or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Please help: Sweet cat attacks
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Please help: Sweet cat attacks

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

First let me warn you that this is going to be very long. I apologize for the length, but I really don’t think it’s possible to summarize this situation, and I think that some background info is necessary. Thank you in advance if you are brave enough to read the whole thing!

I’m posting about my cat Izzie, who is a 3 year old spayed female. She is the most loving and affectionate cat that I have ever owned and I love her to death. I’ve had Izzie since she was 6 weeks old, and she sleeps in bed with me (often under my covers) nearly every night. In addition to being affectionate, she has always been rather rambunctious. She goes into “psycho†mode quite often where she will speed up and down the stairs, jump up the walls, and chase invisible mice all night long. I’ve always LOVED the combination of traits in her personality, and truly I don’t think there’s another cat that I could love as much I love her.

I should also mention that I got Izzie during my sophomore year of college, so she has traveled with me from my apartment at school (her primary residence) back and forth to my parents’ house for school breaks, etc. My dog Delilah (Papillion) lives at my parents’ house, and Izzie and Delilah have always gotten along very well. They love to chase and wrestle with eachother, and when I’m home they will sleep in my bed with me side to side.

The first problem with Izzie started earlier this year. When I was out of the house, my roommate (new roommate who had just moved in a month earlier) came into the apartment with her small dog (Chihuahua mix) in her arms, and Izzie immediately jumped on top of the dog, still in roommate’s arms, and would not let go. Both the roommate and the dog got scratched up pretty badly, but no one was seriously injured. I was horrified when I heard what had happened and could not imagine why Izzie would behave this way because she has NEVER acted aggressive in my presence before. Subsequently, the roommate and her dog were never around (Not because of the cat, I had not seen much of them even before this incident. Roommate’s boyfriend had an apartment nearby and she spent most of her time at his place) so there was never another run-in between cat and dog. But I was obviously concerned and put SoftPaws on Izzie and also started adding Bach’s Rescue Remedy to her water. In the months since this initial incident, Izzie has been fine and has not attacked anyone else, so I chalked it up to a fluke incident.

Fast forward to this evening. I just graduated a couple of weeks ago and Izzie and I moved back home with my parents on Monday. I think that Izzie has been a bit nervous, as she is not quite settled in yet and has been keeping to herself a lot. She has not been as playful towards Delilah as she usually is, but again I think this is because she’s still stressed out about the move. She has been just as affectionate to me as she always is, although she is still warming up to my family.

About an hour ago, I was sitting in my bedroom with Delilah on my bed and my little sister (12) came into to the room. Delilah is a loudmouth and always barks when anyone comes into the room, so she jumped off the bed and started barking at my sister. Apparently Izzie had just come into the room as well, and the next thing I know Izzie goes absolutely crazy and leaps on top of Delilah and has her nails dug into her, she won’t let go. I sprung out of the bed to pull her off and somehow Izzie starts attacking me. It all happened so fast that it’s hard to recall, but basically I was struggling with Izzie as she sunk her teeth into me and started scratching me and would not stop. It was like she was a rabid animal (not literally, she is up-to-date on her rabies vaccination), not the cat that I know. I had to grab her neck to get her off and she eventually ran out of the room and started chasing my sister (afraid and crying) down the stairs and scratched her a few times.

Thankfully, everyone is okay. Delilah has some scratches and was very scared but she will be fine. My sister was scratched a couple of times, but is okay. I have several bites all over my hands that were bleeding quite a bit and some very deep scratches, but I am more or less fine. Izzie is locked up in the basement at the moment until we figure out what to do with her. But I just don’t know what to do… I have been crying for the past hour because I don’t know what’s going to happen to Izzie. She is a good cat and I love her very much. I know that she couldn’t have possibly meant to hurt me, but she did. Suppose she acts like nothing happened but then she freaks out again in the future… What if she had attacked Delilah when I was not there to break it up? Or my sister?

I am so very upset right now and I’m trying not to think of the possibility that Izzie won’t be able to stay with me (or worse, would need to be put to sleep). But I just don’t know how to deal with this situation. We are going to try to bring her to the vet tomorrow to see what he says. But I am in dire need of some good advice right now. Any thoughts?



post #2 of 7
I'm going to try to paraphrase your story back to you in Readers Digest condensed version and see what you think.

Izzie had a very bad experience with a dog one time. Izzie just had her world turned upside down 3 days ago by moving into a new home. Dog she probably hasn't seen for a while scared her, probably bringing up bad memories of her previous bad experience with a dog. Izzie freaks out.

My observation: Cats really love routine, and very often, need a lot of time adjusting to a new home (3 days is not a lot of time). Cats are stressed until they are back into their routine. Izzie has an aversion to dogs from her bad experience with your room mates dog. Put the 2 together and I don't blame her for acting out like she did. I'd be terrified if I were in her "shoes".

If the dog is cat friendly, I would follow the advice in the "Introducing old cats to new cats" thread. Normally I wouldn't use these techniques between a dog and cat, but it's Izzie you want to focus on. Look at the tips on keeping them separated, introducing smells thru sharing towels/bedding, and once they go face to face, use the vanilla extract tip.

Take a deep breath, return some normalcy to Izzie's life, and be patient for a while. If she has done well with dogs in the past, then she probably needs to reground herself before she can cope with a dog again.

Good luck!
post #3 of 7
Not only are cats into routine, they can be very territorial. Your Izzie's attacking your roomate and her dog proves she can be as good as any guard dog.
post #4 of 7
Somewhat off the subject, but I would have those bites looked at by a doctor, especially if they drew blood.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for taking the time to read my post and respond. Momofmany - I do agree with most of your paraphrase, and it the incident makes more sense when you break it down like that.

I took Izzie to the vet yesterday and she is in good health. The vet agrees that Izzie was probably still stressed by the move and that her attack was most likely a result of fear (from Delilah's barking/growling). He gave me some medication to give Izzie just for the next two weeks to help calm her and ease the transition to the new home. I'm also going to get some more SoftPaws (half of the ones she has on right now have fallen off and I've been lazy about replacing them).

Right now Izzie is staying in my bedroom and will stay in there for a week or so. I will gradually re-introduce her to the rest of the house and to Delilah when I feel that she's ready. She seems fine now, she is back to herself and is super cuddly. I think she's sorry for hurting me (and I forgive her!)

And Mobius - thank you for your concern. I've been avoiding going to the doctor but the bites are pretty red and swollen and my mom is getting on me to go. Will most likely be going soon!

Thanks again all

post #6 of 7
I had a similar experience with my cat last summer. Here is the link in case there's anything in there that helps you:

One thing I try to be very diligent about now is keeping his claws clipped. I also keep him in a separate room when company comes over so that he can make the decision to join the party, rather than having it thrust upon him.

Good luck! Let us know what happens.
post #7 of 7
This happened to me about a year ago. I tried to pull my male cat off one of the females and he bit me pretty good. I suggest you go to the doctor IMMEDIATLY! my hand ended up infected due to the bacteria in the cats mouth. It is a very agressive bacteria. As for your cat...well, mine hasn't bitten me since that time and has been super good....you just can't pull a cat off his "prey". Next time try squirting water or using a pillow to scare her off. you don't have to get rid of her.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Please help: Sweet cat attacks