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extremely aggressive cat - please help

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
Hello - I've read the articles on aggression in cats, but I'm wondering what you do in an extra-aggressive case? My cat was a stray hanging around the house, so I trapped him, neutered him and kept him. It's been about a month since the neutering. He used to be very aggressive toward my other two cats, and now he is only mildly aggressive by comparison... toward THEM. Toward humans, he is a cuddle bug 99% of the time, if we behave the way he wants us to. If we sit down, he's immediately in our laps - quite obsessive about it. If we lay down in bed, he's immediately on top of us, over our faces if we let him. And he will stay there, in the bed or on our laps, wherever we are, for as long as we are there. Even if it is hours and he hasn't eaten. The minute we get up, he follows us. He doesn't like when we get up, move, walk etc. The second he detects movement of any kind, he panics. He meows agitatedly. Then if we try to move away from him he bites us. If he's standing in front of us, we cannot move forward because he'll bite with any forward movement... even if we try to move as slowly as a turtle. If he's laying on us, and we try to move or get up, he bites. Hard. He breaks the skin with even the smallest bite and the bites leave bruises as well (hence his name, Bruiser). He is such a sweetheart most of the time, and I understand cats bite when they are afraid, but this is pretty serious. I've tried to be patient, I never move quickly, in fact I try to move like molasses around him... still I am bitten every day. My arms and legs are all bitten up. It isn't play. Sometimes he does the play bites, and those break the skin as well, but I know the difference as I've owned cats all my life. He almost seems angry we are leaving, and bites, but I doubt cats feel anger so it must be fear. I've noticed he's stopped roaming and spraying since the neutering, which makes me think his hormone levels are down... so what's left is purely behavioral. He is eyeing my keyboard as I type this, because I'm sitting down and so he is in my lap of course. My fiance and I joke that we're prisoners in our own home, because even when we put Bruiser outside he sits RIGHT in front of the door and stares at us and is on us the second we open the door, preventing us from walking outside because if we try to step over him, he will bite and scratch. It's obvious he has the worst separation anxiety of any cat ever. Please help. We're trying to get pregnant, and if he continues we'll have to give him up to the pound where he will surely be put to sleep with this aggressive behavior. We couldn't keep him if we had a baby. Has anyone had a case like this? If so, is there any hope?
post #2 of 2
He is obviously one traumatised kitty! How long have you had him for? This behaviour might change in time with a lot of love and attention, but he is obviously really making life difficult for you at the moment. You are right about his separation anxiety and it is a shame that you don't know anything about his past because it might be a clue to his behaviour.

You need to be firm with him, even though he is obviously a little fragile, because otherwise he will just take over, and if you are trying to have a baby you can't have an extremely dominant cat in the house.

I harp on this continually on this site and I'm sure people are getting sick of it by now (!!) but I really think that some proper structured training would do the trick in this situation. Have a look at the thread below and see if you think you would be able to start this kind of training - it is really remarkable and VERY effective at curbing and shaping undesirable behaviours.

Clicker Training
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