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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 27994
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have 2 indoor cats they never go out. they live together

Customer Question

i have 2 indoor cats they never go out. they live together and play without any problems for more than 3 years,the male 8 y/o has spay but the youngest a female just got it 2 weeks ago before the procedure i went for vacation. my daughter who do not live in my house took care for them. one day she decided to take the old one outside for a walk. after cameback the youngest show aggressive behavior until today. i keep them separate, can i use tomlyn natural pet cat for anxioty&stress or dr, Harvey's relax&stress. i dont want to try antidepressant medications. have a lot of side effect and condition may worsen. how can i meet them again and help them live together again?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. It does seem silly, doesn't it? But it's not unusual. Aggression can arise when a cat has been out of the home and then returns (e.g. from a groomer or veterinary hospital stay). This may be due to pheromonal alterations (pheromones are chemicals that transmit information between members of the same species), anxiety or discomfort of the returning cat, or the response of one or more cats that remained in the home to some alteration in how the cat looks, acts, or smells upon its return. There may also be territorial and status issues that need to be re-established, even if the departure has been relatively short. Many of these problems are mild and will resolve themselves over time, particularly if there is enough space, perches, and hiding places for the cats to avoid interactions while they again "recognize" each other and re-establish a compatible relationship. This may take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks for some cats, while on rare occasions the problem may be sufficiently intense to require a formal reintroduction program of desensitization and counterconditioning in much the same way as a new cat is introduced into the household. I don't recommend the use of over the counter remedies or prescription drugs for this problem; instead, the tincture of time should suffice. It's prudent to sequester the youngest one to a quiet and dimly lit room until her level of arousal abates. You can then "test" her behavior daily to see if she's ready to commingle with your male in a non-aggressive manner. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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