle, with a fine mist that may help make the kittens pause, without making them scared.
Always remember that when you need to stop a fight, it is important to never use techniques that will hurt you or make your kittens more stressed or scared.
Never be aggressive or work with heavy-handed techniques when trying to stop the fight.
It is normal for kittens from different litters to fight with one another. They are territorial, want to be the alpha cat in the home, and want to get enough attention from their owners.
While it is possible to have many cats live in the same home, you need to take the time to properly introduce them to one another to make the transition easier.