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my cat gets scared and attacks me!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
my two cats are strict indoors, but when we leave the back door open with the screen, sometimes stray or neighbor cats come over and bother them. Maggie gets really freaked out, and one time i went to comfort her and tried to get her away from the door at the same time, and she ended up biting my arm pretty viciously and drew blood.

i have scars!

it happened again with a stray cat last night - only i learned my lesson, and didn't go anywhere near Maggie to comfort her, but i HAD to close the door, so i clapped my hands very loudly to scare off the stray outside, which worked, and then tried to talk to Maggie in a soothing voice, but she wouldn't leave the doorway. i was about 3 feet away from her, and when she turned around she literally climbed up my leg (she is NOT a KITTEN! she is full grown and about 4 or 5 years old) and bit my thigh very wildly and drew blood.

normally when a stray cat upsets her she will also take out her frustration (?) on our other indoor cat Ruby. this didn't happen last night (fortunately)

my question is - why does she keep biting me? is she confused and think i'm another cat? or does she know it's me?

also - she just had her rabies vaccine last week - but should i be worried about anything else as far as such a deep bite wound?

post #2 of 6
First of all your concern would be more in line of cat scratch fever instead of rabies, BUT because your cats are indoors that is probably not an issue, because typically cat scratch is caused by outdoor bacteria the cat picks up on their travels.

Your cat is responding to the intruders and they have probably gone back at night when you are alseep and sprayed outside your door and the scent is what is driving Maggie to distraction. I imagine if you went outside on a hot day with no wind and stood in the area by the door with your eyes shut and took a big whiff you would smell the markings. A cat will refresh it's mark every 3 days because it fades.

Is Maggie spayed? If not, she should be even if she is an indoor kitty because she could get out and then you would have to deal with the fact she might come back pregnant. If she is spayed, she may still react to the feral cat pee, it is quite strong in unneutered males and causes a variety of reactions depending on the cats exposed to it. I have one female spayed kitty who when a feral arrives here which they do quite often and sprays, Trip will go from bush to bush and spray back even though she is a she. It is her way of telling them that this is her place.

So here you have Maggie all upset and aggresive because of the intruders and frustrated that she can't get to them, and you come in and get in the middle of all that to calm her down. The best thing to do is leave her alone when she is in this state. Block off access to the outside if possible so she can't smell them. Wash down your porch area or landing or whatever it is with one bottle of vinegar to a gallon of hot water to get rid of the cat pee. You can also add to her water bowl several drops of Bach's Rescue Remedy to calm her down.

I have used this one tactic with ferals that liked to boldy attack me and it works well and no one gets hurt. You need a big side off a cardboard box- I used a box a microwave oven came in. Punch two holes in the center of the side, and take duct tape, and roll it up so that it is a thick strand (hope this makes sense) and fashion a handle of sorts to the flat piece of cardboard. In essence you are making a handle to hold this shield. When the cats come and you have to shut the door, use the shield to ward off Maggie should she attack you. She will bounce off the cardboard and land harmlessly on the floor and your legs and thighs will be spared. But again, if she is not fixed then please get her spayed.
post #3 of 6
What you are describing sounds like Rage Reaction or Displaced Aggression. I sound so smart, don't I? I learned about this on this site, so I am just going to post a thread dealing with other cats with similar problems and suggestions and links posted there:

Rage Reaction
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have learned a lot for you both - thanks for the quick replies.
I think it is most definitely Displacement Agression


The cardboard barrier is a great idea - finding a handy spot to store it in my tiny kitchen will be a chore but we'll see what happens.

i feel like we are prisoners trapped in our home due to the neighbor and stray cats - we can't have our windows or doors open with our kitties left unattended! i was so frustrated last night i felt like making a flyer to pass around the neighborhood. i don't think people are aware that it is illegal to let their cats wander on other people's property, and that i have rights to actually do something about it. plus we live on a rather busy street and i just don't understand how people can let their babies go outside - but that's another topic

yes - both my cats are spayed. from the little i know about Maggie's history (we adopted her from the SPCA) she used to live with her brother who she got along fine with, but he began hissing and growling at her out of the blue. so we got her about 2 years ago, and then introduced Ruby, our other baby about 6 months later, thinking Maggie would do fine since she had been brought up with other cats...well it's about a year and a half later and Maggie is just now beginnig to accept Ruby as her buddy. she has been a big bully for the most part. i think she is doing to Ruby what her brother started doing to her. who knows....

the other thing i am worried about w/ the strays having potential nose-to-nose contact with the girls are contagious diseases like Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). How possible is it that they could catch something like that through a screen door?

Thanks again for everybody's input. I'll definitely put it to use!
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Vikki - thanks, i just saw your post. i did exactly what you said, i washed and then put antibiotic cream on it.

[i am still amazed that she could climb my leg that high without any front claws!! her back claws gave her a little perch on my ankle flesh, but no blood drawn there.]
post #6 of 6
Enthusia. . .you might also want to try a pet repellant spray or granual that they sell at the pet store to deter the neighbor cat from hanging around your windows. I have never used this type of product but maybe someone else here has . Good luck.
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