Meet Gracie! She is a 3-year-old cat who came for a behaviour consult at or Epsom Furlife Vet clinic in Bendigo.

Gracie had become aggressive towards visitors in the house, and towards her human care giver, Sam, who described her as having a split personality that would love cuddles sometimes then unpredictably turn aggressive without warning in different situations, and it was getting worse.

Gracie was also distressed and aggressive in the vet clinic and needed full sedation to perform her annual health check at her local vet clinic.

I was even told not to stand near the consulting table when we let Gracie out of her carrier to weigh her in the initial consult for fear she may ‘lash out’.

It was during this initial consultation that the main diagnosis of impulse-control aggression was made.

The pathology behind impulse-control aggression is not completely understood but it is believed it is due to abnormal neurochemistry within the brain and is characterised by the individual having an abnormal and out of context need for control. It has taken time to find the right medication for Gracie and Sam has put in a lot of effort at home following the management plans.

It has paid off though, Gracie has become a much calmer cat and her behaviour more predictable, and the relationship between her and Sam has been strengthened. I was even able to give Gracie treats and pats this last visit (this is her out in the consult this last visit ☺️).

Sam said Gracie is a “changed cat and that a vet patting her never would have happened before. I am so proud of her; she is showing so much improvement!”

Like so many pet parents, Sam had initially felt lost not knowing what to do about the behaviour problems of her cat that were getting worse and affecting both their lives. If you have a concern about your pets’ behaviour, don’t hesitate to talk to your vet, because even if they cannot help, they will be able to point you in the direction of someone who can.

Behaviour Bites with Dr Ash

Behaviour Bites

with Dr Ash Hargreaves

Hi my name is Ash and I am a vet practicing in Warrnambool in the western district of Victoria.
I am passionate about animal behaviour and the mental health of our pets.
After graduating as a vet in 2015 I completed further studies in veterinary behaviour and now provide behaviour consultations along with general practice.
You can follow me on Instagram and Fur Life Vet on Facebook via the links below and stay tuned to the website for some super articles on pet behaviour.

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