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Zane Attacked Me!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Over on the other list, I told you that last night he woke me up at 3:30 am today and acted like a total Krazy Kat. I attributed it to neighborhood cats fighting outside our house.

This PM when I came home he acted perfectly normally. After dinner he got into my lap for some loving, and was acting perfectly affectionately, but then he glommed onto my wrist. When I shook him off he launched himself at my face. He got me a good one on the cheek, and if I hadn't been wearing glasses he might have gotten me in the eye.

I don't know what to do. I'm taking him to the vet tomorrow. I'm not going to have him put down next, but I don't know what to do.

The last time, the vet put him on Prozac, but all that seemed to do was make him eat like a furry vacuum cleaner.

I love him, and he's normally such a sweet cat, but sometimes he gets these fits.
post #2 of 26
Oh gosh thats so scary! Maybe keeping in mind what he could do will help in the future so that he doesn't injure you..Good luck at the vets!
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
He's declawed in front--not my choice, it was done long before he came to me--but he knows how to use his rear claws and his teeth.

He's normally a sweet, loving, affectionate cat, but once in a while he gets these fits without any warning.
post #4 of 26
I know you know better, but this is a prime example to others (in another thread) how quick a cat can turn. Who knows what's in their furry little heads sometimes?

The only thing I can suggest is that you don't "shake" him off, this may feel like you're fighting back and rile him up more. Quickly shove him off on the floor before he can bite and toss a blanket over him or something. Do loud noises trigger this towards you? It might be a bit rough but if a can of pennies sends him running out of the room it's better than you being bit or torn open by his back feet.

There should be at least a little warning. Widening of the eyes, ears back, twitchy tail, etc. Don't let him get into a position where he can grab you - I have one that isn't even remotely like your Zane's intensity but he'll still try to grab and bite if I move my hand or arm wrong next to him. I can tell when he's going to do it and usually push him off me before he gets riled up anymore.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post

The only thing I can suggest is that you don't "shake" him off, this may feel like you're fighting back and rile him up more. Quickly shove him off on the floor before he can bite and toss a blanket over him or something. Do loud noises trigger this towards you? It might be a bit rough but if a can of pennies sends him running out of the room it's better than you being bit or torn open by his back feet.
This is what I usually do, but it happened so quickly this time that I couldn't do that.

Quote:
There should be at least a little warning. Widening of the eyes, ears back, twitchy tail, etc.
Usually there is, and I take appropriate action as you suggest; this time it was quite out of the Blue.
post #6 of 26
My dog can be that way, too. I know how scary it is. (In the other thread I stand by my position on the cats.) If you find a solution, please pass it on. Sometimes there are strange health or mental issues that may contribute to these things. I'd like to understand my dog better. She's so unpredictable and I know exactly what you mean about lack of warning.
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
The vet could find nothing organically wrong, and Zane is back to his own loving self. He was even very good for the vet--more docile than he usually is there.
post #8 of 26
I bet it was due to those cats outside, perhaps Zane is just incredibly territorial? Have you ever seen him interact with other cats up close? He could just be an alpha. My only advice is to just be extra careful when those other kitties come around.

The pudgy guy I was telling you about before, Atlas? He can be like this too, I will be petting him and he's purring and smiling and then all of a sudden his teeth are in my hand, and he's got big teeth He gets agitated by the other cats and seems to take it out on me
post #9 of 26
One of my sitting clients is a psychiatrist. He has cats and he once found one who was pregnant. One of her kittens had some very strange behaviors, like she'd pee in her food and was extremely resistant to weaning. We teamed up and tried to help her (his cat knowledge is limited and I only took Psych 101) and I learned a lot about psychiatry from chatting with him. I wish there were more animal psychiatrists. I think we could learn a lot from scientific studies of them.
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiemae1277 View Post
I bet it was due to those cats outside, perhaps Zane is just incredibly territorial? Have you ever seen him interact with other cats up close? He could just be an alpha. My only advice is to just be extra careful when those other kitties come around.
Before Father and Zane moved in with me, Father had another cat called PurrPuss, and Zane was (Father said) horrid to PurrPuss. When Father and Zane first moved her, Zane was an indoor-outdoor cat, and any other cats that came into the yard, Zane would chase them out. Every indication is that Zane HATES other cats.

I can't always tell when there are other cats around. My apartment is on the second floor, so unless they are very noisy, I can't know.
post #11 of 26
So, super dominate, you didn't have him as a kitten (if I'm understanding correctly), he used to be allowed out and fought, and he's obviously old enough to be set in those ways.
You have a lot of behavior to correct/curb. Have you consulted with a cat behaviorists?

Personally, I'd just give a cat like this as much space as possible. As for him being great at the vet, isn't it always that way? (sort of like taking a car to a mechanic for making a strange noise and it stops making that noise a block away) They probably thought you were exaggerating a bit since he was behaving well then.
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
So, super dominate, you didn't have him as a kitten (if I'm understanding correctly), he used to be allowed out and fought, and he's obviously old enough to be set in those ways.
You have a lot of behavior to correct/curb. Have you consulted with a cat behaviorists?
We don't have one in town.

Quote:
Personally, I'd just give a cat like this as much space as possible. As for him being great at the vet, isn't it always that way? (sort of like taking a car to a mechanic for making a strange noise and it stops making that noise a block away) They probably thought you were exaggerating a bit since he was behaving well then.
I think they believed me, since the last time he was Holy Terror.
post #13 of 26
maybe wear welder's gloves when you pet him? other than just being extra alert for his "warning" signs and when he behaves this way immediately stop petting him and move away, that's how I handle Atlas, I don't have any other advice. I also tell Atlas that I don't like that behavior and I ignore him for awhile. He's very sensitive so I think it hurts his feelings. I've had Atlas for about 6 months and he doesn't bite me that often anymore, before it was every time I petted him
post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
We don't have one in town.
You have a computer, internet connection, and I assume you have a phone. Call or email. There have been other members on this forum who have done so asking for suggestions. You may even try looking through past expert sections on this forum to see what's been discussed there before dismissing the idea.
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
You have a computer, internet connection, and I assume you have a phone. Call or email. There have been other members on this forum who have done so asking for suggestions. You may even try looking through past expert sections on this forum to see what's been discussed there before dismissing the idea.
What do you think I have been doing?

Whenever I get to someone who is a bona fide expert or has access to one, they say that a home visit is necessary, and I can't afford to fly an expert in from California or somewhere.
post #16 of 26
...Surely they've encountered this before and could offer more suggestions. Rather low of them not to. Keep trying? Obviously giving up isn't an option.

Maybe someone can get you in touch with Marilyn Krieger? She's been kind enough to answer questions on this forum before, surely she could offer advice via email or phone.
post #17 of 26
Maybe you could try using mama cat techniques when Zane reacts so strongly. I like them because they communicate on a level the cat's already familiar with. You know, hiss at Zane, use your first two fingers and tap him on his head like a cat would swat another cat (you know I don't mean hit, it's a touch). It has the possibility of backfiring of course so you'd need to weigh it out since you've seen Zane in action and I have not.

(Your comment about holy terror at the vet gave me a chuckle.)
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by howtoholdacat View Post

(Your comment about holy terror at the vet gave me a chuckle.)
When he had his teeth cleaned and was coming out of the anesthesia, he was constantly growling. It was downright scary.

Before that, when he went in for his exam, it took three of us to hold him down, wearing mid-bicep-level leather gauntlets. (Remember that old Scots proverb: "Touch not a cat bar glove.")
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Well, the wounds have become infected and I am sitting here aching all over with the side of my face swollen. It hurts to laugh, smile, or eat. The doctor gave me pills and told me that if it got worse to get to the ER.
post #20 of 26
Oh no! Were you given antibiotics? I don't know what to tell you to do for the pain, that's a tough spot. Maybe more could be done in the ER.

When you said he "got you good" I figured it was bad, but not that bad. Definitely keep a very close eye on it today and tomorrow. Hopefully the infection can be cleared up and they won't have to open the wound up and add any sort of drains - that would probably make for bad scaring.
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Oh no! Were you given antibiotics? I don't know what to tell you to do for the pain, that's a tough spot. Maybe more could be done in the ER.
I'm on penecillin. The doctor says if the swelling gets worse or the fever goes up, go straight to the emergency room.

Quote:
When you said he "got you good" I figured it was bad, but not that bad. Definitely keep a very close eye on it today and tomorrow. Hopefully the infection can be cleared up and they won't have to open the wound up and add any sort of drains - that would probably make for bad scaring.
Scars make a man look distinguished. I will tell people that it was from an encounter with a lynx or a puma, if it comes to that.
post #22 of 26
You do have a current tetanus shot, right? They last 10 years. Cat bites are puncture wounds so if you don't have one you need one.
post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by howtoholdacat View Post
You do have a current tetanus shot, right? They last 10 years. Cat bites are puncture wounds so if you don't have one you need one.
Yes, I'm OK with that.
post #24 of 26
Just looking out for ya! Once I was bitten by a cat and went to the Prompt Care. They didn't even ask if I'd had a tetanus shot. Luckily, I knew I needed one. Now I make it my mission to inform others.
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
Scars make a man look distinguished. I will tell people that it was from an encounter with a lynx or a puma, if it comes to that.
well, I'm sure Zane thinks he's one of the above

Lot's of healing vibes for you I also did not realize he got you that good.

I'm thinking you should add a welder's mask to those gloves when you pet him
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
The swelling has gone down a lot and the general body/joint aches seem to have reversed themselves. I don't think I'll need to go to the emergency room, but rather to just take the antibiotic course.
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