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weird behavior

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I need some help please...

My cat Junior is acting very strange tonight. He was fine all day, then my husband started cooking supper while I took a nap. Junior was trying to get into the cupboard with the garbage so my husband pushed him away. Ever since then he is hissing at my husband and sniffing everything. He is growling and when we try to get close he swats at us. I put him in the bedroom for some quiet time. He was in there for like an hour. Then I went in and he was fine, even loving and purring. Then my husband went in and he was hissing again. My husband even went and took a shower in case he smeeled something on him. Junior still doesn't like it. Anyone know what the problem could be? I felt his body for pain and he seems fine. He's alert and he's eating and drinking. Please write me back asap. Thanks
post #2 of 7
What was in the garbage?

What was your husband cooking?

Do you and your husband say "No" and give out punishment equally to Junior?

How old is Junior? Is Junior neutered?

I'm not sure what the problem may be. I do think it's linked to the events of cooking dinner.

Try this in the mean time.

Check the cupboard for something that Junior may have been interested in, insect, small rodent etc. (Just make sure Junior is occupied with some toys in another room while you do this. ) Get rid of it and empty out the garbage and clean the area. Then let Junior investigate the area so that he sees that there is nothing to get worked up over and certainly nothing interesting now that there is no garbage.

Was your husband cooking meat? If so, does Junior normally get the odd treat here and there during preparation? Did he not get his share this time and from his point of view, his share went into the garbage? If this is the case, then you may wish to train him in that he gets treats only at his food bowl and only when you decide he deserves them.

Do you and your husband share the role in giving out discipline? If your husband rarely does this, it is possible that Junior only sees you as Alpha Cat, (top cat), and your husband at a position lower than himself. My cat Russell ignored what my fiancee said to him when they initially met. So I had to give my fiancee the role of feeding Russell after we had eaten, (this involved earlier dinner times and breakfast times ) so that Russell learnt that we were both boss, not just me.

Why I ask about Junior being neutered is that the operation can reduce the aggressiveness and territorial behaviour in male cats.

Keep an eye on Junior and on how he interacts with your husband. If it continues, I do suggest a vet visit just to be sure. And if Junior starts peeing or pooping in the wrong places, be sure to make a vet appointment as soon as possible because that usually means a medical problem or kitty isn't happy with something. The only person that can give a medical all clear on your kitty is your vet!
post #3 of 7
Originally when I was reading this I thought that there was a possibility that he might have been hurt... But it seems to me like he is just associating the memory of the punishment with the punisher.
Most likely something that he will soon forget, but try to get your husband to ease back into getting closer to him, and not just going all out...

Animals in general will learn to "associate" an object with a particular action. For example, I do not do any sort of physical punishment with Miikka. If she is somewhere where she shouldnt be or doing something that she shouldnt I start by verbally warning her. If she persists (95% of the time) then she gets sprayed with the "bad cat bottle". It has got to the point now where I dont have to spray her. When she sees the bad cat bottle, she knows she is in trouble and takes cover. This association is important because you do not want your cat to associate punishment with a person or scent.

Hopefully that helps. I am no where close to an expert on this, but I have taken a few child/animal pyschology courses, and this is one of the things I learnt. I think it is something that will just work itself out.

post #4 of 7
It could be that when your husband pushed him away, he inadvertently hurt Junior and now Junior considers your husband as a predator and not a friend. Sometimes humans do not know their own strength, and even when cats are hurt, they will not show it right away. I would suggest that your husband sit down on the floor, prop his back against the wall and take a toy on a string, or a long peacock or pheasant feather if you have one and play with Junior. Have him with some treats in his pockets and when Junior gets near, toss him a treat. Don't make eye contact with the cat- just play with him with a toy for a few minutes, then get up and leave. Do this a few times in the next few days- also take a sweaty shirt from hubby and give it to Junior to lay on, put some nice treats on it and see what Junior does.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies you guys. Junior seems fine today. Something just spooked him last night. I'm still going to keep my eye on him though. Hissy, I agree with you that my husband may have hurt him by accident. And FastDak, we both do the punishing and we do use a water bottle. Usually we just have to show it to him but last night nothing worked. Loveless, Junior is 4 years old and yes he is neutured. But he is very moody with other people. He is our guard cat. He growls at most strangers and will attack if they get too close. He is usually always loving with us but I don't know what happened last night. I agree that it must have been something about supper. We were have turkey stirfry.? Anyways, thanks for the help.
post #6 of 7
Is that him in your sig? What is he attacking? If he is aggressive to you and others, you might want to look into the different Bach Flower Remedies and start dropping some of that into his food to calm him down a bit. Might make him and you happier- I would look into either Vine or Holly and see if that helps him.

He is a handsome kitty!
post #7 of 7
Originally posted by hissy
Is that him in your sig? What is he attacking? If he is aggressive to you and others, you might want to look into the different Bach Flower Remedies and start dropping some of that into his food to calm him down a bit. Might make him and you happier- I would look into either Vine or Holly and see if that helps him.

He is a handsome kitty!
Hissy, can you explain some more about this Bach Flower Remedies (what it is, what it does, and where to obtain). Miikka is my little guard cat and she has been attacking my girlfriend (almost in a jealous way) and me in a playful way. She is also VERY hyper (almost psychotic at times!!) depending on the hour of the day. I am interested in how this might help her.
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