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Cat Behavior | PetsWeekly

Types of Aggression in Cats - Part 1

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Whap! Snarl! Hiss! Chase! Scrabblescramble. Cry! STOP IT! ISAIDSTOPPIT! Who hasn’t been there? Anyone who hasn’t had more than one cat. Aggression trails only soiling outside the box as the big behavior problem. And, until you figure out the type of aggression, it can be hard to stop it. The good news: you can. There are several distinct kinds. Sure, it ends up the same way: someone gets hurt: you or another cat. However, the more you know about why the skirmish is happening, the better you can manage the situation. Several of the most common types include:

Redirected Aggression

This one’s easy to spot: cat is looking out the window, sees a bird or cat he can’t get at, reacts, you happen to be near, and he goes after you. Or he’s wanting to pick a fight with your other cat or dog, you intervene, and...you get it. Like when you hurt your elbow, then someone looks at you and you snarl, ‘What’re YOU looking at?’

It's basically my version of a deflected "Gah!"

Read more: Types of Aggression in Cats - Part 1

Veterinarians Need Behaviorists and So Do Pets

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I was the only feline behavior consultant attending last year's American Animal Hospital Association conference, as far as I knew. I was neither a vet, nor a vet tech. After the four days, I left with a notebook of interesting bits to pass on to my clients, yes, but also confirmation that feline behavior was still low on the vet's priority list. The "feline track" was small. Very doggist. Even a talk on fear and aggression handling for clinic staff was 90% dog. (The lecturer, the late vet-behaviorist Sophia Yin, admitted there was "too little known about cats" and that she didn't know 'all that much.') One of the biggest names in veterinary medicine, Niels Pedersen, author of the book on feline infectious diseases, advised me, "Behavior? It's either sex or stress. If it's sex, castrate 'em. Stress? Drug 'em." Oh, well that's all right, then.

Read more: Veterinarians Need Behaviorists and So Do Pets

Giving medication to your hard-to-medicate pets

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We've always been told that a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down. But when it comes to pet, nothing could be further from the truth. And please - never give your pets a spoonful of sugar to offset or disguise the misery of giving them medicine.

There are lots of other ways to give your pets a pill without traumatizing you or them. From Pill Paste to compounding to trickery, we have a way to make those meds go down with no fuss and no hospital visits.

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10 Possible Reasons Your Cat Is Behaving Badly

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If your healthy cat is suddenly peeing on your bed or spraying in your office, if he's taken to running around at strange hours of the night, or mewing inconsolably all night, there are several possible explanations. Of course, you must always take them in for a vet check to eliminate any possible health conditions like blockages or disease. But health problems have been eliminated and your cat is still acting out inappropriately, here are some possible explanations.

Room Deodorizers

Everyone has probably used a room deodorizer in their home, particularly if they have cats. One of the most common places to put diffusers and other such items are near the litter-box. Avoid doing this! It can cause undue stress on  your cats and even make it difficult for them to use the litter box.

Solve This: Instead of placing a deodorizer or diffuser near your cat's box, try one of the helpful Litter Box Deodorizers on the market. You can also tape live charcoal on the side or the bottom of the box or sprinkle the box with baking soda prior to putting cat litter inside.

Read more: 10 Possible Reasons Your Cat Is Behaving Badly

5 Ways to Keep Your Cat from Attacking You

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I’m sure you’ve all heard about the cat attack 911 call that came in from a family under attack from their pet cat. If you haven’t heard it yet, it’s worth a listen, but here’s the short version: Apparently, a family let their cat get a little too close to their toddler. The toddler pulled the cat’s tail. The cat scratched the toddler. Dad became upset and “spanked” the cat or “kicked” the cat (depending on which version of the story you’re reading). The cat, having had enough of the ridiculous behavior, threw a bit of a tantrum – which, in cat speak, means “communicating displeasure to your humans” but in human speak means, "my cat bullies me."

As always, I felt worse for the cat than I did for the family when I first read this, just as I feel worse for a child when he acts out than I do for the parents. Cats do what they do because it's instinct. Threaten them, and they will react with a fight or flight reflex. The cat has since been moved to rescue, which I have mixed feelings about - mostly because I am sure the family will just get another cat and make the same mistakes. So, let's talk about what went wrong...

One thing that is important to understand about our feline friends is that they are "self-domesticated." Quite simply, it means they came to live with us because they chose to, not because we trained them to. They consent to being our pets only because it’s to their advantage to do so.

There is a delicate balance between a cat and his/her owner. Upset or betray that balance, bad things can (and will) happen.

Read more: 5 Ways to Keep Your Cat from Attacking You

Feline Behavior

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    Baby, I live with 2 male cats (neutered) and 1 female cat (spayed). All of a sudden they have started spraying (they are 1 year old). They have sprayed my bed, my doors and in my closet (that I know of). I'm… Read More +

  • hypersthesia

    Mama-San, My 1 yr old tabby has developed a fear of its tail! The end twitches and she sometimes lightly attacks it, but most times just runs from it (especially at night) your site mentions anger in connection with tip- twitching.… Read More +

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