Dr. Jeff Nichol Albuquerque Journal logoA veterinary advice column by:
Dr. Jeff Nichol Albuquerque Journal
Monday, October 2, 2006

Dr. Jeff Nichol on ways to reduce inter-cat aggression: “Cats are not like the rest of us. While their groups have hierarchies, most have little need to hang with their homies. The indoor cat has other instinctive requirements like hunting, stalking and pouncing on prey. If another indoor cat is weak and helpless, the aggressor cat can’t resist.

To stay out of trouble, indoor cats need more vertical space. Considering your cat population, I suggest at least two floor-to-ceiling carpet-covered cat trees with hidey holes. Locate them near windows for the bird’s eye view. When a cat needs to attack, you can share stalk and pounce toys like feathers on a stick. With more of his primal needs met, he’ll be less inclined to use a weaker cat as a rodent.

Add a bell to his collar and a CatBib (catgoods.com), a must-have feline fall fashion accessory, and the aggressor cat will find predation of any sort difficult. To reduce the risk of urine wars, you should have one litter pan for each cat plus one. You can relax the masses with a Feliway diffuser, a calming pheromone, available at many pet specialty stores. If medications are necessary for the aggressor cat, try paroxetine. Buspirone can help the weaker cat be less anxious.