Even Cats Can Sometimes Use Therapy


I used this picture in my blog last week which gave me an idea when I read about cat therapy on the Internet.

You Don't Need a New Hobby

Never had thought about that before, but it seems we’re hearing more and more stories about cats becoming aggressive and turning on their owners.  In the case of the cat in Portland who turned on his family, it was learned that the baby had pulled its tail and kicked it.  Jackson Galaxy, star of Animal Planet’s “My Cat from Hell”, states that cats don’t become ferocious felines that turn on their families for no reason.  Having a tail pulled and then being kicked by the seven-month old could be a very good reason!  According to the owner, this cat has a history of violence.  Seems this was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  Galaxy has agreed to provide therapy for this cat.

In New York City, three California family members were hospitalized after their unprovoked housecat freaked and began clawing their legs, faces and arms. And an Upper East Side bodega cat named February has been harassing pooches outside of the Running Paws doggie day care on First Ave. since last year.  Enter cat therapist, Carole Wilbourne, who has a range of approaches to make cats less frightened and less agressive.  She is ready to step in when owners are ready to give their sourpuss the heave-ho.

“Cats don’t like being dictated to,” says Wilbourne, “and people don’t know what to do with them.”  Single cats who are left alone all day or for several days at a time are liable to act out by pooping outside the litter box, claw furniture and act aggressively because they’re stressed from being alone.  Finding a companion for them that they can get along with helps with these problems.  If you’re living with other people who also have cats, focus on your own cats instead of trying to make the other cat like you.  In her words, “It’s more important that the cats get along with each other than if they get along with you.”   “They feel betrayed because you are paying attention to a new cat,” she says. “It would be like if you were living with a guy, and he brought home another woman.”

Wilbourne’s house calls aren’t cheap — she charges $365 for the first at-home visit, and $175 for followups. Perks include treats like catnip and toys, and a postcard from her a few days later to see how the cat is doing.  In cases of violent cat behavior, she will refer patients to vets for Prozac or Valium.

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Certain people can also bring on aggression in cats.  One lady told of her sister coming to visit and the aggression that her cat showed to her sister.  The sister is now afraid of the cat.  The vet’s advice was this:

Some cats develop specific human phobias, which can manifest in fleeing when a particular person enters their environment or going into attack mode.The cat-calming room spray pheromone Feliway, dispersed a couple of days before your sister’s visit and sprayed on her clothes when she enters, might be worth trying.

Alternatively, have your sister visit wearing the same perfume as you. For several days before her visit, be sure that both your cats have some of the perfume rubbed into their coats.

Have you had to deal with an aggressive cat?  If so, what was the situation and the solution?  Please share your thoughts with us on this subject.

 Of course, if you have a cat like this, you can talk about that too!!!
Caught Between a Nap and a Hard Place

Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty.  Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night.  Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition.  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667