Click here to learn more.
Hiss! Yeow! If you've ever been startled by these sounds, then you've probably witnessed a catfight between your usually tolerant tabbies.
Your first reaction was probably to grab one of your cats by the scruff of the neck, putting a quick end to the terrifying tango of clawing and biting.
In this frenzy, one or both felines can puncture your skin with bites or deep scratches, which can become infected, requiring antibiotics, sutures or even surgery. Serious infections can even lead to cat scratch disease.
Dr. Jane Brunt, who runs a feline-only practice in Baltimore and is past president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, says there are better ways to disrupt a kitty rumble. “In a catfight, seconds count, so you need to intervene quickly to decrease the arousal,” Dr. Brunt says. “Cats have flexible spines and can kick their hind legs with power.”
Dr. Brunt advises pet owners to try tossing a jacket or blanket on top of fighting cats, or hurl soft sofa pillows in their direction. Another tactic is to create a commotion of your own by clapping your hands, stomping your feet or banging a wooden spoon against a pot. As a final option, sprinkle some water on them.
As the cats dash off in different directions, try to separate them by closing doors, allowing them to calm down.
The final step is to check each cat for signs of bleeding, swelling and puncture wounds. Speak calmly, approaching each cat slowly. And dim the lights if possible. Wrap one cat in a thick bath towel and examine him from head to tail, then do the same with the other cat.
Consult your veterinarian if you find any wounds. Also be sure to re-examine each cat the next day, because infections and abscesses can develop within a day or two following a fight.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
A Texas couple found Sadie the dog
wandering in their yard and used her
rabies tag to track down her owners.
At Flying Horse Farms, a free camp for
children battling serious illnesses, the
most popular counselors are dogs.
Check out family-friendly destinations like
Virginia’s Chincoteague Island and the
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in…
Find out how our experts voted and
whether they think it’s OK to shave
longhaired pets in the summer.
The Kooikerhondje is a fun-loving and
intelligent red and white Dutch retriever
who was bred to lure ducks into a…
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.