was best friends

by michael
(hamburg ny)

one of my two cat was missing for a week & now she is back the other is being mean to it now. but before this they were best friends (note the one that is mean to the missing cat is older). I am confused & sad.

Answer by Kate
Hi Michael
Well let me start by saying don't worry this is a normal occurrence. It is a strange behaviour known as trauma aggression.

it simply means that when something happens which upsets or frightens them they react by being aggressive. Often aggression is a sign of fear and not anger or dislike etc.

What has happened here is that your cat would have found it upsetting to find that the other cat went missing and then when they came back they may smell different also. these two factors would be enough to confuse and worry your cat and so act in this way.

the usual way to get things back to near normal is to go through a period of reintroducing them to each other. this is a slow and controlled procedure which allows each cat to become confident again in the other cat in a safe environment. the introduction process is described here

Don't worry, with a little perseverance and lots of TLC I'm sure the two cats will eventually settle down with each other again

best wishes Kate

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