From Cat fights to calm cats
Calm Cats are happy cats. It is possible to stop cat fights now, when you work with your veterinarian to provide the medication and plan to create calm cats. Cats are interesting. They are affectionate, independent, and intelligent. Many homes have at least two cats, according to the AVMA and other industry sources. The more cats in the house, the greater the need for physical space, separate eating areas, perches, and playtime for good cat behavior. As a veterinarian and behaviorist, I would ask my cat clients about their cat’s behavior during the annual check-up. Clients would report hissing, staring, pouncing, and chasing but not consider that to be much of a problem. The client was describing housemate cat anxiety, which often led to aggression or health problems. I would address both the health solutions and behavior solutions for my clients to create calm, healthy cats.
Cat Behavior in the home
Cats, in general, do not share very well. In the wild, they live and hunt alone. Cats mark a specific square footage area outdoors to define their space. When there are multiple cats on a property, they share feeding and sleeping areas with all but create small social groups dependent on each cat having enough of these resources with space. The great outdoors provides loads of hunting, sniffing, and resting areas for each cat. Outdoor cats have fewer fights because there is less competition for these resources and more space. Indoor only cats have more difficulty in finding that space and individual perches or eating areas. Homes lacking cat shelves, multiple feeding places, and litterboxes kept clean increase cat stress.
Indoor only cats in a multi-cat home fight more often than indoor-outdoor lifestyles. The combination of lack of space shared resources and mismatched play behaviors contributes to cat aggression. I understand that many cat owners do not want their cats to roam outside freely, and I support that. Many cats have died from toxin exposure, attacks from other animals, and infectious diseases spread by the outdoor lifestyle. You can provide an indoor lifestyle that addresses your cat’s needs and decrease feline aggression in a multi-cat household.
Craft a Kitty Cosmo Cocktail
When we have catfights in the home, immediate intervention is needed. Intense fighting, causing bites, reflects chronic stress. When there are litter box problems, there has been chronic stress now affecting the health and behavior of the cats. The veterinarian can treat health problems, yet addressing the behavior needs is equally important. The difficulties are finding the time to provide the behavior consult during a veterinary appointment. In my 35 plus years of practice experience, I created Behavior Cocktails that blended a simple behavior plan with a medication plan to address common behavior problems immediately. This plan is not the full solution, yet will provide some answers to decrease the intensity of cat aggression. The Kitty Cosmo is the blend of a behavior modification plan and a medical plan to reduce cat aggression. Following all the steps of this plan, you will see a decrease in the intensity and frequency of catfights. The Kitty Cosmo may not be the full solution. It will improve the welfare of your cats and be a starting point for better cat behavior.
Kitty Cosmo Behavior Cocktail
Three perches per cat in your home – one like a cubie or box to hide in
Hide the food in small dishes around the house to encourage hunting
10 minutes of human playing with each cat daily
Scoop out the litter boxes twice daily
Feliway MultiCat pheromone diffuser
Add in – Medication prescribed by your veterinarian.
Gabapentin, Fluoxetine, Buprenorphine, Metoclopramide, or Propranolol may help reduce anxiety and manage the health problems of vomiting, pain, and heart disease aggravated by chronic anxiety and aggression. Supplements like probiotics, milk calming protein, and specific diets build calming brain chemistry and address health problems from stress.
Download the Kitty Cosmo Recipe here to create a calm cat home.
If you are still having trouble with catfights and aggression, a behavior consult is needed to determine the specific plan for your home and your cats to help them get along. If you do not have a feline behaviorist in your area, I provide telehealth behavior consults to any owner and work with any veterinarian Learn more here
Tell me how this Kitty Cosmo helps your cats. I love to hear from you!
Sally J Foote DVM, CABC-IAABC, LSHC-S
Better Bond – Better Behavior