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My two cats are brother and sister and they normally get along very well. I think the male, Gabriel, gets jealous of Lilith sometimes as she likes to try to steal whatever toy he's playing with. I try to play with them at the same time since one will inevitably come over and I don't like the idea of separating them just for play time, plus, usually they get along well and take turns. They also cuddle together regularly.

This morning though I woke up to them howling at each other. Their tails were all fluffed and they were moving very slowly. Gabe seems to be the aggressor here as Lilith was just trying to get away but he kept following her, and she was growling. I was just letting them have their stand-off but then I put Lilith in the garage. She started meowing like she wanted to get out and then the standoff began again.

I'm not sure what to do. I've heard its best to let them 'fight it out' (they have not hit each other yet, just growling and hissing and standing there) but I don't know if that will make it worse. It's just a more serious fight than I've ever seen them have.

Any suggestions? They are both 2 years old.
 

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Sometimes this kind of spat can be caused by redirected agression. Maybe Gabriel was startled by something else but he decided Lilith was the one to blame for whatever gave him a fright.

In that case you could seperate them and reintroduce them carefully.
 

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Well just now, something good happened. Gabe went up to Lilith and didn't hiss or growl and they sort of sniffed and rubbed their faces against each other like having an apology. I hope that is the end of that.

There was another cat walking around outside so I think he might have gotten territorial and redirected like you said.
 

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When cats get upset with other cats being in their territory that they see outside the indoor cat will attack any cat in sight. This does sound like redirected aggression.

Once the cats forget about the outdoor cat they will be fine with each other.
 
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