If you have two or more cats, then you know how hard it can keep them from fighting at night. This may have you wondering should I separate my cats at night, by putting them in separate rooms? Or maybe in the same room with their litter box? What are the best options for keeping them from fighting, so you can get a good night’s sleep?
Cats are crepuscular animals, meaning they hunt and are more active in the early morning and evening hours. They typically get a spurt of energy at dusk or dawn. This can lead to them fighting or playing with each other, while you’re sleeping or very early in the morning hours. The good news is that the behavior will end as your cats age.
That said, you need your sleep now. So what are your options for keeping your household quiet so you can get some shut-eye?
Should you lock the cats in separate rooms? Let them roam around the house while closing your door? Or maybe lock them up in separate rooms? As well as other things you should know about your cat’s sleeping behaviors.
Let’s take a look at your options but first let’s look at why cats fight at night.
Why Do Cats Fight At Night?
Cats are nocturnal animals that are more active at night. They tend to fight over dominance, territory, and food. Both indoor and outdoor cats will fight other cats when defending their litter, especially, when they are mating.
If you have multiple cats in the home, they can become overly aggressive while you’re sleeping. This is especially true if you have a recent addition to your home.
For instance, two unrelated males or females have a harder time sharing the same space. While it’s not always easy to choose your household cats, especially if they’re adopted. It’s best to try to get the cats from the same litter.
How to Prevent Cats From Fighting At Night?
Option One: Keep Them in Separate Rooms
If you can’t have them roaming around your house, the next best thing is to keep them in separate rooms. This way they won’t be able to see or interact with each other.
Cats are territorial animals and will defend their turf against others. If they can see each other, they will likely start fighting. By keeping them in separate rooms, you’re minimizing the chances of a fight breaking out.
The downside to this option is that it’s not very social for your cats. They won’t be able to interact with each other and may become lonely or bored.
Option Two: Let Them Roam the House, But Close Your Door
If you don’t want to lock your cats in separate rooms, you can let them roam around the house while closing your door. It won’t keep your cats from fighting and playing, but they won’t be able to run around in your room waking up you.
Some pet parents will keep their pets in the basement while their sleeping. This allows the cats to be nocturnal without disturbing their owners. If you lock your cats in the basement, make sure you put the litterbox, and water downstairs.
Also, remove any fragile items such as lamps, vases, etc that your cats may knock over while playing. You don’t want your cats hurt during the night because they knocked something over and cut themselves on glass.
Option Three: Lock Them In The Same Room
The last option is to lock them up in the same room. As long as your cats get along with each other, it should be fine. That said, if one of your cats is more dominant, it could raise their stress levels by forcing them to fight to establish territory.
When cats are put into stressful situations, like us, they have a fight or flight response. Unfortunately, you’ve eliminated their ability to flee the situation, so they have no option left but to fight.
This means there’s a possibility that your cats will start to injure each other. If you have a dominant cat and they start to attack the other, it may be best to separate them.
No matter what option you choose, keep an eye on your cats throughout the night. If you see that they’re starting to fight or getting agitated, then it’s time to intervene and separate them.
Should You Intervene When Cats Fight At Night?
If your cats are fighting, you should intervene no matter what time of day it is. Never let the fight play out. This will prevent one or both cats from getting injured. Cats can seriously injure each other during a fight, so it’s important to stop it as soon as possible.
That said, you never want to jump in the middle of a catfight, as you could get injured.
How to Break Up A Cat Fight?
Before jumping in and stopping your cats from fighting, assess the situation. Determine whether they are actually fighting or playing. You know your cats better than anyone, and will know whether they are in danger or not.
If your cats are fighting here are the steps to properly break up the fight.
- Make a loud noise: Yell or clap your hands to startle them and break up the fight.
- Use a squirt bottle: If your cats are close to each other, you can spray them with water to separate them.
- Throw a blanket over them: This will also help to separate them by blocking their vision.
- Check for injuries: Make sure your cats are not injured and call the vet if necessary. It’s best to separate them after a fight and allow them to cool down. Put them in separate rooms and reintroduce them after the aggression has passed.
When breaking up a catfight, always make sure to be safe and protect yourself from getting injured. Cats have sharp claws and teeth that can do some serious damage.
Cat Fight Vs Playing
If the cats are younger, they are likely playing aggressively, that looks like fighting. It’s normal for cats to pounce, scratch, kick, ambush, and attach to each other – it’s how cats play.
The best way to know the difference is to look at the body language of the cats. Playful cats will be more relaxed with their motions.
Aggressive cats will have a stiffer body with their tails and their movements won’t be as fluid. You will also notice their hair will be standing up, with their ears pinned back, and you’ll hear noises such as a person hissing or a blast of air from a compressed can.
When to See A Vet?
If your cats are constantly fighting consult with a vet before injuries occur. Some cats are overly aggressive and can become violent if ignored. Your veterinarian will be able to find out what’s causing the aggression and may even prescribe a mild form of feline diazepam.
Which will help your cat calm down helping you sleep. And bring relief to your other cat that is constantly being attacked.
Some people say cats are nocturnal, meaning they are more active at night. Others say they are crepuscular, most active at dusk or dawn. Either way, it’s normal for housecats to fight and play while you’re sleeping. Hopefully, the options above will help you keep the peace in your home during the night.
So, what’s the best way to get your cats to sleep at night? The answer is – there is no one-size-fits-all answer. You need to try different things and see what works for your cats. What may work for one set of cats, may not work for another.
Just know as your cat ages, their sleeping patterns will change. Like us, their activity levels slow down, and you’ll be able to sleep through the night without any disturbances.
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