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Dealing With Aggression Between Cats

If you were certain that your Las Vegas cat would love the companionship of a fellow feline, you may be astonished and upset to see him behaving aggressively toward the other cat (or vice versa). A number of factors can contribute to aggression between cats, from perceived dangers to territorial disputes. The good news is that once you've figured out the underlying cause of the problem, you can take specific steps to manage your cat's aggression and restore harmony to the household. A Cat Hospital can help identify the issues that need to be corrected and provide the necessary guidance, advice or treatment.

cat sitting

Signs and Causes of Aggressive Behavior

Aggressive behavior is an instinctive response to some kind of threat, whether it's a direct threat to the cat's health or a threat to the cat's dominance or territory in the home. Some cats are aggressive toward each other from the very beginning, while others may surprise you by become aggressive after an initial period of friendship. Aggression resulting from territory issues is very common, especially with male cats in general (not just unneutered males).  Aggressive behaviors such as swatting, biting, scratching and kicking are obvious enough, but others may be too subtle for you to notice at first. Watch for a frozen, stiff posture and direct star, possibly accompanied by vocalizations or hair standing on end -- these may be the prelude to an aggressive attack. Aggression can also be caused by fear of subtle dominance from other cats. This is not always easy to detect, and it can often times result from your cat’s housemates. Your cat may fear being cornered by its housemates, so  it will react with aggression.

Displays of aggression may occur for a variety of reasons. The most common type is harmless play-aggression, in which both cats take turns attacking each other for fun. Other causes include:

  • Maternal instincts to protect kittens against other cats
  • Disputes over shared space (especially in sexually intact male cats)
  • Fear of an unfamiliar cat, and a feeling of being cornered by said animal
  • Diseases such as rabies
  • Injuries that make a cat feel vulnerable
  • Redirected aggression originally prompted by another, inaccessible animal (a squirrel outside the window, for example)

How a Cat Hospital Can Help

Feline aggression can lead to dangerous, damaging fights in which diseases can be transmitted, so you need nip that problem in the bud as soon as possible. Your friends at A Cat Hospital can help, starting with a thorough examination to check for any underlying health conditions that may be initiating the aggressive behavior. We will also ask you about your cat's previous relationship with the other cat in question to determine whether the aggression between the cats is a new behavior. Based on what we discover, we may suggest strategies such as:

  • Neutering a male cat to relieve the frustration and territoriality fueled by sexual urges
  • Separating the cats temporarily so they can establish their respective spaces
  • Using pheromones to establish a "cat odor" that resolves tensions
  • Dotting one cat's head with tuna juice so the other cat will be tempted to groom him

Figuring out how to solve your cat’s aggression can take a lot of evaluation and patience, but once it is resolved it will make everyone involved happier!

Let Us Help You Restore a Peaceful Feline Residence

If you need to bring peace to your feline residence, then you need A Cat Hospital. Call 702-454-4400 for an appointment!