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I ended up in the ER bc of him... time to let go? - Page 2

post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittiekitten View Post
I was going to the city today to go buy a diffuser to see if that helps. The question I have is; it says it is like the hormone or whatnot that is released from a glad on a cats head..... if I get this, will it eventually take the ability of my cat to produce that hormone?
The feliway diffuser will not affect your cats ability to produce that scent marking pheromone.

Basically how it works is that when a cat rubs is head against things they're marking it. They deposit a pheromone that makes them feel safe and comfortable when they sense it around them. The feliway gives off that same pheromone (only generalized to work for all cats, i.e make them feel like it's theirs) So really you can see it as you humans doing your part in scent marking the home to making your cat feel comfortable.

It's not a drug and it shouldn't affect your cat in any way other than making him feel more relaxed and feel more in control of his territory so maybe he won't freak out as much when he sees strange cats through the window.

It can also help in multiple cat homes, all the cats think that the extra scent marking is theirs so they all feel happier.

Also cats rub their heads to mark their core area, they scratch and spray to mark the fringe areas so the feliway can help stop spraying cats and cats that scratch for territory marking reasons by making them feel that the whole house has already been marked and is a core territory.

It doesn't work on every single cat, some are immune and a very small fraction registers the feliway as if the pheromones given off are from another cat and then start up with more territory marking. This is very very rare though. If that happens just stop the diffuser and you should be back to normal (strange cat has been driven off from your cats point of view)
post #32 of 41
Thread Starter 
Thanks!! I did a search on behaviorist, but there are none in my area. I live in farm country and it just isn't a popular thing around here. I did find someone where it is all phone calls but I wasn't sure exactly how well that would work, I am just going to keep looking.

I did buy the diffuser last night. I got it at a pet store so it was more $$ then the one I found online, but I got it anyways bc I needed it asap. We shall see how it works with my babies!

I can not think of anything negative that happened when I have picked him up and it does not matter what I am wearing, how I have my hair, he does it no matter what. When we first got him, he was a rougher player.

The ONLY thing that really changed significantly was after we first got him he HAD to have kisses from me when I came home, he would sit in that spot and look at me until I have him a kiss. He grew out of that, but when I realized he grew out of it I stopped giving him kisses all the time.

He scratches my screen door trying to get outside so recently I have been doing good with that in his "punishment" I shut the main door when he does that so he can't try and get out. I am taking away something he is messing with.... it seems to work alright until he tries to turn the knob on my main door.. he cant though.

I will make the vet appointment for next week. Hopefully we can figure something out for him! He is generally a really great cat, a sweetie really, I think I just really need to watch myself a lot more when I am around him so I can pinpoint exactly what I am doing that sets him off or at least try and work with him w/o "punishments". Maybe if there is no "punishments" he wont be as aggressive towards me. Thank you everyone! You have no idea how much I appreciate all of this!!!!
post #33 of 41
Okay, the probability is that you won't find a behaviorist in your area. They are actually pretty rare and I think there are less than 30 in the US. Phone will work normally, as the cat may or may not engage in the problem behavior when the behaviorist is there. If they come out, seeing the house might provide a clue about why it's happening, but you can also probably give an accurate description of the environment if the behaviorist needs it.

Lets see... what's your normal reaction, to the letter, when he does this? Do you ever feed him afterwards, play with him or interact in any way that he might find rewarding.. as in giving him attention or petting him, letting him outside or into a specific room that he likes?

Does this only or primarily happen when you notice him sitting in a window getting worked up? Is he also doing things to mark his territory like spraying, inappropriate peeing? Did it happen to start after a new cat began showing up around your house? Did you ever go outside and pet or hold or engage the invading cat in any way and does it seem to happen after you smell like the other cat or when he sees the other cat?

Hmm, that's all I can think of at the moment... it seems like his behavior, at least in part, is tied into the other cat showing up in his territory, and misdirected aggression. There might be some other factors, but it seems like this one is at least a portion of the issue.


It's good to hear that he's doing some cuddling!
post #34 of 41
Thread Starter 
I may have given him attention after he attacks or try and continue to give him attention, but I do not do that anymore. I tell him no if I am trying to pet him and if he doesn't listen I walk away. If I am walking by and he reaches for me with his claws I just walk around him. I just realized I do not think that I tell him no when I am walking by and he claws at me, if I do I am sure I do not do it all the time..... I have no idea why it took me so long to realize that!

He acts this way even if he has been sleeping for the past few hours and have not even seen another cat. The way he acted that night he attacked me was the first time I had seen him like that for a VERY long time. He does not get worked up like that very often at all.

He always uses the litter box, has NEVER sprayed since I have had him. If there has been a cat outside when he is in his cage, I make the cat leave and then take him inside once the cat has been out of sight for a minute or so, thankfully he hasn't attacked me while I have been doing that. But him seeing THIS cat is something new. I recently moved to this apartment September 1st. He did see other cats outside at my old apartment, but it was few and far between and he still acted this way.

I have to go to class though, but I will be done at 2 and will check over the posts to see if I should add something else and make sure I have answered all the questions.
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittiekitten View Post
I may have given him attention after he attacks or try and continue to give him attention, but I do not do that anymore. I tell him no if I am trying to pet him and if he doesn't listen I walk away. If I am walking by and he reaches for me with his claws I just walk around him. I just realized I do not think that I tell him no when I am walking by and he claws at me, if I do I am sure I do not do it all the time..... I have no idea why it took me so long to realize that!

He acts this way even if he has been sleeping for the past few hours and have not even seen another cat. The way he acted that night he attacked me was the first time I had seen him like that for a VERY long time. He does not get worked up like that very often at all.

He always uses the litter box, has NEVER sprayed since I have had him. If there has been a cat outside when he is in his cage, I make the cat leave and then take him inside once the cat has been out of sight for a minute or so, thankfully he hasn't attacked me while I have been doing that. But him seeing THIS cat is something new. I recently moved to this apartment September 1st. He did see other cats outside at my old apartment, but it was few and far between and he still acted this way.

I have to go to class though, but I will be done at 2 and will check over the posts to see if I should add something else and make sure I have answered all the questions.
Okay, well, here's one technique you can try to get him to stop grabbing at your legs. When he does it, firmly tell him no (but be sure not to yell), but stop completely, don't continue to walk past. Walking past mimics the movement of prey, and if you stop, or move toward the cat instead, it confuses them. It might be that attacking your legs as you go by is a playtime move for him.

you might also try to distract him by rolling a ball or something past him when you can *tell* he's going to try it. Or, diffuse it before he strikes by tossing a treat down (if he doesn't respond to toys).. maybe even try using a pole toy to redirect his attention. If you toss the treat down, toss it so that he moves from his position (distraction). Be absolutely sure not to play or reward him by petting or treating when he actually manages to nab you. Just simply stop, wait a minute or so, and absolutely ignore him in all ways other than to say NO.

I'd also, at this point, wait for at least half an hour to feed him.

To try to reinforce the behavior you like, keep treats nearby, in a drawer or your pocket or something, and reward him when he jumps on your lap, gets attention in a positive manner without biting or scratching, etc. The longer he sits, the more treats he gets, the better it's reinforced. I'd break them up into tiny bits, though, and allow for it in his diet, so as not to cause weight gain. Pea sized treats are good.

The one thing that might be happening is that you may inadvertantly be reinforcing his behavior by giving him what he wants. If he's trying to get you to stop petting him, and you stop petting him when he attacks, then by stopping you're teaching him that's the way to get you to stop.

Is it more something that happens when you've been petting him, or when you havent' been and you go to reach for him to pet him? If it's when you've been petting him you'll need to take a different technique, I think.
post #36 of 41
Also, it sounds silly, but I've found that your body language can help. Sometimes if you have a cat who's been attacking, you tend to act nervous around him or make quick, darting motions (this was the case with my cat when he was lying in the doorways and going after my ankles)... and then the cat reads the fear, or the quick shifty motions trigger his predatory drive.

It's "Dog Whisperer" stuff, but it does work a bit on cats. If I use strong body language instead (squared shoulders, stand up tall, calmly rather than threateningly), the cat doesn't bite. It takes a little practice to just ignore them, forget the possibility of attack, and walk by in a matter-of-fact way.
post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittiekitten View Post
it seems to work alright until he tries to turn the knob on my main door.. he cant though.
He sounds really smart to draw the connection between the doorknob and the ability of the door to open. I've got a really smart boy too. He also has some extreme aggressive tendencies but it's always directed toward company, not me. In fact, I'm capable of calming him down by talking to him and reassuring him. Obviously, that wouldn't work if he were aggressive toward me like your cat is. I'm wondering though if you could create an item like a stuffed animal or a towel that could be a safety/comfort zone for him. 6 cats can be a lot of personality to have in one house for some cats, so maybe if you gave him a quite space away from the other cats once or twice a day with the "special" item he would begin to associate the item with calmness. I'd give him some treats as well, anything that helps him relax then I would scent the item with something interesting to a cat like chicken broth or tuna so he'd really focus on it. I'd probably avoid catnip as it can overstimulate them though if all else fails you might just try it and see what his reaction would be. Anyway, the end goal (and I admit it's a long shot) is to get him to associate the special item with relaxation so when he sees another cat/has an episode you can sort of toss the item to him and ignore him. The item would then absorb his attention and help him relax and you wouldn't have to visit your ER.
post #38 of 41
P.S. You won't be disappointed in the Feliway. It really helps.
post #39 of 41
Thread Starter 
These are some great ideas!

The attacking happens when I reach to go pet him, if I have been petting him he will turn into attack mode (I figured he wanted me to stop petting him), he will reach for my legs if I have or haven't been petting him.

These ideas have actually helped me figure out a way to stop bad behavior in one of my other cats. He is NAUGHTY as all means to get attention. I started giving him more one on one attention, but he wasn't budging his naughty behavior. Being firm and remembering NOT to reward his negative behavior at any time shortly after telling him NO is what I had problems with. I think I was giving him attention TOO soon after his behavior bc I knew why he was being naughty.

So many things I haven't paid close enough attention to. My other 4 hardly get in trouble, like once a month they may do something they aren't suppose to, but usually it is less then that so I really didn't think I was doing so many things wrong.
post #40 of 41
Thread Starter 
BTW just a quick question, i didn't want to start a new thread about it so here it is.

I have a momma cat and I kept both of her babies (they are 1.5 yrs old now). One of the babies was super shy for a while but he is slowly coming out of that and is almost like a different cat now. He also tried to nurse forever and randomly, to this day, he still acts like he is nursing but not sucking, just putting his head there. I was wondering if he is still being a momma's boy bc he doesn't feel secure and when he is in that position he feels more secure or is it bc they aren't out in the wild and he is still able to act like a baby? I thought that behavior would have stopped by now. I don't mind it, just curious.
post #41 of 41
Hmm, well, sometimes they'll do that when they haven't been completely weaned. I got Pogue at 8 weeks, and he'll do it, but I've been teaching him (slowly) not to do it by saying "NO" and gently and insistently tapping him on his butt to get his attention. He does understand the word, and knows he's not alllowed to do it, but he does tend to ignore me if it suits him. He's very slowly getting better about this, though.

I think it's a combination of not being socialized properly, for whatever reason and I notice with Pogue it's when he's sleepy and/or wanting to cuddle (or particularly right after we've had a go-around of NO POGUE, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CLIMB THE DRAPES) He often responds to the word no by going to cuddle and try to nurse off of one of the girls. I think it's his way of coping sometimes.
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