Aggression in Cats

Aggression in cats can be managed with behavioral and medical therapies.

A very frustrating problem to deal with is aggression in cats. Aggression is often classified into many forms, depending upon the potential underlying causes. The classifications may include aggression due to fear, territorial issues, play, redirected, petting induced and predatory aggression. Signs of impending aggression include sudden stalking, biting or swatting, tail twitching back and forth, dilated pupils, ears pinned back close to head, as well as changes in posture, depending upon the type of aggression.

It is important to have a full veterinary workup in any aggressive cat to rule out potential underlying medical causes, as well as to help direct proper/specific treatment, in addition to implementation of behavior modification techniques.

The medical diseases that may cause aggression in cats include: hyperthyroidism, rabies, dental/gum disease, abscesses, arthritis, as well as primary brain disease or tumors in some cats. Very often, if the aggression is directed at an animal guardian, redirecting that aggression toward appropriate sources such as wand type toys, as well as other cat toys may be helpful.

Actively playing with cats 30-60 minutes daily can also be helpful.  When aggression involves other pets in the household, separating them and then slowly reintroducing them to one another is sometimes necessary.  Medical treatments with drugs like Amitryptyline or Fluoxetine is often needed in chronically aggressive cats.  Natural remedies such as Be Serene, Rescue Remedy, Composure Feline Bite-Sized Chews, and Pet Alive’s aggression formula, have all been helpful in some cases. For those clients preferring a natural approach, I would recommend learning more about homeopathy at the website www.beyondflatearth.com.

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