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Sufferin’ Succotash! Why is My Cat Aggressive? Presented by Dr. Lynn Honeckman

  • Thursday, September 17, 2020
  • Sunday, September 17, 2023
  • Recorded Webinar


  • For Doggone safe members
  • PPG member registration
  • A discounted rate for Pet Owner Members
  • Public registration


CEUs: PPAB 1.5

Cats who hiss, scratch, or bite are often vilified in popular cartoons, videos, and social media memes. From Grumpy Cat to Cinderella’s Lucifer, at times cats have been greatly misunderstood. It is important to help families gain empathy toward aggressive behavior, an issue that is often misinterpreted.

Bringing feline friends into our homes means learning new ways to communicate, and, especially, understanding that cats are not small dogs. Learning to differentiate the causes of aggressive behavior in cats can lead toward more accurate diagnoses and treatment plans that are specific to the behavioral needs of the patient, and can help to rebuild relationships between cats and the families who love them.This session will be a case-based discussion of the variety of causes of feline aggression in a household. The discussion will cover the different types of aggressive behaviors that are seen with cats, focusing on inter-cat household aggression as well as human-directed aggression. Cases will be explored and studies from a veterinary viewpoint will be included. It is essential to conduct a complete medical and behavioral evaluation for all cats before diagnosing the cause of aggression. A review of feline socialization and methods of introducing cats into household will also be discussed, in addition to how life stages can influence the type of aggression that is seen.The session will include the development of an effective treatment plan including all aspects of management, behavior modification, and the possibility of medication. Discussion will include the different classes of medication that can be considered in these cases, including the potential benefits and adverse effects that may be seen.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain understanding of feline communication.
  • Learn to recognize and identify signs of stress in cats.
  • Learn to identify the different types of feline aggression.
  • Understand what medical differentials must be ruled-out before a behavior diagnosis can be made.
  • Understand how to work together with veterinary behaviorists to develop the most effective treatment plan.

About The Presenter

Dr Lynn Honeckman graduated from Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine in 1993, and has practiced in small animal medicine and exotics over the past 23 years In Illinois, New York, and Florida. She had experience in wildlife rehabilitation in the Chicago area as well as shelter medicine at New York's North Shore Animal League, before moving to Orlando, Florida in 1999.

In 2010, Dr Honeckman opened Veterinary Behavior Solutions, to focus on behavior cases throughout the greater Orlando area. Dr Honeckman is on the special council of the Pet Professional Guild and has helped create the Central Florida Force-Free Behavior and Trainers Network, where she works very closely with other professionals in the community to help reduce and treat fear, anxiety, and aggression in the companion pet. Dr Honeckman is the committee chairperson for AVSAB position statements, and is on the advisory board for Dr Marty Becker's Fear-Fear(™) Initiative as well as a certified fear-free professional. Dr Honeckman has recently started a non-conforming residency in veterinary behavior with Dr Karen Overall.

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