TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Dominant neutered male - Extreme violent personality
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Dominant neutered male - Extreme violent personality

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
My back is against the wall. I so greatly would like advise. October 2005, DH found baby alone on a roadside, from obvious feral litter and maybe 3 weeks of age. As I recovered from cancer surgery, we hand-raised and hand-fed the foundling, tending his every need. He had the run of the house except for when we were gone, and then he had master bedroom. One other kitty, almost 15 and ailing, was kept for the most part apart, for fear that he may do harm. Somehow one day in our absence, at maybe about 6 weeks, he injured irreparably his wee little foot -- X-rays confirmed compound fracture (there was no external rupture; we believe that in play, he'd caught it inside the leg of a vanity stool). Over the years, he has become increasingly unpredictable in how he expresses aggression, and always seems on the edge. Within the last year we've acquired 2 females, ages 2yrs and another 8mos. Sometimes it escalates to something so fierce it almost defies description. We did have him neutered while he was still quite young. He now is almost 4 years of age. The sight of bare ankle often has prompted rapid attack, resulting in hard, deep bites. I am diabetic and this is a life-threat for me. One day while running the vacuum, it sucked up a string, emitting a high-pitch sound. He ran from a distant and separate room, leapt on my back, instantly sinking his teeth into the top of my arm. I never saw, nor with the sound of the vacuum, hear, him approach. On yet another occasion, I'd lost my footing descending a very long stairway and caught myself on the rail. In the process I yelled in pain. Before I could get back up, he was on his way up the stairs -- enraged and all too prepared to do what he'd done before, yowling as he approached. He had made smaller attacks on those who have come to visit until we determined to lure him to the garage until such time as they'd gone. I just do not understand any of it whatsoever. We always have been attentive, and to the extent he wanted, there to provide affection. A little background: this kitty has wanted for nothing, although I concede that while I was still quite weak when he had hurt his foot, ongoing discomfort from this I fear may play into the problem. Please note that while I've never thought well of declawing (have had MANY many kittys -- no other have been declawed), I felt that there was no choice in his case as they were so often caught in fabrics/rugs it had to exacerbate pain ... retracting could not occur due to effects of the injury. Does anyone know if dried catnip toys offered early in life can alter a kitty's disposition in any way similar to illicit drugs on humans? Drawing at straws but desperate. Any help much appreciated.
post #2 of 14
This forum is a wonderful resource and there are people here that can help. You did a wonderful thing by rescuing him as a kitten and caring for him.

To clarify some things so that others may help, the kitten being found on the side of the road does not necessarily mean it was from a feral cat. Many people dump unwanted kittens beside the road. A feral cat would be more likely to hide her kittens even if she abandoned them for some reason. Also, feral kittens when that young are not a problem.

You say the kitten was injured in your abscence at 6 weeks old. To have a compound fracture, something more severe might have happened rather than getting a leg caught in something. Most animals if stuck or caught in something will not move if it causes pain. Was someone caring for the kitten while you were away? Maybe something happened to cause the behavior as well as a broken bone. Kittens bones are pretty flexible.

Can you tell more about the 15 yr old cat? You say the rescued kitten is now 4 yrs old, is the 15 yr old cat still living? If they have been kept separate for 4 yrs, this might play a part.

The attacking ankles and biting comes from the kitten age. It helps when the kittens have mom cat or other cats to learn how not to bite hard. They teach each other better than we adults.

Have you tried Feliway? What about Rescue Remedy? Two very helpful products.

Did you do a slow introduction with the two new female cats? Doing introductions again following the guide in the "sticky" above may help.

What does the vet say about his leg at the present time? You mentioned he may be having discomfort. Maybe a trip to the vet would be helpful for his leg and mention the behavior. Does the leg drag the ground or did the vet amputate?

Keep posting and others will help give suggestions that might help you and your boy. Hang in there !
post #3 of 14
My first thought is that if this is a new behavior he need a vet trip to ensure that he does not have a physical problem that is causing him to react this way.
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for so quickly hearing my plea. I can't even start to tell you how much it means. Skimble, you asked in response to my post if the older cat was still with us. Sadly he passed in his sleep almost two years ago, but as he had come to us from my Mom on her passing, I did have the figures wrong: rather that 15, he was almost exactly 18 -- amazingly good health given his age and babied like you can't believe. There have been a number of vet trips for this newer *problem* kitty. We did introduce the original two on a slow and gradual basis. Rufus (the old boy) was everyone's uncle and outlived his numerous housemates -- 1st being younger, and then he had stayed so well. He never "took" to baby in nearly the way as when he was younger himself, and with some display of agression each time that we had tried, finally we just gave up, wanting to not inflict undue stress too past the old guy's limit. Baby (aka, "Lucky"), therefore, was never socialized as a youngster, which I feared even then would have a consequence. His injury has been discussed on each occasion when immuno updates have been attended: while she did not suggest on the initial visit, reiterates she would advise amputation if pain advanced to unmanageable. He is a fireball of energy and physically quite robust. I feel there is not a great deal of doubt that each time he leaps perch/perch to floor, it often does cause discomfort. The foot does not "drag", nor is it able to function. He does bear some weigh upon it, though, and uses it for a balance, but it does not assist him in launch or moving at high speed. As you suggest, when he was found, it's possible he was dumped when DH drove by and found him (almost within eyesight of home), though some factors may apply: the first is a larger cat (a nursing female, as judged by the teats he'd described) was crossing a field when he stopped, and the second is that while we live in a nice community there surely are those who dump and abuse unwanted helpless pets (some ppl belong UNDER the jail!). Also, ferrals I fed over the winter share characteristics too similar to dismiss. The other two kitties sharing our home were introduced as slowly as we could manage. Most all of his cat/cat agression has been directed at the older of the two (an absolute sweetheart!) right from the very start. I will indeed order the Feliway and will check out Rescue Remedy immediately. Much thanks for this info. Thanks also to Rang27 -- most assuradely, a vet trip assessing the foot will be arranged this week, as well as any potential tooth/gum issues cats often suffer. It isn't just some things that aggitate him...it seems to be everything. Keep fingers & paws crossed for us, k? Greatest and heartfelt thanks!
post #5 of 14
Hi mimi and kitties- WELCOME

as he was found at the age of 3 weeks in my oppinion it really doesn't matter if he was feral or not- this is not dependent on the breed of the cat but rather in its socialization.

I'd suggest you get nail covers (called soft claws, I think ?) for your boy as your safty as a diabetic should come first !. He should also not get away with attacing your ancles in such a manner! Start scaring him every time he does this- you could start to carry a water pistol with you at all times and spray him with water when he's biting or carry a tin can or a sock with coins it it with you that you can throw on the ground (not at the cat) to scare and distract him when ever he's attacing your ancles. I know- this won't be nice for your boy but things can't continue like this if you want to live peacfully with your kitty. Also ask your visitors to do the same.

Also try playing with him more often so he doesn't feel the need to spend his energy on attacing ancles so much. Try a lazer pointer or a daBird toy which will get him powered out but not you

By the way, mimi, would you mind breaking up your posts into paragraphs? It would make them more readable to me


regards,

Christine
post #6 of 14
Hi,

you were wondering if his paw is causing him pain and thus making him more agressiv, right?

How about giving him some pain medicamentation for 1-2 weeks and then see if his behavior changes considerably?

I'm no great fan of giving cats unnessecary medicin- but cats are masters in hiding pain (!) as they won't show any weakness if this can be avoided. Talk to your vet about this an see if he/she thinks it would be a good idea.

Start writing a diary for him (well, his behavior and interaction with other cats ) and keep this up for a few weeks so you can start to see what may be affecting his behavior. When is he the most agressiv? If you do decide to ask a cat behaviorist for help this will help tremendously.


regards,

Christine
post #7 of 14
From your second post, I think your cat might be in pain due to his leg injury... I am not sire if that can be tested? Maybe you could hold his paw and move it in dofferent directions, also press on it and see if he reacts to it. If he does, I would go back to the idea of amputating...

This cat has been in pain for most of his life, and that is extremely stressful - can you imagine being in pain for several years, without the ability to communicate to anybody to make it better? How could he be in a good mood? That's the only thing that makes sense to me.

Please do not scare him with the coins or the water sprayer - if he is already aggressive towards you, this way of disciplining him can only make it worst...

Soft claws can be of great help, and also Feliway and Rescue Remedy... You can also discuss with your vet the use of Prozac.

1-Two things I would do immediately - take him to the vet to discuss amputating this leg, since there is no use for it and it's causing chronic pain;
2- Apply Soft Claws.

Good Luck!
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimi25419 View Post
I feel there is not a great deal of doubt that each time he leaps perch/perch to floor, it often does cause discomfort. The foot does not "drag", nor is it able to function. He does bear some weigh upon it, though, and uses it for a balance, but it does not assist him in launch or moving at high speed.
Hmm,

according from what mimi has written so far it isn't clear to me if he is in pain due to his paw or not. It is also not clear to me if he benefits form having this paw as he does seem to bear some weight on it and and uses it for balance- or if he would be better off without it.

I'd go with Rang27 and have his paw assesed by a vet, which mimi is planing on doing anyway.

Mimi- could you make some video films of him using his paw? These would probably also be helpfull for the vet's assesment of it.

regards,

Christine
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Please do not scare him with the coins or the water sprayer - if he is already aggressive towards you, this way of disciplining him can only make it worst...


Good Luck!
Hi Carlinalima,

I agree with you- it is not a very nice thing to do to the cat.

He may not be actually agressive towards mimi- it is just as likely that he's playing tom boy style with her because his socialisation is lacking. He might simply not notice that this is not a game for mimi although he thinks its great fun .

This ancle biting is life threatening for mimi- she has been lucky up to now but this may not always be the case. It has to stop!

Maybe another member of this forum has another idea how to teach him more gently that he can`t go on biting mimi?

regards,

Christine
post #10 of 14
Is he fully de-clawed or just the injured foot? All the fully de-clawed cats I've known were terrible biters....just comes with the surgery, I think.
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so very much for your invaluable suggestions! I feel I have lucked upon a WEALTH of the best of info. from folks who just truly care!

Apology if I miss proper credit to members who've come to our desperate rescue.

One of the most difficult things in handling Lucky, about whom I've written, is an utter intolerance of physical handling. I am wholly befuddled as through his entire life he's never received mistreatment, yet often enough even eye contact greatly displeases him (we've never left him with anyone).

As a general rule, he's kind of a woos and a weenie, though if and/or when he is frightened, as if by a sudden noise, he quickly recoups and often reacts with utmost in hostile behavior. Touching to gently pet him more than just one to two strokes invariably is an invite for violent biting. Attempting to pick him up (e.g., inspect the foot, or heaven forbid to hold him in any way) is interpreted as an act of supreme unprovoked aggression.

No preliminary coaxing, verbal coddling, nor any attempted bribe makes the least bit of difference.

He seems to not only crave dominance over the fellow furries, but routinely to reassert same among hapless two-legged housemates (except for my husband, who on a limted basis, is able to physically hold him -- briefly -- before Lucky freaks and he too is once more bitten). Another thing that often will set him off is when in his absence, as when he is banished downstairs, anything changes in his environment: he knows when a chair's been moved or a rug has been rearrranged.

I guess its a good thing the children are grown, and grands do not live close by.

As a kitten we'd used the water-spary bottle in hopes that it might dissuade lounging on table/countertops. Finding it generally futile, we long since abandoned the effort -- it really just served to frustrate and probably made him mad. The same for the coins inside a small plastic bottle. I wish that serotonin reuptake therapy could be a viable option (I fear we would have to have Prosac just to admisister Prosac).

I so very much abhor the practice of declawing, regardless the current method is said to be more humane. What to a cat could ever be more intrusive? Having said this, we nonetheless did so. This, only once it became consistently evident he was too unaware of injuries he was inflicting, both to himself and humans. At the time he was eight months old (front feet only, except for of course the dew claws). Again I will emphasize, he, being the first and only, on which I/we have ever allowed this.

Willowy is indeed right, if I may paraphrase: biting, idly as well as savage, may well be meant (conscious or otherwise) to compensate for no longer having claws.

I have ordered the Feliway online and greatly look forward to its arrival. We have an open-plan house and so will be using two plug-ins downstairs and one in and upstairs hallway. I also will purchase the Rescue Remedy and give it a go as well. Petsmart had a suface spray that claimed it will calm them down (eau de lavender somethng...calmed me a bit fore sure) and so I have emptied the bottle here there and everywhere.

Is this worthy of note I wonder? When I was better able, I worked for a while volunteering for an equine rescue center. I mentioned this problem to one or two fellow vollies. One of the paid employees overheard and told me she'd heard before of unsocialized hand-fed kittens later act out and having erratic behaviors. Also I wondered, can letting a kitten have catnip toys be somehow detrimental? This kitty has ALL kinds of playthings and functions reasonably well in active play with humans (seems to prefer men), as long as there is *no* physical contact (LOVES laser-light), and plays OK at times with younger of newer females....mainly cuz she's a flirt. We limit the play duration with laser light as he does tend to get rambunctious.

This coming week, after I get some footage, I will trick him into the box and go off to see the vet. I will indeed request -- once she reviews the film -- reevaluate pain and discomfort level and see where to go from there.

More to follow for sure.

Once more and again, thank you to all for much welcomed moral support and all of the wonderful info.

Blessings to all.

Carole
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimi25419 View Post
One of the most difficult things in handling Lucky, about whom I've written, is an utter intolerance of physical handling. I am wholly befuddled as through his entire life he's never received mistreatment, yet often enough even eye contact greatly displeases him (we've never left him with anyone).

Carole
Hi Carole,

quite a lot if information you've given us here, thanks. I'll break it up into indevidual points while I'm thinking about it.

Direct eye contact displeases most cats as it's a sign of dominat behaviour. I try not to look a cat directly in the eye.

What also helps is blinking to a cat, as this is a friendly sign. Most cats will blink right back at you .

regards

Christine
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimi25419 View Post

As a general rule, he's kind of a woos and a weenie, though if and/or when he is frightened, as if by a sudden noise, he quickly recoups and often reacts with utmost in hostile behavior. Touching to gently pet him more than just one to two strokes invariably is an invite for violent biting. Attempting to pick him up (e.g., inspect the foot, or heaven forbid to hold him in any way) is interpreted as an act of supreme unprovoked aggression.

No preliminary coaxing, verbal coddling, nor any attempted bribe makes the least bit of difference.

Blessings to all.

Carole
Hi,

some cats just don't like being held. This is either due to the cat simply not liking it (which would be part of its personality and as such OK) or the way they are held.

Try to watch Lucky while you're stroking him- most cats will show through their body language that they will bite shortly before doing so: ears going back, tail starting to swish nervously. If you can spot these signs its possible to stop stroking the cat shortly before it bites.

You could also try a different approach by not touching him directly. Instead you could use a soft toy as the extention of your hand when you stroke him. Try to watch out for tell tale signals that he'll start giting and stop just before you see them. If this works out and you can read his body language better you can try doing the same with your hand again.

Sorry, I'm not quite sure I know what you mean with "he's kind of a woos and a weenie" .

regards,

Christine
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimi25419 View Post

As a kitten we'd used the water-spary bottle in hopes that it might dissuade lounging on table/countertops. Finding it generally futile, we long since abandoned the effort -- it really just served to frustrate and probably made him mad. The same for the coins inside a small plastic bottle.

Try to remember how he reacted to both (maybe also ask your DH) and then describe his behaviour as accurately as you can, please.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mimi25419 View Post
I so very much abhor the practice of declawing, regardless the current method is said to be more humane. What to a cat could ever be more intrusive? Having said this, we nonetheless did so. This, only once it became consistently evident he was too unaware of injuries he was inflicting, both to himself and humans. At the time he was eight months old (front feet only, except for of course the dew claws). Again I will emphasize, he, being the first and only, on which I/we have ever allowed this.

Don't be too hard on yourself about this, please


Quote:
Originally Posted by mimi25419 View Post
I have ordered the Feliway online and greatly look forward to its arrival. We have an open-plan house and so will be using two plug-ins downstairs and one in and upstairs hallway. I also will purchase the Rescue Remedy and give it a go as well. Petsmart had a suface spray that claimed it will calm them down (eau de lavender somethng...calmed me a bit fore sure) and so I have emptied the bottle here there and everywhere. .
I hope the feliway helps you guys. If the lavender thingy is calming you down thats great


Quote:
Originally Posted by mimi25419 View Post
Is this worthy of note I wonder? When I was better able, I worked for a while volunteering for an equine rescue center. I mentioned this problem to one or two fellow vollies. One of the paid employees overheard and told me she'd heard before of unsocialized hand-fed kittens later act out and having erratic behaviors. Also I wondered, can letting a kitten have catnip toys be somehow detrimental? This kitty has ALL kinds of playthings and functions reasonably well in active play with humans (seems to prefer men), as long as there is *no* physical contact (LOVES laser-light), and plays OK at times with younger of newer females....mainly cuz she's a flirt. We limit the play duration with laser light as he does tend to get rambunctious..
Personally I'd leave away any cat niptoys- catnip tends to make my cats agressive while they're "high" on it .

Hmm, I was going to suggest you to try to play more with him so he's powered out and doesn't feel the need to attack your feet so much.

My cats were also hand reared by me, by the way. They're not erratic in their behaviour and very trusting cats when it comes to handling them. My tom does have a dominance problem though and they never liked sharing their human or kuddling with each other.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mimi25419 View Post
This coming week, after I get some footage, I will trick him into the box and go off to see the vet. I will indeed request -- once she reviews the film -- reevaluate pain and discomfort level and see where to go from there.

More to follow for sure.

Once more and again, thank you to all for much welcomed moral support and all of the wonderful info.

Blessings to all.

Carole

Wonderfull- keep us posted on that. I'd be interested to hear what the vet thinks about his paw and wether it's causing him pain.

regards,

Christine
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Dominant neutered male - Extreme violent personality