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My girlfriends cat keeps hurting me :(

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
My girl friend and I just moved in together. Her little furball (mixed breed, basically a mutt) is about 10 years old, male, and 13-14 lbs. She's had him since he was a kitten. Throughout his life he's been a pretty good kitty, every once in awhile though, he would attack her as she walked by. 2 or 3 times a year he attacks her hard enough to draw blood. He's been de-clawed, so he is intentionally biting her hard enough to pierce the skin, through socks.

Ever since I've been coming around, he has been attacking me. Mostly it's just swats with his clawless front feet, but he has drawn blood on me several times with his teeth.

I've tried ignoring him completely, lavishing affection on him, giving him cat treats, and finally fighting him back. Nothing has worked.

He used to be a different cat when she was home, he wouldn't ever attack me infront of her. Lately he has become increasingly bold though, and has begun to attack me at every opportunity. About 2 weeks ago my girl (and her kitty) moved into my house. The cat has taken to lounging in the hallway and waiting for me to walk by. When I do he violently attacks me. It's gotten to the point where I have my girl escort me down the hall. When we walk by together he hisses and growls in the most violent manner possible. He is growling and hissing so hard that he often has coughing fits afterward that last up to a solid minute.

The last thing I can add is that sometimes he is the greatest. My girl and I can be sitting on the couch and he'll come up, lay on my lap, let us pet him, and purr contently. Then, in mid-purr, he'll bite me so hard that I bleed. No warning, no nothing. He won't even stop purring. The first time he did it, I didn't react, and he immediately went back to purring and being pet by us like nothing happened.

Lately we have been locking him the closet for an hour or 2 when he is bad. It hasn't seemed to help though.

I don't really care if the cat likes me or not, but drawing blood repeatedly has to stop. If he were a dog, he'd be put to sleep for the things he is doing. Any thought, suggestions, and/or insights will be most appreciated.
post #2 of 19
Welcome to The Cat Site!

I can feel for you. It is very rare to have a cat who becomes extremely violent like this, and it is very scary to see one when it is in attack mode like this. We have a rescue who was going to be shot by his owner due to his extreme aggression and violent attacks, so I know what you are going through. I tell you this because I want to reassure you that it IS possible to improve this behavior. But, it takes a lot of patience, careful observation, and persistence. Please read this entire thread. Make sure you focus special attention to the aggression at the bottom of the page. I think you have a cat with aggression due to over stimulation AND sudden unprovoked violent aggression.

VERY IMPORTANT: Never ever hit or do anything aggressive to this cat (although I understand why you would want to). Hitting, swatting, or any other violence will only make his behavior worse. So, as much as you might want to, please make sure you do not hurt him.

I wish you luck!
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
I read that thread before I posted. I think the cat is jealous of the attention my girl friend gives me, I didn't see anything in that thread that seemed to relate directly to my situation.

Agression due to over stimulation doesn't seemto apply because he rarely lays with her/us, and after atacking me he doesn't leave the area or anything. He just lays there and expects to be pet. Infact if we stop petting him, he nuzzles against us until we pet him again.

He does exhibit the symtoms/signs of unprovoked and violent agression. We've taken him to the vet, where we were told 'Tough luck.' I'll keep an eye out for pre-attack procedures, but lately all it takes is for me to come within swatting range and he'll atack me. I don't have a way of avoiding him, he lives in my house, so I can't take away the attack inducing factor. He will go from calmly laying somewhere, to biting me, to calmly walking away as if nothing happend in a matter of seconds.

I am not going to drag a rag rubbed with Vicks all over my house because of this. The last thing I want to do is rub vapor rub all over my carpet.

*sigh*

I guess I'll just have to wait until he dies or something. I figure cats are like people; most are great, some are just OK, and a couple are just plain mean. Slider (<--- Her cats name) is just plain mean.
post #4 of 19
Don't worry, you do not have to drag rags around the house...just put a little Vicks on your socks...the idea is that the smell will keep him from biting your legs.
post #5 of 19
He bites, quite simply, because he is declawed, and most likely, this is why he started getting aggressive in the first place.
His current state of getting increasingly violent with you is because he was uprooted from his familiar home and placed in a new situation, on top of having to share his affection with you.

So a vet told you tough luck, go to another vet.
Violently aggressive cats can in fact be treated chemically with varying degress of success.

You both, however, have to be willing to put in the time to 'fix' his issues and it will take time.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neat
Agression due to over stimulation doesn't seemto apply because he rarely lays with her/us, and after atacking me he doesn't leave the area or anything. He just lays there and expects to be pet. Infact if we stop petting him, he nuzzles against us until we pet him again.I
This is actually pretty classic behavior of a cat who is aggressive in response to overstimulation. They become overstimulated, strike out, and that takes care of their overstimulation for the moment, so they are fine again. So, try the methods discussed in the Aggression thread on how to stop aggression due to overstimulation.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
He bites, quite simply, because he is declawed, and most likely, this is why he started getting aggressive in the first place.
His current state of getting increasingly violent with you is because he was uprooted from his familiar home and placed in a new situation, on top of having to share his affection with you.
Makes sense. Is there a way to get the cat to understand the situation?

His agressiveness was steadily escalating before the move, but it has gotten worse since the move in.

Quote:
So a vet told you tough luck, go to another vet.
The vet visit wasn't terribly expensive, I guess we can swing another.

Quote:
Violently aggressive cats can in fact be treated chemically with varying degress of success.
With what? Prozac? St. Johns Wart? Anything we have to administer to the cat by opening his mouth and forcing it down his throat is almost assuredly not going to work. Not only is it not pleasant for the cat, but he'll bite the crap out of us in the process. Can he get a weekly/monthly shot or something? If you know the names of any of the medications, that would be great. That way, if the second vet tells us to get lost, I can bring up some meds, and maybe work something out.

Quote:
You both, however, have to be willing to put in the time to 'fix' his issues and it will take time.
I've been tortured by this cat for a long time, putting in a couple months work to avoid bleeding every morning on the way to the shower is a small price to pay. Other than the steps outlined in the linked thread, any suggestions?
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lotsocats
This is actually pretty classic behavior of a cat who is aggressive in response to overstimulation. They become overstimulated, strike out, and that takes care of their overstimulation for the moment, so they are fine again. So, try the methods discussed in the Aggression thread on how to stop aggression due to overstimulation.
Awesome! We'll try those for sure!

Any idea why he only lashes out at me and not her? She can pet him for hours with no problems, a few minutes after I sit down I start to bleed. Even if I am not petting him and I am just within biting distance, he'll attack me.

Ok, so I need to:

See another vet
Rub some Vicks on my socks
Carry a pocket full of dead mice
Watch for over stimulation signals

I'll report back in a few days, thanks for the advice!
post #9 of 19
My ex's cat was treated successfully with Prozac (not sure if the veterinary version carries another name or not).

You will, most likely have to pill though, but it isn't as tough as it sounds, it will take both of you though.

Wrap the cat in a very large bath towel, all 4 feet and hold him securely, use a pill popper to avoid getting bit (most vets should have a few, or can tell you where to get one).
ALWAYS, follow up any unpleasant medication times with a special treat that he loves. This will help him not to associate you guy with bad things.

And before anything else, invest in some Feliway room diffusers, this may actually help all on it's own.

If Vick's isn't to your liking, try scenting yourself with citrus oils or citronella, most cats cannot stand those smells either.

Most importantly (and I know this is the hardest part) try not to react in any way when he does this.
He'll pick up on your emotions and feed off of it.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neat
With what? Prozac? St. Johns Wart? Anything we have to administer to the cat by opening his mouth and forcing it down his throat is almost assuredly not going to work.
The liquid St.John's Wort comes in a cat-friendly flavor. When I used this with my aggressive cat I would mix it in canned food and give it to him every evening. It worked amazingly well and he really liked the herbal flavor. (I got it from a local health food store.)
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neat
Any idea why he only lashes out at me and not her? She can pet him for hours with no problems, a few minutes after I sit down I start to bleed. Even if I am not petting him and I am just within biting distance, he'll attack me.
The cat we took because he was going to be shot only attacked the guy's wife. She never could figure out why. My bet is that it is like Arlyn said...you have come between the cat and his woman so he takes it out on you. But....it could be the cologne you wear or your personal scent or maybe it is the way you carry yourself, or perhaps your blood is extra tasty. Who knows exactly why you are the chosen one.
post #12 of 19
You can give cats rescue remedy too. Few drops in their water.

Just skimmed through so didnt see, but has anyone suggested feliway plug ins yet?
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
I tried bribing him last night with a teaspoon full of Fancy Feast (he only get's dry kibble style food otherwise) and it seemed to improve his disposition towards me for a few minutes, then we went right back to the normal routine.

I found the plug-ins at Pet's Mart, but the gir friend didn't want me to spend the $40 until we had tried the wet food as a bribe.

We are moving into another house in less than a month, so we'll try the feliway in the new place for sure. The only thing that discouraged me from the feliway is that the package claims it's primary use is to stop cats from marking/urinating. Slider has zero litter box problems, and has a 100% success ratio thus far, so I'm not sure the feliway is designed to fix the problems we are having.

Thanks!
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neat
The only thing that discouraged me from the feliway is that the package claims it's primary use is to stop cats from marking/urinating. Slider has zero litter box problems, and has a 100% success ratio thus far, so I'm not sure the feliway is designed to fix the problems we are having.

Thanks!

It's primary use because once illness is ruled out, litterbox issues are behavioral.
It emits a synthesized pheromone scent, which has a calming effect on cats, like the smell is telling them that everything is ok, and to chill out.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
It's primary use because once illness is ruled out, litterbox issues are behavioral.
It emits a synthesized pheromone scent, which has a calming effect on cats, like the smell is telling them that everything is ok, and to chill out.
Ahhh, gotchya. That would be awesome if he thought everything was OK and decided to chill out.
post #16 of 19
My cat gets very stressed out after the vet. After the last visit, I plugged in Feliway. Within 15 minutes I found her on the floor near where it was plugged in, sleeping.
post #17 of 19
I have 16 cats and 4 plug-ins that go constantly. You can find them cheaper on Ebay. The plug-ins work great and are not just for marking and spraying problems, but for stressed out cats as well.
post #18 of 19
I don't have anything to add to whats been said. I do want to tell you that I respect you for really trying to deal with your bloody attacks. I have heard great things about the feliway too!!! Good luck!!
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Picked up keys for the new house today, should be all moved in by then end of the month. I'll get some plug-ins and report back.

Thanks for all your help.
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