Diagnosis and treatment of aggression problems in cats. I didn't know anything about it and I was absolutely devastated and sick about it. I have had cats since I was 6 years old and am now 38. The domestic cat: the biology of its behaviour. If Stardust senses we are nervous she will bit our legs. I got her at 6 weeks old. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 1987;9:49-56. He's 9 1/2 and only does this once in a great while. Whether he is or not, my suggestion would be to see your vet. I can jot give her away for fear that she may get abused, thrown outside(which she has no outside coping skills-she has only ever been indoors), or last that whomever ends upvwith her might put her to sleep. A history of aggressive incidents may lead to a list of likely stimuli. So far she has not attacked me again, but I will admit that I am a little afraid of her. A fearful cat generally growls and hisses from a hiding place at a distance and only bites if approached, crowded, or handled. For example, if the fear-inducing stimulus is a young woman approaching the cat and the threshold for an anxious response is 10 ft, then the woman should approach within 15 ft of the cat. In my practice, aggression trails only housesoiling as the principal behavior problem cat owners seek help in treating. 4 year old cat viciously attacked me (pictures below) Okay so I am trying to keep this short but I feel more information could be helpful. I took them both in to live with me. 1. It is reasonable to suspect redirected aggression when two cats that have always gotten along suddenly begin fighting for no apparent reason. Archived. When feline playmates are not available, kittens are likely to engage people in similar activities. I would let him cool down in his favorite room upstairs (our guest room), so it became his room, since he seemed to feel safer in there. Counterconditioning and desensitization—which involve gradual, controlled exposure to triggering stimuli—can be used to successfully treat cats that are afraid of people or other animals. I just can't deal with this much longer. What happened to turn your mild-mannered cat into Cujo? Desensitization and counterconditioning may be helpful but are not successful for most cases when used alone. Aggression is the second most common feline behavior problem seen by animal behaviorists. I thought that may be part of it but again I had so many cats my entire life especially on the farm and again none ever acted even remotely close to this and they were not fixed. Although some young male cats can be wild and frightening to family members, play aggression usually has a favorable prognosis. He used to attack me maybe once every six months or once a year, but he's attacked my legs twice now in the past two weeks. Gradually, the treats can be tossed toward the middle of the room, thus controlling the cats' slow approach toward each other. Weve been keeping me and him separate. It is like she us seriously psychotic or is bipolar or has some serious mental issues. This problem can be disconcerting for the family. He attacked me 5 times, the last time was the worst, I felt traumatized. Thank you. The cats should be gradually reintroduced as if they were new pets in the home. My daughter and I went in there to get some Christmas decorations and she pushed the button on a musical toy. Gradually, over the course of many exposures, the young woman should come closer and closer to the cat. All rights reserved. 4. A typical territorial problem occurs when a new cat is brought into the home and the resident cat becomes aggressive toward it. I had a really disturbing incident a year ago, with my Grizzly.. It did not help. Stop petting the cat on the head, belly, back, or any other area that triggers an aggressive response. When the cats show no signs of aggression as they are fed in proximity, the owners can allow them to meet. I am having a very similar issue myself with my almost 2 year old female cat (her name is Petunia). I had tried wall plug in, rescue remedy drops to calm him but nothing worked. I am going through this now :( My Ponyo, female about 18 months, smelled a neighbor's cat on me, as she's done before, but never freaked out like this! When someone attempts to pet the cat, pick it up, or nudge it away from the window, it attacks. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. In: Behavioral problems in small animals. I have another cat, Aramis, who has been doing on a much smaller scale what your cat is doing. Unpredictability increases the danger posed by the cat, and euthanasia should be considered for any cat that is unpredictably aggressive, especially when aggressive arousal typically results in attacks and injuries. Do not attempt to touch or approach the cat, particularly if it has remained highly aroused after the attack, (e.g. I have bolded the part of the original answer that would apply, but am leaving the rest because it can be applicable to others with a similar situation. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 2003;33:269-286. Neurologic disorders stemming from conditions such as infections, trauma, or parasite infestations can lead to abnormal behaviors. Make sure you describe to your vet exactly what you did here. She gave no signs of aggression. I decided to have him put down. If your cat is suddenly doing this, then something is very very wrong. It is so stressful. To stop her, I picked her up but held her away from my body. He had already told me that he would take her if need be. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 1991;21:329-342. Drugs and Dosages Commonly Used for Behavior Problems in Cats, Medication such as paroxetine, fluoxetine, buspirone, alprazolam, or lorazepam (Table 2) may be helpful in reducing fear and anxiety to a level low enough to allow behavior modification to begin. Leanne, I've only seen this post recently as I am having the same trouble with my female, Ponyo. Intermale aggression is facilitated by postpubertal androgen secretion and is largely prevented or eliminated by castration.14 Neither the fighting experience nor the cat's age seem to affect the success of castration.14. I held her still till she released and then felt my chin go numb. My cat was very aggressive and stalked me when he was upset. I bought her catnip which is calming her to playfulness but she still just wants dominance now at her whim. I never would have done that. To create a positive association with the stimulus, the owner should offer highly palatable food when the cat is just far enough from the fear-eliciting stimulus to be relaxed. These techniques involve repeatedly exposing a cat to the fear-eliciting stimulus at a distance from which the cat is aware of the stimulus but is not close enough to show a fear response. Desensitization and counterconditioning should be attempted only when the cat voluntarily approaches. 1. If the cat becomes highly aroused when it goes outdoors, keep the cat indoors. Because treating territorial aggression is difficult and potentially dangerous to visitors or another cat, it may be more prudent to confine the cat when people visit and to avoid adopting another cat. Start the feedings at the far ends of the rooms, and gradually move the food bowls closer to the doorway. 11. This response often increases the resident cat's arousal and aggression. Identifying the aggression type is important because fear-induced aggression has a safer prognosis than territorial aggression does. Although cat aggression is sometimes taken less seriously than dog aggressionperhaps because cats are smaller and dont pursue people to bite themaggressive cats can be formidable. Beaver BV. screaming, hitting the cat), causing the cat to be fearful. I knew that I was safe from her attacking. Use games that are far away … They have five potential weapons (their teeth and all four clawed paws) compared to a dogs sole weapon of his or her mouth. Some owners begin training by having a visitor extend his or her hand with a food treat toward the pet's face. Unlike other forms of feline aggression, vocalizations during play aggression are rare. Gloucester, England: BSAVA, 2002;216-228. 6. Please help I can't live like this, he's my baby and really don't want to have him put to sleep as family have suggested. Mother’s cat won’t stop viciously attacking me (kind of long) Close. In that case, giving medication (paroxetine, fluoxetine, buspirone, alprazolam, lorazepam [Table 2]) to the victim cat may help reduce its fear. Like to travel but hate to leave your pooch at home? I rec'd a call one week after she was adopted. Treatment. To help such cats and the families that own them, veterinarians must rule out medical problems, take a complete history, make a sound diagnosis, and provide sensible advice. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. This type of aggression—probably the most dangerous—can result in frightening, vicious, and damaging attacks. A blast of air from a compressed air can directed over a cat's head or a water gun or a sharp noise directed at the cat may discourage problem behaviors. One moment my cat will be super sweet and then he attacks me for no reason! She had walked right up to me while I was just sitting on my couch. © 2020 MJH Life Sciences and DVM 360. It took me a very long time to come to terms with what I felt I had to do. Well, he actually charged at me twice! 8. 5. Aversive techniques should always be matched to the individual cat's temperament, and nothing should be used that causes fear or a strong avoidance response. About a month ago I was sleeping and he attacked my shoulder ..I mean took a chunk out of me and scratched me up pretty bad. It seems that these cats have a threshold for how much physical interaction they can tolerate and cannot communicate that they have had enough in an acceptable manner. Drug therapy (see "Territorial aggression") may be necessary. This is highly infectious. A water gun can be used to discourage the young cat's exuberant play directed toward the victim cat without further stressing the victim cat. So this is brand new behavior this last month? I know since I had her since she was a baby that there is a loving sweet little girl in there somewhere but I need to figure out how to get her to get rid of this craziness and come back to my sweet little baby. To young to be away from the mother so I had to bottle feed her with special kitten formula and eventually when get to kitten food and now cat food. There was so much blood and it all started because I attempted to pet her. I decided to have him put down; he was 7. Treatment. Medication (fluoxetine, paroxetine [Table 2]) for the aggressive cat or in some cases for both cats may be beneficial, and Feliway can also help the cats relax. He pounces at me and meows. It was not play. When the aggression is directed toward another pet in the home, the cats should be separated until the level of arousal diminishes, which could be several hours to a week or more. Didn't find the answer you were looking for? He was not aggressive with the vet or my friend who came to help me. I've literally only found out this information as mine attacked me tis morning and I have just had some stitched put in my arm and back at work with long sleeves. My cat freaked out in our guest room and I had to jump in front of my daughter because I didn't know if he was just going to scream or attack. I could pick her up in the front yard and hold her. My vet wanted me to euthanize her. The attack just happened last Sunday. Make sure that nothing has changed too much, around the kitty. The most common type of aggressive behavior cats exhibit toward family members is play aggression.7 Young cats or kittens are most frequently presented for this problem. It's important to identify an individual cat's aggression stimulus because treatment varies depending on the aggression type. My very large and needy maine coon attacked the living sh*t out of me about two days ago. The last heartbreaking straw was one day when she started chasing me and sinking her teeth into my legs. Confine the pet when visitors are in the home, when children are playing, when the dog is awake, or in other situations that lead to aggression. Thank you for your comment :-). She can came onto my chest and scream at my other two cats AND my daughter, and when I just look from her their way she's again screaming at me and attacking me. I even went so far as to consider not having anymore children because I knew that the crying baby sound at this point might set him off. In: Turner DC, Bateson P, eds. He became increasingly skittish and once screamed at me while I was big pregnant with my first child. What is wrong with him? cooked meat, fish, freeze-dried treats, semimoist cat food). Treatment. At my wit's end, I made the hard decision to have her adopted out thru an organization. Take my word for it @karenrhyne it IS well worth it. Then, when you come into a room, he will want to sit to get a reward. If the cat shows no sign of anxiety, then the owner should give the cat a tasty food treat (e.g. At first, it started with my foot, then my leg, and one I was just petting him, and we were being really friendly toward each other and all of a sudden without warning, he turned on me and bit and clawed the hell out of my arm. Keeping an aggressive pet in the home always presents some risk. Some cats are born with timid personalities, and kittens that have not been adequately socialized during the first two or three months of life are also likely to be fearful of people and aggressive when approached or handled.3 Cats that have aversive experiences associated with people or animals may become fearful and may exhibit avoidance and aggressive behaviors. Because of the relatively short duration of maternal aggression, simply avoiding the queen may be the most prudent solution. It was just a horrible situation that I have to accept now. The family should confine the cats in separate areas of the home where they cannot see each other. Karsh EB, Turner DC. The other was the most beautiful cat I had ever seen in person. These exercises can be performed at feeding time. It is best to avoid handling a cat when it is in pain. In attempting to prevent territorial aggression, it is always wise to have a separation period when introducing a new cat into the household. For example, an aroused cat may charge and attack a person who is across the room and paying no attention to it. The cat is given a highly desirable reinforcer, such as food, whenever it sees the stimulus. Landsberg G, Hunthausen W, Ackerman L. Feline aggression. If the sessions take place on an owner's lap, the cat should not be restrained and should be allowed or encouraged to jump down (a treat can be tossed to the floor if necessary) as soon as each session is complete. By using this Site you agree to the following, By using this Site you agree to the following. Also I forgot to mention that when I have company I have to lock her in her room because people are afraid of her. Thank you for your time and advice,very much appreciated. Adequate socialization of female cats when they are young may also help prevent problems. Twice! My husband is a truck driver so I am responsible for feeding, cleaning, grooming, playtime etc for both cats and finally Boots would basically come only round me and not to my husband. The orange tabby was a great cat (albeit she had feline leukemia). Fulminant hepatic failure associated with oral administration of diazepam in 11 cats. Aggression between male cats is one of the most common forms of feline aggression.1 As male cats behaviorally and sexually mature, they begin challenging each other. Male cats are more likely to show this type of aggression.9 Stimuli for aggressive arousal include the sight, sound, or odor of another animal; unusual noises; or unfamiliar people or environments. He attacked me 5 times, the last time was the worst, I felt traumatized. She has been given nothing but love. She lunged at my face and sunk her teeth into my chin. This type of aggression—probably the most dangerous—can result in frightening, vicious, and damaging attacks. I will let you know how it goes with the vet (fingers and everything possible crossed they have a solution!) As a tiny kitten till almost a tear old she was as sweet as can be. The moment we were alone in the house or even the back patio she would attack me completely unprovoked. However, that is not always practical, especially when medications must be given or physical therapy needs to be performed. Whenever the victim moves and the young cat orients toward it, the young cat should be called for a treat. Frank D, Dehasse J. Don't touch the cat when it sits in the windowsill and watches outdoor cats. Sessions with the cat in someone's lap or next to someone on the sofa should be frequent, and, gradually, the length of the petting sessions should be increased. I have never seen anything like this ever. To help aggressive cats and the families that own them, veterinarians must rule out medical problems, take a complete history, make a sound diagnosis, and provide sensible advice. When he was younger, he would "scream" like a wild cat whenever he went to the vet, but wouldn't attack anyone, and he would get over it. He was the most beautiful creature, but something was definitely wrong. He would just get freaked out about something and scream and run upstairs, but then later he would come down and seem okay. As days go by, the owner should increase the intensity and variety of handling; for example, grooming and claw trimming can be done during these exercises. Cats may also exhibit territorial or fear aggression toward visitors. Hi Leanne....I sooo feel for you. The person or animal that elicits the fear response must be gradually exposed to the cat during many repetitions, never getting close enough to elicit fear or anxiety. My initial reaction to an attack is always to scream and throw him away from me. Did anything work for you? Intermale aggression is particularly common during the breeding season. Hes attacked me three times, and today makes the fourth. I raised a cat from six weeks old who is now four years old. If the cat's aggressive displays drive away the fear-eliciting stimulus, its behavior is negatively reinforced.2. The attack usually occurs when a person or animal approaches or touches the aroused cat. I don't want to put her down but if she doesn't shake this by the end of this now second day, I will have no choice :((((, Hi Leanne, I came across this thread as I am going through the exact same with my 10 month old Charlie at the moment and it's driving me crazy. If the arousal level is high enough, the cat may bite when the owner tries to pick it up to take it indoors. I grew up on a farm and not even the wild cats were this insane. I ha... Oh my. Yes i had him neutered when he was a kitten. He's previously attacked my mum 4 years plus ago while she was looking after him for me while i was away but he's never done this to me before. If it becomes aroused watching outdoor cats through the windows, remove the cat's access to the windows. The reason this is so is due to the sharpness of cat teeth creating deep puncture wounds into areas that are sufficient for bacterial activity and hard to clean. Unfortunately, owners often respond to the aggression with behaviors that make things worse (e.g. Hart BL, Barrett RE. With time, the cat will learn to tolerate longer and longer petting sessions in anticipation of a food reward. It occurs when a cat is stimulated to an aggressive state of arousal and directs its aggression toward a person or animal that was not the cause of the arousal.8 Intermale, territorial, and fear-induced are the types of aggression that are likely to be redirected.7 The attack usually occurs when a person or animal approaches or touches the aroused cat. Handling exercises performed with a kitten may help raise its threshold for pain-elicited aggression. Treatment. Owners should avoid punishment such as yelling, thumping, or swatting cats since these may cause pets to either fear the owners or engage in rougher play. This was so distressing. When he attacks it's as though he's totally gone psychotic and a red mist comes down, he will not back down to anything or anyone not even me and I'm number one in the house. Borchelt P, Voith VL. Using the synthetic pheromone Feliway (Ceva Santé Animale) in the environment may also help. My cat has attacked me viciously over 5 times, and I might have to put her down. My cat has attacked me viciously over 5 times, and I might have to put her down. Many species engage in territorial aggression to expel or keep out other animals from a discrete, protected area, which helps preserve area resources for the resident or the resident social group. I've put plenty of food, biscuits and water down as i daren't even go in my own home for fear of him attacking again and i don't know how to stop him plus he tries to trap us in a room with no escape! Male cats are more likely to show this type of aggressio… He was my baby, as I raised him from a kitten. Help Reddit! She somehow knew her fate as I put her into the carrier as she thrashed so hard once inside it that she knocked it off the sofa onto the floor. A territorially aggressive cat is bolder and typically approaches or lunges at a visitor. This was a terrible experience... bathing my cat. I have kept them separated ... Hello, Can someone give me some tips on how to get my cat in to a carrier to take her to the vet? It can be a powerful tool to overcome fear if special treats are withheld at all times except during exposure training. When the medication is withdrawn, the cat may become aggressive again. Attacks may seem unprovoked because the arousing stimulus was present when the owner was not around, and the pet remained in a high state of arousal. Good luck...and protect yourself. The vet said she was trying to control me and put her on Prozac. This will take away all the fun the cat gets from the attack. Simply by providing items such as a climbing perch or scratching post can help to keep your cat busy throughout the day. I've grown up with cats and never come across one that's been so nasty and uncontrollable. One common scenario is that of a cat sitting in a window and becoming aroused after seeing or hearing another cat. Posted by 3 hours ago. In fact, it usually makes things worse. When we got home, he hid in a corner. Behavior modification requires immense patience. The first task is to separate the cat from any humans or other animals that could potentially be attacked. Treatment. Interactive toys that dispense treats or catnip may help. You can clicker train by pairing a reward like food with a click from a clicker. Defensive displays by the new pet may include hissing, growling, yowling, and piloerection. Finally, idiopathic aggression is a catchall for aggressive displays that appear to be unpredictable and for which the underlying cause is unknown. Treatment involves removing the cat's access to the stimulus or modifying its response to the stimulus. He was a kind, gentle person. Posted by 8 years ago. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:618-25. Reacting strongly can increase the cat's stress and interest in attacking you. You can usually help make the situation safer without getting into complicated treatment recommendations by giving owners some simple, common sense guidelines: Several types of feline aggression exist (Table 1), caused by many stimuli. Problems with other cats in the home occur when the object of play is another cat that is passive, weak, fearful, or old and can't tolerate the young cat's playful behavior. Then he bites me and claws at me. Sometimes, the cat will arch its back and hop sideways toward the play object. EDIT: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read my entire post before you comment. Sounds like he might be infected with Bartonella. To begin, the cats should be allowed to see each other during a low-arousal situation, such as while being fed. However, she was also very obviously used to people and wanted affection. 2. During the separation period, the young cat should be taught by using food lures to come on command. The threshold for the bite behavior must be determined, and petting should stop well before the threshold is reached. Although the effects of all painful stimuli cannot be anticipated, a cat that is trained to be relaxed during handling that includes claw trimming and teeth brushing will also be more likely to tolerate handling when it is in pain. While initiating long-term treatment, owners can take steps to immediately reduce injuries. If I push him away he does it again. What gives? Cats that are prone to this type of aggression attack their owners and others viciously with their claws and teeth and often behave in this way for extended periods. Most of the time, cats attacking people may be due to cats having a lot of pent up energy. Play aggression is one of the few behavior problems for which a second pet may be recommended. Almost immediately started attacking again. I would hold him my arms and we'd have gentle walks around the house, but he was terrified to go outside and apprehensive about leaving "his" room. His paper originally appeared in the conference proceedings. Cats Become Aggressive Because They’re in Pain Cats who are in pain will respond with hisses and swats when sensitive areas are touched. Systematic desensitization and counterconditioning exercises are used to treat territorial aggression.11 For conditioning to begin, the cats need to be able to see each other at a distance yet remain calm. Usually it took only a day to get back to nomal but this time it had been three days of hissing and stalking. Besides the obvious reason, this must be so upsetting. Diagnosing redirected aggression requires identifying the arousal stimulus associated with aggressive displays. Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week. Completely out of the blue i heard the horrible noise that is when a cat is about to fight (growl / … Cases of redirected aggression or fear-related aggression that resulted from circumstances the owner did not observe are likely to end up in this category. If some people in the household cannot avoid the aroused cat, serious consideration should be given to removing the pet from the home or euthanizing it, especially those cats that charge their victims or bite uninhibitedly. Such attacks are often intense, sudden, and uninhibited. When the cats are finally allowed to roam freely in the home, at least two feeding stations and litter boxes should be placed in relatively open areas so that neither cat will be trapped or surprised when eating or using a litter box. In the same way as you he just keeps coming at me and coming at me no matter what I try to do to defend myself. Couldn't walk in my house without a laser or toy to calm and distract him. I just live her so much. It started out with not being able to have her on my lap without having a blanket down first as she would, without exception, bit my hand if I tried to gently move her to get up. All I was trying to do was get us quickly out of the room, but he kept coming at me. She would also bite me if I tried to pet her in bed. Right after she was born, he actually attacked me on my back (tore up my shirt and scratched me badly). Genetic and environmental influences can contribute to this problem. The owner should provide lots of appropriate toys and playtime to help satisfy the young cat's need for play. Since the food reward is initially not strong enough to overcome the proximity of the fearful stimulus, this method usually doesn't work. I just took my last antibiotic. To begin, instruct owners to gently handle all parts of the cat's body while it is being hand-fed. Initially, the cats should be separated unless a family member is supervising. Dr. Carol Osborne talks tips on how (and where!) Thus, the approach must be to control the cat to reduce danger to the handler but to minimize the cat's discomfort. I should have gone to the emergency room, but I was afraid they would have him put down.
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