We can show you how to prevent your cats from fighting, or how to stop cat fights once they’ve begun. A cat attack can be dangerous, whether from the cat’s bite, the cat’s scratching, or the danger of infection.
In your cat behavior consultation you’ll learn:
- how to create an environment that decreases or eliminates territorial thinking that leads to hostility between cats (this is a big one that most behaviorists leave out!)
- learn the Nagelschneider Method. This one method alone is proven to improve any cat to cat aggression issue.
- how to prevent cats from fighting through informed selection, socialization, and training of new kittens
- why punishment and reprimands don’t work, could make aggression worse or cause new behavior issues, and will ruin the bond between yourself and your owner
- how to apply non-aversive and positive behavior modification methods to eliminate or manage aggressive behaviors
- how to rule out possible medical causes — and cure the behavioral issue even after the medical cause has been treated
- how to identify which form of aggression your cat is exhibiting: play, predatory, maternal, or petting-induced; or territorial, sexual, or pain-induced; or the little-understood but very common redirected aggression
- how to stop unwittingly rewarding or even causing aggressive behavior
- learn why treating the symptom (aggression) of the bigger problem (intercat social issues or fear-based aggression) will get you nowhere.
“I just wanted to let you know that there has been a complete turn around with my cats behavior. They are now the best of friends, Saki used to brutally attack Rosey before, and now they sleep together on the same chair, play together, I have even caught them eating out of the same food bowl. Thanks for your help!”
Krista, Vancouver B.C. 2007
“I just wanted to give you an update on the progress of Oreo. He is doing great!!!! He seems to be getting better every day. They are now living peacefully amongst themselves. There is no more hissing and screaming. Thanks for all your help – you have been a lifesaver!!!”
Kerry and the cats, Florida 2012
Excerpt from Mieshelle’s book, The Cat Whisperer, on Intercat Social Issues
Reintroductions and the Nagelschneider Method
If your existing cats are in an intractable pattern of aggression, you’ll
need to perform a re introduction, along with the rest of the C.A.T.
Plan from Chapter 7. Just follow the instructions for introducing Newcat
and Homecat—with a few differences. Reintroductions, unlike
first-time introductions, will almost always take place between only
two cats. Also, reintroductions will always feature a barrier between
the unfriendly cats; first-time introductions will not include such a
barrier unless one or both cats prove to have persistent difficulty relaxing
around each other. My own reintroduction process is called the
First Impressions: Desensitization, Habituation,
The process of desensitization will involve slowly and gradually
exposing each cat to the sight, sound, and, especially, smell of the
other cat—always making sure that the stimulus presented is below
the cat’s fear threshold.
Habituation will happen when each cat becomes acclimated to
the once-novel stimulus of the other and they appear either enthusiastic
about each other, or indifferent to or bored by each other. At the
end of the introduction or reintroduction process, your cats may get
along famously. But if, during or after the desensitization and habituation,
your cats seem like they could not care less about one another, you will still have achieved wild success—and that may be just the beginning of the good news.
We’ll also use counterconditioning on the cats by pairing desirable
activities, such as playing or eating, with the smell, sound, or
sight of the other cat. Play will be a very important tool in this process.
Keeping a cat in an animated state of play prevents him from feeling
fear, for cats simply cannot engage in play behaviors and feel fear at
the same time. Food and treats given outside of normal feeding times
will also play a big role. Be sure to break any treats up into smaller
pieces so that you don’t treat your cats so much as to interfere with
their normal nutrition.
In an attempt to capture at least some of the many permutations
of events that could occur during an introduction,
these instructions are highly detailed. Most owners will not
require all the detail. But for some owners, there may not
be enough detail. If you are in that minority—your cats
are reacting negatively or not getting along no matter which
suggestions you try, and you can’t figure out what to do
next—it may be time to go to www.thecatbehaviorclinic.com or your nearest
search engine and look up an experienced and certified cat behaviorist
to walk you through the process dynamically, by phone
or in person.