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Bad Cat

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My wife & I are in a really tight spot right now. Our 1.5 year old male cat has attacked my wife for the third time...and this time while she was holding our 10 week old daughter.

We're at a point where we just want him gone (and to be honest, I don't care where he goes). My wife is worried that he'll go to a bad home, so we're looking for someone nice.

The thing that I'm trying to do now is to see what other options we have. I'll admit, he has grown to be part of the family, but I'm not going to budge on deciding between my daughter's safety & him....

Would anyone have any suggestions on how to get him to behave?

To give you some background on these attacks, it's always whenever I'm in the house, but not in the room (my wife's a stay at home mom, so he's had tons of opportunities for this without me home). And it's always a quick attack where he latches on & doesn't let go for a while...

I'm at my nerves end. I don't want to get rid of him but I do. But like I said, my daughter's my only concern.

Although if anyone can help, I'd appreciate it.

Tired & concerned,

post #2 of 8
It sounds like he has issues. This is actually somewhat common and they have had great success with behavior modification along with drug therapy. It is fairly detailed and it would help you to read the book, The cat who cried for help. A DVM at Tufts university has been studying behavior. He shares his cases and several ways to eliminate these kinds of behaviors as well as understand them. If this cat of yours is doing this with you, he will do it with the new owners. They may not have the attachment you do. It is very likley he will end up on the streets or dead. Please, before you make a final decision maybe confine him to one room while you are home and get the book and read it. I will attach the link so you can see what the book is about.
post #3 of 8
You may also ask your vet to refer you to a good cat behaviorist that can work with you on the problem. One thing I can assure you is that he is not being a bad cat. There is a reason there and you need to understand it and treat it. You can try this on your own, reading books and asking for advice in this forum or others, but as you sound very concerned because of the baby (and I can't blame you there), and treating this kind of problem can take a lot of investigation, I really suggest you find a good pro that can help you there.

Whatever you do, please don't turn him into the streets, where he is sure to suffer a lot and probably die. I understand that you're angry right now, but remember that the cat is not doing anything for spite, he's just expressing something in a way that is not acceptable to you.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your input. This is Scott's wife Stephanie replying since Scott is at work. I wish I knew what to do with O'Malley. This all started a few weeks before the baby was born and has happened 2 times since then. I have a strong feeling that it is jealousy. I give him all kinds of attention and he certainly isn't neglected, after all he was my first "baby" before this baby was born:tounge2: I just don't know what to do. This time he was just inches from my baby's face...what would happen if I wasn't right there and he attacked her instead of me. These aren't just little jump and swat things he does, jumps, wraps all fours around my arm and literally sinks his teeth and claws into my arm. And the worst part is he will just walk into the room and do it and it is always when my husband is not around. I have tried everything, giving him more attention, asking around for advice, giving him his space but none of it works. I truely think that he is jealous of the baby and that scares me. I think that the only solution is to give him to a good home that does not have kids where he won't be jealous since he was fine before I got pregnant and the baby was born. Any input/opinions are welcome. Thank You.
post #5 of 8
Pay VERY close attention to what is happening right before an attack. You will probably find that there is something that triggers an attack. Perhaps a sound or a sudden movement or you picked up the baby...who knows...but there is always a trigger. Once you identify the trigger, you can keep the attacks from occurring by either removing the triggers or intervening before the attack.

Also....carefully watch what his pre-attack signals are. No attack is completely without warning. Cats will always do some special behavior right before an attack. It might be very fast tail twitches, or flattening or perking the ears, or the pupils might dilate. It is different from one cat to another, but if you watch carefully you will come to recognize his signals for an attack.

Then, once you know the pre-attack signals, the very instant you see the signal yell "NO!" and then grab him by the scruff of the neck and carry him with his hind legs in your other hand supporting his weight and GENTLY toss him into the bathroom and shut the door. Leave him in there no more than 4-5 minutes; just long enough to calm down. If you do this every time you see a pre-attack signal, he will learn not to attack.

Also, it wouldn't hurt to take him to the vet. If he is feeling sick, he may be more likely to attack.

P.S. I strongly agree with Anne and Hissy...educate yourself and consult with an animal behaviorist. Seeking help from the true experts will be most beneficial!
post #6 of 8
Stephanie, after reading your post, I strongly suggest consulting a vet and then a behaviorists. Aggression around a baby is not something you should be asking advice around - a specialist needs to see the cat and take care of the problem ASAP. These kind of things are almost always treatable and with a little bit of effort and a good counsel, you can have a wonderful kitty for your baby to grow up with - safely!
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your opinions and helpful ideas. I am able to take him to the vet but I don't know if I can do a behaviorist or not. With a 10 week old baby in the house I am sure you can understand that finances are not of great abundance at this point. If anyone has anymore suggestions please feel free to share them with us!!


O'Malley's Mom
post #8 of 8
Have you read this article?

It has some useful tips that might help you out.
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