Reasons Why Brother Cats Fight

Cats that fight and are siblings can be unpleasant, especially if both of the cats at war are yours. It could be that the cats have a history of skirmishes, or it may be a heart-breaking first-time event. The cause of inter-cat aggression can vary as much as the intensity of the brawls. At times the violence can come as a surprise — Brother cats who’ve spent their whole lives together have suddenly become sworn enemies. Or perhaps the behavior is almost expected, as the cats have a long history of violence.

Although it may not always be obvious as to why cats are fighting, cats won’t start to fight unless they have a good reason to. Here are some of the root causes that can lead to problems between cats.

Pain And Discomfort

Animals won’t be in the best mood when they aren’t feeling good — cats included. Sometimes they will show their pain and discomfort by lashing out at nearby animals or by being cranky. Often, the unlucky recipients are other cats within the household.

Whether it’s toothaches, arthritis, and urinary tract infections along with other painful medical conditions, it can soon transform a normally mellow kitty into one who is combative. Feeling poorly will affect the mood, no matter the species.

A cat that’s suddenly acting out with unexplained aggressiveness should be thoroughly examined by your veterinarian. Remember that a cat will cry, bite, or shy away when sensitive/sore areas are touched.

Redirected Aggression

Redirected aggression is always serious, as it can quickly make best friends into sworn enemies. For example, this could be caused by a neighbourhood pet who the cat can see but can’t reach. The agitated cat, that’s unable to access the outsiders, could vent their frustrations on whoever is closest. Many times, the recipient is a cat that they’re very close to.

Redirected aggression should always be taken seriously, and immediately separate your cats from each other without getting scratched or bitten. You can place the aggressor in a darkened room with food, water, a litter box, and a place to sleep, although don’t be surprised if it takes longer than a day. In more severe cases, a cat may need to be gradually reintroduced to each other.

Home From The Vet Clinic

Sometimes a cat won’t receive a warm welcome from other household cats after visiting the veterinarian. Rather than nose touches and head butts, with their housemates, they may greet them with hostility. Although it’s heartbreaking, it can be understandable.

Cats are very smell-oriented. Their sense of smell helps them recognize friends and family as well as identify potential threats. Vet clinics can be a scary place, with unfamiliar and unpleasant odors. When the cat comes home from the clinic, the other cats in the household can struggle to recognize them. Although they may look familiar, they will smell weird.

You can help to prevent this aggression before it begins. Before taking your cat to the clinic, gently massage the cat with a soft towel so that it’ll pick up their scent, then place the towel into a sealed bag. When you’ve come back from the veterinarian, remove the towel from the bag and pet your cat with it, so that they smell familiar to the residents.

Household Status

A peaceful household can change into a war zone when cats start to bicker over their places within the hierarchy. Hierarchy positions aren’t static — placement is never assured. Cats can take turns within their positions within the hierarchy, and factors including other cats, illness, and changes in the household can affect this.

It’s easy to see who’s who within the hierarchy. Cats will show their status by where they sit in relationship to the other cats. Those who occupy a high position on the social ladder normally hang out in the highest spots. You’ll find these high achievers on the top shelves of their cat condo or up high on a bookshelf. You can also spot them getting the best spots when the suns out.

You can help to restore peace by increasing the vertical territory. You can make or buy cat trees or install shelves. Bookshelves and other household furniture can be good for creating a vertical territory. Additionally, having more scratching posts and horizontal scratchers will help ease tensions as cats mark their territory by scratching.

Stopping Brother Cats From Fight

Some cats will pick a fight with other cats around mealtimes. If they aren’t fed enough or have to wait longer between meals. You can reduce the crankiness factor by feeding them good quality food and increasing the frequency of meals they’re fed every day.

Fights don’t typically start out of the blue. Cats will usually show some signs of their intentions to battle through body language and vocalizations. The cats’ eyes usually become fixed on their target; sometimes the cat will stalk or assume a pouncing position. Their ears may become flattened or turn back; the tail may start to swish fast and furiously. Fur will often stand up, making the cat appear more intimidating to their opponents. All of these displays are usually accompanied by growling, hissing and caterwauling. Never ignore your cat’s body language. The first sign of a fight, block the cats’ view of each other. You can do this by using large pieces of cardboard, a poster board, or a pillow. The loss of view will give the other cat enough time to retreat to safety.

In the moment
In most cases, it isn’t always possible to avoid a catfight. Rather than risking life and limb, or doing nothing, try the following:

  • Not all catfights are all-out brawls and can be stopped using a distraction. Throwing a toy parallel to the floor across the cats’ line of vision is often enough to distract one of them so the other can escape. Laser pointers and flash lights can also stop prevent fighting. Direct the beam on the floor, moving the light away from the cats. Never shine the light on their face.
  • Intense fighting calls for extraordinary measures. Throwing a pillow or other soft object next to the battling pair, can momentarily stop the fighting, diverting their attention onto the object and off each other. Squirting water can also help to stop any fighting but only aim for the sides. Never squirt a cat’s face.
  • After battling cats are separated, there should be a cooling-off period away from each other and the other residents of the household.


Unfortunately, some cats may never be best friends even if they’re brothers, however, you can help them tolerate each other better.