Cat aggression can be scary and dangerous. When your feline friend bites or scratches, start your search for a solution at your vet's office. Herbal treatments may be beneficial for managing cat aggression, but first rule out medical conditions that might be the cause of your cat's fighting spirit.
Understanding Aggression in Cats
Before adding supplements to your cat's daily diet, work to figure out why your feline friend is acting aggressively. If he responds to petting with aggression, he may be in pain, have an injury or be hiding an illness. If your kitty is aggressive toward other cats, he or she may feel like his territory is threatened, especially if your cat isn't fixed. While some herbal therapies may alleviate many types of aggression, it's important to work with your veterinarian to try to determine the cause of the aggression. A full health screening to rule out physical causes is crucial before giving your cat herbal supplements.
Some of the more common herbal supplements to help with aggression are flower essences, sometimes also called flower remedies. Veterinarian Jean Hofve says flower essences, extracted from the flowering parts of plants, were first studied by Dr. Edward Bach, an English physician, in the early 20th century. Today, several homeopathic practitioners offer their own individual flower essences to help with aggression and other physical and behavioral issues. You can also try flower essence mixtures, which include several flower essences that help might help reduce stress and aggression.
In addition to the flower essences, other herbal supplements may help calm for the ferocious beast in your feline friend. Some natural herbs will work in the same way that antidepressants work, while others will act more like a natural sedative. A few of the more commonly effective herbs are passionflower, chamomile, skullcap and St. John's wort. Remember that not every herb will help every aggressive cat, so you might have to try a few different formulas to find the right one for your kitty companion.
While not technically herbal treatments, pheremone sprays and diffusers offer natural forms of cat calmers. Pheremones are natural chemicals that your cat uses to mark his territory. Pheremones are present on your kitty's face, whiskers and paws; they help to ease stress and anxiety for him and for any other cats that encounter the pheremones. Using a pheremone spray or diffuser can fill your home with happy hormones and lessen your cat's aggression.
When Herbal Treatments Don't Work
Many cat guardians want to try herbal treatments before trying more conventional medication. But, sometimes, herbal or other natural treatments aren't enough to overcome your kitty's aggression. If herbal treatments don't seem to calm your cat down, talk to your vet about other options, including anti-anxiety medication, antidepressants or sedatives. You might also consider consulting a certified cat behaviorist for help with modifying your feline friend's behavior.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.