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post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

This is my first time posting. I am trying to help out a friend who is having a distressing issue with her cat. Frank is 1.5 years old, neutured and healthy. She has had him since kittenhood. He is normally a sweet and playful guy. However, he has recently attacked her two times. Both attacks occured when she was watering her plants on the kitchen countertop. She isolated him for a while, and would not let him sleep in her room for three days. After everyone cooled off, he seemed back to his normal self. There was also another attack towards her roomate before she moved to a new house. In this case, the roomate was just standing in the bathroom. He had never been aggressive towards her before. She did ask her vet about it at a checkup visit, and he advised her to consult an animal behaviorist, so there are no apparent medical problems. I have read up on the subject, and nothing quite fits this situation. She wasn't using any cleaners, and has not noticed any other cats around the house. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. She is scared of her dear companion right now and does not know what to do. Thanks! Cindy
post #2 of 7
Has she made sure the plants she has are non-poisinous? He may think they are his plants and is protecting his territory.Has she or the room mate been around other cats/dogs outside the home, at others homes? The move could have triggered aggressive behavior.

I would recomend a feliway plug in or spray to help calm him. And find out which plant he is attached to amd move it to a tray that is self watering or water while he is away.

A UTI won't show up in a regular exam. I would return to the vet and ask for a more comprehensive physical.

Good luck!
post #3 of 7
Believe it or not, this is a problem that we often deal with here. So your friend is not alone!

Please click here for an excellent article about cat aggression.'

Then click here and click here too for a couple of other threads about this same problem.

Please let your friend know that there is hope. So don't give up!

If you don't find what you need in the links above, please let us know.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies! I've gotten some helpful information. AFter posting my original message, I went over to my friends house to check out the situation. The only consistent factor seems to be when she is actually watering the plants. She moved them around before to clean the counter and he did not have a problem with that. I wondered if maybe watering them brings out some smell? I don't think any of the plants are poisonous. The second attack happened right after she got out of bed in the morning, so she didn't go outside or bring in other animal smells. I did find out from her later that night that she heard another cat outside that she has seen around before. I thought maybe it was possible that when she got out of bed that morning, maybe Frank saw the other cat through the sliding glass door in her bedroom before he went and attacked her. She is going to take him to the vet and have him checked out as well. Thanks again for the advice and info! Cindy
post #5 of 7
I just finished reading a couple of books by Pam Johnson-Bennett and there was a story regarding a cat who freaked out whenever the plants were watered. The owner had used regular soil from her garden, that another cat had routinely sprayed, and whenever she watered the plants it brought out the spray scent (it wasn't detectable to her). This caused her cat to become quite ferocious, smelling this in his own house.

The books I bought were Hiss and Tell, Psycho Kitty?, and Twisted Whiskers. They were quite informative, and fun to read, too. One other thing I learned from these books was that I had made a common mistake in creating a "cat area," with the litterbox and food close to each other. Apparently this causes the cat a great deal of stress since this is not the way they would do it in the wild. He is eating a lot less since I did this, I guess he was in a constant battle to get rid of the food so no one else would get it/find him, but then he would become upset because he didn't have any food (and attack me, or the kids).

I have also put a feliway comfort zone plugin in his room, I am not sure if it is doing anything for him, but will continue using it for a while.

I was referred to these books by Hissy, a regular poster here, due to my own post about my sometimes aggressive pet.
post #6 of 7
Aren't her books great? I am glad they helped you, and you are right, when the litter pan and food are so close together, it is unnatural for cats. Being scent-driven they have to either eat the food or bury it so it doesn't bring predators to their area.

It doesn't matter that they are inside a "safe" house, they don't recognize safety the same way we do. Cats are pretty low on the food chain and their survival instincts are quite strong.If it wasn't there wouldn't be the overpopulation problem that exists today in regards to strays and ferals.
post #7 of 7
I loved the books! Thanks for referring them to me. I might order some more, just because she is such an interesting writer.

The thing with the litterbox was an eyeopener, so logical once pointed out.

It seems to me that I also remember getting advice when litter training that the food and litterbox SHOULD be close, because kittens eliminate quickly after eating. I guess I didn't think that as the cat got older this would be a problem.

Thanks again Hissy.
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