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I need some advice..

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
We have been working on finding our kittens their forever homes. They are just about 15 weeks old. We are searching for the perfect homes before we let go. Anyway tonight I was taking the weekly updated pictures and one of them attacked me. I have deep puncture wounds on my hand and arm along with a ton of scratches on both arms and my face. This particular kitten has never been too friendly, though he and his siblings have been socialized with every situation I can think of and his siblings are sweet as pie. The camera situation shouldn’t have scared him because they have had the camera in their face since they were born. This isn’t the first time he has gone off either but it is certainly the most damage he has caused. The vet has said that he is healthy. He just seems to have a bad temperament. I really don’t want him attacking a child out of nowhere like this in the future if he were to be adopted. Also he is not particularly welcome in our home anymore to an extent. As of tonight he has been separated from his mother and siblings in a crate until we can figure out what to do with him. I don’t ever like to think of putting animals down but this little guy seems to be seriously nasty. I need the honest non-judgmental opinion of those who may be of help in this situation. The thing that really baffles me is that his parents are both our loving indoor only pets.. neither of them have ever been aggressive in the least bit. His father, our male cat came from a litter of barn cats when he was six weeks old, but that’s about as close to “wild†as he has ever been. I really need suggestions on what to do next. I am really confused and really upset over the whole ordeal. Please be kind.
post #2 of 19
First- neuter him
Then consider placing him in an adults only home with plenty of cat experience and tell them everything about his behavior.

You have had this kitten since birth, and so know him better than anyone else. I would suggest an in depth veterinary examination before going to the extreme, but if after that you feel that he is indeed a real danger to humans euthanasia might be an option.

It is a last resort measure, though, and I feel that you have to exhaust every opportunity to find out what is going on with him. A 15 week old kitten, home raised with plenty of handling and love should not be that aggressive without physical cause. There is a tiny possibility that he is genetically screwed up, but I would list that possibility pretty low on my list.

You brought him into the world so the responsibility is yours to make the right choices for him. If he is indeed incorrigible then euthanasia is preferable to a lifetime of misery, but you are not there yet, not by any means.

I would suggest a feline specialist, or a veterinary behaviorist consult. And a serious physical exam with full lab work ups.
post #3 of 19
How soon will your vet neuter him? It could make the difference between how he's acting now, and a just-normally-aggressive male.
post #4 of 19
In this case, since he's not staying at your house, it would be wrong to rehome him - even if you let the people know his personality. I'd put him down simply cause you don't want to risk others being injured.

The only other alternative is to see if a local farm might take him (after neutering) and letting him be a more "wild" barn cat. Neutering MAY help some, but you have no guarentee.
post #5 of 19
I understand your upset about this kitty having attacked you but it is possible that he might just be unhappy with your home and might be fine somewhere else. You'll definitely need to inform potential owners about his behavior though. For now I would suggest getting his claws trimmed as that will greatly reduce the damage he can do. What you're suggesting feels very wrong. If it were a person and not a cat it would be unthinkable.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses I really appreciate the input. Today the little guy still seems to be out of sorts. I am actually afraid of him after last night so I had my fiancé feed him this morning and scoop his box that is in the crate. When he reached in to put down the food and get the box Whiskers went for him too. He got a good solid bite and then Whiskers continued to hiss at anything and everyone that went by the kennel for a few hours after that. He finally calmed down when we covered the crate with a blanket but still hisses when we raise it.

I am going to talk to the vet Wednesday and see what he thinks about this and maybe he will make an exception and neuter him. Our vet usually doesn’t spay and neuter until six months old but we will see.

As for the claw thing we have generally kept all the kittens claws neat simply because its annoying to get play scratches. We do it the same as with our adult cats just trimming off the sharp ends. The problem is that Whiskers is biting. I have six bites four of which his incisor’s sunk into my arm. I have actually had a bit of a fever today too which im not sure if its from the bites or from being upset over it all.

I love all of them dearly and it breaks my heart that he is acting like this. I am not going to push the issue too much though. We can not keep him in our house as we are at our limit for cats here and if he can’t be safely adopted we are going to put him down. We are going to make sure he isn’t sick and get him neutered to see if that calms him down. I don’t see adopting a kitten out that is this aggressive when there are such an abundance of kittens who are friendly who need homes as well. I hope im not coming across as a terrible person. It really does break my heart. I have been going over it all night and all day today wondering what could have gone wrong. It came to mind that he was one of the two kittens that had a hard time at birth. I had to step in to get him to breathe as his mother wouldn’t stimulate him after he was born. Maybe there is something wrong and she knew it? I thought it was just because she was so young…maybe I was wrong and should have let nature take its course. Thousands of thoughts have gone through my head like this. Maybe he did get spooked? Maybe its because there are three adults and five kittens and they are getting old enough where that is just too crowded for him? I just don’t know. I pray he calms down with neutering… maybe he is just a very hormonal early bloomer. I hope.
post #7 of 19
Chances are there will be someone willing to take him even with his aggressiveness. I think there is a cat for every person and a person for every cat. Finding that person may be difficult and adopting this cat to just anyone is not a good idea. Lots of people won't have the patience and understanding required to deal with a cat like this. There's also the possibility that nothing can be done for him but you're a long way from that point right now. I have no idea what to have a vet look for but they will be your best resource for anything physically wrong. Keep trying as long as you can to resolve the issue or find a suitable home for him. It's always hard to lose kittens during birth and it may be confusing when a mother cat chooses to ignore one of her kittens but I ahve heard of many cases where the abandoned kittens have been saved and turned out very well so don't blame yourself for trying. You gave a baby kitten a chance at life and no matter how it turns out, they had the chance to experince something special.
post #8 of 19
Cat bites are known to cause quite serious problems and you need to be seen by your own MD right away, fever or no fever (and bring your fiance along too).
post #9 of 19
I don’t see adopting a kitten out that is this aggressive when there are such an abundance of kittens who are friendly who need homes as well. I hope im not coming across as a terrible person. It really does break my heart.
Of course you are not a terrible person- you are a concerned and ethical person. Choosing the hard road requires a lot of thought and soul searching and you have done that- learn all you can, try as best you can, then be at peace with what you decide.

FWIW I don't seek medical attention over cat bites unless I see signs of terrible infection or increasing redness/red lines radiating from the wound. Keep it good and clean and keep it open- picking is good in puncture wounds. Soak it is hot water to draw out the pus, maybe peroxide it a time or two, then betadine or antibiotic.
post #10 of 19
There are diseases that will not necessarily manifest as local infections and it's irresponsible to wait until you see 'terrible' infection or red lines!
post #11 of 19
Originally Posted by Larke
There are diseases that will not necessarily manifest as local infections and it's irresponsible to wait until you see 'terrible' infection or red lines!
I've been badly bitten by cats upwards of 50 times during a 33 year career grooming them.

Seriously- a cat bite requires nothing but a good cleaning and some observation, unless you are the type that keeps an MD on retainer. I'd go broke if I ran for treatment every time something bit me.
post #12 of 19
My sister fell in love with a similar cat when it was a kitten, only she didn't really start acting out until she had already taken her home. The whole time she had her she hissed, growled, hid under furniture, etc. There were times when she would get so overexcited that my brother-in-law would wear welding gloves to handle her and then confine her to a room by herself until she would calm down. Now don't get me wrong, she had her good moments too, but they always had to be very aware of this cat.

When my sister and her husband got pregnant, they decided keeping her in house was no longer an option. She also could not go outside because she had ALWAYS been an indoor cat and their neighbors owned fairly agressive Dobermans.

She gave the cat to my brother who lived in a house with a large full basement/garage. Her temperment changed 180. I can't believe she's even the same cat. Since her move I haven't seen/heard her be vicious at all. She begs to be petted. Maybe all she needed was a change of scenery and a space that was HERS.

Anyway, I guess I'm just saying that there could be a right place for this kitten. I really thought the one idea suggested of him being a barn cat was a good one. He would be able to run around with his own space, and hopefully would acclimate to his new owners in time.

Anyway, whatever you decide to do, I'm sure everyone here will be supportive. Good luck.
post #13 of 19
I'm sorry if it appeared that I was arguing.
She mentioned that her husband was bitten and I did not want them to have to overly worry about it what with everything else that is going on in the household. If they have the time, money, and concern then by all means go.

I just didn't want them to feel like he was going to suffer dire consequences if they chose not to, or be scared into going if there was no need. Not every bite requires medical attention.
post #14 of 19
I have been bit a dozen times or more working with the strays I pick up or the cats at the shelters and I have never seen a doctor about it. I just clean it really well, with iodine if I need to and they healed just fine. Never know though.

Anyway I wouldn't euthanize this cat until he is at least neutered. It is a shame that your vet doesn't do it until 6 months. You do realize that if you keep all the kittens and mother together until then they can all get each other pregnant right? I would find a new vet who is a little more up with the times and not quite so old fashioned. It can be done at 2 lbs. I would find a vet or a low cost place that will do it much sooner. That is always the very first step i trying to fix a cats behavior problem.

I also think that something is triggering these attacks. Did ANYTHING at all change in your home right before this cat first severly attacked you? Did you run a vacuum cleaner near him? Change cologna or perfume? Move the sofa? Any little change can affect a cat no matter how insignificant it seems.

Also, if you act scared around the cat then he won't stop doing this. If you are too scared then always have someone else care for him. In fact, I would just have one person interacting with him and caring for him and even looking at him. But do not approach him. Only this one person care for him on a routine. Always feed him or change the box at the same time. But still do not approach or try to pet him. Just ignore him to show him you are not threat, just caring for him.

That is all I have for now, I will keep thinking of things to do. I would not euthanize him though. What about vaccinating and neutering him and taking him to a barn where someone will be able to care for him but he can be on his own? You know the cats best but maybe a "feral" life is best for him. Don't just release him anywhere. Make sure it is with someone who is willing to look after and provide food for them. Post ads for a caring barn home for a semi feral cat.
post #15 of 19
PLEASE don't put him down! Just because all the other kittens are friendly and were raised in a good enviroment means nothing. Every cat is different, with different characteristics and actions. I have had and still have very aggressive cats. The kitten I just recently rescued from some kids throwing him around tries his best to chew off your fingers and tear up your ears. They all just need to be worked with. I have had kittens since birth that were aggressive and mean, mostly they needed more space. You are obviously showing your dislike for him which will contribute to more biting and scratching. I have been bitten and scratched by cats and dogs my entire life. (including strays which have not had shots) Mostly, I take in strays. And you must believe me, most are nowhere near accommodating or friendly. Scratches and bites are commonplace, even the ones that dig into and even stick inside your skin. Because he knows that you're afraid of his actions, he will do it more. Don't give him a terrified reaction, tell him no. Tap him lightly on the nose. Firmly, don't yell, he will only get more angry. Wear gloves if you're afraid of him grabbing you, or biting you. Hissing and growling means nothing, it's just a scare tactic. If you don't want to take the time to try, then give him to someone else who will. He doesn't deserve to die for being aggressive. He just needs more attention on fixing his problem instead of being isolated and avoided. Also, I have had kittens successfully neutered as young as four to five months. If you can get the hormonal level down some it could help. But, is not neccessarily guaranteed. Like I said, every single cat is different. You just have to find out what makes them tick, and then take the time to help the problem to the best of your ability.
Scratched up one side and bit down the other,
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well just thought I would update yall. We decided to have him go to live at my uncles place. It’s a farm type of deal like many of you have suggested only he will remain an indoor cat. My uncle has a very large greenhouse type of deal where he raises certain types of plants shrubs and trees. In that area he has a pretty good population of cats…around four to six. They are there to handle the mice that find their way into the cozy warm building during the winter and eliminate them. It isn’t exactly the house cat life I pictured for our fur babies but it will do. His cats also have a snazzy little area of their own in there that my uncle has built… its kinda like a cat mansion where they all sleep and eat and all that. I called my uncle about him the other day and he said he would take him on since several other of his kitties were a bit aggressive at first too. He said that makes them great mousers since they have something to channel there aggression into. I dunno how true that is but I hope that this works out. Don’t worry he is very good to the kitties, all of them are current and spayed/neutered so our guy will be too.

So anyway I just wanted to update you guys. Thanks again for the advice.
post #17 of 19
Thanks for giving him a chance! I am partial to the seemingly aggressive grumpy cats as Lovey was a monster who was dumped several times when I got him.
(I named him Lovey as I thought he could live up to his name..and he DID!)
My once puffing, hissing ball of fur is now my loving baby. He doesn't like alot of people but he is a doll to me...Hopefully this little gremlin of yours will fit in well at his new home...
post #18 of 19
That's wonderful news. Sounds like you found the perfect home for him. AND, he's in a home where you can check up on him and see how or IF his temperment is evolving.
post #19 of 19
I just want to applaud you for finding him such a nice place

Your uncle even appreciates his aggressiveness and your kitty gets to hunt real mice! That is absolutely perfect!
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