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Cat with aggressive traits

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
My good friends have a kitty they've had about 4/5 years now and they got at about 3 months old.

She has never shown any signs of affection, generally ignores them, and on a fairly regular basis, attacks the wife's legs for no apparent reason (despite her being the one who feeds the cat).

They had a baby who is now 15 months old, and the little girl is pretty good about leaving the cat alone. She loves cats though and wants to go and try and interact with the cat.

My friend has always been scared that the cat will attack their daughter. Last night she did - it wasn't too bad, but she hissed at and scratched their daughter, and their little girl was really upset by it - particularly her arm because it got scratched!

She is a really good kid, and she adores my cats, and has never been rough with them. My kitties generally stay out of her way, but Smudge will often rub up against the little girl, and she loves to poke Smudge's fur, and pat her and chatter away to her. I always watch them together just in case, but I'm not too worried about them. For a 15 month old, she is very respectful of the cats.

My friends' apartment has high places that the cat can go to stay out of harms way, it's 2 levels, and there's a baby gate at the stairs that the cat can jump over, so she has all of upstairs to herself. There's generally a baby gate up between the lounge room and kitchen, so the cat can sit in the dining room and watch the birds and squirrels out the back without being disturbed.

My friends are seeking help from a behaviourist as to what else they can do. I don't know if Prozac or anything like that would do much, because the cat is super lazy, and doesn't do much anyway. She's fairly calm, she just has these aggressive spells every couple of days.

They are so upset at the moment, they are considering rehoming the cat if the behaviourist doesn't work out. I can't blame them - the cat obviously isn't happy, and they've done a fair bit to try and give the cat her space. They do not want to risk their daughter getting bitten or scratched in the face.

The cat has never purred once since they've had her, and will only let you pat her for literally 5 second before she tries to bite you. She's been vet checked recently, and she has no health issues. Despite the cat not being at all endearing, she is family, and they always considered a cat to be for life.

Anyone got any other ideas?
post #2 of 2
this is very similar to my mums cat jack. he has everyone living in fear of when he will attack next. he has 2 fully grown dogs scared of him & completely dominates the other 2 cats. you can be stroking him one minute & the next he pounces at your face & draws blood. we are baffled as we have always had cats & know when they don't want to be pestered etc which is the main reason a cat would attack when being stroked. sometimes he just has a look about him & you know you're all in for it. he can be so nasty mum is considering rehoming him too, which is such a shame.

the only thing we can think with jack is that he wants to be numero uno - but your friends cat already is. i think most of these characteristics are dominant ones. mum always used to watch him with baited breath whenever he entered the room & im sure he acted up to it. now she is really trying to ignore him & he has been much better. shes trying to maintain a positive mindset, so when he's looking shifty like hes about to pounce, she'll fling a toy into his eyeline so it takes his mind of the target in a positive way, rather than shouting & running towards him, which just keeps the negativity going.

unfortunately your friends cat just sounds like she isnt very social - some cats are just like this. i always follow these rules 1) let them come to you & 2) always leave them wanting more. this seems to make them like a bit of attention as they know it won't be too overbearing.

i hope they dont have to rehome her as they clearly love her.
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