Thursday, April 10, 2008
why does your cat get bullied?
If these are two cats that belong to you, it can be very difficult when cats from the same household don't get on together, and it may be that you have to consider consulting an animal behaviourist. Your vet will be able to suggest one who specialises in feline problems.
If that is not feasible, there are some things you can try, but you have to remember to be patient. Sometimes cats with poor social manners can be slowly conditioned to tolerate other pets.
You must make sure that you don't encourage the cats to behave aggressively. Initially never leave your cats alone without you supervising them. Discourage unpleasant behaviour, such as grabbing your fingers and toes or attacking other cats with unsheathed claws and teeth, by immediately stopping playing or giving any attention when it starts.
Put the aggressor down or away from the other cat and ignore it. When the aggressor has calmed down, begin to play again, but more gently and speak with a soft voice. The surest way to wind up an aggressive cat is to be aggressive back.
A calm voice and minimal attention coupled with plenty of treats and praise for good behaviour may slowly change your cats' attitude. However, it may be that your two cats will never get on!
If the cat that is attacking your cat is not one of your own, this again can be difficult to remedy, and depends on discouraging the aggressive cat from coming near your own cat.
If the aggressive cat is entering your house through a cat flap, consider getting one that only opens when your cat wants to use it, by wearing an 'activating' collar.
You can try and discourage them by using cat deterrents around the area where the cats are, such as rubbing alcohol over the area (such as surgical spirit), or putting mothballs or orange peel there.
You can also discourage cats from approaching the area as well by covering the places where they go with wood or stone chips. You may need to think about a gravel garden or covering a small area, such as where they enter the garden, with the chippings. If you have grass around your house you can try introducing grit to the grass.
Sometimes, though, cats can find this attractive, so it is a bit of trial and error to find the things that the cats don't like!
Crumpled foil or plastic can work as well, but obviously this is difficult to use outside.
Another way of stopping cats attacking your cat is to spray water on the cat when it is in your garden. Use a plant sprayer and be sure to stand back as far as you can, so the cats do not associate the spray with you rather than where they are.
The plant sprayer set on single burst rather than a misty-type spray setting can work wonders, and won't harm the cats if used properly.
However, you will have to be consistent, so you may have to consider taking some time off work.
Posted by nancy at 8:38 PM