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psycho cat

post #1 of 3
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I hope someone can help me with my baby. Casey is 4 years old and is extremely aggressive. She has always been skittish and has never really cared for my kids. They have never mistreated her, but I think because the kids are generally loud, she didn't like them for that reason. We also have a Black Lab, which she does not like either. Because she was an inside cat and because I didn't see any reason, I never had her spayed. Her aggressive behavior seemed to be getting worse, in that she would jump out and attack the kids legs when they would be walking down the hall. So, I decided almost two months ago to have her spayed. Casey had taken over the spare bedroom quite some time ago, so thats where she stayed to recover from her surgery so that she would not be bothered. Approximately one week after surgery, she attacked my dog. I had to literally pull her off of him. I took her to the vet so that they could do a 24 hour observation. They said she was fine but gave me some sedatives for her. After taking the sedatives for four days, she then attacked my daughter. The vet's answer is to give her more time to allow her body to get back to normal. So, I was referred to a site online for cat behavior and was told to not keep her locked up, but to let her out with the entire family, but at the first sign of aggression, me or the kids were to squirt her with a squirt bottle. So, last night, I had the kids come into her room one at a time to see how she would react to them being around her, and she was actually quite affectionate towards them. I was so relieved that she was actually getting better. So, she was allowed out into the living room and sat next to my daughter on the couch with me on the other side. Because Casey had been letting my daughter pet her, she reached down to pet her again. Casey growled at her, so doing what I was told to, I squirted her with the bottle. She lunged at me and scratched me up pretty good. She continued to come at me and would not back off. Once my husband came into the room, she took off. He wants her put down, but I really have a hard time with it. Even though she attacked me, I still want to help her if I can. So, if anyone has any ideas, please tell me what to do. I am against declawing, but I am also against putting her to sleep. I really need some help here.
post #2 of 3
please put your squirt bottle away- using it takes you from friend to predator in your cat's eyes and really it does create more problems than it actually solves.

I would suggest you find a specialist in your area and have a neurological workup on your cat. I would also talk to your vet about using drugs like buspar to help your cat cope until you get some answers.

I am sorry for this situation. You can go to our sister site www.meowhoo.com and look under cat behaviorists and some of the links have phone numbers that are open 24 hrs a day that you can call and talk to someone.
post #3 of 3
I completely agree with Hissy's advice.

I'd just like to add the name of a drug to the list of things you ask the specialist and vet about. Apparently it is new in veterinary practice, but has been used very successfully by many of the aggressive and anxious feline clients of a behaviorist who emailed us about it. The drug is called Serax, which is oxazepam, which is a benzodiazepine (like valium). It is one of the newer drugs in its class, and apparently is safer than some of the older drugs, and less sedating than Valium. We have not used it yet with our cat, but it is on our list of things to eventually try if our cat's aggression escalates. The drug is also used as an appetite stimulant in felines. Ask your vet.

Also, if you simply cannot keep her because of your concerns about the safety and sanity of your family, and cannot find answers for her aggression, I would suggest that rather than putting the cat down or declawing her (which I know you don't want to do in any event), you try to find a rescue organization that is willing to take tough cases. It would be a shame if her behavior was correctable and she wasn't given the chance to come out of it alive and whole. Most rescues don't want to deal with aggressive animals, but there may be a special no-kill group out there who would try to give her another chance.
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