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im scared....again

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
OK, Ive written about this tom cat a few times lately. A few months ago i mentioned he hissed at me and arched his back. I was told as long as he wasnt cornered he would not "attack".

The last few days hes been fine with the other cats - he still eats separately in the woods though. He even eats AS im feeding him and has smelled the dish while in my hand.

However tonight i took my dog for our nightly walk and then dropped some food for hte cats - (Ive been doing this nightly maybe a month now).

THe tom cat slowly walked toward us and I started to walk away so that my dog wouldnt lunge at him and scare him. As we were walking - i noticed he was running toward us. I would walk faster - turn around and he would then start running to us. I just dont know what the heck he was doing. Is this a threatening action??? I dont know if hes going after my dog or what! (my dog is pretty large btw)

(im learning day by day about these cats and you guys have been VERY helpful) sorry if this is a dumb question -but it really unnerved me. He seriously followed us to the end of my building which is when I pretty much ran to my door and locked it behind me
post #2 of 24
He wants to come home with you, sounds like. Was there any kind of angry posture? Was his tail down and in a kind of U shape? Or straight up? Either of those is a friendly "position". Draped over the back is friendly too. Switching back and forth, ears back are BAD things. Curved and poofed - bad. He probably wanted to go to the source of his food.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
to be honest - i didnt notice any of that - it was dark.

I would have to say he seemed ok - it was the running after us that freaked me out the most and that he kept coming.

I am nervous to see how he will react tomorrow morning. I dont have my dog though in the morning when I feed them...

Should I just wait and see what happens if he does it tomorrow night??? Of course i also have my dog to worry about as well- she only wants to play - but i dont want her scaring him or causing an issue.

I was thinking the best option may be to go out by myself (I take my dog for her bathroom break and to make me feel secure walking about the condo property at 9pm.) but I am curious as to what he wants...

Also - could he sense I was scared? Would that be bad - knowing he has the upper hand so to speak. He bullies the other cats - dont want him doing it to me though.

post #4 of 24
I've seen a few cats who were raised with dogs who can't resist chasing a wagging tail, that could be an explanation. Or he could have been trying to show the dog that he wasn't scared of it. It's quite possible also that as AddieBee said he wanted to go home with you.
My Hunter has a game he plays in which he'll run at someone, and as he's a good sized cat there are a few people who have been afaid of him. He does seem to enjoy that, but has never taken it further than watching them run away.
No matter how long I live with cats one will always come up with something new and hard to explain.
post #5 of 24
We had a cat in our neighborhood many years ago that had kind of become homeless as a kitten - and he was the most aggressive thing I've ever seen. He did chase people with the intent of taking a piece of them - did it to my mom. Never hurt our cats, though - just us.

Still... we took him in, neutered him, named him Cujo (because the aggression never totally went away) and he was, most of the time, more lovable than any of our other kitties.

Probably this guy isn't a Cujo, but you never know. I hope if he's looking for a home he can find it with you.
post #6 of 24
I doubt very much this was a threatening thing. Since he eats as you're putting out food, he clearly associates you with good things. And as he's not feral, but a stray, it really could be he's been around dogs, and wanted to play. Any ferals that were getting more social that "chased" us down just wanted attention. I have never heard of a cat just randomly attacking someone that feeds them. I know you were scared, and that's natural. But if it happens again, knowing that he associates you with good things, and knowing that attacks out of the blue like that would be VERY rare - maybe next time keep your dog close, and turn around and talk to him. See what's up. If he's got his ears back or his back ridged, turn around and calmly walk home (well - as calmly as possible). Your dog is little - right? Maybe pick him up and see if Bookworm's right.

But what you describe sounds far more curious and playful than aggressive (though without the body language, it is hard to tell).

post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Well.... I would love to give all 20+ cats in my care a home... but... (he is neutered btw)

This morning he was fine. I did bring my dog along just so i could watch for signs of aggression. He walked toward us a little and then just sat down. So... I guess tonight will be the real test. Although I dont know why nighttime would be any different.. we'll see.

What would I do if he DID "attack"? Should I bring a stick with me to scare him off if he got too close???

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks LDG. I posted before reading your response.

My dog is a pit mix actually - so theres no picking her up.

thats what worries me too that my dog lunging could cause the cat to protect himself. Which is probably why I should go out tonight by myself just to test out hte situation.

Im not sure if night/day means anything to cats that this morning wouldnt be a test in itself... but just assuming thats what I may try tonight.

thanks again!!!!!
post #9 of 24
I just want to add in my 2 cents. I have a neutered male in my group who also will run towards me like his tail in on fire. All he wants it to make sure he doesn't miss me when I come out. Usually when they see me, food is in their future. lol
Actually, the girls do the same thing. It's not every day or every time. one day he ran in front of me and I though he was going to attack. What he wanted was me to stay outside with him. as soon as I walked back the way I was coming from, he was ok. I talked to him and then went to leave again. Again the same. Well, he just wanted me around him. never know what is going to great me when I go out the door. Sometimes, they are all laying in front of the front door waiting for me to come out.

You never know what is going in their cute little minds.
post #10 of 24
It doesn't seem like the cat is being a bully or being aggressive, but merely wanting to follow you, perhaps interact with your dog, or just wants company.

You go and feed him, he eats while you're filling the bowl.....I can't think that he would then attack you or your dog.

Take a stick if you like....and if you're afraid of the cat attacking you, don't hit him....but point the stick at the ground in front of his face as he comes near and see what he does......he'll probably rub his head against it.

As mentioned, if his ears aren't back, if his tail isn't down, then he's just being friendly and running towards or after his 'friend'. He may bully the other cats to keep them away from 'his' food, or out of 'his' territory.

Keep us posted!
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
awww now I feel bad for running away. but Im still bringing a stick
(just in case and i would never hit him - but thanks for telling me what to do)

actually i went one way around the building first and he ran a little bit - but stopped and went back to the food area - I went around another building to gather up the other cats - and met him at the dish - fed them and thats when the chase began (as i said all the way to my building) so to me at the time it seemed like he wanted me away from the area....

i will keep you posted on what happens tonight... i do have a flashlight and will be sure to look for the signs too.
post #12 of 24
I'm pretty sure he just wants company given what happened this morning. I have to laugh, actually - I remember when Billy was outside, he could make it SO difficult to get in the RV. He kept trying to get in. So it's probably a good thing your apartment isn't so close to where you're feeding them!
post #13 of 24
Like I said ... and many others agreed ... his body posture will tell you everything. Cats communicate a lot with their tails, ears and posture. Generally, if they are going to charge you out in the open, you will see it... crouched or arched back, poofed up to look bigger, angry tail, ears back,growling, etc.

I have had cats .. and dogs ... follow me b/c they wanted attention... or food... or something.

You can turn around and sllooowly crouch down so you are not OVER him and talk to him. See what he does.

And I would agree - he associates you with something very positive - dinner!!
post #14 of 24
Theres a stray cat around my block and the people next door feed him he is also neutered. I've noticed that sometimes when the woman next door takes her dog out midnight follows them, sometimes when they get a little far ahead midnight will take it on a gallop to catch up to them. Then just slows up and walks aways with them and then goes his merry way.
post #15 of 24
Instead of a stick I recommend bringing a water bottle. If he DOES attack (which I highly doubt is the case) water will be the best deterrent, especially if the cat and your dog start fighting. You never want to use your hands to break up any kind of animal fight. And I know your first reaction would be the same as mine would be if I had a large stick in my hand to protect your dog and to swat the cat away with the stick.

Water works wonders for breaking up cat and dog fights.

That being said... I really think that this little guy just wants to come home. Perhaps he knows that food means someplace warm and cozy to sleep! Cat's are very smart creatures. I bet he was just following you home to see if you'd let him in!

I used to have an outdoor cat that would follow me every day when I walked my dog to pick my little brother up from school. It was hilarious. She'd follow me for five blocks, then sit and wait with me and the dog until my brother came, and then we'd all walk home again.
post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
well... last night and today he was fine...

But i will keep all your input in mind just in case he does it again.

I have a new question though. Today the only other neighbor who cares for these cats told me he noticed they didnt have any food for hte last 3 days. Ive been feeding htem every morning for the last year. However because i hate going in the woods in the summer (spiders) I just go back there once a day. So here I find out that the food is being eaten by 3 every day. I know that during hte winter there were a few days here and there that some would still be there in the morning. Im putting MORE food out now than ever. Then of course I worry if there are cats coming at night - that there has been no food for them at all.

I HOPE these are cats who just changed their eating habits. I know raccoon and possums are night animals. I cant think of any other animal who would be eating this food. But I also cant figure out why if it IS the cats - they are eating so much more now. In fact my house cat is begging for food almost all day when im home. I thought winter was when they ate more!!
post #17 of 24
Birds love cat food, so do ants, possums, coons, stray dogs.... And there may be many more cats living in the shadows than the ones you see.
post #18 of 24
The food will attract other animals - and more cats. Because it's not close to you its a PIA, but we have a lot of coons, possums and skunks around here (all of which love cat food)... so we put out the food in the morning for about an hour or so, and then again at dusk for about an hour. They got used to the schedule.
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
but these are nocturnal animals - right?

Yesterday I went back there like 4 times and each time the food had decreased. It was creepy because there were no animals around (that I could see anyway) - like I said in the winter the cats i knew would eat in the morning and if i checked later that day - only a small amount would be gone - overnight of course it was usually all eaten.

Im actually going to use an old video camera (I think it runs on a battery) and leave it out there for a few hours. I am just SOO curious at this point.
post #20 of 24
I put out wet food and dry food for the cats around my area, in the morning a big bowl of water and a big bowl of dry food is gone, I don't have that many cats that would empty the bowls like that but I think the racoon I saw eats the dry, I turned my porch light on and saw the racoon walking around, it was approximately 11:00 pm. I know in the day time I see Blue Jays coming down eating the dry food.
post #21 of 24
I'm seeing this post just today. Re the original post, I agree with the others that you will need to look at the cat's body language and also pay attention to your dog's body language at the time. The cat was most likely paying attention to the dog, and if she wasn't being a threat, the kitty may have very well been trying to follow you home.
AS far as the missing food goes, it may be that there is a dog close by who's figured out that there's cat food set out. I help care for a feral colony outside of Denny's, which is next to a motel - it is amazing how many dog owners are walking their dogs & don't even realize that the dog has run over to the cats' food & wolfs it up
post #22 of 24
The dogs are a potential I didn't think of. But it could also be these are strays, not feral cats for the most part, and they haven't necessarily reverted to the "nocturnal" thing.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
well. i already have it planned to charge my camera and my next day off set it up in the woods - with I guess plastic wrapped around it for protection.

I HAVE TO KNOW. this is driving me crazy. I just need ot make sure Im feeding cats and when so I can work out a different schedule if i need to

Ill post what i find out !!!
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
I didnt get to put the camera out yet...

but he did something strange again this morning- thanks to you guys i wasnt scared this time.

He came out of no where to an area the cats usually arent seen. My dog was in a wooded area and he actually started to walk over to her. He meowed a few times. As mentioned I was just concerned with my dog lunging toward him and getting an eye scratched out. So with the cat being friendly - i still have to be careful of my aggressively friendly dog.....

He followed us home again too - but I came out quickly with the food and he followed me back to the woods.

My concerns are my front door is close enough to the road and there is a parking lot that he walks through to follow me. I dont like that at all...

any tips especially on how to keep my dog from going crazy (i know this is a cat forum). Wanting to play comes before listening to my commands.
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