Two cats fighting

Territorial behavior is common in cats.

If you have multiple cats in your house, we are pretty sure you’re familiar with the usual squabble. It feels like two toddlers fighting and pushing each other over the last treat. Cats can be territorial.

Have you ever wondered why your cats are fighting? Of course, no one likes to miss a treat, but there’s something more the situation. Your cat is being territorial.

The need to claim and guard their own stuff runs deep in all animals. Genetics have also hardwired this territorial nature in your cat for countless generations. Their need to aggressively defend their food, bedding turf, and sometimes even their person is due to their ancestors.

How Territorial Agression in Cats Works

The most common territorial aggression can be observed during feeding time. Your sweet cats will turn into wild tigers in front of your eyes, ready to defend their meals at all costs, even scratching you in the process.

Here’s an example to help you understand cats with regards to resource guarding:

Resource: Food

Behavior: Your old cat finishes his food and then pounces on the new cat and pushes him away from the feeding station. He might block the kitchen entrance while food is prepared, and even intimidate the new cat into not eating. In some cases, your cat will lie, waiting for the new cat to approach the feeding station, and then pounce on the new cat to show dominance. He will hiss at the other cat and you if you even touch his food bowl. If he feels too threatened, he might even bat your hand away.

Why Do Cats Exhibit Territorial Aggression Behavior?

There are two cases in which cats become aggressive and start to guard what they own. In the first case, the cat was separated too early from the litter, only to stay in an animal shelter for too long. The second is feeling threatened by the new cat. In both scenarios, cats feel they must protect their turf or they’ll lose it.

How to Deal with Territorial Aggression in Cats

When it comes to training the aggressive behavior out of your cat, there’s a simple solution to this territorial aggression ― separation.

For a multi-cat tier house, separation is the best way to keep your cats from fighting. Place their bedding and feeding stations on opposite sides of the house, and encourage them to play, rest and sleep in their own area.

If you have a single cat, you will have to tap into his hunting instinct. Cats are predatory by nature, and hunting gives them a sense of belonging. Your cat feels the need to hunt because he thinks it’s the only way to protect himself from danger.

An excellent way to give them this environment is to hide their food in places so that they can discover them by smell. Another is to buy those puzzle toys, which when solved, reveal a treat. This will keep your cat engaged and mentally stimulated.

As for any other aggressive behavior, you will have to contact a professional to help you with the training. Search for a force-free cat trainer who will not only gently nudge your cat to give up his wayward habits, but also teach desirable ones in the process. For cat training in Miami, visit the website Dances with Dogs. They offer online cat training for kittens, as well as senior cats. To know more about their services or to schedule an appointment, call on 786-299-1552.