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Ask Dr. Steven Osborne Your Own Question

Dr. Steven Osborne
Dr. Steven Osborne, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 4277
Experience:  20 years of Veterinary Medicine expertise with experience in canine and feline medicine and surgery
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I have 2 Bengal cats one is 5 and other 2,the younger one keeps

Customer Question

I have 2 Bengal cats one is 5 and other 2,the younger one keeps chasing the elder one and bites her until she spits at her and makes it clear she doesn't like it,it looks like she does it to move her so she can smell were she has sat . please help.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Steven Osborne replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Hi, I'm Dr STeve. I would like to try to help you , but I have a few questions first. How long has this behavior been going on? How long have the two been together? Are they both spayed? I will be checking frequently to see your reply. If I am offline when you come back online, I apologize, but I definitely will be back this evening and will address your question when I return. Thanks for your patience.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

I am checking in to see if you have had a chance to reply. I will check in the morning Have a good night

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Hello. I see you are still offline.I would like to give you my thoughts on these types of problems. The first thing I always recommend with behavioral issues is to have both cats spayed ( in your case) This helps remove hormonal influences. If they are already spayed, then the following may apply.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

It sounds like your 2 year old is trying to express dominance over your 5 year old. This is normal in multiple cat households. Even if two cats are together in harmony for several years, as the younger one begins to mature they may challenge the older more dominant one in an attempt to become dominant themselves. If this is a recent behavior, it may just take a little time for the natural order of things to become established. Either the older one will relinquish dominance and harmony will be restored or the younger one will take over the dominant position and the older one will eventually accept the new status and again harmony will be restored. If they have been going at this for several months and no improvement is being seen, it may be time for intervention.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

The younger one that is initiating the behavior may be feeling threatened or stressed by the older one , possibly not from any particular thing the older one is doing, but just the fact that the older one is around and being a perceived "threat" . It is hard to know what it is that may trigger a cat to suddenly see another cat as a threat and become aggressive, but it does happen. Again if this has been going on for a long time, then the next step is to try to help the younger cat feel less intimidated or stressed. THis can be accomplished by using Feliway . This is a cat pheromone spray that helps cat feel safe in uncomfortable situations. It is sprayed on a towel and put in the room where the two cats spend a lot of time. It gives the stressed cat a sense of comfort and that may be enough for the younger cat to not be intimidate any mor or not to feel the desire to challenge the older cat for dominance.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

This doesn't work in all cases, so if it isn't helping within 7-10 days of using it, the next option is to try giving the younger cat antianxiety medicines. These are pills that are given once a day and are available through your vet. If the pills help ( usually takes 7-10 days to see response) , then I have clients use them for 2-3 months to give the stressed ( younger) cat plenty of time to learn that there is no need to feel threatened or anxious about whatever it was that may have been causing anxiety in the first place. As I mentioned, it is often difficult to know exactly what happened to start this process and things that truly stress a cat out may not even be perceived by us as an issue at all.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

I hope this has helped. If yo have more questions or can give me more information to better understand your specific situation, please reply. I will check back tomorrow. Have a nice night and good luck.

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