Feline aggression is a serious problem. It isn’t treated with the same seriousness as canine aggression, not least because a lot of humans don’t consider aggressive cats to be as big of a threat to their continuing well-being as aggressive dogs. However, this would be a mistake. After all, cats possess a mouth with which to bite as well as four paws with which to claw, which are perfectly capable of inflicting serious lacerations that can become even worse because of potential infection. Moreover, it isn’t unknown for cats to spread what is called cat scratch fever, which tends to be benign in most cases but can result in swelling of lymph nodes that will persist for months and months as well as much more serious cardiac and neurological issues in particularly unlucky individuals. On top of this, it should be remembered that a cat is a much bigger threat for other cats, as shown by how cat fights can result in not just serious injuries but also outright fatalities. Summed up, feline aggression isn’t something that cat owners can just ignore, particularly if they happen to have either other cats or other animals living in their homes as well.
What Was Discovered about the Potential Use of Pheromones in Combating Feline Aggression?
Generally speaking, combating the problem of feline aggression starts with recognizing it. After all, one can’t come up with a potential solution for a particular problem until one realizes that there is a problem. With that said, it is interesting to note that cats can exhibit two sets of postures depending on whether they are being aggressive in an offensive manner or aggressive in a defensive manner.
When a cat is being aggressive in an offensive manner, it will seek to make itself seem bigger and thus more intimidating to its target. As a result, its postures can include but are not limited to raised hackles, a direct stare with constricted pupils, and an upright, straight-legged posture with a rear end raised so that their back is sloping downwards towards the head. In contrast, when a cat is being aggressive in a defensive manner, it will seek to protect itself while also making itself seem smaller. As a result, there are some shared postures such as raised hackles. However, others can be very different, with examples ranging from crouching with a tucked-in head to turning sideways rather than facing the target head-on. Besides this, feline aggression can be recognized by various other signs such as biting, scratching, swatting, and shrieking, which should not be confused for play aggression.
Feline aggression can happen for a number of reasons. For example, cats can be territorial, particularly if they are adult males interacting with other adult males. Furthermore, cats can become aggressive when they perceive something threatening to them, particularly if they can’t see a way for them to escape from the situation. On top of this, it should be mentioned that cats can show redirected aggression, which is when they lash out at an accessible target because they were agitated by someone or something that they couldn’t get at. Unfortunately, there can be considerable time gaps between the instigating incident and the eventual outcome, meaning that this can be rather difficult to recognize. Moreover, this is the reason that cat owners should use water to break up cat fights and otherwise limit their contact with agitated cats because redirected aggression can happen on an almost automatic basis.
Luckily, there has been a study in recent times that suggests that there might be a solution for cats acting in an aggressive manner to other cats. In short, the study used cat-appeasing pheromones on a number of multi-cat households, which revealed that those that had been treated showed less inclination for cat-on-cat aggression versus those that had not been treated. Moreover, the effect lasted for two weeks following the treatment. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of steps between this study and the launching of a product based upon its outcome. After all, one study isn’t enough to establish the effectiveness of a potential solution. Furthermore, there is no real indication whether this would be practical in financial terms, seeing as how the solution doesn’t seem to be long-term in nature but is instead restricted to short-term effectiveness. Depending on the cost of the cat-appeasing pheromones, that could get very expensive very fast if cat owners relied on nothing but a hypothetical product to help their cats get along,