MCFH S7E3 - CAT ATTACKING OTHERS, CODEPENDENCY, REINTRODUCING CATS IN HOME
Show: My Cat From Hell Season 7, Episode 3
Episode Title: Four Blind Cats
Cats: Meki, Bear, and Duchess
Meki (male, black and white) was found in a pile of wood at 2 weeks old, and had to be bottle fed by her guardian. Bear and Duchess (black) were adopted by his guardian after her friend’s cat had a litter of kittens; they are litter mates.
Megan lives with her parents in Downey, California and works as a Pet Groomer.
How Bad Is It?
Meki (the “problem child”) is being aggressive towards everyone in the home, and must be kept separate from the other cats. Megan’s parents say either the cats have to go or Megan has to move out and take the cats with her if this continues.
- Meki is attacking everyone in the home except his guardian (animals and humans).
- Bear is blocking Meki’s path and thereby instigating Meki’s attacks; cats need to be reintroduced.
- Megan is coddling Meki and encouraging his codependency/insecurity.
Integrating cats in a home can be a challenge, especially if you rush the process. If you do not have patience and you try to introduce the cats too fast, it can cause major issues and create an extremely hostile environment. This was the case with Meki, who had to be kept separate from the others due to his aggressive behavior.
Jackson determined that Megan had initially rushed the introduction process, and advised her to start all over again, and to take it slow this time! Megan began to feed the cats far away from one another, on opposite sides of a door. Gradually over days or weeks, you can bring the cats closer together, and eventually let them eat while being able to see one another. (It’s a good idea to use tape marks on the floor to mark the feeding place of each cat, putting down new tape at each new point to track their progress over time.) This exercise helps the cats become comfortable with each other and creates a positive association. Jackson recommends feeding your cats 3 times a day. It is also recommended to practice site swapping exercises every day, which allows the cats to explore one another’s space in the home and helps them gain a level of comfort and familiarity through scent.
Here is an article with detailed information on feeding exercises, site swapping, and other reintroduction tips: Cat-to-Cat Introductions
It is a good idea to observe your cats closely when there is conflict going on so you can determine what the real issues are. Sometimes an animal ‘attacking’ others seems like the root of the problem, but upon further investigation, you find that they are being provoked. Meki seemed like a “problem child,” but was actually retaliating against Bear’s “troublemaking” ways. Bear was blocking Meki’s pathways in the home, and the best way for Megan to prevent this from happening was to distract and lure Bear away using a toy, while also helping Meki gain confidence to be able to pass Bear with no worries.
An animal that chooses to stay in one room and acts aggressive is usually lacking confidence and feels very insecure. Meki found comfort hiding in Megan’s room, and was too insecure to occupy the world.
It is the guardian’s job to push their pet’s challenge line and help them overcome their fear, which will help them gain confidence. If your cat tends to hide under chairs, sofas, etc. it is a good idea to block these “unders” while pushing their challenge line, so they are unable to recluse and hide during the process. Lots of supervised play time can really help an animal build their confidence around the others!
Kittens that are bottle fed and raised by a human instead of their feline mother in the first few weeks of their lives can sometimes result in an unhealthy codependent relationship between the cat and human. If the guardian is coddling and enabling their cat to continue to hide out and be insecure, it will only make the behavior worse. The guardian needs to back off and work towards being a figure that pushes their cat to gain confidence and grow. Try letting other people in the home feed your cat and give them attention so it creates a balance. Once Megan pushed Meki’s challenge line and stopped treating him like a baby, there was a huge change in his behavior and the dynamic of their relationship; it became healthy.
IN ADDITION TO THE ABOVE, JACKSON ALSO USED SPIRIT ESSENCES:
Ultimate Peacemaker set. This set consists of:
- Bully Solution: helps to reduce dominant tendencies and aggressive "bully" behavior in animals.
- Peacemaker: helps to ease conflict between animals.
- Self-Esteem: helps picked-on "victim" animals stand up for themselves.
Bear was given Bully Solution to reduce his dominating behavior towards Meki. Peacemaker was given to all three of the cats in the home to reduce the tension and aggression between them. We always recommend administering Peacemaker to all animals in a home; a great way to do this is by adding drops to the community water bowls. Self-Esteem was given to Meki to help aid in building confidence along with pushing his challenge line. The Ultimate Peacemaker set can be a great complement to the reintroduction process of animals in a household with deep, serious, or long-standing aggression/conflict issues. All three of these solutions are formulated for use on all animals!
Jackson Galaxy's Spirit Essences™ work best when part of a more holistic program, that may include proper veterinary care, diet, behavior modification, and other holistic modalities. Consult your veterinarian before adding any new product to your pet’s care regimen. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.