1887

Management of behavioural disorders

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Abstract

Problem’ behaviour in cats brought to the attention of veterinary surgeons is based on the individual owner’s subjective assessment and perception of what constitutes a problem. Many of the behaviours highlighted by owners will be normal for the species but are misinterpreted by the owner as being ‘bad’. This chapter looks at taking history, house soiling, urine spraying, aggression toward other cats, aggression toward people, anxiety/fear, excessive scratching of furniture, behavioural problems associated with old age, feline facial pheromones, psychotropic medication and when to refer.

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Figures

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18.1 Overgrooming of the ventrocaudal abdomen and medial thighs associated with the discomfort of FIC in a cat that was presented for inappropriate urination. What appears to be behavioural periuria has often started as a result of FIC, so a careful history and thorough evaluation for FIC is essential.
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18.3 Agonistic posturing in a multi-cat household. Note the crouched body positions, the ears flattened and facing backwards, and there may be hissing and/or growling between these cats. The intention with this posturing is to prevent fighting. However, such incompatibility may lead to inter-cat aggression.
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18.5 Hiding may be a sign of stress or anxiety. It is important to provide cats with a place to hide, and to allow them to hide when they choose, as this will reduce their anxiety. It is important that cats are left undisturbed if they have chosen to hide, and are not removed from their hiding place.

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