Click here to learn more.
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
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 subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
FDNY firefighters used oxygen masks to
revive a cat and a rescue dog after a fire
spread to their Brooklyn home.
If you struggle to just get your cat to the
vet clinic, you’ll be amazed by the big
adventures Lily and Bug have…
Five interior designers share innovative
ways to create a dog-friendly home
without sacrificing style or function.
Whether it’s deep and dry or high and
phlegmy, your pup's cough could be a
sign of a serious health problem.
We combed our database of nearly a million puppies born this year to declare the hottest male and female monikers.
The energetic and extroverted Munchkin might be short on height, but you better believe that he’s long on fun.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.