calico cats

Peace & Privacy

Question:
I need advice on displaced aggression in my 2 cats that are normally very loving to each other. It started after a neighborhood cat started appearing in my back yard. It’s gotten much worse with them fighting and I’ve tried the Feliway plug- ins.

Dr. Nichol:
Your cats have done just fine indoors together and they don’t need no stinkin’ visitors. Unable to lunge through your windows to drive-off that alien monster your frustrated kitties have redirected their aggression toward the closest target with a pulse – each other. This is a serious problem. Fights can occur more often with worsening injuries. Mending these broken relationships can take months to years. This conflict needs to be brought under control ASAP.

Most cats who are raised indoors, with little or no exposure to those outside their private “colony”, react badly when seeing kitties who look and smell different. Adding a cat to the home or simply taking only one of yours to the veterinary clinic can lead to trouble. They need to look and smell the same to each other, every day.

Your windows are part of the problem. Unable to escape the “fishbowl” of your house your cats can’t run, hide, or attack. They are freaked-out and spitting mad. That neighbor kitty needs to quit dropping by, asking to borrow a cup of sugar.

Cover the lower portions of your glass door and windows with frosted window film, available at home improvement stores. Discourage unwelcome visits with a motion activated animal deterrent called the “Scare Crow” by Contech. The next time that knucklehead tries to breech the wall he’ll get hosed. Your cats will laugh their brains out.

Feliway can help calm your kitties but they’ll also need a plethora of opportunities to engage in feline-specific behaviors like climbing, perching, and hiding – from everybody. Go to my website, drjeffnichol.com for the list of Feline Environmental Enrichments.

Dr. Jeff Nichol, a residency-trained veterinary behaviorist, provides consultations in-person and by telephone and Zoom (505-792-5131). Each week he shares a blog and a Facebook Live video to help bring out the best in pets and their people. Sign up at no charge at drjeffnichol.com. Post questions on pet behavioral or physical concerns on facebook.com/drjeffnichol or by US Post to 4000 Montgomery Blvd. NE, Albuq, NM 87109.