The morning I woke up in bliss. As I tumbled out of my beautiful dream about pastel flowers and tweeting birds, Blue-Blue purred and nestled in my arms. Then I opened my eyes to find my nose pressed against his pheromone collar. I wondered how long I’d been inhaling the fumes of the chemical compound formulated to mimic what the mother cat produces to calm and reassure her kittens.
Apparently while my husband and I were relaxing on vacation in the Outer Banks, our two cats had done anything but. The pet sitter reported “pointed commentaries” in the form of tiny presents just outside the litter box.
When we returned we witnessed confrontational jockeying for position at dinnertime. (The upside is my guy has caught on to the new placement of his bowl. See What Happens When Your Guy Might Not Be As Brilliant As You Thought. The pet sitter refused to airlift him to his dish as my husband and I had been trained to do…)
In my mind, I knew it was Emmie, the grey tabby, who was creating all the issues. She’s always been–shall we say–a tad unpredictable… and witchy. She’d often cozy up to our dog, take a snuggly nap with her, and then with no warning, jump up hissing and snarling as she sprang away. The look on our dog’s face asked what she’d done to get popped in the snout?
So when Emmie allowed me to pet her, I was stunned to discovered tiny scabs on the back of her neck. This could mean nothing else except sweet mild-mannered Blue had been acting dominant and yes, aggressive.
I’d seen him exhibit behavior in the past akin to a little brother bugging his older sister. If Emmie curled up in an area he wanted, he’d stand mere inches from her in all apparent innocence without touching her until she got so irritated, she’d leap up and run away. Then he’d settle into the coveted spot. And it didn’t matter if I removed him and tried to cajole her back; the damage was done. Emmie no longer wanted her original space.
However, biting the back of her neck was not something to be tolerated. It would ultimately lead to worse problems. (I work at a veterinarian’s office, so…)
A relatively new product on the market (Sentry HC GOODbehavior) promises to alleviate this type of behavior by releasing pheromones through a calming collar which helps with separation anxiety (it was our fault for going on vacation) and destructive behaviors (we had proof of that).
I ran right out and bought two collars. A week later, are they working? There’ve been no more “gifts” by the litter box and the screeching fights that zapped us out of bed in the middle of the night have stopped. My husband isn’t convinced it’s because of the collars, but I have hope.
Most of the time, I’m a pretty happy girl; people think I see things through rose-colored glasses. Now it seems I’m also sniffing life through lavender and chamomile, not to mention cat-o-mones. We’ll see how it affects my writing! ~JD here.