There are two reasons that one of your cats may attack or bully another cat in the household that may come as a surprise to you – one has to do with a cat who was bothered by something else, but takes it out on the unfortunate soul who happens by at the wrong time, the other one – involves the effect a cat who has just visited the vet may have on the cat waiting at home.
Listen to Raising Your Paws Podcast episode 50, to hear about these reasons and what to do.
How to Effectively Separate Fighting Cats.
Anytime aggression breaks out suddenly between your cats, where there were no problems in the past, you’ll want to determine the cause –whether, its resource guarding of food or litter boxes (podcast episode 49) or things called redirected aggression and non-recognition aggression – (explained in podcast #50 above) or even a medical issue. Always and foremost, if one cat becomes uncharacteristically aggressive towards another, there could be a medical reason behind the behavior. Your cat may be in pain and that can make anyone irritable – so have cat checked out by the vet.
If the reason cat A was upset about a strange cat in the yard, but ambushes Cat B, or if Cat A attacks Cat B because he just came back from the doctor and smells icky, you’ll first want to separate the cats into different rooms to prevent further fighting and keep everyone safe.
Create a safe room, one that can be closed off, to place one of the cats or if you can, place each in their own separate rooms with doors. Set up the safe room(s) with everything the cat needs: litter box, food, water, toys, scratching post, vertical space and good sleeping places. If you are going to have to leave one cat loose in the house and the other one in a den or bedroom, to figure out which cat should go into the safe room, there are two thoughts about this. If one of the cats was definitely, the aggressor, so that the cat does not get the perception that she ran off the other one, and is now the winner of the best territory – the rest of the house, place that cat in the safe room. If the victim cat, the one that got ambushed, appears nervous or stressed and tends to hide under things instead of enjoying the run of the house, place that cat in the closed off room.
Spend equal time with each cat, give plenty of attention and play time to both. This is not, nor should not feel like punishment for the cat placed in the den. The cats will stay apart for a number of days. Research shows that after an episode of redirected aggression the cats can remain agitated for up to two days after the incident. The point of the separation is to first, of course, prevent injury but to allow the cats to calm down and relax. Eventually when everyone calms down and goes back to their normal activities of eating, grooming, using their boxes, etc., while in their separate spaces, then you can re-introduce them to each other.
If the spat happened recently and was not severe, and you were able to separate the cats immediately, then the time they need apart, won’t be very long however if the original fight happened a number of day in the past and they’ve been fighting ever since, then it’s going to be a longer, more gradual process before they can be together again and you’ll want to utilize what is known as a formal “reintroduction.” This is based on the principal that you will introduce them to each other in the same way you would as if this was the first time they had ever met. More about this in a future podcast episode. If you haven’t subscribed yet to the podcast, now is a good time to do it. It’s free, and you will never miss an episode.
Raising Your Paws podcast Episode 50 – Full Show Notes.
Title: Making the Crate More Enjoyable For Your Dog & Why Cats Returning From the Vet Get Attacked By the Cats at Home.
Have you noticed that when a few dogs are walking or playing together, if one pees or marks a spot outside, than the other dogs will come over and mark the same spot? Why do dogs do this? I’ll explain how this is serious business in the canine world.
Next, talking to dog trainer, Katie-K-9 about dog crates, find out the answers to what the best kind of crate to get is, wire or plastic, what you can do to help your dog enjoy their time in the crate, and how to know when it’s time for the dog to be left out of the crate at home alone.
If you live with multiple cats and have had one cat suddenly become aggressive with or bully another cat, there are two surprising causes you’ll want to know about. One type of aggression has to with the cat who had simply been sitting and looking out the window and the other may happen when one cat comes home from the vet. I’ll explain the reasons these things can provoke aggression and how to fix it.
Let us know what you think about the podcast or the blog articles. Please leave your comment at the end of this blog article (episode, number 50) above, and win a few free bags of our cat or dog treats.
Additional Resources for the Show.
Amazon link to the source for the story about dog’s marking behavior. “Why Does My Dog Do That” by Sophie Collins.
Amazon link to the source for the story about reasons for aggression in cats. “Cat Wise” by Pam Johnson-Bennett