Foil Your Household’s Feline Bully

Your husky gray cat Smoky has terrified every one of your home’s residents. Smoky hides behind furniture and rakes your family’s ankles; he attacks your golden retriever Jack’s nose when the poor pooch tries to eat; and Smoky often drives your two foster cats under the couch. Smoky clearly relishes his role as the household bully. You’re desperate to make Smoky stop his obnoxious behavior, but you need some expert help. You’ve asked your veterinarian in Shawnee to give surly Smoky some badly needed behavioral counseling. Read more about cats’ bullying behavior below.

Desperate for Discipline

Smoky’s out-of-control aggression probably means he didn’t have much discipline as a kitten. Perhaps Smoky was suddenly orphaned, or his mother abandoned him early in life. If Smoky came from a breeder, he was likely weaned much too early. Smoky just didn’t receive that critical mother cat discipline so important to his normal development.

Since Smoky hasn’t had many rules in his life, he thinks it’s acceptable to hunt people, dogs, and other cats in your house. Give Smoky a more acceptable prey, such as a laser toy he can pursue madly around the room but never really catch. Also consider cat toys that mimic a flying feathered bird or scurrying mouse. Don’t punish Smoky for his behavior, or play roughly with your aggressive cat, as that will likely escalate his bad behavior.

Substitute Aggression Strategy

Since Smoky’s strictly an indoor cat, he can’t do much about the neighborhood cats who pass through “his” yard all day. Smoky makes an effort to defend his territory, hissing and yowling through the window, but the marauders generally ignore him and go about their business.

Of course, this really enrages Smoky. Since he can’t physically attack the offending cats, he settles for other nearby living creatures. Stop this never-ending cycle by keeping Smoky out of that room. If that’s not possible, close the drapes so he can’t see the intruders. Also, keep Smoky away from humans and other pets until he calms down a bit.

Feline Food Chain Battles

Smoky has temporarily bullied the two foster cats into submission, although they could band together to attack him at any time. To avoid this scenario, Smoky goes on the offensive, bullying the cats on a daily basis. Short-circuit Smoky’s plan by closing each cat in a different room with food, water, and a litter box. Visit Smoky frequently so he doesn’t feel forgotten. Ask your vet how to get the battling cats to tolerate each other, but realize it might take considerable time.

Once your Shawnee vet gets Smoky’s bullying behavior under control, your family (including other furry family members) can stop worrying about Smoky’s next attack.

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