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Is Your Cat a Bully?

If you live in a multi-cat house, you might find that one of the cats is aggressive and bullies the other cats in the house. This is usually called territorial aggression, but in reality, it is not always territorial issues that are the problem.

Sometimes, the aggressive cat may pick on just one of the other cats. That cat might be a new cat in the group, or it can even be a cat that the bully cat has gotten along with previously. It often occurs when the cat anywhere from 8 months to 2 years old, and often the aggression will develop over time, starting with just growling and hissing. It can then progress to chasing and swatting and fighting or attacks.

The cat or cats that are being bullied become afraid of the aggressive cat and may begin to hide in areas away from the bully cat and can even experience litter box problems due to not having access to the area that the litter box is kept because of the presence of the aggressive cat. Obviously, the victimized cat needs to have an area that they feel safe in and that they have access to food, water and a litter box. They also need protection from injury and stress.

To help alleviate the problem, separate the cats when feeding. Put the aggressive cat in a room alone to eat instead of feeding them all together. When they are done eating, remove the food and water bowls to avoid this territorial aggression. Much like a child that is misbehaving, if you see the lead cat being aggressive, give them a time-out by again, separating them. They’ll soon learn that the aggressive behavior isn’t working out for them.

You may have to go as far as to separate the cats temporarily and reintroduce them in the same way that you would introduce a new cat, slowly letting them become accustomed to each other all over again, separating them again at the first sign of aggression.

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