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aggressive cat towards husband

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have a three year old manx female cat that we got when she was 6 weeks old. She came from a not so good situation. There was only one man caring for several cats and their kittens and he was in a wheelchair which made it very difficult for him. So, they did not get very much attention and he was ready to find homes for them because of his situation. She hissed at us when we went to see her for the first time. She would also bite whenever whomever was holding her whenever she got frightened. When we brought her to the veterinarian the first time at 8 weeks, she scratched her so bad that the vet was bleeding. Well, she was then labeled aggressive by the vet and we were advised to have her see a behavior specialist. I have had cats all my life and decided to work with her and she responded well except she does not do well with strangers or kids. She has gotten to be very affectionate with my daughter and myself. We can hold her and pet her and she will rarely bite or show any aggression toward us. But, my husband is another matter. Unfortunately, he loves cats and wants her to like him, but she will bite him if he picks her up, tries to pet her or anything. It is so hard because she is so sweet to my daughter and me, but not him. Do you think this is a problem from when she was a kitten or is this a dominance thing? Any suggestions on how to get her to like him?
post #2 of 5
In my opinion, it is most likely something that happened in her past. Your husband may be able to make friends with her, but it is a slow process. He could sit on the floor at her level, not make direct eye contact with her, feed her some treat she really likes (first leaving it for her to take, and gradually feeding her by hand), reading or singing to her, but in a soft, possiblly higher-pitched voice. If you do some research on how to tame ferals, that is the type of thing that will likely work.
post #3 of 5
Hi! Well one thing that comes to mind is if you adopted her at 6 weeks
old, this is very young for a kitten, recommended age is 10-12 weeks. At this point she is 3 years old and the best way to approach her temper mental behaviors is to avoid what stimulates them. This doesn't mean you can't make progress with her accepting and trusting more as well as respecting others. The biting and clawing issue has probably developed from growing up with out guidance of mom cat and siblings. They play fight and wrestle which teaches them certain boundaries. If she was feral and separated from mom, even worse.......... It sounds like you have gotten very far with her, and love her as she loves you. My suggestion would be for him to basically ignore her. Instead of trying to coax her, or pet her, let her come to him. Believe me eventually she will, and when she does, don't push it, let her rub on him then walk away. Another big bond and trust builder is the regular food and water change, kitty litter change is huge believe it or not! These are safety zones for her and if he does just walk away after wards, talking to her is a big positive but limit physical touch for a while, till she initiates and slowly respond. At the same time keep up what you and your daughter are doing because it's obviously working and she needs the encouragement!
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your comments. I will try your suggestions. I think you are right about adopting her too young. But, like I said, the owner was going to bring them to a shelter because of his situation, which was not good, so I wanted to give her a home and try to work with her. And, you are also right about her having some feral in her because he wasn't sure who the male father cat was and they also lived in the country so there was little contact with people before I adopted her. When I first went to give her some food, she attacked anything that tried to get near it. She would growl and try to cover it so I wouldn't touch it, so I think that they were not being feed enough either. He also told me she was eating solid food, which I found out to be untrue. She was too small and couldn't chew it. So, we did make huge strides in her, but I feel bad for my husband like I said. He adored our previous cat that had passed before we got Josie. So, he wants her to like him, but!! I will definitely have him try some of your suggestions and wait and see. I know it is a long process, as it took a long time to get her to where she is now and it took a lot of contact and talking like you said. So, hopefully she will come around and get more trusting of men. Thanks again.
post #5 of 5
On a side note, I also adopted Maia young, she was a 6 week old runt, half the size of her brother and I ended up milk supplement feeding her when I brought her home from some guys duffel bag! We do our best to fulfill their needs as babies and kitten hood. Maia also has an extreme attachment to me and is very shy and scared of strangers, as well as the one man who was there the day I found her and throughout her growing up, almost 2 years now. She hates being handled by any one else but me, and runs and hides when any one comes over. Her only difference is she fears and doesn't lash out by claws or biting, so far......though I do worry about that as she gets older. One thing is for sure is that she always trusts me, I can hold her or carry her any where and she trust my voice and presence. Maybe this is the most we can ask right now................
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