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Dear Christopher Cat

Our cats, Pudder and Stretch, got along well until last week when they were playing in the screened sunroom, got spooked by something outside and started to fight.

Pudder won, and Stretch is still so traumatized he hides under the bed and hisses. I don’t see any physical injuries, but his ego is certainly wounded. How can I help my cats repair their relationship?

Christopher Responds

Separate the cats for a few weeks. If you try to reintroduce them before they’re ready, they’ll fight, and reconciliation will prove more difficult.

During the separation period, pet both cats with the same towel to transfer their scents to each other.

Plug in Feliway diffusers throughout your home. These diffusers release a pheromone that helps us cats feel mellow and agreeable, even when we’re under stress.

After a few weeks, place the cats far apart, where they can barely see each other, and offer some delectable food. If either cat hisses, growls or refuses to eat, it’s too early to reintroduce them.

Try again a week or two later. Once both cats eat, repeat the exercise daily, moving the bowls a few inches closer each day.

Except during these exercises, Pudder and Stretch should remain apart.

Once they tolerate eating within a foot or two of each other, you can let them roam the house.

Add a bell to Pudder’s collar, so he can’t sneak up on Stretch.

To decrease competition, provide multiple food and water bowls, litter boxes, toys, perches and hiding places throughout your home.

If this plan doesn’t work, talk with your veterinarian about medication to help ease the reintroduction.

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