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Pretty Big Dilema!!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Okay, here's the story. I do apoligize for the long post, but I really, really need help here.

About a year ago, we "adopted" or attempted to take in a pretty young stray. He seemed friendly and got along with the dogs well. So, in he came after vet tests, vaccines and a neuter. Well, he turned out to be a horribly aggressive cat. He still lived outside most of the time and we simply let him in when he wanted. He started attacking us and the dogs randomly at first. Then, it became more frequent and you could have been sitting in the same room as him for an hour and all of the sudden, he'd attack. Vet couldn't find any medical reason for it. We upped his outdoor time, thinking he needed to be outside since he grew up out there.

Well, eventually he did something that we consider too much. He ran at me full force outside, attacked my face (thank god I work with birds and have reflexes for flying objects or I probably would have needed stiches) and when I got him off me, he started attacking the dogs one by one. Finally, we ran him off and he's been outdoors only since then. We still feed him and give him any and all necessary vet work, but we simply can't have that animal in the house like that. The SPCA said they would basically euthanize him at the door and the rescue lady said she can't take in an aggressive cat. We can't simply stop feeding him, that's just cruel in my mind after he's lived off us for a year. So, he is allowed to sleep in the crawlspace and we feed him daily.

We have since gotten a house cat and another stray just sort of walked in the house one day. They are wonderful cats and we just love them dearly. They get along great together, with the dogs, and already know the boundries with the bird. The outdoor cat, Sig, gets along with George, the stray that invited himself in, but attacks CAT, our kitten. We don't let him in or the other two out, but he's managed to sneak past me a couple times now.

So, here's the problem. Since putting his food in our basement/crawlspace we have suddenlt gotten some unwanted guests. RATS! Between the three of them, we haven't had a mouse in the house in months, but apparantly, Sig is afraid of the rat or something. We've never had a problem in the house since we keep it clean and never downstairs because there was never a food supply.

Needless to say, we can't have the rats in the house, but now we have to figure out what to do with Sig. We can't have a cat in the house that is this aggressive. You can't get near him somedays and others, he acts nice and then attacks. I've worked with aggressive animals before, heck, I am a dog trainer. I just can't seem to work with him at all. Zero progress.

I don't know what to do as winter is coming early this year they say. I don't want to abandon the cat outside, I have no where else I can feed him, and I simply can't have a rat in the basement. I like rats as pets, but nasty wild ones carry diseases and we're planning a baby in a few years. I don't want an entire colony to move in.

So, maybe I am completely out of options, but I am hoping someone here can help me.
post #2 of 13
Welcome to TCS! Be prepared for a bunch of questions!

First off....what exactly was done by the vet to determine him healthy? Blood panel? How old is he? What age was he neutered? Are the other cats fixed?

Have you talked to your vet about medications? Yeah, a fair number of people flat out say "I won't drug my cat". Well, I do.....I "drug" several. If the options are leave the cat to fend for itself (in which case he'll likely die) or to drug him....it can be done. You could try Amitriptyline, Buspar (what my crazy cats are on), or Prozac.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Welcome to TCS! Be prepared for a bunch of questions!

First off....what exactly was done by the vet to determine him healthy? Blood panel? How old is he? What age was he neutered? Are the other cats fixed?

Have you talked to your vet about medications? Yeah, a fair number of people flat out say "I won't drug my cat". Well, I do.....I "drug" several. If the options are leave the cat to fend for itself (in which case he'll likely die) or to drug him....it can be done. You could try Amitriptyline, Buspar (what my crazy cats are on), or Prozac.
Yes, a blood panel was done and all was normal.
He is between 1.5 and 2 years old.
He was neutered around 7 months old when we first found him.
Neither of the other two are fixed yet, but will be next month. CAT was too young until just this week when the vet gave us the okay. George was a stray so, obviously no one cared enough to begin with. We have no idea how old George is other than he's an adult. Sig and George get along great, but Sig tries to kill CAT.

As far as just leaving him to fend for himself, we do NOT want to even consider something like that. That's why I came here. I'm an animal person, always have been. I'm a dog trainer, I compete with one of my dogs, I've worked with everything from hamsters to horses. I will NOT let an animal suffer. That's why we have three dogs, three cats and a bird, lol. I just really don't know what else to do.

As for drugging him... I'd have to talk to my vet of course. But, I suppose I can try it. I just don't know I would want to attempt to get near those teeth or claws. They hurt and cause infections. I've got scars from this cat and had to go on antibiotics once.

BTW, white cat lover, George is... a white cat. Want pictures?
post #4 of 13
Pictures?!?! You bet!

As for "drugging".....well....you can try Pill Pockets. Or putting it in something like a bit of canned food, tuna, or salmon. There are a lot of things to try, without you having to get too close. I've had to put some of my semi-feral farm cats on anti-biotics before....pilling 1x a day. It can be done.
post #5 of 13
Thinking about winter and shelter, do you have a place to put a good insulated dog house with an outdoor heating mat that's made for animals.
Some hay stuffed in there would help. Place it in a sunny spot close to the house and put the opening away from wind direction.

Toss in some catnip and he should be set.
post #6 of 13
I have one of my cats on Prozac and he is staying on it. I am not at all afraid of pharmaceuticals. In the case of this cat I am thinking this is all you can do. There are no other options. Just like some people need a little medication to get through so can some cats.

I would also consider an outdoor shelter. This cat is not really one to be indoors as he has some very serious issues. It is not fair for anyone in the house to feel terrorized by their pet. So I think an outdoor shelter is the best option. You can feed him in there too.

There are people on this section who are very knowledgeable about shelters:opilot, LDG and Kazy come to mind although there are others too.
You should start a separate thread about outdoor shelters, how to build one that is weather proof and so on and you will get the experts to answer. My foray into shelters was a disaster and so I don't want anyone following my advice on that.

Piccies are always welcome. Even of Sig the Terrorizer.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
An outdoor shelter sounds like a great option! I can't believe I didn't think of it. My mom even has one at her house that my stepdad made for their indoor/outdoor cat in case he got stuck out there all day somehow. I'll have to ask them what they did to make it. I know they have a really small one, since their cat does go inside and it's only if he gets stuck out there. So, I'd have to make it bigger.

As for the kitty prozac, if I can find a way to safely give it to him, I'll talk to my vet about it. I've tried him on pill pockets before, actually as a precaution in case I ever had to try a real pill. He spits them out. So, perhaps in a bit of canned food.

I am glad I came here. I don't want anything bad to happen to him, I just can't have the current situation continue.
post #8 of 13
My 2 cents - aggressive cat may have brain tumor or be in some type of chronic pain that flairs and causes the agression. Not much you can do for him. Keep other kitties away from him

Shelter options:

A dog igloo up cement blocks filled with sTRAW not HAY. Straw can
be gotten in nice mini large bales at craft stores round Sept.

Second option - rubber maid contain, lined on the bottom with
2 inches of newspapers. Filled with straw again. One hole
size of coffee can (3 gallon lid size) lid, on one side of the
rubber maid container. Styrofoam if can find it to glue to the
lid of container. Put lid on et voila instant good shelter...

Place up on a pallet or piece o plywood on blocks to
keep above snow levels...

If there is need to protect from winds, place in sheltered area.

I use both with my feral colony, they like both options.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by opilot View Post
My 2 cents - aggressive cat may have brain tumor or be in some type of chronic pain that flairs and causes the agression. Not much you can do for him. Keep other kitties away from him

Shelter options:

A dog igloo up cement blocks filled with sTRAW not HAY. Straw can
be gotten in nice mini large bales at craft stores round Sept.

Second option - rubber maid contain, lined on the bottom with
2 inches of newspapers. Filled with straw again. One hole
size of coffee can (3 gallon lid size) lid, on one side of the
rubber maid container. Styrofoam if can find it to glue to the
lid of container. Put lid on et voila instant good shelter...

Place up on a pallet or piece o plywood on blocks to
keep above snow levels...

If there is need to protect from winds, place in sheltered area.

I use both with my feral colony, they like both options.
Thanks. I will have to get started on this. I think the rubbermaid container will work better where we live. The igloo door is too open.
post #10 of 13
Cheap easy and good shelter IMHO. You might be able to glue some
styrofoam or sometype of foam plastic insulation to the sides and bottoms
of the container too.

Alternately (though this is harder to do) you can "nest" one smaller
container inside a larger one and stuff instuation (straw) between the
walls.
post #11 of 13
Hi,

I'd like to give a "bump" to opilot's suggestion that aggression in a cat should be regarded as a signal that further veterinary observation and exams need to be done. Even very "hard" feral cats don't attack human beings without being provoked, or else having health issues (NOT always as awful as a brain tumor) that it is pretty inhumane not to look into carefully. Having seen a "spayed" female cat develop reproductive system problems before, and having worked hands-on with my share of a range of temperaments of feral and pet cats, I definitely expect that if enough vet work is done, there will be a source found for the problem, and it could very easily be that this cat will ultimately be one of the GREATEST cats you've ever know.

So, please while you are looking at outdoor shelter arrangements (good thing!), don't ignore the possibility that this cat is suffering and you are his best hope.
post #12 of 13
i've tried both the rubbermaid tub & a doghouse for outdoor shelters... not too pleased w/either. i wish i could afford one of those really nice shelters you see for sale online - but they're just too expensive. alternatively, i wish i was 'handy' enough to build my own!

of the 2, i prefer the doghouse. but i'm actually planning on getting a tool shed [premade] for lawnmower/wheelbarrow storage, & putting a cat door in that. but there's more than one outside cat here.

i got my doghouse @ BigLots for around $40. you could always hang some heavy-duty plastic in the doorway to block wind/rain/whatever. the straw [altho i used hay - not sure why that's not ok ] works well - you can use a lot, & the cat[s] can burrow down into it for warmth.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by linda_of_pgff View Post
Hi,

I'd like to give a "bump" to opilot's suggestion that aggression in a cat should be regarded as a signal that further veterinary observation and exams need to be done. Even very "hard" feral cats don't attack human beings without being provoked, or else having health issues (NOT always as awful as a brain tumor) that it is pretty inhumane not to look into carefully. Having seen a "spayed" female cat develop reproductive system problems before, and having worked hands-on with my share of a range of temperaments of feral and pet cats, I definitely expect that if enough vet work is done, there will be a source found for the problem, and it could very easily be that this cat will ultimately be one of the GREATEST cats you've ever know.

So, please while you are looking at outdoor shelter arrangements (good thing!), don't ignore the possibility that this cat is suffering and you are his best hope.
We do have money for vet bills for our animals, but testing and testing until we find a problem that may not exist is not an option. We're not rich and vet bills are high. My animals never go without treatment, and we've even had an emergency vet visit in the thousands before. My puppy had to be at the vet every two weeks for months because of a skin condition that the person we got her from wasn't treating. She was a private adoption at six months and her face was swollen twice it's size when we got her. We're not inhumane to our animals.

We simply are not rich enough to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on this cat for possibly nothing. He shows NO signs of any illness. He's just aggressive. That's it. We never asked for the cat, we didn't go out of our way to adopt him or anything, we just didn't want him to live a horrible life so we attempted to take him in. I will NOT abandon this animal where he will be killed immediately. I will not just let him die outside. I want to do what I can to help him as much as possible. He's getting regular vet care and I've already spent a couple hundred dollars on blood tests and exams without a second thought. My vet concluded that he was healthy and I trust her. I want to help him, but we do have some financial restraints.
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