I brought my cat home from the hospital and my other cats are acting aggressive

Our question this week was:

I had a female cat fixed today. The other female was fixed a few months ago. When I brought the spayed one home the other cat is trying to hurt it, hissing and angry. This is normal I believe since cats go my smell. These cats have been together 4 years. I don’t want the other one hurting this one cause she just had surgery and I cannot put them in separate room or I would. Will the mad cat come around again?

Jan Demille


Hi – thanks for your email. It is not uncommon for a cat to come back from the hospital and for the other cats in the household to act funny. Many cats will act aggressive, hiss, hide or act aggressive. I think a lot of that behavior has to do with the smell of the cat when he or she comes home.

With time, that smell will go away or the other cats will get used to it and their behavior will return to normal. To help facilitate this, you can take a slightly damp towel and rub it over your cat that was in the hospital to help minimize the smells. Some say that it can even help to then rub the towel over your cats at home so they also take on the smell and your cat that was in the hospital seems less “foreign”.

You can also keep your new cat separated to allow her to rest and recover from the surgery for a day or so while the smell diminishes.

An article that might be helpful to you is Non – Recognition Aggression in Cats.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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