Occasionally a cat may become aggressive or intolerable to their usual household companion post grooming. This can be due to many reasons; I will help with some ideas to prevent this from occurring.
When a cat decides to act aggressively to another cat, after a groom, it is called ‘redirected aggression’. The stressful event of grooming may trigger this from the groomed cat, or the companion cat may show the behaviour. The smell, new look, and fearful behaviour of the recently groomed cat, may cause the companion cat to react.
It seems like the other cat does not ‘recognise’ it’s friend. This may be even more common when multiple cats are groomed from the same household. Remember cats have much more sensitive noses than us.
There are some ways you can prevent this occurring:
Always bring your cat in a separate carrier.
Line the carrier with something of yours, or a towel or item that smells like the cat.
Use pheromones in the house and in the carrier, such as feliway or feliway friends . The spray may be more effective in an open plan house due to the large area the plug-in is required to cover.
Rub the cat over with their bedding, so to return their familiar scent to the groomed cat.
Give the cats at least a few hours to groom themselves and relax. If the cat is still fearful and hidden, you may need to give 24-72 hours.
Ask your groomer to use low or no scented shampoos and products.
If the aggression continues after 72 hours, or the groomed cat will not eat at any time when it returns home, a vet visit is required ASAP.
After the isolation, allow the cats to smell each other through a door. If aggression is still there, give at least a few more hours. If ok through door, child barrier etc, supervised initially to make sure there is no fighting.
Please consult with your Veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns, or if your cat has underlying health issues.
More reading on inter-cat aggression at https://icatcare.org/advice/aggression-between-cats/
Want to learn more about a cat’s behaviour for grooming? See our in-depth course Behaviour for the Cat Groomer. Written in conjunction with Veterinary Behavioural and Feline Behaviour professionals.
Who am I?
I’m Lexie Goldsmith,
My slow introduction and low-stress handling techniques have been proven over 14 years of grooming cats without sedation and many happy clients, being the go-to cat groomer in my state.
I am contacted regularly by people all over the world wanting to learn cat grooming from me, and this makes me excited to see students now grooming cats with my videos, instructions and support.
I am a Qualified Veterinary Nurse, Pet Stylist and Master Cat Groomer, available for your cat grooming education needs.
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