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Cat attacking whenever I cry. What can i do?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My cat has attacked me about 4 times. This last time sent me to the hospital for 4 days because my hand got infected and swelled 3 times its original size. The first atack occured when i noticed my cat's interest in a stray cat outside outr patio. I opened tha patio door and picked up the other cat to bring to my kitty. That was my mistake. The second attack was becasue I pet an outside cat and, when I got home my cat sniffed me and freaked out. The third attack was because i purchased a cat toy that was a 3 inch stuffed animal of a cat that meowed when u pulled the tail. When the toy meowed, my cat attacked it, while I was still holding it. I threw it on the ground but my cat still kept on jumpign on me.

This last attack occureed because I was loudly crying and my cat freaked out. I've always noticed that she go into an "on guard/suspicious" mode whenever I cried at a movie or even laughed hystrerically (almost like i was crying). This time, I began crying and she walked by me and looked at me like she didnt recognize me. 10 minutesd later she attacked me. When I came home from the hospital, my boyfriend told me some upsetting news and I began crying. He was standign in front of me. My cat attacked him, but only scratched him. I must also say that I got my Princess when she was only 6 weeks old. Since then she's only gone outside twice, but has never been around any other cats/aminals.

Why does me crying make her afriad enough for her to attack? What can I do? Any comments or advice would be appreciated? Normally, she is a very loving, affectionate, and clingy cat. Everyone's telling me to get rid of her, but I love her. I've had Princess for 4 years. I cant even fall aspeel util she comes to bed (yeah, she even sleeps under the blankets with me). Sh'es the kind of cat that follows me everywhere. Her personality perfectly fits me.
post #2 of 13
Number one. Whatever you do in the future, never bring in a stray cat from the outside to meet your kittie. Stray cats can have parasites, as well as diseases, some fatal and untreatable (like feline leukemia) that they can give to your cat, and that could in some cases kill her. I'm sure you don't want that. And any time you pet a cat from outside, make sure you wash your hands before touching your cat.

Second, is your cat spayed? If not, spaying will often calm down aggression in a cat.

That aside, this is one of the reasons why it is not a good idea to take a kitten away from its mother before 8 weeks old. There are lessons to be learned that never get learned, and even with all the human love and caring we can give them, they don't get all the "cat" bonding they need and often have behavior problems.

One of the major difficulties is they become very afraid of other animals and people.

Also, I don' know her history, but if there was abuse involved with the kittens or the mother before you got them, the attacking could be a leftover instinct to "protect" which she learned from the mother (who might have tried to protect crying kittens from being hurt), but wasn't with the mother long enough to learn the full lesson of when and what to attack and when not to.

Cats will attack when they hear another cat cry. My Rockette attacked the rescue person when she tried to put my foster cat, Fiona, into a cage to take her to be spayed and she yowled because she didn't want to go into the cage. Rockette was about 4 months old, only knew this cat for about 2 weeks, and yet instinctively tried to attack who she thought was hurting another cat.

Wen they go into this instinctive "attack" mode, they sometimes just attack, and don't really think of who is really causing it. So she might be trying to protect you, yet once the protection instinct kicks in she attacks you only because you're the closest to her to protect you. Sounds odd, but that's how cats are They think and act differently than we do.

Although I think I understand why, what I don't know is how to stop her from attacking during those times. There are many here very knowledgable in working with cat behavior. I'm interested myself to see what they suggest.
post #3 of 13
I just did a little research and found these suggestions. Basically you have to make it very unpleasant (but not hurtful in any way) for the cat to exhibit this behavior.

What was suggested was to keep things like compressed air spray cans or even air horns within reach around the house, and use them any time the cat attacks. It should at least startle them enough to give you time to get out of the room, then you stay away for a little while until the cat calms down. Hopefully it will eventually learn that when it attacks you it gets hit with a strong blast of air or loud sound, and loses your attention. In addition, the air or loud sound gets her off you quickly so she can't do really serious damage.

You might also want to consider these things they sell (I dont remember the name) that you can put over your cat's claws that will keep them from being able to scratch you badly (a much more humane alternative to declawing).

Again, I'd be interested in other solutions myself.
post #4 of 13
Hi, as long as I've had cats (try forever!) if a strange cat is seen outside, my cat(s) will turn around and attack each other, or even me. It's an instinctive protection thing and the best you can do is keep out of the way for the short time it takes for them to reorient themselves to being inside and safe, and #1 (doesn't actually matter if they're #1 inside otherwise!). And crying will stimulate them to attack as well, and it has nothing at all to do with who's doing the crying or why. Like Charmed said, never ever relate to the outside cat, and try not to cry so loudly (or go into another room). Instincts are instincts and there's very little you can do to change them.
post #5 of 13
I was walking Zissou once, and she saw another cat (I didn't) but I knew she was scared/upset so I tried to pick her up and she attacked my face. In this instance, you know exactly what caused it, so its not as worrisome as the random attack. And no reason to get rid of your cat. She does not like other cats. As for you crying, I'm not sure. I think the others' explanation are good. Or she could be scared and so feel threatened and so attack. Can you try to separate yourself from her if you need to cry? Like, your boyfriend was going to tell you bad news, so he could have put her in another room until you felt okay.

That is a weird reason to attack. Zissou usually licks the tears off my face when I cry. And rubs under my chin.

Oh, and anytime your cat scratches or bites you hard enough to break the skin, you should rinse it out with rubbing alcohol a few times a day and keep it covered with antibiotic cream, so no more trips to the hospital to treat an infection.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
It was definitetly stupid of me to bring in a stray. I just felt bed because she's an indoor cat who contatantly stares outside. I almost feel like she was sad becasue she couldnt go outside. I know, I know,..it was a dangerous idea. I got my cat from a woman selling cats from a storage room. The woman said that the mother abandoned the litter. I immediately took her to a vet and got her vaccinations. You are very right. She is a little afraid of everyone but me and my boyfriend, and one house guest we've had in the past. My cat is not spayed. I never did it because I was once told that doing so can often change the cat's personality.

I read your suggestions, but I've also heard of research against using air horns or water sprays. So is it ok for me to use those tactics? Also, when my cat strikes, it comes out of nowhere. By the time i realize it, she's already in mid-attack. Thsi last time she waited about 10 minutes after i started crying to attack.

Thanks for the advice everyone. It is well recieved. After her first few attacks, I figured out the triggers and took actions to prevent a reoccurance. This crying attack caught me off guard. Everyone, I mean everyone told me to get rid of her. Dont they understand how hard that it. I cry at teh mere thought. She's like a child to me. My baby. Other than her attacks, she give me all teh love and affection I need.
post #7 of 13
Definitely get her spayed. It's very hazardous to her health for her to go in and out of heat cycles constantly. I've read it can actually encourage the development of ovarian cysts, which are very painful and could be a large factor in her agression. There is another member on here who's cat had developed ovarian cysts, but I can't remember who. The only indication they had of this was their cat's constant bad temper, which obviously went away after her spay. The only way a spay will change her personality is to make her more calm and loving. There's a sticky in one of these sections that goes into more detail.
You should also get her checked out by a vet anyway to rule out any other underlying health problems that may be making her feel bad and thus make her more prone to attack.
Otherwise, I would continue to make sure that you remove her from whatever triggers her attacks, and do look into soft paws, like Charmed suggested. They will at least prevent you from being scratched if she attacks again.
I think using an air horn or air spray is fine, especially if she attacks you bad enough to put you in the hospital. Your health and safety come first, and by not doing something to work on preventing these attacks, you may be faced with a situation where she is taken away from you (ie: I believe hospital workers should have to report incidences of animal bites so the animal in question can be quaranteened for rabies, and if you end up there more than once because of her, the state may be able to take her away).
You may also look into talking with a cat behaviourist to help with other ways to keep her calm.
You sound like you're on the right track to figuring out how to prevent her attacks. Good luck!

post #8 of 13
I would really recommend having her spayed. The health advantages are enormous and I don't know of any behavior changes. There is a reduced risk of certain cancers as well as eliminating the risk of uterine infections like pyrometra.
post #9 of 13
When you get her spayed, don't be suprised if she does act a little different for a while. She just had surgery, so may seem a little less affectionate or playful for a little bit, but she will bounce back soon. Don't let people tell you that spaying her caused her to change. It won't change her any more than a pill that could take away PMS would change any woman. (A good thing, indeed).
If you don't want to give her up, stop letting people tell you to. You are trying to work on it, and with a little patience and love I'msure things will turn out.
post #10 of 13
The only time I have ever seen a cat's behavior change is in my cat Kinks who was extremely mean and attacked us randomly when we were least expecting it. I took her to get spayed (I got to watch) and the vet showed me that she had cysts on her ovaries which could have been painful and was probably the cause of her lashing out at us and her all around moodiness.

When we brought her home, she was a little grumpy for about 3 days and now she is the most loving, affectionate lap cat. She greets us at the door and sleeps on us and purrs and nuzzles into us. She jumps at our hands just to rub into them. She is a sweet cat. She only growls if you touch her tail. Before she would attack if you touched her anywhere but her head and now just a little growl when we touch her tail.

So I suggest you most importantly get her spayed. That will greatly reduce her risk of getting cancer and horrible diseases. Plus if anything it will relax her and mellow her out a little. Whoever told you not to do it because it changes their personality needs someone to talk to them and explain it to them hehe because that is rarely true.

Also get some soft claws incase she decides to attack again. And (I hope it wasn't an option) but declawing is not the way to go. It can quickley turn her into a biter.

Definately spay her first thing, what if the stray you got along great with your cat, so great that he ended up getting her pregnant? You do not want that to happen. Please spay her.
post #11 of 13
I had a feeliing she wasn't spayed by the behavior you described, which is why I asked.

Cats who are not spayed oir neutered do have a high risk of cancer. In addition, they are always in discomfort and that is one of the reasons they get testy. It is also why she always wants to go outside. Her first instinct is to reproduce, and that goes above everything else except food and shelter. It will be stronger than her feelings for you. It is making her miserable.

As far as her personality changing, that is somewhat of a misconception since that is not exactly what happens. What changes is their stress level. Without the instinctive need to reproduce, they calm down and are actually nicer and sweeter. That's when she will be able to put you first in her life. What you'll find is the nasty stuff will lessen or disappear, and what you'll end up with is your baby, but even moreso your baby than she was before.

I just had my Rockette spayed about a week and a half ago. The first week she stayed to herself and wasn't very interactive, only because she was healing, and needed the time to do that. By about 5 or 6 days later, she was back to her old self. Does all the silly things she always did before. Even more I think. But interestingly, I can hold her now for a while. She never liked being held before...always too hyper. Now she'll lay down next to me and purr while I pet her for a while. She never did that before...she was always too interested in going on to the next thing, or running around.

Spaying didn't change her personality at all. It just made her less hyper, and therefore more affectionate and loving. With all her little idiosyncracies and cute stuff and mischieviousness all intact.

Read through some of the posts here where people talk about their cats and all the wonderful things they do and how loving they are. And they're all spayed.

Spaying her will also keep male cats from hanging out around your house too, which will calm her down.

Finally, the last thing you want is for her to accidentally escape one day and end up adding more kittens to a world already full of thousands of unwanted kittens.

If she really is your baby, and you love her the way you say you do, then you'll want to do what's best for her, not what you think is best for you (although trust us -- you'll find it's best for you too).

And it's more likely than not that after she is spayed, she will stop attacking you. I'll bet good money that when you cry, it mighit sound to her like a cat call in heat, and that could be one reason she's attacking.

You'll be able to love her more, and she'll be able to love you more.
post #12 of 13
I've read throught this thread and will say, you have gotten good advice from everyone.
As someone who breeds cats, I can tell you there is absolutely no reason not to spay your cat. All cats that are not to be used in a breeding program need to be spayed/neutered before 6 months of age.
The personality change myth, is just that......a myth.

Some of your cats aggression could very well some from being seperated from her siblings and mother too early, as Charmed654321 mentioned, but spaying her now will go a long way towards curbing the triggers that cause the aggression and you should be able to manage any residual quirks she might have.
post #13 of 13
As an ex-cat breeder I agree with what has already been said - get the cat spayed. This really should quieten her down. If not, I would suggest that she has other issues. It is very difficult with a stray because you never know what's happened to them before they came to you. We used to take in stray cats and some of them can take quite a while to settle. Unfortunately, now that I'm out of the house for over 12 hours and my husband working as well, we can no longer do this. We have 2 pet British Shorthair who up until about a year ago had a big attitude!
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