PDA

View Full Version : sweet cat with aggressive tendancies


dabanana1
September 6th 07, 02:59 AM
I have a male cat, that is about one year old. I found him on the street at
about two months old and took him in. He had a broken tail and a scratch
above his eye. I took him to the vet and got him all taken care of. Since I
got him he will randomly attack me. Sometimes it is a play thing, but other
times it is very mean and aggressive. For example, just today I was sitting
at the computer and he jumped at the back of my head with his teeth and claws
out. He sometimes attacks my legs as I walk. I usually have to pick him up at
this point and find my spray bottle (located randomly in my apartment), put
him back down and when he starts to attack again spray him. This works
sometimes and sometimes he continues. I had him neutered at about 6 months
old and I thought that would help, but I am at a loss. I have considered
getting another cat, but I am actually allergic to cats ( which is another
problem I am having), so having two cats would be much worse for me. Any
advice would be much appreciated. I just don't know what to do! I love him so
much but between the ongoing allergies and the random attacks (my arms are so
scratched up) I just don't know what to do. Thanks to any help.

Cheryl
September 6th 07, 03:19 AM
On Wed 05 Sep 2007 09:59:13p, dabanana1 wrote in
rec.pets.cats.health+behav <news:[email protected]>:

<snip>
> For example, just today I was sitting
> at the computer and he jumped at the back of my head with his
> teeth and claws out. He sometimes attacks my legs as I walk. I
> usually have to pick him up at this point and find my spray
> bottle (located randomly in my apartment), put him back down and
> when he starts to attack again spray him. This works sometimes
> and sometimes he continues.

You have just described Shamrock. Funny, he also had a broken tail
at some point because he has a large scar at the base of his tail
and he doesn't like to be touched there, or anywhere near there. I
got him at about a year of age.

When he'd attack me when walking across the room, I was given
advise to carry a laser pointer and divert his attention away from
me. It worked like a charm. But there were times I forgot to
carry it with me. I had constant scratches on my legs in the
summer time.

Shamrock is now probably 6 years old, and I've learned when to
avoid him, though he is so lovable that he *wants* to be pet even
though his tail gets puffed up and his ears are back, and he
grazes my skin with his teeth because he really wants to bite. I
feel bad that I can't pet him when he's like this, but I've
learned that these are his warning signs. I've had to educate
visitors of these things because he LOVES everyone, wants them to
pet him, will jump on laps, but will attack out of the blue when
he gets overstimulated. He's on medication to calm him down, but
he will still attack sometimes.

--
Cheryl

Sheelagh >o
September 6th 07, 03:43 AM
On 6 Sep, 03:19, Cheryl > wrote:
> On Wed 05 Sep 2007 09:59:13p, dabanana1 wrote in
> rec.pets.cats.health+behav <news:[email protected]>:
>
> <snip>
>
> > For example, just today I was sitting
> > at the computer and he jumped at the back of my head with his
> > teeth and claws out. He sometimes attacks my legs as I walk. I
> > usually have to pick him up at this point and find my spray
> > bottle (located randomly in my apartment), put him back down and
> > when he starts to attack again spray him. This works sometimes
> > and sometimes he continues.
>
> You have just described Shamrock. Funny, he also had a broken tail
> at some point because he has a large scar at the base of his tail
> and he doesn't like to be touched there, or anywhere near there. I
> got him at about a year of age.
>
> When he'd attack me when walking across the room, I was given
> advise to carry a laser pointer and divert his attention away from
> me. It worked like a charm. But there were times I forgot to
> carry it with me. I had constant scratches on my legs in the
> summer time.
>
> Shamrock is now probably 6 years old, and I've learned when to
> avoid him, though he is so lovable that he *wants* to be pet even
> though his tail gets puffed up and his ears are back, and he
> grazes my skin with his teeth because he really wants to bite. I
> feel bad that I can't pet him when he's like this, but I've
> learned that these are his warning signs. I've had to educate
> visitors of these things because he LOVES everyone, wants them to
> pet him, will jump on laps, but will attack out of the blue when
> he gets overstimulated. He's on medication to calm him down, but
> he will still attack sometimes.
>
> --
> Cheryl

Does this mean that the best way to prevent him from theses attacks is
to divert his attention asap in a positive manner? Also, just out of
interest, is the medication a daily thing, & in your opinion, does it
help the situation somewhat too?
Sheelagh >"o"<

dabanana1 via CatKB.com
September 6th 07, 02:44 PM
Cheryl wrote:
><snip>
>> For example, just today I was sitting
>> at the computer and he jumped at the back of my head with his
>[quoted text clipped - 3 lines]
>> when he starts to attack again spray him. This works sometimes
>> and sometimes he continues.
>
>You have just described Shamrock. Funny, he also had a broken tail
>at some point because he has a large scar at the base of his tail
>and he doesn't like to be touched there, or anywhere near there. I
>got him at about a year of age.
>
>When he'd attack me when walking across the room, I was given
>advise to carry a laser pointer and divert his attention away from
>me. It worked like a charm. But there were times I forgot to
>carry it with me. I had constant scratches on my legs in the
>summer time.
>
>Shamrock is now probably 6 years old, and I've learned when to
>avoid him, though he is so lovable that he *wants* to be pet even
>though his tail gets puffed up and his ears are back, and he
>grazes my skin with his teeth because he really wants to bite. I
>feel bad that I can't pet him when he's like this, but I've
>learned that these are his warning signs. I've had to educate
>visitors of these things because he LOVES everyone, wants them to
>pet him, will jump on laps, but will attack out of the blue when
>he gets overstimulated. He's on medication to calm him down, but
>he will still attack sometimes.
>



I am also interested in the medication, I have heard about it but fear that
it will cost to much. I am a recent graduate and am still looking for a
position so my funds are limited. Also, have you heard anything about cats
who attack randomly having some type of health problems? Any suggestions for
allergy relief from him. I have considered getting his fur shortened ( he is
a long hair), but his coat is so beautiful I don't want to lose it.

--
Message posted via http://www.catkb.com

DrLargePants
September 6th 07, 03:14 PM
On 6 Sep, 02:59, "dabanana1" <[email protected]> wrote:
> I have a male cat, that is about one year old. I found him on the street at
> about two months old and took him in. He had a broken tail and a scratch
> above his eye. I took him to the vet and got him all taken care of. Since I
> got him he will randomly attack me. Sometimes it is a play thing, but other
> times it is very mean and aggressive.

This sound exactly like my inlaws cat. He'll actually rub against
your legs in a friendly manner whilst hissing and growling like a mad
thing. If your lucky you can stroke him very gently and he'll pur and
look (kind of happy) for a few seconds before he tries to rip your arm
off.

I do actually wonder if he suffered a head injury as a kitten, as his
behaviour is very bizarre and aggressive, and without any obvious
logic to it.

One day I was sitting watching TV, and I could see him sitting in the
corner of the room staring at me. For no reason at all, he puffed his
tail up, put his ears back, charged across the room and sank his teath
into my arm!

bookie
September 6th 07, 03:46 PM
On 6 Sep, 15:14, DrLargePants > wrote:
> On 6 Sep, 02:59, "dabanana1" <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > I have a male cat, that is about one year old. I found him on the street at
> > about two months old and took him in. He had a broken tail and a scratch
> > above his eye. I took him to the vet and got him all taken care of. Since I
> > got him he will randomly attack me. Sometimes it is a play thing, but other
> > times it is very mean and aggressive.
>
> This sound exactly like my inlaws cat. He'll actually rub against
> your legs in a friendly manner whilst hissing and growling like a mad
> thing. If your lucky you can stroke him very gently and he'll pur and
> look (kind of happy) for a few seconds before he tries to rip your arm
> off.
>
> I do actually wonder if he suffered a head injury as a kitten, as his
> behaviour is very bizarre and aggressive, and without any obvious
> logic to it.
>
> One day I was sitting watching TV, and I could see him sitting in the
> corner of the room staring at me. For no reason at all, he puffed his
> tail up, put his ears back, charged across the room and sank his teath
> into my arm!

yes sometimes animals who have had a head trauma will behave in a
bizarre fashion, also if they have some sort of tumour growing in
their brains, just the same as in humans (see story of phineas gage,
got to be on the internet somewhere!). it might not be this at all but
you say he has a broken tail, this might be from an argument with a
car perhaps and he may have sustained head injuries at the same time
too which coudl be affecting his behaviour.

anyway, please don't give up on him, use the method of distracting him
as described above. does he get to go outside and run off his energy?
if he is kept indoors it may be that he is not being stimulated enough
for a kitty of his age and energy and that as you are his only source
of entertainment and stimulation he is taking it out on you. if he is
going to cooped up indoors then think about how you will keep him
entertained, doesn't need to cost much at all, just some cheap toys,
lots of cardboard boxes for him to jump into and hide in, you get the
idea?

he may calm down as he grows older, he may not, but if you can manage
his behaviour with distracting tactics then it will be better for the
both of you. maybe talk to a vet about the possibility of this
medication to calm him? also talk to the vet about possibility of head
injury considering the state you picked him up in.

either way give him a chance, he probably does not know that what he
is doing is not normal, whatever some freaks might think kitties do
not do stuff specifically to annoy us it is just that their instincts
and the world around them drives them to performs certain behaviours
whch we sometimes do not appreciate but we can learn to manage over
time.
best of luck with the little fellow, and any photos woudl be very
welcome

bookie

Cheryl
September 7th 07, 02:54 AM
On Thu 06 Sep 2007 09:44:43a, dabanana1 via CatKB.com wrote in
rec.pets.cats.health+behav <news:[email protected]>:

> I am also interested in the medication, I have heard about it
> but fear that it will cost to much. I am a recent graduate and
> am still looking for a position so my funds are limited. Also,
> have you heard anything about cats who attack randomly having
> some type of health problems? Any suggestions for allergy relief
> from him. I have considered getting his fur shortened ( he is
> a long hair), but his coat is so beautiful I don't want to lose
> it.

He's on a medication that is originally for dogs with separation
anxiety, but it's been shown to have a calming effect for cats.
Clomicalm, or the medical name clomipramide.

As for health problems, absolutely they can cause a cat to lash out
and should be ruled out and/or treated. Shamrock has severe
allergies and after years of steroid shots every two months or so,
and then allergy shots, is now on cyclosporine, brand name Atopica.
It was hard to get him regulated, but I've read of other cats who
aren't affected negatively by it at all. Shamrock got really
nauseous from it until I played with the dose. Now he's mostly
fine, but I do notice that when he does throw up, it's all fur.
Maybe it plays with his ability to digest fur? Or maybe its the
lack of all of the steroid shots and his digestive system suffers.
We had a thread about that a few months ago. He now only gets an
occasional steroid shot when he needs a little help, but he hasn't
chewed his fur off to the point of infection in over a year now.
And for him, the allergies have been life-long.

--
Cheryl

Cheryl
September 7th 07, 02:59 AM
On Wed 05 Sep 2007 10:43:10p, Sheelagh >o< wrote in
rec.pets.cats.health+behav
ups.com>:

> Does this mean that the best way to prevent him from theses
> attacks is to divert his attention asap in a positive manner?
> Also, just out of interest, is the medication a daily thing, &
> in your opinion, does it help the situation somewhat too?

Yes, I think positive diversion is much more effective. The
medication is daily, and will probably be for life. I've tried to
wean him off of it, but he reverts to his psycho self and is
completely miserable. You can see it in his face. He's the most
expressive cat I've ever known. At first, he was lethargic to the
point that I didn't want him medicated, but the dose is low now
(compounded, so I don't know the real amount of medication) but the
vet writes .7ml on the script, but he really only gets about .4ml
daily. He doesn't act drugged at all. But it's one of those things
that you can tell when he doesn't get it.

Like any psychotropic drug though, if trying to transition off it
it, it has to be gradual. This just never worked out for him. Vet
agrees that it will be for life now.

--
Cheryl

honeybunch
September 7th 07, 10:27 PM
Its interesting to read this report of intermittent agressiveness in a
house cat because my cat Beebe is the same way. The first time he did
it soon after he came in the house to live with me, I was horrified
and I put him back on the street again and soon felt like a monster
and went looking for him. I think a certain high pitched sound sets
him off into thinking I am a cougar about to kill him. When the
sound stops and my heart stops pounding from the attack, he is as
sweet as sugar again and wants to be petted. He seems to have no
memory of his intense fear. The first time he was looking intently
out the window and when I went over to check out what he was looking
at he attacked me. The second time it was a squeeky old dryer with a
high pitched whine. and the third time, it was a loud squeeky sound
the toilet made when flushed. He went absolutely bonkers. Sometimes
I forget with the dryer and then catch him with a rather insane look
on his face so I quick shut it off. A 15 pound cat can be pretty
terrifying when he's all worked up.


On Sep 5, 9:59 pm, "dabanana1" <[email protected]> wrote:
> I have a male cat, that is about one year old. I found him on the street at
> about two months old and took him in. He had a broken tail and a scratch
> above his eye. I took him to the vet and got him all taken care of. Since I
> got him he will randomly attack me. Sometimes it is a play thing, but other
> times it is very mean and aggressive. For example, just today I was sitting
> at the computer and he jumped at the back of my head with his teeth and claws
> out. He sometimes attacks my legs as I walk. I usually have to pick him up at
> this point and find my spray bottle (located randomly in my apartment), put
> him back down and when he starts to attack again spray him. This works
> sometimes and sometimes he continues. I had him neutered at about 6 months
> old and I thought that would help, but I am at a loss. I have considered
> getting another cat, but I am actually allergic to cats ( which is another
> problem I am having), so having two cats would be much worse for me. Any
> advice would be much appreciated. I just don't know what to do! I love him so
> much but between the ongoing allergies and the random attacks (my arms are so
> scratched up) I just don't know what to do. Thanks to any help.

T
September 8th 07, 02:51 AM
In article >,
says...
> On Wed 05 Sep 2007 09:59:13p, dabanana1 wrote in
> rec.pets.cats.health+behav <news:[email protected]>:
>
> <snip>
> > For example, just today I was sitting
> > at the computer and he jumped at the back of my head with his
> > teeth and claws out. He sometimes attacks my legs as I walk. I
> > usually have to pick him up at this point and find my spray
> > bottle (located randomly in my apartment), put him back down and
> > when he starts to attack again spray him. This works sometimes
> > and sometimes he continues.
>
> You have just described Shamrock. Funny, he also had a broken tail
> at some point because he has a large scar at the base of his tail
> and he doesn't like to be touched there, or anywhere near there. I
> got him at about a year of age.
>
> When he'd attack me when walking across the room, I was given
> advise to carry a laser pointer and divert his attention away from
> me. It worked like a charm. But there were times I forgot to
> carry it with me. I had constant scratches on my legs in the
> summer time.
>
> Shamrock is now probably 6 years old, and I've learned when to
> avoid him, though he is so lovable that he *wants* to be pet even
> though his tail gets puffed up and his ears are back, and he
> grazes my skin with his teeth because he really wants to bite. I
> feel bad that I can't pet him when he's like this, but I've
> learned that these are his warning signs. I've had to educate
> visitors of these things because he LOVES everyone, wants them to
> pet him, will jump on laps, but will attack out of the blue when
> he gets overstimulated. He's on medication to calm him down, but
> he will still attack sometimes.

My cat Randy was an ankle biter when he was young, from about kittenhood
to age 3. Then he suddenly lost interest in it.

Rene S.
September 10th 07, 05:41 PM
My older male cat acted much this way at the same age. My theory was
that he was an "adolescent" and had a lot of pent-up energy after
being alone all day while at work. How often do you play with him? You
should be playing with him several times per day to release that
energy. A laser pen can really get him going, as can other toys like
the Cat Dancer. Can you put him on a harness and take him for strolls?
Do you have lots of toys and a tall cat tree?

Whatever you do, DON'T use a spray bottle. This will only frighten
him, which may turn into aggression toward you. If you see him ready
to attack your legs, throw a toy for him to chase instead. If he bites
you, say OW really loudly and slowly leave the room. If he continues,
pick him up and put him in a room for a "time out." Do not talk to
him, just put him in there and wait 10 minutes, then let him out. I
have done this and it really helps calm them down.

I'm assuming you've had a complete physical done on him to rule out
anything medical? If he's in pain, it's possible he's taking it out
on you. Can't hurt to rule that out.

Most importantly: play with him often and have a stimulating
environment! He needs to release some energy! He will mellow out
eventually as he gets older.