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Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Dr. Marci Koski: Aggression after Vet Visit, Biting Cats, and More

Ask-the-Cat-Behaviorist-Marci-Koski

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Dr. Marci Koski is a certified Feline Behavior and Training Professional who received specialized and advanced certificates in Feline Training and Behavior from the Animal Behavior Institute. While Marci has been passionate about all animals and their welfare, cats have always had a special place in her heart. In fact, Marci can’t remember a time when she’s been without at least one cat in her life. She currently relies on her five-member support staff  to maintain the feline duties of her household.

Marci’s own company, Feline Behavior Solutions, focuses on keeping cats in homes, and from being abandoned to streets or shelters as the result of treatable behavior issues. Continue Reading

Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Dr. Marci Koski: Spraying Cat, High Energy Tortie, Redirected Aggression, Cat Obsessed with Bread, and More

Ask-the-Cat-Behaviorist-Marci-Koski

Dr. Marci Koski is a certified Feline Behavior and Training Professional who received specialized and advanced certificates in Feline Training and Behavior from the Animal Behavior Institute. While Marci has been passionate about all animals and their welfare, cats have always had a special place in her heart. In fact, Marci can’t remember a time when she’s been without at least one cat in her life. She currently relies on her five-member support staff  to maintain the feline duties of her household.Continue Reading

How to Prevent and Correct Play Aggression in Cats

play-aggression-cats

Cats need to play. Play is vitally important to a cat’s mental and physical health, and it’s especially important for indoor cats. Even though cats may sleep up to 16 hours a day, when they’re awake, they need stimulation, and the best way to accomplish this is with play. In the wild, when lions, tigers and other wild cats aren’t sleeping, they’re either hunting, or teaching their young to hunt. And play is nothing more than channeling your domestic tiger’s hunting instinct into play.Continue Reading

How to Cope With and Correct Petting Aggression in Cats

petting-aggression-cat

One of the most frequently asked questions I get from cat parents is “why does my cat bite me when I pet her?” A cat seems to be perfectly happy being petted, when all of a sudden, she whips her head around and bites the hand that was petting her. Of course, from the cat’s perspective, nothing ever happens for no reason. As humans, it’s up to us to understand why petting aggression happens, and what we can do to prevent and correct it.Continue Reading

Behavior Study Seeks to Improve Aggression Between Housemate Cats

aggression_between_cats

Do peace and harmony reign in your multicat household, or do your cats barely tolerate each other, or even get into fights? As many of you with more than one cat know, feline housemates don’t always get along. Aggression may include fighting but often occurs as passive blocking and staring. Feline victims may hide, flee or scream.

Now there is new hope for peace and harmony. Your cats may be eligible to participate in a clinical behavior trialContinue Reading

Non-Recognition Aggression in Cats: A Case of Forgotten Identity

non_recognition_aggression_in_cats

Your two cats are best friends. They play together, groom each other, and sleep curled up with each other. Then one day, you take one to the vet’s for a check up. When you return from the clinic, instead of receiving a warm welcome, the cat who stayed home hisses and attacks the other cat. Your two former best friends have turned into sworn enemies, and your formerly peaceful home has turned into a battle zone.

Aggression between cats is always a distressing problem for the cats and the humans involved. Whether it’s play aggression, petting aggression, or redirected aggression, dealing with feline aggression is stressful and requires commitment, staying power, and the help of experts such as your veterinarian and/or a feline behaviorist.

The cause of on-recognition aggression is not entirely clear, and the bad news is that it’s not easily fixed.Continue Reading

Redirected Aggression: When Good Cats Attack

aggressive cat attack

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We recently covered petting aggression and play aggression in cats. Today, I’d like to address one other form of feline aggression, and it’s one that can be very frightening, as well as damaging, for cat guardians. This form of aggression is called redirected aggression, and it happens when a cat is agitated by an animal, event, or person it can’t get at. Unable to lash out at the perceived threat, the cat turns to the nearest victim. This may be another cat or pet in the household, or it may be the cat’s humans. These attacks happen seemingly out of the blue, and they can be fairly damaging to the victim.

Redirected aggression is not unique to cats. The human equivalent is the man who gets so angry he wants to punch someone, and ends up punching a wall instead.Continue Reading

Play Aggression in Cats: Biting the Hand that Teases

kitten-biting-hand

Guest post by Harry Shubin

Next to failure to use the litter box, the second most common reason cats are given up to shelters is aggression. Last week we talked about petting aggression, when a cat is so sensitive that our failure to read her request to “stop!” petting sends her into overload and she gives us an urgent message to stop in the form of a bite.

What is play aggression?

There’s another type of aggression that is all too common, and that’s play aggression. If a petting aggression bite is our fault for not understanding our cats’ language, play aggression is our fault for not understanding our cats’ brains.Continue Reading

Petting Aggression in Cats: Biting the Hand They Love

petting-aggression-cats

Guest post by Harry Shubin

This stuff always seems to come in clusters. I spent some time counseling the first foster about why his cat was biting him. I spent even more time counseling the second foster. Then I worked with the adopter who had the same issue. It finally took Jackson Galaxy’s My Cat From Hell on Animal Planet doing an episode where every cat bit his or her person, for me to see the, ah, cat scratches on the wall. Or bites on my arm.

Why does my cat attack me?

I  can’t tell you how often I hear “why does my cat attack me?” Let’s start with full disclosure – I have a cat with “petting aggression.” “Aggression” isn’t really the right word, though that’s what it’s generally called. It’s not really aggressive – nor is it mean, nor is the intent to actually hurt someone.Continue Reading