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Aggressiveness/Charging

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have asked for help/advice here in the past about Seth's spontaneous aggressiveness with us. Since we have had her, she has grown to trust us for weeks on end and act like an angel, only to turn around and bite us and attack us for no reason. She has never allowed us to hold her without a struggle, and has just recently started to let me SOMETIMES pet her on her back.

I reported this week that she grew angry with me Monday for eating breakfast before I fed her, and she latched on to me and bit my leg, leaving bite marks and very hurt feelings. I laughed it off, thinking it was normal.

Tuesday and Wednesday, she went back to angel kitty and let me pet her and rubbed against me most of the day, purring.

Thursday, she was a devil kitty, and went rampaging through the house, attacking my legs as I walked, clawing furniture until she got my attention (and then running when I looked at her). I sat down beside her (about a foot away) when she seemed calm on the couch and started watching telivision and chatted with her a bit while I was sitting down. She looked at me, and then launched at my elbow and bit me.

Yesterday, she slept a lot and acted like a sweet kitty once again, purring and loving on me.

Today, she's turned back into a devil and has been charging me with her hair standing on end, attacking my hands when I close doors, putting her ears back and dilating her eyes when I look at her (and then either charging or running away).

It's getting very frustrating because my husband and I have been so patient with her. We are not aggressive, and we tiptoe around her needs most of the time. Her aggressive behaviour just seems to be getting worse, and nothing we do is helping. I've tried diverting her attention with toys, decreasing playtime to 2 times a day, increasing her playtime to 4+ times a day, spraying an aircan in her general direction, shouting "no" at her, giving her more space, handling her more, and just about anything else you can think of. She goes from acting like an angel to a devil very abruptly, and it REALLY hurts my feelings. She seems to get even more aggressive when my hubby isn't at home, and I don't know why she takes things out on me.

She's 9 months old, and was spayed around 4-5 months old. When we got her at the shelter, the people sort of mentioned that she acted funny sometimes, but laughed it off and didn't really go into detail about it. She's been to the vet fairly recently and she was healthy. I'm planning on taking her in again for another visit... dunno what else to do really...

So, I really don't know what to do at this point. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated. We are planning on getting a young adult male cat (preferably a cuddly lapcat) sometime soon, and I am stressing as to how this household will be affected.
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 
anyone?
post #3 of 18
Is it possible that she is seeing another cat outside that is causing some misdirected aggression?
post #4 of 18
At this point I would ask a behavioural vet about her... she does sound kind of nuts! There's definitely something going on that doesn't sound normal even for a kitty her age.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by katachtig
Is it possible that she is seeing another cat outside that is causing some misdirected aggression?
Not that I know of. She has been looking out the windows like usual, but there are no cats out there that I know of. She actually seems to love up on us more when we have the scent of other cats on us, so I don't know why she would be acting aggressive. The shelter she was in also mentioned that she was fine with other cats.

Quote:
At this point I would ask a behavioural vet about her... she does sound kind of nuts! There's definitely something going on that doesn't sound normal even for a kitty her age.
I just hope we can figure this out!
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
oops laggy double post
post #7 of 18
She finds you a threat for some reason.. Have you been picking her up at all lately? Or petting her too long? Some kitties just don't like affection. If you're handling her, that could be upsetting her enough to view you as an enemy... Anyways, it looks like she would like a break from the petting, holding, etc for a while.

Also, hungry cats are grumpy. Sure you've been feeding her enough? And does she have a quiet spot where she can get enough sleep during the day?

Also, I would try kitty treats and some really delicious food (tuna?) and see how she reacts.

Hope things get better for you soon .
post #8 of 18
I am by no means an espert but I am going to jump in a mentiona few things.
Have you tried:
getting her claws clipped at the vet? this is will stop the painfulness of the scratching

when she does attack do you remain still and talk to her softly?

when she charges do you stand still , look at her directly in the eye and speak softly such as: what do you think you are doing you crazt little cat?"

do you have feliway diifusers in the rooms she frequents?

do you let her always approach you or do you try to touch her first?

when you play do you always use a teaser ona stick so your hands are never involved in the play?

do you sit next to her while she eats?

I ask these thiigs because they seem to be behaviors that helped my cat relax and see me more as family than adversary. sometimes mine charges for fun but always stops an inch before my face and kisses me instead. and i speak very softly to her when she gets playfully aggressive and she always stops.

I dont know if any of this will help, It sounds frustrating when you want a kitty to be lovey and they are bent on wildness. I have found that allowing the wildness with objects and making me the comfort base important but that is easier said than done.

PS do you wear alot of perfume or cange it frequently? I would try to keep the same scent or products for a while too until she clearly knows YOU.
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am by no means an espert but I am going to jump in a mentiona few things.
Have you tried:
getting her claws clipped at the vet? this is will stop the painfulness of the scratching -

-every 3 weeks they are clipped. i am more worried about her teeth

when she does attack do you remain still and talk to her softly?

yes, i have tried this and she continues to attack.


when she charges do you stand still , look at her directly in the eye and speak softly such as: what do you think you are doing you crazt little cat?"

yes i do. i stop in my tracks and either ignore her or call her a silly kitty.

do you have feliway diifusers in the rooms she frequents?

yes, we use a feliway diffuser as well as the spray in certain areas she scratches


do you let her always approach you or do you try to touch her first

i let her approach me. we've had to be very patient with her because she's always been skittish.


when you play do you always use a teaser ona stick so your hands are never involved in the play?

we never use our hands or body parts for play. she always has a teaser (feather toy) or a toy on a stick.


do you sit next to her while she eats?

i sit beside her and pet her while she eats. she doesn't mind this at all.

I ask these thiigs because they seem to be behaviors that helped my cat relax and see me more as family than adversary. sometimes mine charges for fun but always stops an inch before my face and kisses me instead. and i speak very softly to her when she gets playfully aggressive and she always stops.

I dont know if any of this will help, It sounds frustrating when you want a kitty to be lovey and they are bent on wildness. I have found that allowing the wildness with objects and making me the comfort base important but that is easier said than done.

PS do you wear alot of perfume or cange it frequently? I would try to keep the same scent or products for a while too until she clearly knows YOU.

i don't wear perfume or scented products.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by furbum
She finds you a threat for some reason.. Have you been picking her up at all lately? Or petting her too long? Some kitties just don't like affection. If you're handling her, that could be upsetting her enough to view you as an enemy... Anyways, it looks like she would like a break from the petting, holding, etc for a while.

Also, hungry cats are grumpy. Sure you've been feeding her enough? And does she have a quiet spot where she can get enough sleep during the day?

Also, I would try kitty treats and some really delicious food (tuna?) and see how she reacts.

Hope things get better for you soon .
The problem is, she has no reason to see us as a threat. We only pick her up when she is into something she's not supposed to be in. I only pet her when she allows me to (is rubbing against me for it). She eats plenty. We let her free feed off of dry food, and she gets a half of can of yummy wet food every morning (which she loves and begs for). She has plenty of places to sleep: her own bed (which she doesnt use), her favourite spot under the futon with her little furry toys that she puts there, and a cardboard box we gave to her that she loves to sleep in. She gets treats when she acts like a sweetheart.

None of these things seem to have any effect. She will go from being a sweet kitty (who still keeps her distance but is civil and likes to rub on you) to a cat who looks like it wants to kill you. She even attacks when I am absolutely not in her area, when I am doing something away from her quietly. We give her space. We spoil her with playtime and love and a good home.
post #11 of 18
You're doing everything right

Probably Seth was abused before you got her as a very young kitten when she is quite impressionable. Perhaps you and your husband remind her of her previous owner in some way. I see that you don't wear scented products. Do either you or your husband smoke? It could also just be that she's taken to not trusting humans because of her previous experiences.

I've heard about some anti-stress prozac-like medicine that cats sometimes go on.. You might want to ask your vet about it (make sure your vet checks for all possible causes as well).

But.. I wonder how she would do with a very young male kitten.. if she gets to play mother that might calm her down a bit and distract her (if you get an adult and/or female it would probably just stress her out more at this point). I am no expert and it is just a thought and hopefully someone would correct me if it is a bad one.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Neither of us smoke.

I have no clue how she would react to a small kitten. She can be quite aggressive with her toys, so I'd be afraid for the kitten
post #13 of 18
Not sure of your situation, but this sounds a lot like Peter, my oldest kitty. He was a terror; very abusive and violent (many scars). He was diagnosed as psychotic by our vet. He was between 6 months and a year when we got him from another family that couldn't keep him. He took over the house and stalked us. We had him neutered. But still, he grew into a very large unpredictable tom. Nothing helped until we adopted another young male (Snowball) that had been abandoned on the side of a busy highway (long story).

Anyway, the change was immediate and dramatic! I was afraid Peter would kill Snow and tried to introduce them slowly, but Pete took Snow right in and they have been best buddies ever since. Peter will never be a lovey lapkitty but he is so much more amiable since Snow that I am amazed and grateful everyday that the Lord brought Snow into our lives.

Now, to break this down in kitty terms. I believe that Peter thought we cats. Humans was all he had ever known and he was trying to interact with us like he would another cat. A cat that to him appeared hostile (touching him uninvited; picking him up; scolding him for biting and scratching; disturbing his sleep by having the lights on during the day; etc) and encroached on his territory (going to the bathroom in the middle of the night; cleaning his favorite spots; washing his food dishes; etc).

I have discovered from experience and research how cats interact with each other is very different from how we want to interact with cats. With five cats in the house, someone is always rolling and tumbling in a tussle with someone else. Someone is usually trying grab a nap only to be disturbed by the fun and will box the offenders grumpily. Others are not to be bothered. They have a hierarchy like any family. Only they often settle things with teeth and claws.

Personally, I don't want to be considered a cat, but a comfort zone.

There are no guarantees, but another kitty may help balance your girl out a bit. Seth may need another cat to interact with, some do. Some are fine with just a human, but others need a wider social circle, if you get what I mean.

May God watch over and bless you with the best solution possible.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your very detailed response, aries.

I've talked to many people about the second cat thing, and about 1/3 have said to try another cat, and about 2/3 have said that this would only make her behaviour worse. I honestly don't want her to harm another cat or go even more crazy. I just can't deal with anymore heartbreak right now.

Seth has an appointment set up with the vet at the end of this week, so we will see what happens.
post #15 of 18
She might grow out of it a bit as she gets older.

Mav was a mean little thing, not as extreme but acted in a similar way to my family members.

When she got to about a year she calmed down a lot and is getting more loving by the day.

9 months is kitty teen years, and show me one pleasant teenager! (Only joking!)
post #16 of 18
"maverick_kitten She might grow out of it a bit as she gets older.

Mav was a mean little thing, not as extreme but acted in a similar way to my family members.

When she got to about a year she calmed down a lot and is getting more loving by the day.

9 months is kitty teen years, and show me one pleasant"



I agree, age is a factor, too. Peter was brutal under 2 years of age.
post #17 of 18
When you have this type of problem it is not advisable to bring another cat into the picture. It sounds like you could really benefit from contacting our cat columnist Wendy Christensen in our Herding Cats Column- she is magical- or looking for a cat behaviorist in your immediate area.
post #18 of 18
Does your vet just give her a reg exam...or has he done more extensive tests to make sure that she is not having any kind of seasure or anything like that, that might be effecting brain impulses??? I have a friend in Canada who`s cat acted sort of wierd and aggressive from time to time, and that was his problem....so it just reminded me of him...and made me wonder. ???
Linda
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