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When cats don’t get along, it can wreak havoc on your household. If you have one cat that is particularly mean to another cat, it can make it hard for you all to coexist. Use this guide to see  how to stop your cat from bullying your other cat:

The Signs of Bullying

Before you can step in and work on the behavior, it is important to recognize the signs of bullying to find a potential trigger. Signs of bullying in cats include:

  • Hissing
  • Intense staring
  • Biting
  • Stalking
  • Arched back
  • Puffed out tail
  • Angled or flat ears
  • Dilated pupils

Try to pay attention to when these bullying behaviors occur. Does it tend to happen more often around the litter box? Does it seem to be food-motivated? Are they fighting for your attention? Is it a mock fight or true aggression? The more information you can gather about when the bullying behavior occurs, the more likely you’ll be to figure out why it’s happening.

Separate Cats During Mealtime

Food aggression is a common cause of bullying among cats. Simply separating the animals during mealtimes can help alleviate the issue. Close the aggressive cat into a bedroom or bathroom with his or her food when it’s time to eat. Be sure that both cats have completely finished their meals before allowing them back into the same space.

Invest in More Litter Boxes

Ideally, you would have at least one litter box per cat per floor plus an extra one. If you notice bullying behavior in or near the litter box, try to add one or two more than you have to ensure the animals have separate spaces in which to do their business. 

Try Plug-In Pheromone Diffusers

Pheromone diffusers can help minimize cats’ feelings of stress, which can lead to behaviors like bullying. Talk to your veterinarian about the best diffusers for your cat breeds.

Use Positive Reinforcement

You should never yell at a bullying cat or use an angry tone. Animals respond best to positive reinforcement. Instead of pointing out bad behavior, try to reward good behavior. This will make it much more likely that your cat will continue to do the more positive behaviors (especially if treats are involved).

Give the Cats Space

It’s important for the cats to have plenty of space to come together to play and to take some alone time when they need it. Designate a few specific areas for play and set up plenty of beds, water bowls, and cat trees throughout the house so they can relax in solitude when they need to. You may also want to add a bell to the aggressive cat’s collar to give the other cat a warning.

Keep Watch, But Not Too Closely

Supervising interactions between your cats can help minimize bullying behavior. Intervene as soon as you notice the aggression starting. However, it is important to let your cats work things out on their own. In most cases, the cats will figure everything out on their own. If the bullying is still happening (or getting worse), you might want to talk to your veterinarian about alternative solutions such as behavior work. Another option is a technique to separate the aggressive cat and gradually reintroduce them to help stop your cat from bullying your other cat.


At Westarbor Animal Hospital, we want to help you provide your pets with a safe and comfortable living space throughout their lives. From full-service veterinary care to a dedicated team, we have everything you need to optimize health and wellness. To learn more, call (734) 769-5391.

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