Originally Posted by dauntingfire
I am SURE no one is mad at you, we just want to help! I don't know much about aggression but maybe speaking to a cat behaviorist will help? Sometimes they can help pinpoint what it is that is causing a cat to feel anxiety or aggression. Once you find the root, maybe you can find out why he transfers it to you.
Some cats are very easy to understand while others are far more complicated. At my rescue shelter we had one kitten who was startled by a firecracker while he was using the litter box. His scare was so intense that he was never able to use a normal litter box again. They have to use a box full of towels for him to go in rather than litter. This is just an example of a cat's unusual psyche and how they can be very complicated. Imagine this cat's owner only knowing that their cat will NEVER use the litter box. They try everything to make the cat feel more comfortable and nothing works....well once they understood the source then they were able to change the cat's environment.
I would second, and third, and fourth the opinion on getting a behaviorist. A lot of problems can be solved by talking to a behaviorist. The other thing is that they're usually about the same cost as an initial vet visit $100-$200, usually, but that generally includes follow up phone calls or emails. If your vet doesn't know of anyone, do a search on cat behaviorist in a search engine and you'll get some results. You can follow the links on their "certifications" portion usually to the IAABC -- iaabc.org -- and other organizations where they probably have a list of certified animal behaviorists by area.
If you think back, can you think of *anything* that happened about the same time that he started reacting negatively to you? It sounds to me, from the little bit of learning I've done so far, that he's now associating you with some sort of frightening experience, or with some sort of pain, or perhaps a punishment, or.. did you happen to pick him up one day and he got really frightened or anything? Can you think of anything?
One of the reasons that "punishment" even if it's not harmful to the cat doesn't work, is that the cat then associates you with the negative action, whatever it is. Water/squirt bottles work well if you can do it in such a way that it hits the cat when he's doing some wrong, but doesn't see you do it. If he sees you do it, then he recognizes that you're the source of the water, effectively. The same thing with blowing in their face, or in some cases I've heard of, rubbing their nose in their mistakes, slapping them, yelling, or just about anything that would frighten or cause discomfort or pain will give the cat a bad association to the person who is doing it, and potentially with the area it's happening in.
Punishment by say..not giving the cat what he wants when he does something, is much more effective. Although, I don't think this would be effective in your case.
Is there any certain or particular times at which he's aggressive with you? When you're wearing a certain color, perfume, type of shoes, have your hair fixed a certain way, wearing particular outfit, type of clothing, time of day, time when there is something else going on? Can you think of anything that happens at the same time? In a particular spot in the house? Only when you're near a window?
In the meantime, if there are any signs at all that precede the behavior, like putting his ears back, the eyes changing, etc., you may be able to distract him with a toy and redirect his anger or attack to that toy. Potentially you can take that toy and redirect him to a scratching post, where he may take out his attack on the post and aggression by scratching diligently on the post, or beating the heck out of the toy. I'd get a toy that has a fairly long stick, though, and dangles. If you haven't tried them, www.go-cat.com
makes a toy called "da bird" which usually will incite even the lazyiest, most laid back cats to play. The point here is to get him to take his temper out on a toy or post instead of you, which may not be the easiest task, especially if you can't pinpoint what's causing him to react to you.
Hopefully that may help a little until you can get in touch with someone about his behavior. You may also want to have him checked for hypothyroidism, which sometimes causes cats to be grouchy as well as overweight. It doesn't sound medical, though, it sounds behavioral.
Originally Posted by mbjerkness
he is a handsome fella isn't he
Yes, what a lovely boy he is!
Keep us posted!