How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28420
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
Type Your Cat Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. Michael Salkin is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have two cats. One male (12 yrs old) and one female(11-1/2

Customer Question

I have two cats. One male (12 yrs old) and one female(11-1/2 yrs. old) They were adopted together and have lived together harmoniously for all those years. This past week the male had to have a couple of teeth extracted and he was at the vet's just for the day. He is doing just fine, however now the female is attacking him whenever she sees him. I know that this is probably due to him smelling like the vet's office when he came home. However he has been home now for 4 days and shouldn't he smell like home again. He is on antibiotics. Would this make him smell differently. Do you think that the female will get over this and at least give him a wide berth and let him live peacefully in our house again? The poor male is hiding from her and only sneaks out to eat and use the litter box.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.
I understand your concerns at this time. I have advanced training in feline behavior and am pleased to discuss your female's behavior with you. It does seem silly, doesn't it? But it's not unusual. Aggression often arises 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 (as you rightly surmised). 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 have to ask you to be patient with your female. It's very rare that I have to intervene and provide a reconditioning program to caretakers for these cats.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Related Cat Veterinary Questions