Hopefully someone out there "got" my title. Now that I satisfied my rare need to be cheesy...
I’ve had a handful of cases these past few months involving aggression between cats who previously lived together peacefully. Aggression between feline housemates can be triggered by a number of different things – a trip to the vet by one of the cats, wildlife or an outdoor cat lurking around the house, the addition of a new member of the household (human or non-human), or re-directed aggression in response to a frightening event (startling noise, for example). Whatever the cause (and sometimes we don’t know the cause), sudden fighting between household kitty siblings is unsettling for all family members.
If you find yourself with bickering cats, the first thing you should do is separate them – and I don’t just mean in the moment. I mean set them up to live in secure, separate rooms temporarily. The second thing you should do is take a deep breath and let everyone decompress for a couple of days (yourself and the cats). After that, call a qualified feline behavior consultant (like me!) to talk through your options. These might include some simple tips over the phone, an in-home behavior consultation and re-integration plan, and/or a referral to a veterinary behaviorist.
As always, prevention is the best “medicine”. If you have more than one cat in your home, here are some things you can do to decrease the likelihood of fights between them:
If you are doing all of these things and your cats are still having issues, set them up in secure separate rooms, and get some help from a qualified feline behavior consultant. You and your cats deserve to live in a peaceful home.
Problem-solver, Voracious learner. Educator.