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My Roommates Demon Cat!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hello!

One of my roommates has a young cat (about a year old)...and it could very well be the spawn of satan . It attacks feet, hands...well, basically anything that bleeds (sometimes when you're sleeping ). It howls in the morning, waking us all up, to ensure that he is fed wet food, which he sometimes doesn't eat anyway (apparently, dry food is just not adequate enough for him). He also can be found climbing onto any surface he can hook his demonic claws into (most recently, the window blinds). Unless he is asleep or hungry, petting him is like asking to be mauled. He seems to be immune to loud noises, claw clippers, and spray bottles. I look into this cats eyes and I can tell he is thinking of ways to draw blood next. I returned home with several scars and some damaged belongings.

Anyway, I'm going back to school soon, and I'm moving into a 3 floor townhouse with this same roommate, her cat, and 2 other friends. I am also bringing my kitten, Nimbus, with me, for the first time. My roommate tells me that her cat has shown no aggression towards other cats. However, I am still concerned.

Can anyone give me a little advice on how to introduce a kitten to a possibly aggressive cat? Also, is there anything I can do to try and change this cats evil ways? Even more, will he become an evil mentor to Nimbus and turn my kitten over to the dark side?!

Thanks!
-Kristen
post #2 of 16
Does he need more attention????
post #3 of 16
Yeah, okay, there are some things you can try. First off, stop feeding him when he yells and yowls and screams for food in the middle of the night. Getting up to feed him teaches him that screaming and yowling for food in the middle of the night gets him what he wants. If he's not already on a schedule where he eats before bed time, put him on one, and then you may want to put a little extra dry down for him for overnight. Just enough that he can nibble a little. Personally I think if he's fed right before bed, and then fed again in the morning when you get up, and you *ignore* his screaming and clamoring for food in the middle of the night, he'll likely stop. It might, however, take a few days, or a week.

Is anyone playing with him on a regular basis? Try getting a cat toy, like "da bird" which is available at www.go-cat.com I believe... might be .net, and playing with him for a good 15-20 minutes nightly, but you may want to try twice a day.


What is the usual response from the humans when it attacks your feet or hands?
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, my roommate feeds him wet food three times a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner), which I think is too much and I've told her that maybe she needs to cut back. It's cheap wet food too, which makes it even worse...

I don't know how much attention he gets from the others, but I'm usually the first one awake and I'll play a bit with him in the morning (at least 15 minutes of solid attention). Unfortunately, I'm busy with classes and other things for the rest of the day. I like to pay attention to him when I am around. Sometimes my roomie and I will toss a toy back and forth and he'll try to get it.

Of course, I wasn't being completely serious when I called him a demon...he can be fun to watch and play with, but he can just be so painfully vicious sometimes! For instance, he was laying quietly on the couch...I started petting him gently for a minute or two and before I knew what hit me---he was latched onto my arm with all four sets of claws and fangs digging into me! I screamed and he sprinted away, leaving me bleeding. I've never encountered a cat that did that before!! He certainly wasn't playing.

Whenever he attacks my feet, I'll usually just attempt to move away from him (it can be difficult to pry him off though). If he hurts me I might yell out, scaring him off.

-Kristen
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimbus View Post
Well, my roommate feeds him wet food three times a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner), which I think is too much and I've told her that maybe she needs to cut back. It's cheap wet food too, which makes it even worse...

I don't know how much attention he gets from the others, but I'm usually the first one awake and I'll play a bit with him in the morning (at least 15 minutes of solid attention). Unfortunately, I'm busy with classes and other things for the rest of the day. I like to pay attention to him when I am around. Sometimes my roomie and I will toss a toy back and forth and he'll try to get it.

Of course, I wasn't being completely serious when I called him a demon...he can be fun to watch and play with, but he can just be so painfully vicious sometimes! For instance, he was laying quietly on the couch...I started petting him gently for a minute or two and before I knew what hit me---he was latched onto my arm with all four sets of claws and fangs digging into me! I screamed and he sprinted away, leaving me bleeding. I've never encountered a cat that did that before!! He certainly wasn't playing.

Whenever he attacks my feet, I'll usually just attempt to move away from him (it can be difficult to pry him off though). If he hurts me I might yell out, scaring him off.

-Kristen

When he grabs onto you like that you need to teach him that's NOT the right thing to do. First of all, try not to do anything to him that you KNOW he will freak out about. When he grabs on like that, say firmly NO or OUCH!Don't go pullingyour arm away fast because he will think your trying to play. I usually hold still and keep yelling OUCH or NO, and PHX get's the point! Any time he does something that is not acceptable, say NO, and he'll eventually learn!

About you bringing your kitten with you there. I don't really know much about this as I've never been through this before. But, is there anyway to spend some time with the aggressive cat first and try to calm that cat down a bit, and then introduce your cat? I do understand though, that wouldn't always be possible.

Good luck!
post #6 of 16
Is he neutered?
post #7 of 16
Hello, Well your roommates cat sounds alot like my sisters cat. I am sure that it is because of a different reason. See my sisters cat will attack anyone besides me for some reason. He is scared of the hand and does not like to be petted on the rear end. I think she or her husband has abused him. I will be taking him in for a a few months with my two other cats, because well she is moving with with her friends till she can find a apartment that allows cats and also i was to try to get him to trust people agian.

Basically what i am saying is that you need to gain his trust. When he bits DO NOT pull away. Just stay still as much as posible. I notice that with cats and dogs that if you pull they think you are playing (like the other person said) or they think you are a moving prey (as scaring as it seems). It does hurt but it works trust me, at least with all the cats and dogs that i have been around.

Now on the feeding. That is WAY to much food for a cat. I personally feed my two cats mainly dry food. When i wake up in the morning they get a 1/4 of a can each of the Friskers (whatever it is) can. They are totally happy with that, i do get alot of vocal from my female but i think it is because i am Pregent and she is sensing it. Also she is a Simese cat. Last with you kitten i would just watch them together and if he starts to attack the kitten then spray him with a spray bottle and say no firmly. They will hiss and grawl and well sometimes it may look like they are fighting but they might be playing. You can tell when you kitten cries and when it does then say no to the older cat say his name and say no. but it should be ok, he should get use to the kitten after a little while. Anyways i hope this helps you are alittle bit.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Is he neutered?
i was just about to ask the same question when i saw yours lol.
post #9 of 16
Not sure what to make of this! How old is the cat, was he separated from his mum and siblings too young (before 10 weeks old), and whether he is neutered will make a difference.

I have a young neutered male (Radar) that some people think is aggressive when they meet him, but he's just over-excitable and wants to play. Of course cat play is quite rough and when he gets overexcited he forgets that he's not supposed to clamp around a guest's leg or arm and rabbit-kick them. He will sometimes do it to us when he's overexcited and in full play/hunt-mode - race around, leap up, grab arm and nip, then run off again - it's often the way they initiate play with siblings when they're young. There's honestly not a bad bone in his body though, he's very sweet-natured, but he was taken from his mum and siblings too young and doesn't understand that rough play isn't appropriate and can hurt.
The best thing to do when he 'attacks' is to freeze, say NO! and calmly but gently remove him from the room to somewhere like a bathroom where he can calm down by himself for a few minutes. It's also the case that many cats can become overstimulated when they are being petted and bite/nip/scratch, that is quite common, and the answer is to stop petting them before it happens.

As far as how he will behave with the kitten, cats will behave differently towards different cats, so there's no way of knowing, aggression towards humans does not mean that he will necessarily be aggressive towards another cat.

Personally I think that if it is overexcitability then having a kitten around will be the best thing for him, he can get rid of all that excess energy playing with the little one, instead of human-hunting. Cats playing together looks quite rough, and when there is a size difference between them you should supervise play between them to make sure the little one isn't going to be hurt and to judge their reaction to one another. Introductions could take a while, just take it slowly and be patient.

Getting Sonic was the best thing we ever did for Radar. They play together all the time, chase each other around, wrestle, and generally cause mischief. It did take a while to integrate them properly, and Radar has learned from Sonic that sometimes enough is enough. He's a much happier cat now he has a young companion. He's not calmer, but by the end of the day he doesn't have as much energy left for attacking feet, as he's spent all day running around with Sonic.

Just make sure that the older one is neutered, as if he is an entire tomcat he will be more defensive of his territory and more likely to see the little one as a threat to his status.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes, her cat is neutered. Now that I think about it, her cat might have been taken away from its mother too early. I remember him being very tiny (much smaller than my 11/12 week old kitten).

I hope everyone is right about him getting along with my kitten. At least my kitten has already had some experience dealing with an older cat (jerry). So, I guess he won't be too traumatized if my roommates cat beats him up a bit

As for letting him bite/claw me and simply saying NO until he stops...I will definitely try it, but hopefully I'll be wearing a long sleeved shirt. Ouchies. I'll also push my roommate to stop feeding him so much wet food. I was thinking of striking a deal with her---we'll share the costs of wet food and feed both our cats one meal (1/2 can?) of HIGHER QUALITY wet food a day (is that enough?).

Thanks!
-Kristen
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimbus View Post
Yes, her cat is neutered. Now that I think about it, her cat might have been taken away from its mother too early. I remember him being very tiny (much smaller than my 11/12 week old kitten).

I hope everyone is right about him getting along with my kitten. At least my kitten has already had some experience dealing with an older cat (jerry). So, I guess he won't be too traumatized if my roommates cat beats him up a bit

As for letting him bite/claw me and simply saying NO until he stops...I will definitely try it, but hopefully I'll be wearing a long sleeved shirt. Ouchies. I'll also push my roommate to stop feeding him so much wet food. I was thinking of striking a deal with her---we'll share the costs of wet food and feed both our cats one meal (1/2 can?) of HIGHER QUALITY wet food a day (is that enough?).

Thanks!
-Kristen
Whether it's too much food or not really depends on the cat. If the cat is not overweight, and hasn't been gaining weight, I would *not* reduce the amount of food that he's getting. For example, my sister's Bengal eats over a pound of meat a day. Most packets of food are between 2 and 5 ounces, from what I've seen. I don't think the food itself has much to do with whether the cat is aggressive or not. I brought it up because I was wondering about a specific routine in the cat's life.

I completely agree with the notion to not pull away when the cat grabs your ankles. Either move toward him, or stop. Moving toward him confuses him slightly because prey would not move toward them. A sharp "squeek", something like a scream (high pitched but not particularly loud) will indicate that it's unacceptable or that he's hurting you, and NO is a good reinforcer. Praise him when he releases you.

If you can predict when he's going to do it, then I suggest that you arm yourself with a bunch of toys, particularly ones that he likes to chase. When you notice him getting ready to pounce, but before he does so, redirect his "aggression" to the toy by tossing it in a manner which *crosses* his path. Not directly at him, and not directly away from him but so that it rolls or goes bouncing past him. If he goes after the toy, praise him and then get him a treat. Hopefully this will break the cycle of him attacking ankles.

Where are you petting him when you pet him? Is it always the same place on his body, or does it vary?
post #12 of 16
Geronimo was really fiesty too when we first got him (the people at the vet's office called him "Lucifer" ) although he wasn't near as bad as your roommate's cat. My b/f always called Geronimo "the devil's spawn" - I told him he just had "issues"/..

Anyways, whenever Geronimo would get too carried away, I would speak sternly to him, and tell him "NO!", or if that didn't work, go after him w/ the water pistol. He's pretty well-behaved now, although he still occasionally gets a little too fiesty w/ the other cats. Whenever he starts in w/ his "cattitude", I haul out the water pistol and off he goes! It usually does the trick.

Sometimes, very aggresive cats came from somewhere where they had been abused, and are just scared & "acting out". i don't know if that's the case w/ your roommate's cat, but it's possible. My b/f once had a dog who had been horribly abused by it's previous owner, and would freak out so badly that you couldn't "reason" w/ him. It was like another dog took over or something, and you could see the terror in his eyes. He would be just fine one minute, and all of a sudden he would turn on you for no apparent reason: it was like he was possessed. He drew blood on more than one occasion from my b/f, and my b/f is a loving & gentle person: he wouldn't hurt a fly. I was actually becoming afraid of the dog myself, and I'm not afraid of animals, and can usually "soften" even the "hard-core" cases of badly abused pets. Sadly, my b/f had to make the decision of having him PTS, b/c he was afraid the dog would end up hurting someone badly..

Teaching a pet "manners" is kinda like teaching a kid: if you let them get away w/ "bad behavior", they'll continue to do so. You can't "reward" them for bad behavior. Sometimes, ya gotta use tough love.


KittKatt
post #13 of 16
You've been given some good advice. I would discourage using a spray bottle though as if some should accidentally get in his ears kitty could end up with a very bad infection.

As for the food issue, I think a lot depends on the cat's age as well. Kittens would need more meals per day than an adult cat. If both cats are going to be living together, I would try to get them both on the same food and feeding schedule. If you are going to share the costs of the expenses for the 2 cats, I'd like to suggest that you get good quality foods, i.e., not a lot of fillers, dyes, by-products, etc.

I have found that since I changed over to a better quality food, our cats actually eat less, have less stinky poos and seem satisfied with the quantities. I feed 1/2 can (5.5 ounces) morning and night (half can in morning, other half at night) for the cats to share. I supplement that with a very good quality dry - 1/3 cup for them to share. Bijou is heavy at 17.5 lbs. but Mika is slim and trim so she gets extra food overnight in our daughter's bedroom (she sleeps with our daughter and Bijou sleeps with us).

If you do a search and read some of the nutrition threads on this forum you'll find that we generally agree that a wet food diet is far healthier for a cat than dry, but if your cat won't eat wet unless it's junk food, then it's important that you get a good quality dry and let them have some of the wet junk food.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, I've been at school for about 2 weeks and I'm pleased to say that my roommates cat has actually mellowed out a bit. Granted, he's still not an affectionate cat, but he's stopped destroying everything and doesn't attack as much or at random anymore (Though, my other roomie is currently sporting 4 deep puncture wounds from him). Anyway, he enjoys having my kitten as a playmate and they get along very well. However, sometimes he gets a little too aggressive and the kitten will growl and hide in response.

Really, the only problems that are left are food issues. My roomies cat is obsessed with my kitten's nutro dry food, so I can no longer free feed the kitten. Also, my roomies cat has probably the worst litter box smell I've ever encountered. I think this could be a result of her feeding him dry Purina Cat Chow and meow mix packets and rarely cleaning the litter box. I want to persuade her to start feeding her cat something a little better quality, but I know she is on a very low budget.

Does anyone have any ideas for a cheap dry food (roughly purina cat chow cost of slightly higher), which would lower litter box smell? I was looking at Diamond Naturals Indoor and Chicken Soup as brands to suggest.

-Kristen
post #15 of 16
My cat and your roommates cat would be the best est of friends.
Oscar is absolutely the demon span as my close friends say.

Oscar was neutered and that kinda fixed some of the issues. Oscar will NOT attack anyone but ME. This is how it has been since we have had Oscar.

We give Oscar 2 cans of wet food a day. One can in the morning and one in the afternoon (if he is good) and then has dry food for the rest of the day.
post #16 of 16
I've heard good things about Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul.. when I fed dry I fed high end brands, so.. I know that my domestic loved Meow Mix dry for years, and they currently split two packets of the Meow Mix wet between four of them a day (it's mixed in with raw, to give a "wet food" taste)..

You may want to try Serengetti. Take a look at it, you can order it online and have it delivered to your house for free.. the website is www.timberwolforganics.com I think. It was pretty good quality, I thought, for the price.

Maybe someone else will have a different suggestion. I personally was feeding them Evo, which is really expensive, and Serengetti was the closest thing I could find to the Evo in a less expensive version.
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