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Psycho Cat

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I don't think I've ever encountered as psycho a cat as this before.

I'm taking care of a guy's cat while he's gone over the Thanksgiving holiday. I'd never met him or his cat, but I was recommended by a friend who normally feeds this cat.

The guy's paying me, I either include his place in my daily run, or I ride my bike, so it's no problem.

I thought I was getting on fine with this cat. Cats normally like me! People have said I have a way with animals!

Well, the first couple of nights, he just sort of kept his distance, meowed, stared, I gave him his treat and he ate it, I sort of didn't make a move towards him, because he just seemed a little stand-offish.

Yesterday morning, he seemed like he really wanted to interact, so I gave him his treat, and petted him.....nice kitty. As I bent down to put his food dish down, he swiped at me with his claws out and actually growled!! Holy moly!! I tried to ignore him, not make eye contact, but still talking softly, but as I walked by him, he swiped at me again!

I'm not used to this. My sweet Larry is a little lovebug - if he sticks his paws out while I'm walking by, it's as he's lying on his back, and his claws are in....totally non-aggressive.

I have tonight and tomorrow left. Today I just kept talking and didn't make any eye contact and tried to walk by slowly so I wouldn't startle him.

But......he's a scary kitty! (I'm not really scared of him.... ...... it's just weird for me to encounter a cat like this.)
post #2 of 18
Poor kitty isn't phycho, just scared. It's usually recommended to meet the cat before the owner leaves so you can get used to each other.

Also, he can probably smell your cat on you and doesn't like it.
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
Poor kitty isn't phycho, just scared. It's usually recommended to meet the cat before the owner leaves so you can get used to each other.

Also, he can probably smell your cat on you and doesn't like it.
I agree, hes just scared.

Being gentle around him will certainly help him. Maybe in the future, you can go there when his owner is there and get to know him a little, so if you watch him next time, he wont be so scared.
post #4 of 18
Next time you go over there, you might want to sit down on the floor and just talk to him. It might calm him down a bit and you can watch him. I baby sat a cat that became ill, and one of the things he did to me was to get a bit aggressive. Keep a close eye on him. The others are probably right - he might just be stressed.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Oh, I'm sure he's stressed and scared. That's why I am, indeed, trying to talk gently to him. I did sit down on the floor with him tonight. He stayed away from me, but he seemed less aggressive.

I'd just never encountered this before, and I've taken care of lots of cats. I'm used to the cats I've taken care of being very mellow and laid back, very trusting. This one is entirely the opposite and very territorial.

It's all cool, though. My friend who usually takes care of him (who couldn't do it this time) told me he wasn't really a friendly cat. I completely forgot she had said that.
post #6 of 18
He is probably feral or semi-feral. That reaction is normal for them.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hmm. You could be right. I don't know what the history of the cat is. I don't know the guy at all. That would make sense, though. The cat's 7 years old. The guy said he was surprised he even came out the first day to see me.

It sure is nice, though, coming home to my sweet big-boy Larry....all mushy and purry and cuddly.
post #8 of 18
Feral and semi-ferals are not like that with everyone. They learn to trust and love just a few, but when they do learn to trust, they love deep. Its sweet really, it just takes A LOT of patience and time to get to that point.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pami View Post
Feral and semi-ferals are not like that with everyone. They learn to trust and love just a few, but when they do learn to trust, they love deep. Its sweet really, it just takes A LOT of patience and time to get to that point.
I learned that with Larry. He was feral up until last November, then socialized a bit before the transition to me in January. With patience, he became the mushbug he is today.....but it's only with me. He totally bolts if anyone else comes in and hides in the closet, then I just have to wait around until he realizes it's just me out here and it's safe for him to come out.

So I'm betting this cat loves his dad deeply, and his dad obviously loves him, because he's very specific on what and when he eats and what to do, etc. I bet the kitty will be glad when his dad gets back on Monday and this stranger stops coming in.
post #10 of 18
Could you possibly finagle your schedule to be there long enough to take a nap on the couch? Your being quiescent there for so long might convince the cat that you're harmless.
post #11 of 18
I cat-sit for my neighbour who has a Burmese and a Siamese. Lenny, the Burmese is a real love bug and snuggles down into my neck when I pick him up. Sophie, the Siamese, on the other hand is downright nasty. I also have a great rapport with animals, but Sophie isn't buying into it.

She has nailed me twice now - once when I put her food down and the other time when I reached to pet Lenny. She ran at me and scratched me. She is not friendly with most people so I don't take it personally. I give her space and we get along fine.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
I cat-sit for my neighbour who has a Burmese and a Siamese. Lenny, the Burmese is a real love bug and snuggles down into my neck when I pick him up. Sophie, the Siamese, on the other hand is downright nasty. I also have a great rapport with animals, but Sophie isn't buying into it.

She has nailed me twice now - once when I put her food down and the other time when I reached to pet Lenny. She ran at me and scratched me. She is not friendly with most people so I don't take it personally. I give her space and we get along fine.
Yup. This is pretty much the story here as well. I'm not taking it personally at all.....it's just weird. He's apparently not known for being a friendly cat, so I don't think I can change his personality in one more day.....that's all I have left. And the place is sort of....um.....well, let me say there's no way I'm takin' a nap on that couch.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by nanner View Post
Yup. This is pretty much the story here as well. I'm not taking it personally at all.....it's just weird. He's apparently not known for being a friendly cat, so I don't think I can change his personality in one more day.....that's all I have left.
How did the last day go?
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cococat View Post
How did the last day go?
I made my last visit late this afternoon. No problem. He did swipe at my leg with his paw, but it was sort of a half-hearted swipe. And I was wearing jeans, so the claws didn't go in. I think he was so hungry, he just wanted his food....seeing me meant "FOOD!!!"

I feel bad now that I called him psycho. He's definitely a one-person cat, and he was alone all this time. He'll be glad when his human gets back tomorrow.
post #15 of 18
Cats can sometimes be unpredictable.

I was at my mom's for Thanksgiving and her cat saw me carving the turkey. He came at me and meowed and smacked me repeatedly in my leg until I gave him a piece of turkey. My mom told me he is always like that and when she tries to leave the house he hits her as well! I walked by him later that night and he swat me in the leg and bit me.. my mom said he has a temper and it's because I walked by without patting him. He was indeed a very different type of cat compared to my own.
post #16 of 18
I once had my next-door neighbor feed my two cats, Sheena and Teena, while I was TDY during my military years. The cats went hungry the whole weekend 'cause sweet Sheena (a beautiful black girl with gorgeous gold eyes) decided no one was entering the apartment until I came home. She attacked my neighbor viciously every time the door was opened.

Poor kitties were starving when I showed up, and boy-oh-boy, was my neighbor irate.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Crazy View Post
I once had my next-door neighbor feed my two cats, Sheena and Teena, while I was TDY during my military years. The cats went hungry the whole weekend 'cause sweet Sheena (a beautiful black girl with gorgeous gold eyes) decided no one was entering the apartment until I came home. She attacked my neighbor viciously every time the door was opened.

Poor kitties were starving when I showed up, and boy-oh-boy, was my neighbor irate.
Holy moly!

post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auntie Crazy View Post
I once had my next-door neighbor feed my two cats, Sheena and Teena, while I was TDY during my military years. The cats went hungry the whole weekend 'cause sweet Sheena (a beautiful black girl with gorgeous gold eyes) decided no one was entering the apartment until I came home. She attacked my neighbor viciously every time the door was opened.

Poor kitties were starving when I showed up, and boy-oh-boy, was my neighbor irate.
If I'd been the neighbor, I'd have gone back with a broom. A broom is an excellent tool for dealing with an attack cat, as you can use the bristles as a shield and herd it into a closet/bathroom/whatever without actually hitting it.
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