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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20909
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Maggie (8 y/o, 8 lbs, female cat) has been an indoor cat

Customer Question

Maggie (8 y/o, 8 lbs, female cat) has been an indoor cat with Tubby (10 y/o, 12 lbs, female cat) with only a few snappy seconds between them in the last 8 years. Four weeks ago I was giving them their treat (they get wet food 2 times a week) I stepped on Tubby's toes and she squealed and Maggie attacked her (just like that). I had to keep them separated and Maggie got past my son and attacked Tubby AGAIN-I tried to separate them (broom, water...then finally my hands). Well, a visit to Urgent Care, a shot and a Rx for antibiotics later, I made an appointment to have Maggie spayed. All her blood tests came back perfect. This has made her a bit more clingy than she was before, but done nothing for her attitude towards Tubby. She now has to be sequestered in my bedroom while Tubby has the full apartment and then Tubby goes into a closed room while Maggie has the apartment. My son and I are at a loss of what to do. Vacations, day trips, etc have to be put on hold until we can get this situation fixed. Do you have any suggestions?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today. Based on the history you have provided, it sounds like the initial accident (or a feline altercation we don't know about) has disturbed the normal balance between these two. We would assume that either this was Maggie sensing Tubby was vulnerable and therefore trying to dominate her (as females do tend to form matriarchy with one head female when in groups) or that the situation caused Maggie stress leading to her lashing out (less likely if this has been going on for weeks). Though I'd note in either case, every time Maggie has attacked Tubby, these will increase the amount of negative interaction between them and make this situation even harder to remedy. Now you were right to divide the house as you have. From here though, we do need to try and rebuild their fractured relationship. To start, make sure you are feeding them on either side of a common door (outside the room you are using when one is away) to help try to desensitize them to each other's presence and try to build a positive relationship between them. As well, I would strongly advise addressing the general feline stress here by using de-stressing supportive care. Often we will use Feliway (also known as Comfort Zone ( in the pet stores), which is a synthetic cat pheromone that helps to relieve stress and promote relaxation of the stressed cat. This can be used as a spray or a plug-in diffuser. (Ideally you want to use this where they each spend the most time in to get the full effect). There is also a diet on the market called Calm by Royal Canin. This contains a number of supplements that have been found to provide stress relief to cats and can reduce the tension plaguing them both. As well, there are nutritional supplements available from the vets, like Kalmaid or Zylkene, that have been found very beneficial at allaying the anxiety often behind aggressive behavior. As well, you could also use Composure treats (available on Amazon and some pet stores) that can be used as a treat when they interact well as a means of again making interaction positive. Finally, if you use the above with slow re- introduction over the months to come but find Maggie still unsettled and reacting badly, then we may need to speak to her vet about a trial on drug therapy to decrease feline arousal and thus dampen their drive for attacking Tubby. These can be short term and long term treatments depending on the cat. Often it doesn’t have to get to that point and the above can settle them down. It will just be a case of reducing her tension/hyper-reaction towards Tubby to help her settle and let you restore the feline peace in your home. Please take care,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Afterwards, I would be grateful if you would rate my service by clicking on the "Rate my Expert' button at the top of the page as this is the only way I am credited for helping you. Thank you for your feedback!: )
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.