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Why Do Cats Fight At Night – Everything You Should Know

Why Do Cats Fight At Night – Everything You Should Know

Cats are always getting into a tussle, especially if another cat is in the home. Sometimes those fights don’t just happen during the daytime, but most of them occur long after it’s gone dark. Night-time fights are quite common in cats, but that still leaves most wondering; why do cats fight at night?

Cats fight at night because they are much more active at night than during the day. Cats are nocturnal and will naturally engage in late-night fights compared to daytime scuffles. Cats also fight to show dominance, protect their territory, and protect their food. 

When cats fight, it’s mostly playful; however sometimes it can lead to severe injuries. Nighttime fights are not only more dangerous, but there’s little you can do to monitor the situation. Let’s dive more into the reasons surrounding cats fighting at night, and what specific actions you can take to help limit this behavior.

Reasons Why Cats Fight At Night 

There are five main reasons why cats fight at night. These most commonly include things like fighting for dominance, defending their territory, and protecting their food. However, cats are also known to fight other cats when defending their kittens and when they are mating. Here are the five reasons why cats fight at night. 

Fighting For Dominance

Cats are more active at night than they are during the day, so this is when some cats will fight with other cats over dominance. This is especially common for feral cats in the wild. As for house cats, this can occur if a new cat has just been introduced into the home.

While the fight for dominance is evergoing for cats, it’s particularly problematic when it’s happening at night. This is because you can’t monitor the situation as well and stop a fight before it truly gets bad.

If you know that one cat is more dominant than the other, then it’s a good idea to create a safe space for your other cat to dwell in. This can be a separate room, to an area you know the dominant cat dislikes. Train your cats to get used to their own spaces in the home. This will help limit any nighttime interactions; especially once your cats build a routine.

Another thing you can do is install some nightvision cameras that can alert you to their scuffling activity if it does take place.

They Are Defending Their Area 

Cats are highly territorial, so they will often fight other cats to protect their territory. This territory could include a stretch of land outside your cat’s favorite spot on their cat tree. This is a natural behavior in cats, and considering that cats are most active at night, they are more likely to need to defend their territory from other cats during the night. 

In most cases, this doesn’t happen with domesticated cats, but rather feral cats.

They Are Defending Their Food 

Cats also like to eat and hunt for food during the night, and they can be pretty protective over their meals. As a result, some cats will fight over food during the night. However, this is more common for outdoor cats than it is for strictly indoor cats.

This is because indoor cats are much more likely to be fed by their owners during the day and not in the middle of the night. 

The simple solution here is to put your cats on a strict feeding schedule. There are even automatic feeders that will dispense food at certain times of the day. You can just make sure that it’s shut off during the night hours to limit any tussles over a meal.

A Mother Cat Protecting Her Kittens 

Mother cats are extremely protective over their kittens, so they are likely to attack strange cats that get too close. This is why it is recommended that you keep mother cats with kittens separated from other cats in the home. It is not only safer for the kittens but the other adult cats as well. 

Sometimes Cats Fight When They Are Mating 

Cats often fight when they are mating, and this is a very normal behavior in mating cats. Although the fight can seem extremely loud and frightening, both cats come out of this interaction unscathed most of the time. 

Why Are Cats Aggressive At Night

As we have mentioned previously, cats are much more active at night than during the day. This can lead to cats becoming overly defensive during this time, leading to some aggressive behavior. This is especially true if you have multiple cats in the home or if your cat is under a lot of stress. 

How Do I Stop My Cats From Fighting At Night

It can be pretty bothersome to have your cats frequently fighting at night, especially if they sustain injuries from their nighttime scraps. If this is a regular problem, then it is recommended that you separate your cats at nighttime in two different, closed-off and secure areas.

This will make them lose the need to protect their territory or fight for dominance. However, if your cats are always fighting, this can be a bit more difficult, and we will talk about the solutions for this later in this article. 

Should You Intervene When Cats Fight

If you have a severe cat fight on your hands, you should intervene. This will prevent one or both of the cats from getting seriously injured due to the fight. However, you should never jump in the middle of the fight because this will likely lead you to get injured by one or both of the fighting cats. 

How To Break Up A Cat Fight 

When breaking up a cat fight, you must do so carefully and strategically. If you go to pick up one of the cats or break the fight up forcefully, then you are incredibly likely to get injured by the fighting cats yourself. Here we will explain how you should break up a cat fight by breaking it down into a few simple steps. 

Step 1: Take a look at their body language. Are the cats play fighting, or is this a real and severe cat fight? Real catfights should be broken up, while play fighting is usually ok to be left alone. 

Step 2: Distract one or both of the cats. You can do this by clapping your hands, spraying your cat with water, or throwing a blanket or towel over them. This will give you enough time to perform step 3. 

Step 3: Separate the cats. You can do this either carefully with a broom or by swaddling one of the cats firmly in a towel. If you are using the second method, it is recommended that you do this with the cat that isn’t the most aggressive. Take one of the cats into a separate room. 

Step 4: Assess the situation. See if either of the cats is injured and call the vet if necessary. Keep the cats separated for a while and reintroduce them later on if applicable. 

Things To Consider 

There are some other things to consider when it comes to cats fighting at night. These include when you should see a vet about this problem, how to tell the difference between play fighting and a real catfight, and what you should do if your cats always seem to be fighting. Here are some things that you should consider about cats fighting at night. 

How To Tell The Difference Between Play Fighting And A Real Cat Fight

Cats are known to play fight, especially if the cats are friendly and know each other well. This is a natural behavior in cats, and cat owners should not be too worried if their cats do this. However, it is essential to tell the difference between play fighting and a real catfight because catfights can end with cats getting injured. 

You can tell the difference between these two behaviors by looking at the cats’ body language. Playful cats will be more relaxed and fluid with their motions. They will also likely run and jump around more than cats that are fighting would. Meanwhile, cats that are fighting will have stiff body language. Their hair will also likely stand up on end, and they will also have their ears pinned back. 

When To See A Vet 

If your cat seems to always be getting into fights, then you should take them to the vet. Sometimes aggressive behaviors can be caused by medical conditions that are causing your cat pain or discomfort. In addition, cats can sustain serious injuries or even catch diseases from catfights, and these will often require veterinary attention. 

What To Do If Your Cats Always Fight

If your cats always seem to be fighting, you should take both of them to the vet to ensure that no medical conditions are causing aggressive behavior. If this is the cause, then getting this treated will usually resolve the fighting issue. If your cats have been given a clean bill of health, seeking help from a professional such as a cat behaviorist may be required.