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Help with an aggressive cat

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#1 Missmarymack

Posted 08 December 2012 - 06:27 PM

We have a 7 (almost 8) year old moggy who has always swung from very affectionate to quite aggressive. He will often attack us out of no where - eg tonight I was sorting washing in the spare room and he walked up behind me and attacked my leg and I now have bleeding scratches and a bite. sad.gif If his aggression was provoked I could deal with it, but it often comes out of the blue. We've tried rescue remedy in his water and the feliway plugins but neither have any effect. I probably have neglected him over the past two years in regards to play now that we have the girls, but even when we spent 30 mins every night playing with him he was still aggressive (both when we were playing and when we weren't).

I love him dearly, but his aggressiveness, plus his nightly screaming starting at 2am (he sleeps in the laundry now and has done so almost all year after we got sick of him sitting under our bed and screaming EVERY night), has worn me down.

Has anyone here medicated an aggressive cat? I've heard of clomicalm, but does it completely change their personality? Please know this is a last resort and not something I am planning to do without lots of thought. I couldn't bear to give him away but I am sick of being hurt by him sad.gif

Edit: he has NEVER hurt our girls and we never leave them with him unsupervised. however their safety is something I worry about

Edited by Missmarymack, 08 December 2012 - 06:31 PM.

#2 Luxe

Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:22 PM

Have you checked it's teeth. My cat who's coming up to 7 years old had cat breath (normally their breath is pretty odourless) and when I took him to the vet it turns out he has advanced decay in one of this teeth. Since having it out he's a happier cat. Wondering if it maybe a health issue.

Edited by Luxe, 08 December 2012 - 07:23 PM.

#3 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:27 PM

We use clomicalm with our rampant sprayer.  He was a placid pudding to start with and is even more laidback. It's not changed his personality markedly.

#4 Apageintime

Posted 08 December 2012 - 11:18 PM

I'd go to the vet.

I had a cat like that once that we rescued, turns out she had some arthritis that kind of came and went - so she was aggressive when in pain. Some low dose steroids and some pain killers improved her personality so much, once she was pain free she was a lovely cat.

#5 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:11 AM

Rescue Remedy is a placebo, and actually doesn't have a medical effect on animals (it works on humans because they expect it to - the placebo effect), so I'm not surprised that RR didn't work.

I think the first place to start is a thorough check up - teeth and bloods for your kitty, to check that there is nothing causing the behaviour. Just because you haven't done something, doesn't mean that something hasn't happened, and you're really the only person he can 'tell'. The bites could be his way of 'telling' you something has happened. The screaming at night is concerning. Most cats will wake up, but they don't usually wake everyone else up unless something is wrong.

Then ask the vet about clomicalm or something that will address his behavioural issues.

I'd also suggest (as an owner of a sometimes randomly cranky cat) that you institute a 'time out' for all transgressions. Whenever mine got all aggro (and preferrably before she had a go), I'd simply pop her in the ensuite for about 10 minutes. She did learn that talking her irritation out on me did not pay. She still gets cranky (she's 20yo, so fair enough), but no longer goes the bite or swat.

#6 mewsings

Posted 09 December 2012 - 07:06 PM

I agree with the vet visit,  it's common for cats to hide discomfort or pain until it's at an I-can't-take it level.  Apart from the arthritis and teeth issues mentioned above by some PPs, I'd also check for skin irritants and worms - an itchy cat is a cranky cat.  Has he ever had a head trauma ?  Sometimes elderly cats get a little dementia and start night calling,  but he sounds a bit young for that.

And I second Spikey's time out idea.  I use the glasssed shower recess - I like the time out area to be very small to make the cat feel more secure.  If you stick an egg-flip under the screen door they can't push it open and come out until you want them too.  

#7 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 09 December 2012 - 09:17 PM

Absolutely take him to the vet.

Also, do you absolutely know that nothing happened to provoke the attacks? One of my cats will sit there and let the kids do anything they like to her and she will take it all. Once she's well and truly fed up though, she will seek DH or I out and bite us. We put up with it because she never hurts the kids and it's like she knows to be gentle with them but take her anger out on us. Could something have happened to make the cat seek you out?

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