How to Make Your Cat Confident | Following Jackson Galaxy’s Advice
As you guys know from my post on getting my cat to stop bullying my other cat, I’ve tried all kinds of methods.
The best tactic was to create space between them, keep an eye on Charlie and separate them as much as possible in order to re-wire Charlie’s brain to not associate Nala with bullying her.
For the most part, these methods seemed to work. These days, I hardly see them fighting.
But it’s not 100% gone yet because I still live in a smallish apartment and until I move into a big house, I can’t create that physical space for them.
But all is not lost!
At the perfect time, Jackson Galaxy made a video about the importance of smell, which I think I thought was perfect to use in my situation.
How Smell Can Make Your Cat Confident
Basically, Jackson explains that smell plays a crucial role in your cat’s confidence, because leaving their scent is their way of marking their territory.
It’s such a simple and obvious idea but something that didn’t really click with me until I watched his video.
I thought I’d give it a try in order to help Nala become more confident so that she doesn’t have to be on alert all the time. And also for Charlie so he feels relaxed and doesn’t feel the need to take out his aggression on Nala.
3 Ways to Use Smell to Help Your Cat Become Confident
1. I added MORE LITTER BOXES and placed them where my cat feels comfortable
Jackson explains that litter boxes are a gold mine in terms of cats leaving behind their scent in order to mark it as their territory.
This one kind of sucks though because who wants more litter boxes in their home?
And, I already have 2 litter boxes – one for Nala & one for Charlie.
But, Nala had been pooping outside the litter box, so this was the perfect opportunity to try it out.
When I brought up to their Vet that Nala has been pooping outside her usual litter box, she explained that it could be because Charlie was bullying her.
That coupled with Jackson explaining that having more litter boxes made sense together to try to help Nala gain more confidence with this method.
So, I placed the litter boxes that were side by side in different places – one of them where I found Nala’s nuggets before. (which ironically, is right beside the toilet.)
I also added a new litter box and put it in another place in the home.
Also, I use my tried & tested favorite litter that is the best at clumping & not leaving nasty odor AND I clean their litter boxes everyday, so there’s no bad odor.
The result: Well, first of all, I’m very pleased to report that Nala is finally pooping in the litter box. And, she uses the new one I put on the carpet where she was leaving her nuggets. Also, I notice that Nala is MUCH happier but to be very honest, I don’t know if her happiness is isolated to just having more litter boxes. I think it did have a little bit of impact though.
2. Porous Material
Jackson also explained that cats love to leave their scent on porous material that soaks up their scent.
And this method I can definitely attest to!!
Nala used to always hang out under the table on the rug. But, I always felt that she was hiding from Charlie.
I wanted her to feel confident in sleeping on my bed again like the good old times.
So, I tried this method by putting a knitted throw on my bed.
And, the first day I put it on my bed, Nala came onto the throw first and slept on it. I think this did the trick in putting her scent on it first before Charlie could.
Ever since then, she’s been sleeping on the throw on my bed almost everyday!
I plan to get more throws and spread them around the house.
I got the throw from the local IKEA store on sale, but here’s a similar cotton knitted material on Amazon.
Neither of my cats take to cat beds. But they do like little cat teepees. So, I’ll combine cat teepees and knitted plush, porous material.
The result: It works!!! Nala is definitely more confident and happier having her little nooks where she left her scent and marked it has her territory. Note that if you have 2 cats and you’re trying to help one of them become more confident, just make sure that the shy one goes on the porous material first so she can bless it and mark her territory first.
Using pheromones wasn’t mentioned in Jackson’s video, but it’s a method I’ve been using for a while to provide a calming and relaxing environment for my cats.
Like this one time when I made a huge mistake and got my Charlie shaved like a lion and he was so traumatized for months.
(Side note on that: I felt HORRIBLE that I put Charlie through that just so I can please my own self in having my cat look a certain way. And I vowed never EVER to have my cats shaved again.)
During that time, he would always hide… 🙁
My Vet recommended using a pheromone diffuser was a great way to calm them down.
She even recommended that I use it to stop my cat from bullying my other cat, because it would calm them down from having built up aggression.
I found that pheromones is a temporary solution for stopping my cat from bullying my other cat, but it did help in providing a bit of calm.
The result: I would say this is somewhat effective, but I couldn’t say it was the ultimate solution. I think it did certainly help to some extent because I noticed less restlessness. It helped because I implemented the other 2 methods above as well. For sure worth a try.