My Cat Suddenly Hates My Dog!

by Sam
(Brighton, UK)

Well here are some cat problems I thought I'd never have - I have a 2 yr old black and white girl cat (Bella) and a 7 month old male Corgi (Rufus). They were best of friends - I couldn't believe how well they got on - they slept in the same basket and everything - until today!

I've just had Rufus neutered, brought him back from the vets this evening, he's still a bit spaced out after the anesthetic but otherwise OK. Well Bella has decided she HATES him since he's got home. I feel so sorry for him, he's just been through the stress of the vet and now he's got his best friend hissing and spitting at him! Help - what's going on here??

Reply from Liz (editor): I think I know the answer to this problem, and if I'm right it will sort itself out fairly quickly.

When animals go to the vet, the smells there will "stick" to them (bit like humans going into a pub before the smoking ban!) They'll pick up smells of other animals and the general antiseptic sort of smell that lingers at the vet. In addition, because your dog has been neutered, he'll have had antiseptic applied to his rear end.

These smells may be almost undetectable to humans, but animals, who have much better senses of smells than we do, will smell them pretty strongly.

I suspect your cat can smell all these strange odors on your dog and doesn't like it at all. It's scaring her - why's her pal suddenly smelling so horrible? And why is he so groggy and sleepy - he smells strange and he's acting strange and she doesn't understand it!

Her reaction is to hiss and spit at him, because she's scared. But this will only last as long as your dog is carrying these strange smells. They will wear off in a day or two and then I'm absolutely sure they'll be best friends again.

In the meantime, it may be best to separate them, to avoid upsetting both.

Please write back to me via the Comments section if all isn't back to normal in a couple of days, but I'm pretty sure it will be - this is one of those cat problems that's thankfully quite easy to solve by just giving it a bit of time.

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