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"Beserk" cat attacks owner

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I hope this is in the correct place, and hasn't been posted before...

"Beserk" was the term that CNN used to describe a cat who bit his elderly owner over twenty times, sending her to the hospital:

Cat bite story


I feel very sorry for the poor lady who was attacked. From the sound of things, this may have been a case of redirected aggression -- ie, the cat could not get to the real target he wanted, so he lashed out at the next closest target.

How do you think you'd react if this happened to you (or has it happened to you?)? I honestly don't know how I'd feel -- my first cat Ebony has given me a few good scratches and nips over the seven years she's been with us. Nothing out of the ordinary for a cat though. I think it would be pretty difficult for me to regain my trust if I was bitten 20+ times though... Eek!

I have to admit, I also feel sad for the cat in this story though. If his owner does surrender him to a shelter I wonder what will happen to him given his history...
post #2 of 16
Good grief! Talking about overly territorial. The owner does not know how to handle her cat - either she smothers it with overhandling or she's afraid of it and the cat knows it.
post #3 of 16
Hmmmm, that is very scary..Trout always bites me and gets into "meowmy is the enemy" mode. I just walk away from her..she doesn't actually chase me to attack me..thank god.
post #4 of 16
I feel sorry for the kitty though, I hope the lady just gives it away to someone who will be good for it.

We don't know why the kitty did what he did either.
post #5 of 16
I was walking Cleo in my backyard on her leash when the neighbor's dog came running up to us. I scooped her up into my arms to get her away from the overly excited dog and she bit my thumb and index finger about 15 times. My index finger looked like a piece of bloody sausage! She jumped out of my arms and dashed for the back porch. Fortunately, by the time she jumped, the neighbor had grabbed the dog's collar so he couldn't chase her. That was the only time she's ever bitten me, and I certainly don't blame her for doing it...she was terrified. She always kept an eye out for that dog whenever we went for walks in the back yard after that. I'm glad that that dog and his owner moved last summer, lol! I never really felt safe out in my own backyard after that happened.


Pookie & the girls
post #6 of 16
It sounds like it was defending it's territory. I feel sorry for both the owner and the cat - I wonder what will happen to it.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by LokisMum View Post
It sounds like it was defending it's territory. I feel sorry for both the owner and the cat - I wonder what will happen to it.
Me too, I hope nothing bad happens to it, and who knows why it bit the lady before, I don't know, I just don't want nothing to happen to the cat.
post #8 of 16
As the owner of a cat who has severe aggression issues (Raphael, he's sent me to the doctor before), I have to say that it seems like these 2 were not well matched. Cats don't do things for no reason, and it sounds like she clearly didn't know how to handle the kitty appropriately. It's really a shame. It's a shame she's hurt and a shame that no one taught her how to deal with an aggressive cat.
post #9 of 16
great now im afraid of my cat.i never once had a pet that bit there owner i had dogs and other pets. is it comon for cats to bite?this is my first cat she seems very sweet
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by firsttimeowner View Post
great now im afraid of my cat.i never once had a pet that bit there owner i had dogs and other pets. is it comon for cats to bite?this is my first cat she seems very sweet
Some individual cats have issues and most do not. Get to know your cat, watch her body language because cats communicate the most through their body language. Ears flattened against the head, a tail lashing about are a couple of signs that the cat should be left alone. Some cats (like our Much) like some petting, but after a time are irritated by it. I never have a problem with Much, but Hubby will pet her to the point where she looks annoyed and will nip him a little.

Spaying and neutering helps alot with aggression because intact cats can be quite territorial.

There are times when the cat may have to deal with a stranger cat or a fearful situation and is unable to do anything about it. The cat will then lash out at the owner or another animal. This is called redirected aggression which is what happened here. If this should happen, then you can do some research on handling this situation.

Another time a cat may suddenly show some aggression, is when it is sick or in pain. Petunia (RIP) never growled at me until she was 15 years old and ended up passing 2 kidney stones. So if you do have a cat suddenly become aggressive, see the vet to rule out any health problems.

If you do get a cat bite, wash it immediately and throughly. If you see any swelling or red marks streaking out from the wound (like up your arm), seek medical attention immediately because cat bites can be very serious.

Enjoy your cat and I doubt you will have problems.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by firsttimeowner View Post
great now im afraid of my cat.i never once had a pet that bit there owner i had dogs and other pets. is it comon for cats to bite?this is my first cat she seems very sweet
The vast majority of cats are not aggressive, at least not without a very good reason. Any time your cat is suddenly aggressive, go to the vet: it can signify a health issue.

Some cats, however, have known behavioral issues. I adopted my Raphael knowing he redirects aggression, and I adopted Leo knowing that he had instances of overstimulation (that's like what Jana's talking about when they have too much petting or love and may nip or swap or hiss). These things do happen and for me, I did the research and I live happily with these guys (although, it took some adjustment on all or our parts). It's just a matter of learning about how to handle these special kitties and how to "read" them. I'm certainly not being attacked regularly! Or basically ever at this point!
post #12 of 16
cool thank you she is fixed and i never saw her ears go back but her tail does kinda move on its own.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by firsttimeowner View Post
cool thank you she is fixed and i never saw her ears go back but her tail does kinda move on its own.
Cats are fascinating beings and you can have a lot of fun watching her. The tail can indicate when she is really interested in something, that she is happy to see you, is annoyed with something, or just relaxed. I love watching Lucy come running up to us because her tail goes up excitedly. Carly's tail was broken before we got her so she can't express herself with it. Makes me kind of sad at times. Much is a manx so she just swishes her stub.

To the original poster, sorry for the hijack. Really wish we could have more information on this poor cat, like if it was neutered and what was done to handle his aggression previously, if anything. But like the reports of dog attacks, we will never really know.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig View Post

To the original poster, sorry for the hijack. Really wish we could have more information on this poor cat, like if it was neutered and what was done to handle his aggression previously, if anything. But like the reports of dog attacks, we will never really know.
No problem at all -- this thread has generated some really interesting conversation! We've just adopted a new stray cat, and while I think she is super sweet, we've noticed that she has been a little aggressive due to pain (she had a cancerous leg amputated). I do sometimes wonder how I'd react if I were 'attacked'.

I also wondered if the cat in the article had been neutered. It sounded like he must be extremely territorial. I hope he can be rehomed with someone who will understand his special needs.

ps Pookie-poo. Yikes!!!!!! Your poor finger!!
post #15 of 16
Cats generally don't "attack" for no reason. It seems like this kitty was upset about the strange cat being brought to the door, and maybe meant to attack the other cat but the woman got in the way?
post #16 of 16
With cats and aggression, I think you have to use your own intuition. If they appear in angry mode due to another cat in the window, etc. it is best to leave them be and not pick them up till they've settled down.
Sometimes they nip you when they are petted too much. If you are stroking them watch for signs that they are not getting fed-up with too much attention. Fred will nip me if i pet him too much, so I have to stop when I sense he is getting mad.
Cat's use a bite as communication that they aren't happy, as they can't just say "stop it".
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