Inter-Cat Agression Average Cost

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Average Cost

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What is Inter-Cat Agression?

There are a few different types of inter-cat aggression cats may exhibit, and they aren't mutually exclusive. It's important to seek professional help when you notice any signs of hostility.

Aggression is one of the top most reported feline behavioral problems. Cats are naturally self-reliant and solitary creatures. Even so, with the right established rules between the animals, as well as enough food, a few cats can get along well with one another in the same household. However, certain circumstances can unfortunately, cause one or more to become aggressive.

Symptoms of Inter-Cat Agression in Cats

The signs that your cat may be behaving in a more hostile manner aren't always clear. Inter-cat aggression is usually separated into two categories. One is more obvious, while the other may be less easy to detect. Each is shown below with their corresponding symptoms:

Obvious Aggression

  • Hissing/swiping
  • Attacking/fighting
  • Staring/stalking
  • Aggressor marks areas of the home
  • Physical signs (e.g. flattened ears, pupils dilated, puffed-up hair)

Vague Aggression

  • Preventing access to resources (e.g. sitting in front of litter box, food, water)
  • Blocking access to affection (e.g. prevent other cats from getting human attention)

Causes of Inter-Cat Agression in Cats

There are a variety of reasons why your cat may not cohabitate well with another. They can range from territorial to redirected aggression. Common causes of inter-cat aggression are as follows:

  • New cat/kitten has matured (territorial aggression)
  • Triggered by threat of outside source (redirected aggression)
  • One cat returns home after hospital stay (non-recognition aggression)
  • Fear (cat may be afraid of going to the vet)
  • Unneutered males (protecting food, access to females)
  • Cat is in pain
  • Recently given birth (maternal aggression)

Diagnosis of Inter-Cat Agression in Cats

It is important to intervene early at the first signs of aggression. The longer you wait, the more likely that your cat's aggression will turn into a habit, and the more difficult it will be to break. You should first consult your veterinarian in order for the cat to undergo an evaluation. Your vet will most likely run tests and perform a physical examination to search for any signs of illness. A cat can merely be feeling unwell and is taking it out on those around them. If tests prove that there is an underlying cause, then upon treating it, your cat's behavior should improve.

However, if there is no illness or injury, or the treatment of it doesn't curb the aggression, then it is best to promptly contact a specialist to understand your cat's behavior. Always keep notes about any obvious or passive-aggressive signs your cat has exhibited lately. Also, be sure to recognize any changes that may have occurred in the household such as the arrival of a new pet or a baby, as that can easily trigger territorial aggression in any cat.

Treatment of Inter-Cat Agression in Cats

The treatment plan depends entirely on the type of aggression a cat displays, as well as what is causing it.

Medical

If a medical condition is the root cause of your cat's aggression, then treating that should alleviate the problem. For instance, dental issues or arthritis are a few of the conditions that can cause a cat to become aggressive. Treating that should allow your cat to feel better, and thus resolve the hostile behavior. In the case of unneutered cats competing with one another, neutering them is typically the best solution.

Separation & Re-Introduction

Separating and re-introducing the cats works in a few situations such as when a new cat joins the household, or there is non-recognition aggression. The first step is keeping them in different rooms to calm down, a separation that can last anywhere from a couple of hours to up to 48 hours. From then, you should re-introduce the cats to one another. This should be done gradually, and sometimes can take up to 3 weeks.

Reduce Anxiety/Stress

High stress levels can make it difficult for cats to coexist in the same house. You can help treat that by making it harder for one to sneak up on the other. For instance, consider using bells on the cats, each having their own distinctive sound. It can help you keep track of them, while also aiding them in detecting when the other is in another room or nearby.

You can also reduce anxiety by setting aside specific times in the day to play with each cat with items such as laser pens. Not only will it relax them, but it will also free up excess energy.

Recovery of Inter-Cat Agression in Cats

It is important to note that managing inter-cat aggression is not a simple task, especially if the source of aggression is emotional rather than pain or an illness. You should always consult with a professional before implementing any sort of changes in your cat's life. Be sure to never reward poor behavior, or your cat will see it as a sign to continue it. For example, if a cat hisses at guests, make certain they don't shy away or react in fear as it gives your cat a sign that the behavior is acceptable.

If you do witness your cats fighting, be careful that you do not reach in to tear them apart, as you can wind up bitten or scratched in the process. Instead, make loud noises to startle them or throw something soft at them. When treating the aggression, always follow the plan laid out by a professional, as that is the best way to ensure harmony is achieved amongst your cats.