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Aggression advice please

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Some of you may remember that I took in a stray cat who was extremely sick. Anyway, he has become aggressive. I think part of it might be that he is indoors now instead of outdoors until he is fixed, which will hopefully be next week. His aggression comes out when someone is leaving the room or he thinks we are leaving him. He attacks our legs. We are almost to the point of being afraid to even be around him. I don't know how to handle a cat like this, some advice would be very much helpful. He is only going to be an indoor cat for about another two weeks then he will be turned loose again. Will his aggression diminish after getting fixed? Will it help once he is back outside again? I really hope he won't attack us when he is back outside. I'm upset with him, he was so sweet and now it's like he is turning on us. He can still be sweet when he wants to, but then he attacks our legs.
post #2 of 10
Is he a kitten?!. If so then this is normal kitten behaviour, but you can help to discourage him from playing with your legs by dangling one of the many fishing pole toys OR, has he been checked over by the vet to make sure he isn't sick still?!.

Try and not be upset with him though, and once he's fixed he should calm down a bit.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
He isn't a kitten, he is an older cat and he definitely isn't playing. We discovered that he only attacks when he is between our right leg and an object. We think he might have trouble seeing out of his left eye. Is he going into defense mode for some reason? How can this behaviour be controlled or modified?
post #4 of 10
Has he been checked out by a vet just in case it is his eyes?

If it's something he's never done until recently thats what i would do, just to rule out any health problems, plus with him not being fixed yet that could play a big part in it.
post #5 of 10
Be very careful not to trap him between your right legs and whatever... Understand that he's not being mean (as far as he's concerned), he's scared. Getting fixed will definitely help, but why not use the opportunity to keep him inside for good, as his wandering urges will become less and less anyway and as he feels more secure in your place and knows his boundaries, he'll relax and hopefully come around eventually, but respect any limitations (bad eyesight, etc.) he may be stuck with.
post #6 of 10
You need to not acknowledge his behaviour in any way when he does this. Would I be right in guessing that he gets a reaction every time? Either a yelp, or a quickening in your step, or a push away, or a `No!' or `Stop it!' or something like that? In doing this, you are unconsciously rewarding him for his behaviour, and he will continue to do it as a result.

Try this. Have two people in the room. One of you get up and leave. When he starts to do this, the person leaving must IGNORE HIM COMPLETELY. No matter what he does. The person who is left in the room can distract him with a toy, a call, a treat, or something else. Do this a few times a day, if you can, until he is spayed, and gradually he will learn that he gets no joy from attacking you when you leave the room.

He has learned a pattern of behaviour, and he needs to unlearn it. Ignoring him is the key. Once he's fixed, too, he will settle down a lot... I mean A LOT! But you need to reshape his behaviour by not rewarding him when he acts up. Even a clap or a shout or a yelp is a reward, as far as he's concerned, because it's an acknowledgement, and bad attention is still attention from a cat's point of view.
post #7 of 10
This sounds like intact male cat behavior to me. They can be aggressive when they feel anxious, which is most of the time.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for all of your feedback! I'm guessing he is anxious and wants to be let back outside to breed. I would love to keep him inside, but I already have nine cats inside. We are also a little scared of him at this point too. I almost threw him outside last night after him attacking us. I suppose if he was to calm down a lot after getting fixed he would be a good indoor cat.

Yes, he is getting a reaction because it either surprises us, or it hurts. He loves attention, so I suppose any attention even if it's negative attention is good to him. Now that I think about it, the first time he bit he was yelled at with a firm 'NO' and since then the biting went to attacking.
post #9 of 10
Intact male cats kept indoors sometimes like a smaller "territory" to control - perhaps until you have him neutered (and for about a month afterwards as the testosterone won't completely leave his system until then - neither will the ability to impregnant females) you could keep him in a smaller room where he is away from the normal traffic patterns of your house. If he has a smaller place to claim as his own, he may not feel as anxious and upset.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Finally we were able to work on correcting the problem by ignoring his attacks as we walk out of the room he is in, my daughter has some leather boots she wears to protect her legs. I think he is getting somewhat better when he attacks, now he doesn't bite, he just attacks and uses his claws. I have never seen this strange behaviour in a cat before. Two or three of us can be in the room with him and the last one to leave is the one that gets attacked.
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