Managing a Reactive Cat

When I hear clients speak of some of the reasons why they resist yearly feline veterinary check-ups, I can relate – the photo above is of my third cat and Roh us by far the most challenging.

Roh is an early mature short-haired cat. He’s a feisty ginger tabby with a small amount of white. Stocky, with a confident strut about him.

I scooped him up quickly from a shelter (He hadn’t been at the shelter long and was told his family was moving). This boys attitude is, “I do what I want.” Most cats are this way, but Roh is the pure definition.

With consistency and positive reinforcement (also high-value treats), we have come to an understanding. I am head feline. I also supply the food so I must be the top cat, right? He, unfortunately, is very reactive of things he is unfamiliar with. It especially holds true at the vet clinic. He does not flee; he fights. With several uneasy vet visits, I decided house calls were best for him (and myself).

I am thankful he is food motivated. He even likes red peppers. Bribery at its finest? I have recently moved from a house to an apartment, and I must say I’m proud of the “Jerk Ginger” (nicknamed out of love). He was the last thing to move, so the apartment was set up prior to his arrival. This helped immensely. Feliway also played a role.

I let him check out EVERYTHING at his own pace, which I feel is very important since most cats are generally inquisitive. Once he gets his information, he does better with acceptance. Challenging yes, but dearly loved.

If you have any questions, give us a call at 902.434.0700.

Written by: Amanda, VA



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