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Please Help! Cat Attacking

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Can anyone help me? I have had a wonderful cat (Howard) for almost 7 years, but he's beginning to show signs of agression. He is "attacking" certain people and I do mean that literally. Last night he had a friend trapped in his car (after ripping his pants from the knee down) and was growling fiercely. This same person had gone in and out 4 or 5 times before this and nothing happened. Additionally, this same thing happenened about a year ago to another man and his wife. He was jumping, hissing, growling and had them backed into a corner.

I would welcome any thoughts or suggestions if anyone has dealt with this before. I can't have people continually afraid to come to my home, but I don't want to lose my cat either.

Please help if you can.

post #2 of 5
First thing would be to take this guy to the vet and have him looked over. Often times, aggression is a component of pain, and your cat could be ill and trying to tell you so. If he is not neutered, since this is Kitten Season, he will become aggressive in response to his churning hormones. If he has been in a fight with another cat, or in a stressful situation, if you have changed his enviornment, added another animal or whatever, he could become aggressive. But first and foremost, I would take him in to the vets.
post #3 of 5
Hissy is right, take him to the vet! Since it has'nt happened before, he could have an illness or disease. Here is a list of the most common medical conditions that cause aggression.


Whenever an aging cat shows a sudden change of attitude associated with aggression, hyperthyroidism must be high on the list of differential diagnoses. Affected cats show unexplained weight loss, hyperexcitability, increased appetite, increased thirst, and may have palpably enlarged thyroid glands. Gastrointestinal upsets and cardiovascular problems are also often associated with the problem. Confirmation of the diagnosis is by detection of elevated thyroid hormone levels (T4 will suffice).

Ischemic Encephalopathy

This is a parasitic condition that primarily affects young to middle-aged outdoor cats. It is cased by aberrant migration of Cuterebra larvae. A sudden change in behavior featuring, sometimes featuring irrational aggression may be the only presenting sign, but other neurological signs, including sudden onset blindness and circling may also occur. There is no established treatment though the parasiticide, ivermectin, along with appropriate supportive therapy, may help.

Brain Tumor

The presence of a brain tumor should be considered when an older cat shows a gradual or sudden change in behavior, sometimes including increased aggression. Other neurological signs are usually also present, though these signs may be subtle. Confirmation of the diagnosis is by CT scan or MRI, and treatment, if feasible, is by surgical removal of the mass.

Head Trauma

Sudden trauma to the head can cause a subdural hematoma or direct cortical damage with resultant changes in behavior. Surgical drainage of hematomas is sometimes possible and should be considered. Brain contusions (bruises) may resolve spontaneously or may be treated using corticosteroids or opioid antagonists.

Thiamine Deficiency

Cats fed diets including large amounts of uncooked freshwater fish may develop thiamine deficiency because uncooked fish contains high levels of the enzyme, thiaminase. Signs of thiamine deficiency include an unkempt coat, hunched position, and neurological signs including altered reflexes, disturbances of balance, aggression, and possible seizures. Treatment is administration of thiamine by mouth or by injection and by rectifying the dietary problem.

Take him to the vet so these things can be ruled out. It could just be territorial aggression, but it's rarely against humans. Does your friend own a cat? Do you have any other cats?
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the information. I have an appointment to take him to the Vet on Friday morning and I will run this information past him. My friend does have a cat and a dog. I however, only have just the one animal.

Any additional information that anyone cares to provide is greatly appreciated.

post #5 of 5
Howards Mom check your PM's (private messages)
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