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Long Time Female Behavior problems.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have a female, Velcro, about 9 years old. She is spayed.

For the past 5 or 6 years, she's been a (for lack of a better term) Bitch. You can't pet her beyond her neck otherwise she'll growl and bite you. If I leave for more than 4 days, she'll pretty much attack me after I find out where she's hiding - that mood usually lasts about 3 days. My male (Zero, 7 years) can't get within 4 feet of her without her hissing and snapping at him, but they can eat at their bowls (about 3 inches apart) together just fine and without incident. Granted Zero will "play" with her on occasion and almost always gets the upper hand, but this problem started before I even had him. There was even one instance, about 4 years ago when I was living with my ex -girlfriend (who adored Velcro): I got a frantic call from her saying Velcro was flipping out and I came home to find my ex locked in the bedroom, in tears, with Velcro all crazy-eyed in the bathtub.

I've visited 3 separate vets who all said they're not sure and that it could just be her personality, but that seems so odd. She was delightful as an older kitten (when I adopted her) and almost overnight it seemed like she started acting like this.

I'll admit, there are times when I almost couldn't deal with it. But I pressed on and put up with it. But it seems like it's getting worse with age.

Sorry about the long story! But if this sounds familiar to anyone or anyone has an idea, I'd appreciate it!

Thank you!

post #2 of 7
One of my cats spazzes out like that. I basically keep her in a bedroom.
post #3 of 7
One of my 4 cats, Bell, is like this too, just very sensitive. I do a lot of reassuring and talking to her, letting her know she is loved. I am also able to use a brush beyond her head, but like your cat, she does not like to be petted other than on her head; she gets too excited. And even with the brush, I have to watch her for "rope tail" LOL.

You might try a brush with your Velcro (cute name!), being very careful to start only with her head and go beyond there incrementally, taking as much time (months LOL)as you need to get her accustomed to and happy with this other grooming.

I think with my cat, having 3 other cats makes her a bit more on guard, even though my other 3 are not dominant or alpha personalities (and one is even front declawed from another home).

Bell was not like this when she was younger either, but indeed she was taken from her mom when she was very young. I've been told that cats who are taken too young from their moms can have more problems than other cats b/c there is no one to put them in line when they have a tantrum. In the case of my cat, I am guessing it is at least 50% that and 50% hereditary b/c she doesn't seem to be able to help the fact that she is uncomfortable with being petted or touched by hands beyond her head.
post #4 of 7
I almost forgot, helping with her fussiness- structure is a BIG help. So if you try and do things with her at the same time each day (morning brushings, play time at dinner, catnip on newspaper on the kitchen floor evenings once a week, etc.), and make sure she has "her own" sleeping bed or mat where she lays in the same place(s) during the daytime, plus her toys in the same place and for her; she will feel more secure and you will see less freaking out.

I notice you said one of the times she was a lot like that was after you had been away. That is indeed a flag that she was freaked at the lack of your presence and very much missing the security of the routine she is used to having. So if you have changes such as your going away, you can minimize them by having whomever is watching your cat, try to stick to regular feeding times and whatever other small things you do on a regular basis that make them feel secure.

Lastly, when and if she freaks, you can have a laser or a string on a stick around for her to redirect her aggression in a healthy way. The freaking out is a fear response and I am guessing she does not know what she is freaking out about. But it will help her if you give her a "predator" such as the laser, or string to go after when she gets this way. Otherwise, as with the incident with your ex, she may take it out on people around her or the other cat etc. and this is not intentional.
post #5 of 7
Great suggestions; I always tell people to think "redirect" when they are overstimulated.

Sounds like insecurity, which is just as tough in cats as it is in humans.

Females especially like things just so. Give her "alone" time with you, away from the other cats, so she feels special. James Bond is one who needs it, so his teddy bear place by my chest at bedtime is something only for him, likewise the moments in the morning, in the bathroom, so we can chat without other cats in the room. These two "special times" help him feel grounded about our relationship.

To desensitive a cat, don't pet. Start out very gradually, moving down from the neck, and just let your hand rest there. That's plenty of stimulation at first. Then, a treat! if she lets you do that.

I'm not above bribery.
post #6 of 7
probably wouldn't hurt to get some Feliway dispensers & have them going at all times... there are also some Bach flower remedies that are supposed to be calming.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Sorry about the delay... Just wanted to thank everyone for the words of wisdom. I dropped her off with my ex and she seems to coming around just fine. Gave her some space and let her walk around on her own time and she seems to be lightening up with her cats which is really surprising. Yeah she still hisses here and there - but she's not unruly. Her normal self!

I think it's just her personality, that's all!
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