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My Cat is turning on me!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I really need some help with this so any type of advice will surely help!

I have a 4 year old female Calico cat. For starters, she HATES my boyfriend. She will not let him near her, she hisses, growls and even attacks him if he gets close. We started dating when she was still a kitten so she grew up knowing him. So there is the start of her aggressive behavior. As she became an 'adult' her aggression became worse and more severe. She won't let anyone near her, she's very jumpy, and she runs and hides at any hint of motion or noise. I would say that when she was about 1 1/2 - 2 years old, she started to be aggressive towards me. Yes, me! Her owner! If I got close to her, she'd hiss. Then it got worse, she'd start to growl. This has been going on and on and on and now she's 4 and she is starting to act like she is going to strike me. I'm in no way afraid of her and I'll grab her in mid hiss, growl and preimptive (??sp) strike. I know that isn't good but I have literally tried EVERYTHING! I took her to my Vet when I noticed her aggressive behavior turning towards me for a "behavioral test". I told the Vet everything she was doing and she wanted to put her to sleep right then and there. I wasn't gonna let that happen so I got a 2nd opinion where that Vet said that I should just leave her alone. There has been no changes in the house, her food hasn't changed, so there is no reason for this aggression. Thing is, I got a cat to be a cat. To play with and be my pal, not to hiss and growl at me. She shouldn't be doing that, I am her owner. I didn't get her from a shelter or anything. My cousins live on a farm and their cat was having kittens so I held her in my hand when she was a baby and came right back out there when she was old enough to be adopted. Her mother doesn't even act that way. None of her siblings do either. She acts almost feral at times which is weird. Anyways, she goes into this aggressive behavior for a while then snaps out of it and she is fine, then goes right back into it. Its very mind boggeling because she and I are VERY close. She is my study partner, my friend, and she is always around me all day then out of nowhere she withdraws and becomes VERY aggressive towards me. Here is a typical example, I will be petting her, she will be purring and looking at me, and me looking at her and everything will be fine and normal. Then, all of the sudden, her purring will stop, her eyes will get bigger then she cowers down and hisses and starts to growl. I have no idea what to do with her. It's impossible to have a cat that won't let you near it. I can't give her away because no one will take her, she'll hiss and all if a stranger even comes near her. I can't take her to the shelter because she cannot be adopted and will be put down at the first sign of aggression (which is almost instantly), and I heard that since a cat grew up inside, you can't put them outside. So there goes that. I really love her but I don't know what to do. She acts like she's been a horribly abused cat when in all actually, she has the best life of any cat I know. So I am seeking any type of advice. Thanks!
post #2 of 26
Thread Starter 
Oh...here is an example of how she is towards me:

post #3 of 26
oh my that is terrible. it sounds like you did a lot already. have you specifically seen a cat behaviorist? Feliway is also recommended but your cat may be beyond that. Could try it along with a behaviorist. that is all i have, someone will come along with better advice soon hopefully.
post #4 of 26
Did the vets run any physical tests on her? With the very sudden changes in her behavior with seemingly no stimili to change it, it makes me think it may be something physical. Perhaps a pain that comes and goes - she doesn't understand what it is and does the only thing she know how to do to make this "attack" on her go away.
post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your advice. I thought about a behaviorist but I always heard that it can get expensive. I'm still a poor college kid....lol!
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
Did the vets run any physical tests on her? With the very sudden changes in her behavior with seemingly no stimili to change it, it makes me think it may be something physical. Perhaps a pain that comes and goes - she doesn't understand what it is and does the only thing she know how to do to make this "attack" on her go away.
The 2nd opinion one did and she didn't have anything wrong with her. She gave me the option of doing a bunch of tests on her like Cat Scans and stuff but warned me that they are expensive. She's pretty much had this aggressive (now violent) behavior as she became more of an adult. I noticed that she turns it on and off like a switch. One minute she growls and hisses and literally a second later she fine and then 5 minutes later back to being the mad-hatter. One thing, she has never been like this to my mom. She'll be in her aggressive mood and hisses/growling at me and then my mom will go up to her and she starts to purr. I don't get that because she never has anything to do with her. My cat is always around me wherever I am at.
post #7 of 26
is she spayed?
post #8 of 26
As much as you love her I am sure, maybe she would be happier with your mom. I don't know, I am sure there are many other options but sometimes cats choose who they want instead of us choosing them. Maybe she chose your mom. Just a thought...
post #9 of 26
Well, you said she HATES your boyfriend. Maybe she smells his scent on you. I myself always trust a cat's instinct about people. If they don't like someone as strongly as your cat seems to dislike your boyfriend, I'd take a 2nd look at that boyfriend.

You might try staying away from the boyfriend for a couple of weeks, and wash any of your clothes that might have his scent on them, and see if she starts acting differently towards you.
post #10 of 26
Huggles question is the one that I immediately thought of.
post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopeHacker
Well, you said she HATES your boyfriend. Maybe she smells his scent on you. I myself always trust a cat's instinct about people. If they don't like someone as strongly as your cat seems to dislike your boyfriend, I'd take a 2nd look at that boyfriend.

You might try staying away from the boyfriend for a couple of weeks, and wash any of your clothes that might have his scent on them, and see if she starts acting differently towards you.
I have to agree with this. You probably introduced the boyfriend too quickly. She associated his smell with something bad, perhaps a lack of affection or some other change in her environment that really upset her. You smell like him so she turned on you. I would try keeping her in a closed-off boyfriend-free area of the house and see if she calms down. Try visiting her area right after you washed or at times when you don't have his smell on you. Eventually you might try reintroducing them very slowly. I would also look into the feliway diffuser.
post #12 of 26
gosh that pic of her is frightening..The poor thing looks absolutely terrified..I tend to think it could be a sharp pain that comes and goes as one poster said. I have seen an experiment on animal aggression, and given a painful stimuli, (a mild electric shock in the case of the experiment) an animal will bite anything next to it, because they dont know what else to do. The way she slips in and out of her aggressive posture, makes it sound like she gets angry quick, maybe due to pain. Quite honestly I have no idea if animals can suffer from mental illnesses the way people can, but her behavior certainly sounds bizarre enough to be psychotic. Poor kitty. Good luck with her.
post #13 of 26
My first thought is: Why doesn't she like your boyfrieng? I'm thinking that maybe she senses a hostility from him, or that he makes you unhappy. Then again, maybe he wears a certain cologne or uses a product with a scent that she associates with something negative.
If she isn't spayed that may be the source of the problem. Feliway sounds like it couldn't hurt. I would also try a THIRD opinion- it really sounds like something is wrong with her phsically.
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by furbum
I have to agree with this. You probably introduced the boyfriend too quickly. She associated his smell with something bad, perhaps a lack of affection or some other change in her environment that really upset her. You smell like him so she turned on you. I would try keeping her in a closed-off boyfriend-free area of the house and see if she calms down. Try visiting her area right after you washed or at times when you don't have his smell on you. Eventually you might try reintroducing them very slowly. I would also look into the feliway diffuser.
Wow, I'm so thankful of all the responses I have gotten. THANK YOU ALL!!!! I believe it was just a couple of weeks after I got her that my boyfriend and I started dating. Now you mentioned that she may acwait (??sp) him with an environmental change. Well, I think you may have gotten it there. See, after several months of having her, we went on a 2 week vacation where I drove her out to my boyfriend's apartment where he took care of her. He said that during the day she hid under his bed but at night she wouldn't leave him alone. Perhaps she views him of taking her away from home. I thought about that but I wasn't sure because don't cats have a short-term memory?? My boyfriend treats me very well and he tries to pet her but she won't let him near her. It will be so bad that he will be in the dining room and she will be hissing and growling from the living room. I've tried giving him treats to give her so she will view him not as a threat but as a "treat dispenser". Never worked! I'm sure this is a dumb question but what is "Feliway"??
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbw999
gosh that pic of her is frightening..The poor thing looks absolutely terrified..I tend to think it could be a sharp pain that comes and goes as one poster said. I have seen an experiment on animal aggression, and given a painful stimuli, (a mild electric shock in the case of the experiment) an animal will bite anything next to it, because they dont know what else to do. The way she slips in and out of her aggressive posture, makes it sound like she gets angry quick, maybe due to pain. Quite honestly I have no idea if animals can suffer from mental illnesses the way people can, but her behavior certainly sounds bizarre enough to be psychotic. Poor kitty. Good luck with her.
Yeah, I thought that it may be a sharp pain but her aggression lasts for hours, weeks, even months! I noticed that when she is laying down, she does this weird "shake" type of thing. It's like a tremor but its VERY subtle, you have to really pay attention to see her shake. I told the vet about this and she said that my cat could suffer from seizures, but I know how seizures are and it happens to often and long. She is perfectly fine and coherent during this and it doesn't seem to bother her. I'm thinking that she has some type of neurological disorder. If that were the case, what am I suppose to do with her?? I love my cat to deth but how am I suppose to deal with it? Just now, I went up to her where she ran into the corner and cowered down ready to hiss. Last night and even this morning she was running around all lovey as normal. I just don't get it! Hahaha, it seems like everyone is telling me "good luck with ALL that!"
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zak&rocky
My first thought is: Why doesn't she like your boyfrieng? I'm thinking that maybe she senses a hostility from him, or that he makes you unhappy. Then again, maybe he wears a certain cologne or uses a product with a scent that she associates with something negative.
If she isn't spayed that may be the source of the problem. Feliway sounds like it couldn't hurt. I would also try a THIRD opinion- it really sounds like something is wrong with her phsically.
Maybe she views his scent as [leaving home]? She is spayed which was done when she was young. What is Feliway? If this really keeps up, I have no idea what I am going to do. Who can take 7-9 years of this?
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetter
I noticed that when she is laying down, she does this weird "shake" type of thing. It's like a tremor but its VERY subtle, you have to really pay attention to see her shake. "
It is interesting that you mention that, because I once had a little sweet kitty names Tama, who was a very subdued little girl, not really playful like other cats. Sometimes Tama would get down on the floor, and her little head would shake/tremble for a few seconds, and then she would snap out of it. I thought maybe she had earmites but the vet said that she didnt. The vet said maybe it was a seizure, but more testing would be needed. Shortly after seeing the vet, poor Tama was killed by a car in the road outside my home, which was very upsetting, but also at the same time, I felt that my poor girl was out of her misery because she just wasnt right. Tama however was never ever aggressive like your girl, just very subdued. I wonder if it may be neurological. It is terrible to see. I feel so bad for your little cat.
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbw999
It is interesting that you mention that, because I once had a little sweet kitty names Tama, who was a very subdued little girl, not really playful like other cats. Sometimes Tama would get down on the floor, and her little head would shake/tremble for a few seconds, and then she would snap out of it. I thought maybe she had earmites but the vet said that she didnt. The vet said maybe it was a seizure, but more testing would be needed. Shortly after seeing the vet, poor Tama was killed by a car in the road outside my home, which was very upsetting, but also at the same time, I felt that my poor girl was out of her misery because she just wasnt right. Tama however was never ever aggressive like your girl, just very subdued. I wonder if it may be neurological. It is terrible to see. I feel so bad for your little cat.
Aww, I'm sorry to hear about your kitty. I had one that only got to spend a short time with me when she got ran over. It was my dad who did it, we came home from Christmas shopping and she was nestled in the pine needles of our drive way. I was literally heartbroken. She was the best cat I ever had. Anyways, I feel so bad because there is nothing I can do. I don't feel right just getting rid of her because its something she can't help and I don't think I can just deal with it since its getting worse and she's getting more vicious. Its like she's got rabies or something. First you notice the aggression and then it just gets worse and worse. She's never been outside and there is no way for her to have it but its like she's slowly going mad. Its just very upsetting.
post #19 of 26
I wouldn't give up on her just yet.. There are certain smells that will make a cat act this way, for example, the veterinary clinic. Just recently I brought my cats to the clinic and while they were out walking about the exam room Bootsie suddenly started growling and then she hissed at Monty when he approached her. She never does this ordinarily and they are the best of friends, but there were the smells of other animals in that exam room and that made her turn on him. After they got back in the carrier things went back to normal but she did give him a bath.

You need to make sure that it isn't just the smell of your boyfriend that is making her mad. She might be a perfectly normal kitty otherwise. Put her in an area where she can't see him either since she will hiss at him from the other room.

Feliway is a little expensive and I'm not certain that it works to be honest but the theory behind it is good so I would give it a shot if you have the cash available.

http://www.thecatconnection.com/page.../BHVR/DET-3559

You can usually find it at Petsmart.
post #20 of 26
Hi, I'm new to the this forum. But after reading your problem with your cat it sounded exactly like mine. Please have her checked by a vet for Hyperesthesia Syndrome or Rolling Skin Disease. It is a neurological disorder that can cause these sudden violent attacks. My Precious girl has this. Good Luck
Precious Kitty
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PreciousKitty
Hi, I'm new to the this forum. But after reading your problem with your cat it sounded exactly like mine. Please have her checked by a vet for Hyperesthesia Syndrome or Rolling Skin Disease. It is a neurological disorder that can cause these sudden violent attacks. My Precious girl has this. Good Luck
Precious Kitty
Thanks for the info. I have never heard of this but I read somewhere that cats are just as prone to get Bipolar and schitzophrenia (??sp) as humans. I thought she may be a bit Bipolar but after reading your post there is definetly something to check into. How do they test for it? Is is expensive? My 2nd opinion vet said that I could have them do x-rays but that they are expensive and then she said that she can put her on prozac. I don't wanna put my cat on Prozac. I really love my kitty and to me, I will pay whatever is needed to see if she is alright; however, my bank account couldn't disagree more. So I'm kinda stuck at how much I can spend on tests. Right now though, she is her usual self. She is laying right beside me as normal but yesterday she was a pill! I don't think I can give her up, we're too close and I love her very much, I just want her to be ok. Thank you and everyone for all the advice and I am definetly looking into Hyperesthesia Syndrome or Rolling Skin Disease. One questoin though, was your kitty able to be helped with medicine?
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jetter
I don't wanna put my cat on Prozac. I really love my kitty and to me, I will pay whatever is needed to see if she is alright; however, my bank account couldn't disagree more.
Perhaps the vet can suggest a "cheaper" or generic Prozac-type medication.
post #23 of 26
I have just recently started my Precious on medication. It's only been a week and from what I am told it could take about a month to show results. I was also told by my vet that we may have to try different meds to find the best one for her. I am just learning about this disease. I do know that there is no cure. We can only treat her symptons to make her feel more comfortable.

I have a question to all of you out there. Does any one know if Hyperesthesia Syndrome is a progressive disease? Will she get worse even if she is on medication? I don't know how long Precious has had this. I adopted her April of last year from a shelter. She is a neutered 4 year old female with all her claws. I almost immediatly noticed her rolling skin, but up until recently I had no idea it was associated with a disease. I came across Hyperesthesia in my search for help with her violent attacks and aggressive behavior.

She is the sweetest girl and then without warning she turns on me and rips my legs, arms and face, biting and clawing at whatever she can reach. I wish I could trim her claws but she is too aggressive. Knowing she is sick has helped me to except her actions somewhat. I love her so much!
post #24 of 26
I don't allow my cats to attack me. Period. I am respectful
of them, I watch the signs and don't push -- but my job is to
take care of them, and if I need to medicate or otherwise care
for them, they cannot be allowed to prevent me from doing that.
It's all part of the relationship and that means I need to stop
aggressive behavior.

All that said, Jetter there is something wrong, since the behavior is
a change. I don't have any good suggestions, but do work with your
vet on this!

Good luck,

Carol
post #25 of 26
If she's been around your bf for 3+ years this obviously isn't something new with him.

Is there a chance this kitty (being a barn cat) is the result of inbreeding and may have mental problems? I honestly don't think she's attacking to be mean but more because she somehow feels threatened.
post #26 of 26
Felicia was like this when I first bought her home. She hated me and Shadow(an older cat I had at the time).
After Shadow died, Felicia was alone all day while I was at work. Except for feeding her, I ignored her. One day when I came home, she was waiting for me at the door. I think she realized that I fed her so she should be nice to me.
Your cat is probably an alpha cat. Felicia is and there are still things I can't do to her.
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