|Maggie and Eamon sharing space quite happily.|
The outdoor cats are a territorial bunch, and they're prone to participate in slapping fests around mealtimes. These are rarely epic battles, and it's extremely rare for any cat to emerge with injuries after the fights are over, but they can seem and sound pretty scary. One cat will start spitting and slapping, the other will spit and slap back and soon, they're chasing one another around the driveway.
The indoor cats seem extremely sensitive to change, and they'll fight when something small is amiss. When one cat is sick, for example, the others will beat on the sick cat mercilessly. Rarely does this cause any serious problem, however, as the picked-on cat will usually run to me for assistance or Liam will throw himself in the middle of the fight to keep the peace.
When the rare cat fight breaks out that seems serious, it's best to break up the action with one loud noise. Clapping your hands, pounding on the door, beating on the window or stamping your feet all work well. Some experts claim a blast of water is also effective, but it's not a method I've used.
Once the fight is over, it's best to do some research to determine why the fight broke out. In some cases, you can solve the problem. Taking a sick cat to the doctor might help, for example, or feeding the cats in separate areas can reduce territorial squabbles.
There are some fights you may never truly prevent, however, as some cats just seem to love their spats and they'll hold them no matter what you do.
For more information about why cats fight, see this article. I remain convinced that no one can truly know why cats do anything they do, but this gal does seem to have a few theories that make some sense.