Thursday, 1 June 2017

Here's Why My Cat Turned on his Sister After a Vet Visit.


My little 6 and a half month old kitten went for her spaying surgery yesterday.  Needless to say I was a complete emotional wreck and was super happy when it was time to collect her from the vet.  To my surprise she was very alert and came straight home to start eating, drinking, and jumping about like a crazy lady just as before, I was expecting her to be groggy and lifeless, so far so good.... That was until she approached our older cat.

My little girl went up to  her brother and rather than a lovely welcoming home cuddle as expected, he hissed in her face and walked away from her.  I was completely and utterly shocked and taken back, they are normally the BEST of friends, they cuddle, lick each other, sleep together, play together, never leave each other's sides, I just could not get my head around this at all.  Naturally I started telling my older cat off saying phrases such as; "NO, that is your sister, why are you doing that", yes I am aware my cats don't understand me but it is a normal thing for me to speak to them as if they can (LOL).

Instantly I turned to google, thinking, how can this be happening, could something vet related trigger this?  Could it be because he smells other animals on her?  So off I went to begin my google search on my phone and sure enough I received my answers.

NON RECOGNITION AGGRESSION.

Yep, it's a thing!  After reading multiple links, stories, forums, it is exactly what I am currently experiencing, start off as best friends, play together, groom each other, sleep cuddled up to each other and then one day after a vet visit, the stay at home cat hisses or attacks the other cat - LUCKILY in my case my older cat has a great temperament and would never attack, the most he has done is hiss and hit her with his paw. Phew! I could not handle attacks between my babies.

This can be prevented according to everything I've read, however unfortunately for myself it's too late, all I can do is let them familiarise with each other again and let the medical scents and other animal scents wear off, however it's good to know for future reference.

For those of you who have cat's and may find the information useful, here's how to prevent non-recognition aggression:

  1. Remove any veterinary odors from the returning cat by either bathing or using unscented baby wipes. Personally from a cat owners point of view I wouldn't actually suggest this even if the websites do, the cat is already beyond stressed, and poorly, the last thing you want is to add more stress and pain to the poor thing.
  2. Try rubbing something with the cats regular scents on them, such as a blanket or favourite toy. Ensure you rub both cats with this item.
  3. Keep the cats separated for a while - possibly even a few days.
  4. Reward cats with treats when positive interaction occurs. 
Some experts advise to take both cats to the vet together even if only one cat needs vet attention.

Hopefully my babies become besties again VERY SOON.  This is killing me!

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