Q. our indoor female cat got a whiff of an outdoor male cat and is now lashing out at everyone, including us and our other indoor cat. Help!
LAURA E. MCRAE
A. This behavior is called displaced aggression. Your indoor cat is very upset about the outdoor male cat but is unable to do anything directly about him, so she instinctively lashes out at anyone or thing that comes near her. She is defending herself and her territory from the outdoor male cat - just defending it from the wrong people/cat. Don't worry she should calm down as long as the outdoor male isn't hanging around and continuing to annoy her. If it is, try temporarily block her view out the window/door and purchase Feliway pheremone spray or diffuser. Feliway imitates the facial pheremones of cats, helping to calm them and make them feel more secure. Feliway can be purchased in most petstores, online, or at your veterinarians. If you continue to have problems, I would be happy to consult with you individually to help resolve the situation.