MCFH S6E10 - CAT ATTACKING CAT IN HOME, PEEING OUTSIDE OF LITTER BOX, NO CONFIDENCE
Show: My Cat From Hell Season 6, Episode 10
Episode Title: Paranormal Cat-tivity
Cats: Harold, Timmy, and Ninja
Harold and Timmy are brothers; both grey. Ninja is a black female; youngest cat in the home.
Guardians: Mike and Pat
Mike and Pat have been in a relationship for 16 years. Pat is a paranormal investigator.
How Bad Is It?
Harold is targeting and attacking Ninja to the point that she at risk of a serious injury. Mike and Pat have already had to rehome another cat they had (Kumar) because of the same issue, and they do not want to have to rehome Ninja. Ninja is living in fear and is kept in a separate room as a result of these brutal attacks. Timmy is peeing and spraying all over the home and will not use a litter box.
- Cat relentlessly attacks another cat in home; kept separate.
- Peeing and spraying outside of litter box; insecurity.
- Lacking confidence; living in fear.
If you have a household where your cats get along just fine, and suddenly something triggers them to go against one another and become aggressive, this may be a case of redirected aggression. Cats can be triggered by a scent, sound, or sight of another animal outside, and this can cause them to redirect their aggression to the ones closest to them. Once this has happened, it is a good idea to separate them and begin completely reintroducing them to one another. The first step in reintroduction is to practice feeding exercises. Begin feeding the cats on opposite sides of a screen or door, and make sure there is a sight blocker so there is absolutely no view of one another. As this becomes a comfortable habit, you can slowly begin to lift the sight blocker and let the cats have a visual of one another while eating. This will create a positive association (food is good, other cat is good.) Over time, they will become comfortable with one another and be focused on eating instead of attacking. These feeding exercises helped in the reintroduction of Harold and Ninja, and they were able to eat together and be peaceful.
Site swapping is another key component in the reintroduction of cats. This is when you let the cats separately explore each other’s areas and become familiar and comfortable with the other scents. This isn’t always easy, especially for the cat that is being targeting and lacking self confidence. It is up to the guardian to challenge this cat and push them out of their comfort zone, which will help build the cats confidence and reduce or eliminate feelings of fear. Ninja was very reluctant to do the site swapping exercise, and cried and meowed when taken out of her comfort zone. With a little coaxing and motivation from her guardians, as well as help from her ally cat companion Timmy, Ninja was able to cross her challenge line and regain self confidence while practicing site swapping.
When a cat begins spraying or peeing outside of their litter box, it is important to look at the litter box situation in the home. A guide to the number of litter boxes that should be in a home is one box for every cat plus one (example: 3 cats in home, 4 litter boxes.) If there are enough litter boxes and the cat is still not using them, make sure to take the lids off of any boxes that may have one. Covered litter boxes can be undesirable for a cat, and they can be trapped inside of one if another cat targets them while they’re using it. Taking the lids off of the fives boxes that Pat and Mike had for their cats was a great way to help Timmy start using his box again.
When there is tension and chaos present in a home, this can create an imbalance and animals may be negatively affected by this. For example: the case of Harold, Ninja, and Timmy. Harold and Ninja were completely out of sync and at odds with one another, which was greatly affecting Timmy. He felt this negative imbalance, and was spraying and urinating outside of his litter box partly because of this stress. Once the home was under control and everyone was energetically in tune with one another, he was able to calm down and stop this inappropriate elimination.
When a cat has no confidence and is constantly living in fear, it can be hard for them to heal on their own. With the help of their guardians, they can learn to feel confident and secure in their own space. It may also be difficult for this cat to rebuild a relationship with another cat in the home that used to constantly target and attack it, but a great way to help build this relationship is with the help of a neutral cat in the home that gets along with everybody. Timmy was a great “social bridge” between Harold and Ninja, and was able to help Harold calm down and help Ninja regain confidence during many of the reintroduction exercises.
Spirit Essences formulas that might be helpful in this type of situation are:
Ultimate Peacemaker is a set consisting of three formulas: Bully Solution, Peacemaker, and Self-Esteem. Jackson used the Ultimate Peacemaker set to help reduce tension and aggression between Harold and Ninja, and this set was especially helpful during the reintroduction period.
- Bully Solution
This formula is to be used on the dominant pets in multi-animal homes, sometimes known as “bullies,” who want to control and dominate other animals. Bully Solution is formulated to reduce dominant tendencies in “bully” animals and help them to relax and let others go about their business. This formula is designed to be used on the aggressor of the home, the one doing the attacking and targeting of the others. Jackson used Bully Solution on Harold to help him stop aggressively targeting Ninja, and to help him learn to let the others do their own thing.
Peacemaker is formulated to reduce or eliminate aggression, tension, and jealousy between animals. It is designed to help keep the peace and ease conflicts in multi-animal families, and is ideal for the reintroduction process where animals have had to be separated due to discord. It should be given to all of the animals in the household consistently to see the best results, and a great way to make sure everyone is getting their share is to add drops to the community water bowl. Peacemaker was administered to all of the cats in the home to help keep the peace and eliminate any conflict that may occur. Though Harold didn’t necessarily need Peacemaker, there is no harm in letting him get consistent doses throughout the day. Spirit Essences holistic formulas contain flower essences, which are completely safe and non-toxic, and an animal’s body will only take what it needs from the formulas to aid in healing. If an animal doesn’t need anything from a formula, it will simply have no effects, but never negative effects.
Self-Esteem is formulated for animals who lack self-confidence or who are overly submissive. This formula is designed for the picked-on/victim animal, and may help the victim stand up for himself and stop tolerating teasing and abuse. Studies in cats, for example, show that once the victim confronts its attacker, the attacker generally stops picking on it as vigorously. This formula is a great support while using other tools, such as play therapy, to build up an animal’s confidence, or “mojo.” Jackson used Self-Esteem to help Ninja regain her confidence and feel secure in her home. Self-Esteem helped Ninja stop running away from conflict, and instead stand her ground and feel comfortable around Harold.
Safe Space For Cats is formulated to help cats establish appropriate boundaries and reduce territorial stress that may manifest as spraying, inappropriate elimination, aggression, or other stress-related behaviors. In addition, Safe Space For Cats is designed to reassure the cat that his territory is safe and protected from intruders from within and without. Jackson used Safe Space For Cats in the case of Harold, Ninja, and Timmy. Harold was treating Ninja as an intruder that was invading his territory, and viciously attacking her as he would any other intruder. This formula helped to reduce Harold’s territorial stress and also helped him feel that his territory is safe and protected. Spraying throughout the home can be a sign of territorial insecurity, and Safe Space For Cats was used on Timmy to reduce any territorial stress that may have been part of the cause of his spraying and inappropriate elimination. Safe Space For Cats was also helpful for Ninja who felt unsafe and insecure in her own home. This formula helped her to build confidence in the home and regain some ownership.