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im a mess

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
last night my cat of 3 years attacked my 10 year old. i know what set him off kin dof we had loud music and my 6 year old scared him by yelling and when my 10 year old tried to hold him and calm him down he bit and scratched her legs really bad i took her out to the er knowing that she needed a antibiotic. i also called animal control myself knowing that by iowa law they have to report bites. he let me take him to my vet for the 10 holding now im just a mess. not sure what to do to keep him and try to see again but now i dont trust him. he has never bit one of the kids before.
post #2 of 37
Thread Starter 
also he is up to date on all his shots and i never let him out side.
post #3 of 37
Poor kids and poor cat - they were all obviously in a panic and it got out of hand. I am no expert in behaviour but I hope you find a way to keep your cat and for you all to regain confidence in each other.
post #4 of 37
Hi April -
I don't have great advice to give, but I just wanted to let you know I understand what you're going through. We're agonizing over what to do w/ our cat and his increasingly-aggressive behavior - he attacked me a couple weeks ago after a couple of loud noises, and we're afraid he could attack our toddler daughter at some point if he gets scared again.

I can tell you that in our case a behaviorist recommended more confinement of our cat (especially when we anticipate being rowdy with our daughter, making loud noises, etc.) in a comfortable room w/ treats. Our cat has also been prescribed Paxil. We bought one of those Feliway plug-in diffusers, and it seems to have a calming effect.

I would definitely keep the cat separate from your kids until you know what's going on . . . has your cat always been skittish with noise/movement? How is your cat physically? Any feral cats in the neighborhood lately (that your cat could see/hear)? New perfumes, cleaners, scents in the house?

Wishing you luck - it's just such a hard/scary thing, isn't it? Keep us updated,
post #5 of 37
Thread Starter 
never been skittish or anything really loving. i know this was a fight or flight reaction and he thought she was the danger. also in her first reaction was to put a blanket over him but being only 10 she wasnt able to do that. and by the time we got there it was over with and she was crying but he was fine and being all friendly again. the only different thing is a few weeks ago they all went for shots and the youngest got neutered. but my daughter had a friend ver that does have a cat at home that isnt fixed so it might have smelled that cat.
post #6 of 37
This is classic - a cat gets scared, goes into 'guard' mode, someone comes along (with all good intentions!) and the cat goes berserk not understanding the intentions, just seeing new trouble. It may never happen again if you all understand the dynamics and don't approach any cat at all if they're still tensed up from trouble. I bet if it's explained to your daughter she will get it and know she doesn't have to be afraid in future as long as she doesn't get in an upset cat's way, no matter how nice she plans to be. Of course I completely understand your anxiety and worry, but it's like anything else, understanding and knowledge can make a huge difference. I'm afraid I don't understand calling the police on your own pet, however... I think that law might be made to apply to attacks by strange dogs, not a fear reaction by a live-in best friend.
post #7 of 37
Thread Starter 
i had to in iowa we have a law that if ANY animal bites it has to be reported the only good thing is since i talked to him myself they didnt have to file a police report as long as i took him to my vet for the observation expecially since it bit a child. as soon as i took her to the hospital they are required to report it.
post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 
im feeling really bad the 1 spot where im pretty sure is a bite on her leg is pretty sore and swollen shes feeling bad cause she thinks its all her fault i keep telling her its not and that sometimes things happen he was scared and just reacted. i think shes more worried about her cat being at the vet then her legs.
post #9 of 37
When your cat comes home, put him in a room that is very quiet and let him chill out a few days. He is liable to be stressed from the experience and he may even hiss at your kids which will be normal. Everything that you explained that was going on at the time, loud music, yelling, will set a cat on edge. Anytime a cat is nervous or scared is not the time to try and pick him up and console him. Just leave him be and use a large towel or blanket to herd him off into a quiet room then shut the door. Tell your daughter she is hardly at fault here. The cat was reacting naturally. I just went through a similiar experience with a feral cat, she nailed me pretty bad. I had to go the ER for treatment and they also are required by law to report the bite. But because the cat was a feral, they didn't do anything about it. Guess they didn't want to come and try and catch her and get bit in the process
post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 
yeah and as far as me turning it in i figured it was better if i explained what happened then have a police report done in the er and it is my child so of course her safety comes first. he was very understanding when i talked to him on the phone i think he was happy he didnt have to come get it himself and have it be that much more traumatic for us and the cat.
post #11 of 37
I'm sorry April, I didn't think of course, that your daughter was in hospital where it had to be reported. I really hope she gets better soon, and just keep telling her she can't be at fault because she had no way of knowing. Last year a kitten had an accident here and started crying (he was ok after about 10 mins. tho'). Another one here with a killer instinct immediately wanted to attack him, and I had a terrible time getting the baby to safety in the bathroom with me so I could check him out (and put a cold compress on his nose, which thank goodness wasn't broken). They were otherwise BEST friends, and were again the next day (and until now), but while cats may be domesticated, they're always going to be wild.
post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 
yeah its ok i know if it was me i prob wouldnt have even went to the dr and would have tried to treat it at home but with it being my kid i couldnt take the chance of a bad infection
post #13 of 37
I think the idea of giving him a safe place to chill out a bit is an excellent one.

It might also be a good time to sit down with both children and try to teach them how to understand, and react to (and when not to) animals.

(and this is not directed to you, it's my basic opinions in general).

There are so many innocent animals put to sleep every year because children are not taught how to have a healthy respect around them, scare them, and end up scared themselves, bitten or worse.

We teach kids not to talk to strangers, to yell "no" when needed, not to touch the stove, and all other sorts of things to keep them safe, but it is rare to find a healthy respect for animals in that group. Because bottom line, even the most sweetest, gentlest, loving, affectionate cat (or other pet) may attack if feeling in danger or cornered. They simply do not have the cognitive ability to assess a situation and to make a value judgement on who is scaring them. They just react instinctively to danger. I've always called it "the attack frenzy," (even though I've only seen it 2 or 3 times).

Perhaps it's also time to sit your two kids down (you didn't say if the 6 year old was a boy or girl), explain to them the things that frighten animals and to avoid doing those things around them (yelling, fast aggressive movements, cornering, forcing them to be picked up, watching for body language -- ie, they see a cat's tail switching back and forth, that means "go away!".

Iwould also teach them never to approach a strange animal, whether with a person or not. And if the do have permission, to simply put out their hand PALM UP, call the animal, and first see if the animal comes to them. So many time children get so excited and will approach an animal too quickly, which can spook the animal.

Your daughter was doing what she thought was right by picking up the cat to comfort it based on human standards, and she was doing what she thought was a good, kind thing. So if we teach our kids that animals think differently than we do, that what comforts us may scare them, and how we can best comfort the animal (ie, walking away is better for them than trying to hold them because they don't understand it the same was we do), it can avoid these kinds of problems in the future.

It's also a way to take her guilt away because she was doing what she thought was a good thing, and that's what counts. She was showing love and compassion, and the only difference is she was showing it in a human context. Once she knows how to do it in a cat context, the problems will most likely be solved.

I believe a 6-year-old, even younger can understand those things. And I think children are also very able to understand they those things scare the animal, that you are teaching them things that make the animal happy and trusting, and most children would want to do that.

With younger kids, you could even do role-playing, with the kids taking turns being the "kid" and the "cat" (or dog or whatever).

Then I'd then teach them how to react if an animal seems afraid. (and understand, I am not in any way saying this was your fault, just as an explanation). If your daughters know in the future that a scared can be dangerous , and the thing to do is back off and walk away for a few minutes,

Come to think of it, I sorta like that idea. LOL I might write out a possible proposal and submit it to the shelters, rescues etc, to go into schools for presentations. Might be interesting and fun. They do it for fire safety and lots of other things, and I think the number of children hurt by animals each year would make it valid.

The same way we give our children rules for what to do if approached by strangers, or any other dangerous situation, I think we should do the same when it comes to animals, whether they live with us or not.

I do think this is probably a one-time situation, and your cat will get over it and all will go to normal. I had a cat at one time that attacked me every time I brought another home from the vet. I would throw her into the closet for a few hours. When I finally opened the door, she would walk out purring and rubbing against my leg like nothing happened. Eventually she grew out of it, and was probably the most clingy, affection cat I've ever had until she died about 4 years ago at the age of 22.
post #14 of 37
The poor cat might have been in a daze and reacted like he was in danger. I say let himchill out and let the kids know to leave him alone. let him be. Your kids at 6-10 right . Those are good ages to understand that kitty doesnt want to play, or kitty gets scared of fighting or loud noises.
post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 
im the one the had the cat attack my daughter we get him back from the vet on monday. but im not sure i can trust him around the kids anymore since i cant say for certain that he will never get scared again. my husband wants to put him to sleep. i dont feel the same since i know that any other time he is a great cat friendly towards people and has never bitting a person before this even when playing. hes sociable wiht people and not timid. i know i could get him declawed and that would help if it happened again but not gonna help if he bites. im at a loss. nw on the other hand my 2 other cats are doing great one of them that the older cat picked on a lot ha gotten more friendly and loving since hes been gone. i just dont know what to do.
post #16 of 37
Don't put the cat down. I had a dog like that. A rottwieler. He was a sweetie and loved people. One day he bit me and my mom said we were going to have to put him down, but I refused to let her. So instead, we gave him to a lady who knew how to deal with dog behavior. Now, he lives a good life with a big back yard. My advice, if you are scared for the kids, give the cat to a friend who doesn't have kids. Make sure to tell them about the attack so they know what they are getting themselves into.
post #17 of 37
Thread Starter 
thats my thought. id like to find someone with no small children he gets along fine with other cats and even dogs.this is pulling at my heart.
post #18 of 37
If all else fails, it would be better to take him to a no-kill shelter than to have him put down. Not everyone has children, and someone else out there can give him a good home.
post #19 of 37
Thread Starter 
thats my last choice i wont put him to sleep. only way my husband would let him stay is by keeping him away from the kids and only way i could do that is by having him in the basement but thats not a i life either. my husband is scared of cats so this insident just kind of freaked him out.
post #20 of 37
Originally Posted by april31
thats my last choice i wont put him to sleep. only way my husband would let him stay is by keeping him away from the kids and only way i could do that is by having him in the basement but thats not a i life either. my husband is scared of cats so this insident just kind of freaked him out.
Please find a good and loving home for this kitty.
post #21 of 37
Originally Posted by april31
. my husband is scared of cats so this insident just kind of freaked him out.
please let your cat find another home. a calm well regular boring one , like mine, would be perfect. No other cats, no kids . just two doting grownups who pamper her and encourage her to enjoy life.
post #22 of 37
Often when cats get scared, they can keep the associations within them! I think it might be a good idea to place your kitty in the care of another loving home, so that the associations will be removed and he can live a long, healthy and happy life.

It is a difficult decision, but at least you know that you will have helped!
post #23 of 37
Thread Starter 
so abigail where u live close to iowa? lol actually halfway serious hes only 3 so he has a big healthy life ahead of him.
post #24 of 37
Sorry April. I live in the deep south now and am heading to the pacific northwest. Not all cats are meant to live with other cats or children , so keep trying to find your cat a new home.
post #25 of 37
I just reread the original post to refresh my memory.
Honestly, I think it is awful that you are considering rehoming this cat! He simply got frightened, and your daughter took the wrong action. It is unfortunate, but these things happen sometimes. If she falls off her bike and breaks her arm, will you get rid of the bike, or keep teaching her safety?

This is a great time for a lesson for the little ones. The cats have always been loving before, and it appears it was a one time incident. Let the kids know that their needs come before the cats, but that this kitty is coming home, and you will continue to provide a good home for him. Keep working with him, and your daughter, so they can live together happily.

And tell your hubby that cats are different than dogs. A dog that attacks is a much bigger problem, it shows they have gone after the leader. I would not keep a dog that bit my child. But cats do not have pack leaders, and do not look at us as leaders, or someone to potentially overthrow. Your kitty sounds like he was just scared and not thinking clearly. Please give him another chance. I'm sure you and your family will not regret it!
post #26 of 37
Thread Starter 
just wanted to let u all know im the one whos cat scratched and bit my daughter 2 weeks ago we brought him home from the vet much to my husbands dismay still looking for a home for him. when we got him home he was timid and stayed under my bed for a while. doing much better now back to his old friendly self slept with me last night. again much to the dislike of hubby. inly thing different is he seemed to have lost his status with other cats as he was always the dominant one well the other 2 are picking on him now. still need to find a home with out small children hes been fine with them since comming home but im still scared he will do it again
post #27 of 37
Thread Starter 
well so far so good still havent found him a new home hes been fine since bringing him home. im still a littel nervous but no problems. crossing fingers. havent found him a new home yet but am still kind of looking for a older person with out other kids i just dont feel comfortable thinking it could happen again although he is back to sleeping with the kids. hes not the dominant cat anymore since being gone. and seems a little more jumpy then he was before. as of right now hes sitting on my lap watching me type purring away. i tink hes trying to say hi lol
post #28 of 37
Hey just read up on this thread. That is too bad about your cat. I couldn't ever bring myself to call the police on my own cat even if it is a law, but good luck finding him a new home and everything. I also would not even consider declawing him because declawed cats are way more likely to begin biting. So since he already had this incident with biting, declawing would be a bad idea. I would recommend that to whoever you adopt him to also.

Did you ever mention if he is neutered? I forgot to ask. That will usually calm males down if he isn't, if he is, nevermind, I skimmed over this quickley so sorry if I am repeating anything.
post #29 of 37
Thread Starter 
yeah he is fixed i fix all mine as soon as the are old enough and well if i didnt call they would have came to get him and taken him to the pound i didnt want him there with any stray in town who knew what he could have picked up. ive had cats all my life and never had this happen before. but so far so good hes been fine just more jumpy. also it isnt like hes new we have had him for over 4 years now. hes always kind of been a bully to 1 of our other cats and has flipped out n him before just never a person. if it was just a scared reaction i understand the only part that bothers me is that when my daughter tried to get away he chased after her. but i hope it was a 1 time thing nothing since
post #30 of 37
I think maybe he was playing. I hope he gets a good home.
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