I have two cats. One has suddenly decided that she is now scared of the other and hides behind the sofa and runs away from the other. What can I do?
From the Editors of The Daily Cat
You have two problems at work: a fearful cat and a potentially aggressive one. Each needs addressing separately before you tackle the overall issue.
For your scared cat, if the stress is prolonged, she can pant, lose fur and suffer health issues -- similar to humans who suffer from health problems when under chronic stress. Spend extra time with this cat, playing with her and petting her to help calm her down.
Regarding your possibly aggressive cat, there are at least four probable causes for this type of behavior: a drive to dominate, an underlying health issue, unresolved stress or just plain boredom. Be sure that a veterinarian examines both cats. If boredom is the issue, play with this cat alone first and then play with it while the other cat present. The playtime should help curb some of its pent up energy.
Make sure each cat has its own space to retreat to and that each can enjoy its meals uninterrupted. Supervise your cats’ interactions, working to make them as pleasant as possible. When each cat behaves well, provide a food treat reward to reinforce that good behavior.
You didn’t mention the sex or age of your cats. In-tact males tend to be dominant. With effort on your part, however, most cats will bond with each other over time.