Cats are active a lot during the darkest hours despite having been energetic during the day. It becomes intolerable when the cats fight at night and for the pettiest of reasons.
Cats are crepuscular creatures that prefer to do their activities during the twilight period. They fight over food, territory, and a show of dominance.
In this article, we have more to learn about the reasons that cats fight at night. Does this have something to do with their sleep cycle? What can you possibly do to stop it?
What Do My Cats Fight Each Other at Night?
Oh it’s that noise again! It’s not even six in the morning but the cat chaos has begun. In a house with two cats or more, especially if they didn’t grow up together in the same household, it may take some time to warm up among them.
Cats that don’t get along will fight over territory, food, and in a show of dominance. If you catch it happening usually at night or during darkness, it’s because they are most active during those hours, an instinctual trait of having to hunt while smaller animals are disadvantaged in the dark.
Read: Why Does My Cat Stare at the Ceiling?
Are Cats Nocturnal?
With all the activities cats manage to do at night, it makes us consider if they’re nocturnal like owls and bats. Nocturnal behavior is characterized by sleeping during the day and being active at night. The opposite of this is diurnal.
You may think your cat fits in the between because it sleeps whenever it suits it and comes out meowing and looking for attention despite the hour of the day. Cats are crepuscular by nature, animals that are active during the twilight period (at dusk and dawn).
During dusk and dawn, it’s still dark enough to hunt down prey but bright enough to be able to see. Cats are notably more active during the early hours of the morning (which you most likely can attest to as a cat owner). Your cat may never have hunted actual prey before, but the instinct to hunt remains so don’t be surprised to find yourself staring back at your cat’s glowing eyes in the dark.
Read: Why Do Cats Attack Their Owners for No Reason?
What Can I Do to Prevent a Cat Fight from Happening at Night?
In a multi-cat household, you have to be prepared to deal with cats that hiss, scratch, and nearly tear each other apart. There are things you can do to prevent these cat fight.
- Get your cats spayed or neutered. In the case of two male cats, neutering them can reduce aggression over territory and looking for a mate to breed.
- Something personal for everyone. As much as possible, each cat should have separate food and water bowls and litterboxes. If they fight over toys and a cat space, putting them in different rooms or cat perch/bed may save you the headache of having to deal with constant squabbling.
- Pheromone products for cats. Pheromones play a huge role in affecting our pets’ behavior. Dr. Jacqui Neilson of the Animal Behavior Clinic shared with Pets WebMD that pheromone products were recommended to help with marking or spraying and aggression problems, especially between cats in the same home. We recommend that you discuss it with your veterinarian to know if they’ll recommend or warn you against a product.
- Put them in separate rooms or areas. Out of sight, out of mind. Make sure to include interactive toys and water to keep each cat occupied or you might deal with another issue (excessive meowing at night).
If your cats just can’t get along and might go at each other’s throats the moment they are left unsupervised, consider getting the other rehomed or try reintroducing them again gradually.
Read: How to Discipline a Cat Not to Bite?
How to Break Up a Cat Fight?
Be careful not to grab one of the cats immediately as you risk getting hurt. If it starts to get aggressive with an exchange of hissing, growling, and scratching, you can distract them with a loud clapping of your hands or a toy. Take the less aggressive cat using a blanket over the body and put it in a different room for a time-out.
When the two are engaged in a ball of heated fighting, use a broom to disentangle the cats. Use a blanket to carry the other cat out of the area or a basket to confine one of them and prevent further injury from being inflicted.
Read: Why Does My Cat Hug My Arm and Bite Me?
What to Do When Two Cats Don’t Get Along?
Separate each cat’s feeding and drinking bowls as well as litter boxes. Getting them their own cat bed/perch and a scratch post can help in reducing competition for territory and food. They may not like each other but they can learn to tolerate.
If you’d like them to get along, reintroducing the two cats as if they were new roommates could work although it takes time and effort.
- Start by placing them in different rooms. When feeding your cats, place their bowls on opposite sides of the same door. They’ll smell each other and think, “There’s another cat on the other side.”
- Next, replace the door with a screen so they can see each other. Keep it up for a few days until they start to be curious about one another.
- Then, with the help of a friend or a family member, use toys to have them play together. Engage the first cat with a cat wand. While the first cat is focused, bring the second cat in with a similar toy until both cats are playing in the same room but engaged with different toys. See how they react. If they start to fight, it’s okay to try again.
- Assuming that they got along after Step 3, open the door to let each cat through and explore the other’s domain as freely as it wants. They interact during the day with supervision but the door should be closed at night to prevent triggering a fight.
How Do I Know If My Cats Hate Each Other?
Your cat will let the other know that it doesn’t like the extra presence by growling, scratching, and attacking. The other cat may opt to run and hide to avoid getting hurt. These cats fight at night if left together in a room.
Whenever they’re in the same room, a fight almost always ensues. Signs to look out for: ears pinned back, eyes dilated or constricted, bared teeth, a warning growl; the tail is swishing back and forth close to the ground, the fur is erected with an arched back, and it’s ready to pounce.
Read: The Meaning Behind Your Cat’s Licking Behavior
Because felines prefer to hunt during darkness, domestic cats would do most of their activities at night and in the early hours of the morning. If living with other cats they don’t get along with, your cats will fight over territory, dominance, and food.