Boarding a cat can be an exasperating situation when it starts showing signs of aggression towards other cats. It is especially confusing when the cat behaves just fine with other cats at home. What is causing this aggression? And can you cure it?
Is It Possible To Solve This Problem?
It is possible to help cats get along, but it takes a little work. After all, the first fight will make them wary of each other, and cats have a hard time adjusting after that. However, when two cats aren't getting along, a boarding center will typically follow a simple process:
- The cats must be separated immediately
- The cat being picked on must be put in a safe room
- Keep the cats separated for about a week
- Let the cats interact by meowing at each other and batting at paws under the door
- Slowly re-introduce the cats and separate if they show signs of aggression
- Continue to acclimate them to each other until they get along
What Is Going On?
If your cat is having an issue at its boarding kennel, it's important to ask how many cats are involved. Is it just one cat or multiple ones? One-on-one fights may just be a personality conflict, and those can be hard to understand with cats. Sometimes, they just don't like the looks of each other and will act out on it.
However, if the fight starts on the first day, your cat may simply be struggling to adjust to its new setting. Cats prefer consistency to change and will often struggle to fit into a new situation. As a result, they're likely to strike out at weaker cats in order to vent their annoyance. This is especially true if your cat has had very little interaction with other cats and lacks social skills.
What If The Cats Don't Change?
If the above-mentioned solutions didn't affect the cat's behavior, there may be another problem. Cats often act out aggressively when they are in pain, as they don't know how else to get out their frustration. They also act out if they simply feel fear, which might be caused by repeated fights with another cat.
Other causes of cat aggression include:
- Going into heat
- Territorial behavior
- Redirected aggression (caused by frustration in an unrelated instance)
- Play aggression that gets out of hand
- Maternal protection (only applicable if the cat has kittens at the center)
Solve these problems as they occur to help decrease cat aggression. For example, while spaying or neutering a cat will stop much of its aggression, it can take weeks for the change to happen. Curing territorial behaviors is trickier, and usually involves establishing firm boundaries.
Getting your cat to get along with others at its boarding center can feel impossible, but there is always hope. Cats are smart, and they're never aggressive without a cause. Find out the cause, come up with a solution, and your cat should have a fun time. For more information, contact a facility that offers cat boarding, such as Academy Of Canine Behavior.