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Violent random attacks against other cats in home.

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
We have a total of three cats in our home (1 male, 2 female). One female cat in particular has always had these unexplained, random, violent outbursts towards the other two. I'm concerned because its beginning to escalate in frequency and she's starting to inflict real bodily harm on the other female, which is about 10 years old and a much weaker, smaller cat. She has puncture wounds on the back of her neck and there are bald spots in the same area. She clearly knows I don't approve of the behavior as she will immediately stop attacking when I aggressively say her name. Most of the real damage is being done during the day when no one is here to watch. When I come home, it looks like a crime scene in the living room with fur all over the place. The other cats haven't initiated the attacks in any way. They can be walking across the room 20 feet away and she'll leap at them growling with ears pealed back, hissing and snapping. I feel bad for the other female because she's literally being terrorized on a daily basis. Is there anything I can do to get through to this cat to stop this madness? Other than this issue, she is a very nice, affectionate animal.
post #2 of 23
First - the cat with the bite wounds needs to taken to the vet, if you haven't done this already. Cat bites are nasty and will get infected quickly.

Second, could there be something wrong with the aggressive cat that makes her feel like she must defend herself? When was her last vet visit?
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
I've cleaned the wounds and there is no signs of infection. I taken to placing her in a different room during the day so they're healing. These cats are all in perfect health and have been seen by a vet recently. Nothing triggers the attacks. They're random, and nothing is happening during the time the occur. She doesn't seem too be able to inflict any harm on the male, because he has a thick coat and it very large.
post #4 of 23
Well, there went the possible theory that maybe her eye sight isn't very good.
Maybe someone else has an idea as to what is causing this.
post #5 of 23
Often, a cat with problems will find these problems getting worse as they get older and their ability to handle them deteriorates.

It seems like she always had an insecurity problem, and the other cats were targets for her frustration. Just as people with problems will often blame targets that have nothing to do with the problem, she has decided attacking the other cats makes her feel better, and so she does.

At her age, the most efficient way to deal with her increasing insecurity is to ask your vet about "kitty Prozac." There are a number of medications which can calm cats like this.

She can't help it and she knows she is doing wrong. Try some Bach's Rescue Remedy in her water, or some Feliway in the air, but if this doesn't work, I would consider medication. She's too old for retraining at this point, and you also aren't able to be there constantly to try to get a handle on this.

She's suffering. Taking away the anxiety would be a favor to her.
post #6 of 23
^ The poster never said how old the aggressive cat was, only that the one being attacked is 10.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi again,

The aggressive cat is approximately 4 years old. We got her from a Pet Smart store that was having an animal shelter exhibit. Shes a good cat...actually my favorite cat but I fear I might have to find her another home if this keeps up. She has a very spastic personality. A sudden loud noise or someone knocking on the door will make her dart to the bedroom and hide under the bed. She gets pissed easily if you aren't petting her a certain way. When shes calm, she's the nicest cat in the world. My wife swears she's possessed. This kitty prozac, its expensive I take it?
post #8 of 23
Yes, but in the cases when it works, it's worth it.

Tried feliway yet?
post #9 of 23
I don't think that kitty Prozac is expensive at all. I've also heard of Buspar - not sure if it's the same thing or not. I'm going to have a member PM you. She's had great luck with it.
post #10 of 23
Hello & welcome to TCS!

I'd like you to meet Ophelia Rose, the Queen of Buspar & the nastiest cat I've ever had the privelege of meeting!

Doesn't look evil, does she?

Ophelia is female cat aggressive & not particularly nice to my two 7 month foster boys, either.

Alright. Now for the advice & questions on my part!

Have you had the kitties vet checked specifically addressing the aggression issue? Often, the younger cat will attack the older ones because they can sense something wrong.....the 10 y/o may have a health issue that would not make her appear ill. I know you said they had to been vet checked, but I've got to ask the specifics.

Don't give up on your "killer" kitty, because often times you may not want the "problem", and for certain no one else will.

How long have you had the "new kitty"?

Are all of them spayed & neutered?

Are you certain she has complete eyesight & hearing?

Did I understand correctly that she is attacking both kitties, not just the 10 y/o?

Ophelia was on Buspar....the "nasty side effect" is that she is super cuddly, wakes me up at night to get petted multiple times! Buspar is non-addicting meaning it can be stopped anytime. It is an anti-anxiety medicine, which IMO sounds like it might be anxiety in the kitty in question. I believe it costs me $25 for a bottle of 100 pills which lasted Ophelia almost 2 months.

My suggestion in this order:
1) Try a Feliway diffuser
2) Get them vet checked for this specific issue if you have not(run a senior blood panel on the 10 y/o)
3) Talk to your vet about meds like Buspar.

We will find a way for you to work through this!
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
At the last checkup, I was told by the vet that the 10yr old female had a slightly overactive thyroid but nothing serious. All cats were fixed as soon as they were old enough. My biggest issue here is $$$. As much as I desire to take the best care of them possible, I simply can't afford to take them to the vet for everything. They're all inside only so they rarely get sick. I've called the vet and other vets seeking help, but they offer no information and say they have to see the cat first. While I can understand that its hard to diagnose problems over the phone, but they could give me some troubleshooting tips at least. As for the eyesight, she can easily follow a target like a laser pointer and I've seen no evidence of bad eyesight when she make jumps/plays etc. I just asked her if she could see ok, but all she did was meow Do all of these meds require prescriptions or are they available over the counter?
post #12 of 23
They will require a presciption. After I got my first Rx for the Buspar, I walk into the vet's office for a refill. Actually, I can ask them for almost anything & they'll give it to me-I'm "special" though!

When was the last time the 10 y/o had a blood panel? They usually run $50-100 & I highly reccomend one. Just something in my gut tells me this kitty knows something is wrong.

I went through a period where my (altered) farm cats were attacking the 14 y/o who's reigned for years. She had a fairly bad infection going on & the other kitties were telling me that. A blood panel revealed the infection.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
When you say "blood panel" you're referring to a blood workup/analysis, correct? If so yes, she's had that and all they found was the slightly overactive thyroid I mentioned earlier. She's been aggressive towards the older female since she became fully grown and bigger.
post #14 of 23
That's what I was referring to. I wouldn't think thyroid would cause aggression.

I suggest trying to seperate the aggresor. Slowly try re-introductions. Get a Feliway diffuser. Try the Buspar.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm going to keep them separated for the next couple of weeks till I can afford a vet visit. I'll post back as soon as I have some results. Thanks for your help
post #16 of 23
Please keep us updated! I'm hoping, really hoping, that you can work something out soon.
post #17 of 23
This is my own personal opinion, so take it for what it's worth, but I am not a big fan of prescribing mood altering drugs to animals. This isn't to say they don't work, but I am still not convinced it's a good idea...

I don't know of the effects in cats, but Buspar in humans isn't recommended for periods longer than 4 weeks without medical supervision.

Your most basic mood enhancer, in my book, would be catnip. Some cats don't respond to catnip, but there are some who mix catnip with Valerian Root.

I have found really good results through using flower essences with animals, especially our cats. Also, there are custom homeopathic kits available, where you take a saliva sample from your pet, send it in, and a homeopathic pharmacy will send you back a custom remedy for your pet.

Here are 2 sites that have really good options for pets with regards to flower essences:

Feel free to pm me with any questions you have.
post #18 of 23
Bach's Rescue Remedy is GOLDEN and very cheaply priced.

Works quite well for my aggressive cat Widget. Widget likes to randomly "play" too rough with Pixel from time to time. Fur will go FLYING.

That was before I started giving him a dropper full of the Rescue Remedy on his tongue every day. Keeps him way nicer.
post #19 of 23
Rescue Remedy is excellent. That's why we sell it on our site

The flower essences I listed above are much more specific, but Rescue Remedy certainly can't hurt.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the long delay in getting back to everyone. I took the aggressive cat to the vet and they prescribed clomicalm. They claimed to have good reults from it, but its useless for me because it makes her sick and she won't eat any food with the drug mixed. I asked about Buspar, but they said they don't carry it and haven't heard of it. Where can I get the Rescue Remedy?
post #21 of 23
Go to another vet and ask for Buspar.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
It'll cost me another $35~$50 for another office call if I do that and money is tight. I'll push the current vet to see if they can get it for me. What about the Rescue Remedy? Anyone got a link to it?

**Found link to rescue remedy
post #23 of 23
Glad you found the Rescue Remedy link!
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