Kitty KONG Helps Cats Get Along
By Ellen Mahurin
The Kitty KONG is one of my favorite tools for cat cases.
In one case, I used the Kitty KONG and KONG Stuff’n Salmon Recipe to build a better relationship between my kids (7-year-old daughter & 5-year-old son) and our friend’s male kitten, Patches. The kids and Patches had developed a habit of getting very excited around one another involving screaming (kids), scratching (Patches) and chasing (both).
One day I came prepared with the Kitty KONG and filler. Now the kids and Patches had an activity to focus on. The kids would roll the KONG and watch Patches chase it and bat it around. Then Patches would eat some of the filler and the kids would pet him gently. Now they had a safe way to interact which was rewarding for everyone.
In another case, I used the Kitty KONG to curb aggression between two cats. Cleo, an older female, was a cuddly, couch potato but Fluffer, the recently adopted young male, wanted to play! Fluffer chased and pounced on Cleo causing her to become fearful and aggressive.
I advised the cats be separated for a time and then gradually brought back together. When they were ready for short, supervised sessions in the living room, I used the Kitty Kong to keep Fluffer entertained on the floor while Cleo rested comfortably on a high perch and watched.
The pet parents kept the sessions interesting for Fluffer by changing what he would find in the KONG each day: some kibble to work out, a bit of canned food to lick or a soft toy mouse to grab. If Fluffer went toward Cleo, the pet parents would use toys and treats to distract and redirect him to the KONG or to play with them.
With practice, Cleo and Fluffer could spend more time in the living room together with lighter supervision. It became a habit for Cleo to retreat to her perch when she wanted a break from Fluffer and for Fluffer to respond by seeking out his KONG and other toys as alternative forms of entertainment.
Ellen Mahurin is an animal behaviorist in private practice in Yorktown, VA. She earned her master’s in animal behavior from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2006. Ellen sees dogs, cats and other pets along with their pet parents for in-home behavioral consultations.
Read more about Ellen at Clever-Critters.com