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How serious are cat fights?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I feed several kitties (don't know if they are strays)in the neighborhood. My kitties are girls and spayed but sometimes
males will try to approach them anyway which results in a 'skirmish'.

My question is....do cats ever seriously harm each other? This is our
first experience with cats and I've checked out library books on the
subject of cats, but have already learned more here than anywhere.

So far there haven't been any major battles, but don't know if this is the norm or if it can get more serious.
post #2 of 4
Cats can kill each other!!! One of my cats when I was a kid was killed by a neighbor's cat!

In addition, cat bites often become seriously infected which can lead to death. These punctures are often hidden so you may not realize your cat has been bitten until she is violently ill.

Also, stray cats may carry infectious/fatal diseases that are passed through saliva.

It is important that you do not let your cats fight with these strays. If you see a fight starting, turn the water hose on the cats. Also, I would suggest catching the males and taking them to be neutered. Many vets will do this at a reduced fee for ferals. This will cut down on the aggression as well as territorial spraying.

Good luck!
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you for responding. I actually posted this question in the wrong forum. I wasn't aware that I could post under 'behavior'. My fault, I should have checked out the site more thoroughly before posting anything, anywhere. Will do that now.

Anyway, thanks for the info. I can probably find many answers to my questions already posted here (including this thread).

I wondered why all the discussion about other things on the other site. Now I see that it is for more general discussion. I'll learn. I even used the wrong smile on my first thread. Oh well, thanks again for the advice.
post #4 of 4
Neutered or spayed cats sometimes do fight -- certainly they defend their chosen sleeping place, their food bowl, and even wider territories. A neutered male or an alpha female will still fight with strange cats to chase them away from their territory. Their hormones usually don't drive them to fighting to the death, but you want to avoid even small fights anyway because of the risk of disease or inffected wounds. If you have the full confidence and affection of your cats, you can often just pick up the most aggressive one and give him/her some quiet time in the bathroom. But with strange cats or one that is new to you, you can be severely hurt if you try to physically intervene. While a cat is in "fighting mode," he often seems to be consumed by blind rage. They may take as much as ten or fifteen minutes to calm down to where they can recognize you.

Cat fights in the garden can be stopped with the water hose, if simple hard claps of your hand don't startle them into disengaging. Your cats won't hold a grudge for a spray of water, because when they are really angry, they are totally focused on getting the other guy. They may not even know you are there even if you shout. Check out National Geographic films on lions and tigers in a fighting rage. The behavior pattern is the same.

Anyway, it is natural behavior. But because of all the things lotsocats said, you can't permit it. If you are feeding the strays, try locking up your own cats first and then setting out the food. Then only let your cats go again when the strays have gone off. If that seems like too much work, don't put food outside at all. In any case, your own cats should be fed indoors for a variety of reasons.

Hope you've solved your problem.

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