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My bf has a bad kitty... PLEASE help! :(

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
This website is an awesome resource for any pet owner, I'm very grateful that I found it! I have a pretty sticky situation and I need any help or advice that I can get.

I started dating my boyfriend Walt a few months ago and because my roommate situation sucks, I'm over his apartment a lot. Walt has a 2 year old female cat named Halo who was pushed away by her mother at birth and left for dead because of a terrible eye infection that she was born with. Walt took her in at two weeks of age and nursed her completely back to heath and socialized her as best as he could. Halo is understandably very territorial; she hisses, spits, growls, and scratches at anyone who comes over and is particularly aggressive towards me when I show affection to her "dad", and she even growls and lunges at him sometimes. She growls at the most random and innocent things! She will be very nice to me when I feed her... she rubs against my legs and even lets me pet her just a little. Sometimes she will sit with me while I nap. However, if I even try to pet her very gently while she sits with me, she scraches the heck out of me and runs off. We have tried everything from gentle speech to "key" bad behavior words to no avail. The situation came to a head today when, for no apparent reason, Halo snapped. I was standing about 4 feet from her when she crouched, let out a horrendous cry, and flew at me with her claws just tearing at my knees and thighs. I know not to make any sudden movements so I waited for her to be distracted before I slowly retreated into the bedroom for my own safety. To my surprise, she ran in after me, flew onto the bed, and proceeded to whack at me with her claws as I cowered, limp and quietly under a blanket. I have NEVER seen a cat behave this way before. We can't figure out why she's this way, considering we stay in a quiet and peaceful apartment with no loud noises or yelling and no one ever abused her.

We don't know if Halo has been spayed or not because we doubt the honesty of the individual who claimed they had it done while he was out of town. She does try to escape every time the front door is open and we were thinking maybe she was never spayed and is in a heat cycle. But isn't this a little extreme? We are moving in together soon and I fear that MY American Tuxedo cat Cameron (who would never hurt a fly) will be the new target of her horrible aggression. I don't want Walt to have to give her away or put her to sleep, but I'm at a total loss.... PLEASE help, any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 4
Well, it sounds like Walt is a great guy -- I think you've found a keeper! :-)

But clearly, you're in a heartbreaking situation. My first thought is the same as yours-- that she might not be spayed after all. I've heard of unspayed female cats who dislike human females, and that could be the problem here. Chronic pain can also make animals aggressive, and it's possible she's taking it out primarily on you just because Walt's the one who is most often her food source.

I'd take her to a vet, tell the whole story, make sure she's really spayed, and get a full checkup. If the vet can't find any physical reason for the behavior, you might try the Feliway plug-ins that so many people here are raving about. They disperse synthetic cat pheromones that seem to have a calming effect. I haven't used them myself, but lots of people here find them helpful.

Good luck!
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks Carol...

Yeah, Walt's pretty great haha.. I think we're going to take her in asap... I love cats so much and I don't want to see this end badly... I'm sure you can understand my need to keep my own kitty safe. I'll look into the plug-ins... if the vets can't find anything, they very well might be a great solution!

post #4 of 4
It this cat were a male, I would say he hadn't been neutered. I suggest a vet visit with a complete exam, x-rays and blood work first off.

If she has not been spayed you would know it- they yowl and cry, arch their backs, roll on the floor, spray urine and try to escape every time they go into heat.

I would suggest that you invest in a comfort zone room diffuser pronto. Also go to www.littlebigcat.com and click on their second website Spirit Essence. Send Jean and Jackson an email detailing exactly this behavior and ask them to recommend or mix up a special mixture to help her.

Also reach out to our cat behaviorist Wendy Christensen and send her an email. Her column can be reached off the front page of our website here.

Other than that, back off of this cat completely. No petting, no picking up, no hugging. See to her immediate needs, get her to the vet pronto and until she is either diagnosed and on the road to recovery, or considerably mellow- leave Cameron out of the picture.

Good luck!
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