Does Your Cat Need a New Home?
Try these solutions to 6 common problems before you make that decision.
6 Reasons Your Cat Doesn’t Need a New Home
Here are solid solutions to problems that you may not have thought were
Inter-cat aggression. Do you like every new person you meet? Neither
does your cat! Bring a new cat into a household with established felines and
everyone usually becomes purring pals -- but sometimes things don’t go so
smoothly and fights break out. Cats instinctually have a social order where one
cat is dominant, so some degree of fighting is normal when first introducing a
new cat. This usually resolves quickly once the new order is established. Cats
can also become aggressive for reasons such as illness.
To help you get a handle on cat aggression:
• Talk with your vet
first. If one of your cats has recently become aggressive, the cause could
be a serious illness. Get your cat examined by the vet before taking any other
• Let cats get acquainted
slowly. When introducing established cats to a new cat or kitten, don’t
hurry. Let them meet by smell and sound first. After a week, they can be
visually introduced, and after that, let them spend time together. And
introduce the newbie to each established cat individually.
• Reduce resource
competition. Litter boxes, food bowls, water, kitty perches -- cats will
fight over all of these if there aren’t enough to go around. Reduce kitty
traffic jams at these hot spots by having several food and water bowls in
different locations, multiple perches, and at least two litter boxes -- or one
for each cat, if you can manage it.
• Consult a behavior
specialist. If illness and resources aren’t the issue, it’s time to call a
veterinary behaviorist or CAAB, who can help you get to the behavioral root of
your cat’s aggression.
• Don’t punish an
aggressive cat. Don’t fight aggression with aggression; the result is often
more aggression -- and fear. To stop a cat fight, squirt the cats with
water, clap your hands or make another loud noise, or throw something soft,
like a wadded up sock, at them. Never try to pull fighting cats apart.