Friday, April 18, 2014

Are your cats fighting?



Feline housemates don’t always
get along. Aggression may include fighting but often occurs
as passive blocking and staring. Feline victims may hide, flee
or scream. One of the top reasons that owners relinquish their cat(s) is cats not getting along with other cats in the household! 

Photo is the property of Caren Gittleman 2014


Your cats may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial on the
management and resolution of aggression between familiar
housemate cats with a new pheromone formulation. Oakland
Veterinary Referral Services will be accepting volunteers for
this clinical trial between until July of 2014.

Enrollment Qualifications Include:
• Cats have been fighting for at least two weeks
• Minor or major aggressive encounters occur four times
 during the last two weeks
• Households of 2 to 5 indoor cats
• Cats must all be > 6 months old
• Male cats must be neutered
• All cats should be healthy
• Cats that have caused serious injuries are not eligible
• Cats given medication, supplements or pheromones for
 behavior are not eligible
Dr.DePorter's cat, "Bacon"

Enrollment Meetings
• Households that meet pre-qualification screen will be
 invited to attend one enrollment meeting at either
 Oakland Veterinary Referral Services or at a meeting
 location in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor or Chicago.
• During this meeting Dr. DePorter will explain feline
 aggression and inter-cat communication.
• Participants will also learn what to do and what not to
 do when their cats are being aggressive.
• Study materials and test pheromones will be distributed

Upcoming enrollment meetings include:

Tuesdays: April 22nd, May 13th, June 3rd, June 17th and July 8th at OVRS
Thursday, May 15th in Ann Arbor
Thursday, June 12th in Lansing
Additional dates to be announced

• The cats do NOT attend meetings

The meeting  will be led by veterinary behaviorist
DePorter and a kitty named "Cheddar Cheese"

Study Participants
• Record daily diary of aggressive events for 7 weeks
• Submit surveys of behavior assessments once weekly
 for 7 weeks
• Complete a brief phone interview every 2 weeks during
 trial period

Would you like the cats in your household to get
along better? To begin the prequalification process, email for additional information.
You can also find her on Facebook by clicking here

Upon completion of the study, participants receive an
American Express Gift Card for $50 and a voucher for the
new pheromone product.

Dr. Theresa DePorter - Veterinary Behaviorist DVM, MRCVS, DECAWBM, DACVB
1400 South Telegraph Road | Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302
Ph: (866) 334-6877 Fax: (248) 334-3693


  1. Jeez I wish I knew about something like this years ago. My Lola, who is now 13, I got as a kitten rescue as a companion to Isabel, who was only 6 months older than her, also a rescue. From day one, Lola couldn't stand Izzy and Isabel was afraid of Lola. When they were younger, one night I heard screaming and ran into the living room to find Lola chasing Izzy around the room and Isabel running for her life in terror. Over the years, things have cooled down and, now, at their ages, Lola isn't aggressive like she used to be and Izzy and she just don't really socialize. The apt is big enough so they have their space. But what a great opportunity for people with these problems! Thanks for writing about this, Caren!

  2. There are occasional aggressions in our home but are resolved pretty quickly. The worst aggressor was Cosmo towards Ling (and me!) but I knew what the source was and was able to get his aggression down within a couple of hours. It helps that he's generally pretty easy going and yummy treats help a lot. :) Boomer does get aggressive with stray cats he sees outside but a firm NO from me usually stops him. He's also, thankfully, a very easy going boy.

  3. Thank you for sharing this information, which I am sure will be of interest to many cat owners. Fortunately, Kizzie is an only cat, but I can imagine the potential problems for multi cat households.

  4. Thanks for sharing the info, Caren! It looks like some kitties could really benefit from the study, and hopefully the new pheremone works well.

    1. you are welcome! Too bad they don't have this for husbands and wives :)

  5. Wow we have heard of training for dogs but never cats. That is a first for us. We are sure many owners would find it very helpful. Have a fabulous Friday.
    Best wishes Molly

    1. We are glad that FINALLY there are some options for cats too!! You have a fabulous Friday as well!

  6. I could have used that when Annie was still alive.

  7. How interesting. We did think the "cats do not attend the meetings" was a little funny. Imagining a bunch of strange cats with aggression issues suddenly brought to a meeting sounded like the subject of an old Far Side cartoon.

    1. I am with you. I found that part to be aren't alone!!! MOL!!!

  8. Chris could use some therapy but we are too far from Michigan.

  9. That sounds like a great idea. We have two cats here that are very aggressive, but they just have to work things out for themselves. I truly believe that cats that get to go outside figure out a way to get along with other cats over the ones that live inside. Anyway, that clinic sounds like a great idea. Hope you have a great day.

  10. I think this sounds like a great idea too. I agree with Marg that kitties need to work it out for themselves but if someone has a really serious problem I definitely applaud this idea.

  11. It's great that there are courses like these - I'd love if there were held over here too!! It's always good to be well informed and any tips and lessons learned always help!

    Hope lots enroll!!

    Wishing you all a peaceful Passover!!

    Take care

    1. Hi Old Kitty, we agree!!! Thanks for the Passover wishes! xoxo

  12. Sounds like it would be insightful and helpful for those with aggressive cats! It's nice that time is being spent on trying to understand cat behaviour more as has been done with dogs for generations!

    the critters in the cottage xo

    1. Agreed. We need more research on feline behavior! Thanks for reading and sharing. More cats enrolled ...means better results! I will be enrolling up to 200 households between now and July. Already over 40 enrolled. 10 more are starting next week.

  13. The problem is that cats are solitary "persons". They are not like dogs or human.
    Mine are not really fighting.
    Hisia is an Abyssinian cat so … she is dominant. Even if Loustiquette is the eldest ….
    Bonne journée.
    Nat à Chat

    1. I agree with you my furiend. Mom is sometimes "solitary" too though...quite often in fact. I think Loustiquette should be in charge for sure!

  14. Interesting. My kitties get along great but I have heard of so many fur sibling fighting with each other.
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  15. We were going to sign up, but we got in a big fight over who needed it the most! Seriously, we don't fight.

  16. My last cat Biene would have been perfect for this as everyone beat her up, but she has passed on.

  17. Thank you for all the kind comments! During this study I will also be gathering information about the onset of aggressive events. Want to help?

    When did the aggression between your cats begin?
    Which description is most accurate for your cats?
    A) Began when first acquired, always been this way.
    B)My cats never used to be aggressive; my cat’s behavior changed my cat’s behavior changed on a specific date.
    C) My cats never used to be aggressive; their behavior changed gradually.

    Did your cats become aggressive after a specific incident? What event?

  18. What a wonderful opportunity for folks in the Oakland area. We hope lots of cats and their humans take part!

    Hope you're having a great Pesach! :)

  19. we got lots of wackiness around here, but live in Ohio.... no one will ever get surrendered for it (though mom threatens to give someone a time out once in a while) we suspect it has mostly to do with Junior - poor kit was live trapped at 3 months old and has some strange cat social skills

  20. This would of been great for when Squeaky was still with us. For some reason the other cats all ganged up on him in his old age when he got sick. Had to keep him seperated a lot.
    Sue B

  21. Great post thanks for sharing, I'm sure it will be very usefull.

    Sheba, Cody and Coco.

  22. That would have interested Mum a lot, especially 1 year ago when Angel Loupi couldn't support me, Zorro, at all. Purrs

  23. Very cool! I am lucky in that my 4 (Delilah, Sampson, Sophie, and Caster) who co-habitate together all get along very well. They are all best buds. Sassy (my FIV+ girl) is aggressive, and therefore has to be kept separate from the others. I hope I can fix this because I would love for her to be able to coexist with the others. They should bring this study down to Georgia!! :)

  24. What a great opportunity!

    ...uh, I know it says that the cats don't attend the meetings, but do you think they'd make an exception with you-know-who???

  25. Wowwzers! That would bes purrfect! Mes is really liking being the only cat with Mommy and my human brother.

  26. That is a wonderful Giveaway pal. But we won't enter since I'm an "only" kitty and have no one to fight with.

    1. That's ok Mario cause guess what? It ISN'T a give-away lol!!!!!!!! xoxoxo

  27. What about if the only opponent I have is a Human? Ha ha meow! I don't really fight with her....much! XOXOXOX

  28. We treated with Dr. DePorter. :) And we used this new pheromone product.

    1. We hafta say though that this new pheromone product is not out on the market yet, and that's why Dr. DePorter is doing these studies.

  29. I’m an only cat even though I don’t get along with the stuffies.

  30. I'm the only cat here, but i wish we have that here in the Philippines.

  31. I sure hope it gets some good answers to help folks. Bubba and Graybow haven't gotten along, but we know that's due to Bubba's arthritis. Since he started taking Adequan, the fighting happens much less often.

  32. I would love to participate, but as I live in New Jersey, that might seem a bit of an obstacle. Would love to hear how it turns out!

    --Purrs (and wags) from Life with Dogs and Cats.

  33. What a wonderful program, it's about time someone did a study like this with cats. I am very fortunate that all of my cats get along with each other. Sometimes there are as many as five inside at one time when one of my formerly ferals comes inside to play, he has never been aggressive with the indoor cats. They are all well behaved when I bring home fosters too. Egads, am I that lucky or are the cats keeping secrets. MOL!

    1. LOVED that comment!!! Yes you ARE lucky!!!! I think you must do such a good job with all of them that they don't fight!

  34. Wow, that is such a fantastic thing that Dr. DePorter is doing a clinical study on this.

  35. A great service that is needed in many households

  36. how interesting! I bet it will be a lot of help for a lot of people and cats

  37. Thank you for all the kind words! I am proud to be doing this study. Cats in Michigan may be enrolled at my clinic, OVRS, in the Detroit area. I will also be enrolling on the road.

    Tuesdays: April 22nd, May 13th, June 3rd, June 17th and July 8th at OVRS (
    Thursday, May 15th in Ann Arbor
    Thursday, June 12th in Lansing
    Thursday, July 10 in Chicago

    Please help me find the kitties that need help! Already we are celebrating peace is possible.

  38. Semiochemical messages of fear or peace?

    Cats communicate with each other by leaving semiochemical messages called pheromones in the environment which other cats “read” in much the same way people get information by reading a written message. What if we could speak cat? What if we could write a “cat message” in cat language and send it to the cats and change their behavior?

    Cats communicate fear and distress signals and leave these messages in the environment which likely perpetuates the feline hostilities. Cats naturally are socially independent and lack the inherent skills to reconcile once hostilities have tainted feline friendships.

    Since March, 2014 over 100 households have participated in a clinical trial on “Improvement of Aggression Between Housemate Cats” which will assess the effectiveness of a pheromone message being utilized to promote amicable interactions. The enrollment phase will close on July 29th.

    The final enrollment opportunities:
    July 22nd Ann Arbor Animal Hospital – Ann Arbor, MI 2pm or 6pm
    July 29th Oakland Veterinary Referral Services - Bloomfield Hills, MI 2pm or 6pm

    Volunteers only attend one meeting and they must be prequalified. Interested volunteers should contacting Theresa DePorter by email or call Oakland Veterinary Referral Services at 248-334-6877. Please share the study flyer (

  39. The result of the clinical trial for cats that did get along which was conducted last year is now posted on Psychology Today. There is hope for resolution of kitty conflicts.

    This year a new phase of this study is assessing a similar, but different, test article and this study includes two diffusers for 3 months.

    Quarrelling kitties. Some don’t get along with housemate cats. Theresa DePorter is a veterinary behaviorist searching for solutions for feline aggression by conducting a clinical trial on “Improvement of Aggression between Housemate Cats” using pheromone formulations. Please see the study flyer or on the behavior page at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services ( Enrollment meetings will be held at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in SE Michigan between January and April 2015. This study is limited to 70 households. Three months treatment. No drugs, no placebo. New pheromone blend, new diffuser.

    Please share. We need more research for kitties!