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Just read the old board CAT ATTACKS

Discussion in 'Cats - all breeds / types' started by Debbie, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. Debbie

    Debbie New Member

    My cat started going off on me and my boyfriend about a year ago. she was four.-- I had never treated her poorly--she was there in the AM on my bed, in the PM on my bed, on my lap at the computer, table, sofa whatever--she had toys and lots of love and attention. She had never been left alone for long periods of time.

    Her attacks didn't get any better and we could not pinpoint a specific situation which would "trigger" her--several things were reasonable cause for minor fright, like moving a box or a newspaper suddenly falling, but nothing which would cause such craziness. She's 8 pounds and when she went off, she went to kill. Literally--big eyes, ears back, puffy, and worst of all, wailing like a banshee, loud.

    On two occasions, she scratched enough to draw blood. On the third occasion, she bit my boyfriend twice--once on his arm and once on his leg. She Scratched him on his back, his arm (went for his face, why???) , his legs and well, basically wanted to mince him. (that's when wer got her declawed)

    We never had and don't have a reason to believe she would have any sickness like rabies because she's been indoors her entire life and we would have known long ago if such was the case.

    Can anyone provide insight????

    There's another part to this story:

    Neither my boyfriend or I can understand what caused her to go mental. The final time the cat went off (and final time because the bf said goodbye cat), I did get her by the scruff enough to get her into another room, but she was crazy much of the day. I closed the door and she slammed herself into it--her being on the other side. Later on in the day, she was in the bathroom--no big deal--she'd go in there with me and drink the water from the sink all the time. Well, I happened to close the door this time and she went off again--wailing, hissing, and worst, trying to climb my leg and get to my face (thank god we had her declawed). When she realized she couldn't climb me, and when I realized she couldn't climb me, I stopped panicking and started saying loudly, firmly--BASIL, NO. Repetitively. After about the 5th time would't you know she stopped and just laid on her side and looked up at me as if nothing ever happened?

    Now that's a control issue and I won, sort of--the boyfriend said she had to go. She went. She's living with a foster family because all in all she's a sweet thing, but if a 190 pound guy is petrified by an 8 pound cat, it's time to make a couple changes...and it isn't the boyfriend who has the problem of course. It's the cat. :?
  2. nern

    nern New Member

    Did you have her since she was a kitten? If so, am correct in assuming that she suddenly, at age 4, started acting this way out of the blue but for the 3yrs before this she was fine?
  3. Chessmind

    Chessmind New Member

    Hi. What kinds of effort and time did you put into trying to get to the bottom of her behavior? Also, did this behavior start after you started dating your boyfriend? Nerns question is important as well. I think this post is a good example as to why declawing is not a solution to a problem.
  4. Debbie

    Debbie New Member

    Declawing/and answers

    First to respond about declawing:
    Had she claws when she was going off at me in the bathroom she would have scratched my eyes out. Thank you for your "no declaw" PETA viewpoint, but as it was a very hard decision to make, I was happy I made it. If you've never had a cat attack you at full banshee, then you probably would think I was overexaggerating. As wrong as it might be to say and as much as some people don't want to hear it, I was glad then that I got her declawed. The last three attacks were with claws and believe me, when on the third time the boyfriend ended up in emergency over it, there was no question as to what to do, even though the final decision was still hard and generally I had been against it.

    As far as how much time with trying to solve the problem, after the third time and the emergency room visit, the boyfriend said "she gets declawed. One last chance. She attacks again, she goes or I go. Now as much as I'd like to say he goes cat stays, there are financial reasons he has to stay around for a while. SOrry, that's the way it is. I'm working on resolving the problem, I happen to like the cat better anyway.

    Yes, I had her since she was a kitten. I was with my boyfriend at the time, I had another (old) cat at the time. A month after I got her my boyfriend and I moved in with the 2 cats. They were fine--typical Garfield/Nermal relationship.

    Now for triggers:
    about a year and a half ago several things happened.

    1. my friend asked me to house her cat I said ok fine. Thought aBasil would be OK with it and the old cat would have the problems. WRONG basil HATED it. The big cat didn't care. That was when it started. 3 days later the new cat went back to the original owner.
    Thought OK problem is gone BUT

    at the same time, and after noone living in the apartment below us for 4 years, someone moved in. MAYBE it was this BUT

    About a month after we got rid of the new cat, the Old cat died. I contemplated long and hard about a LITTLE cat for Basil BUT she didn'ttake well to the last cat and I certainally couldnt afford a second cat at the time. AND I got a new job--not much, very part time, still lots of hours at home with the Baze.

    She attacked me when I was moving a little tent box out of the corner. She wailed for the first time then andwent all out. That was about a year ago, maybe more. I let it go, figuring ok I moved this and she got bugged blah blah blah no big deal.

    A bit later the boyfriend was moving some boxes out of the closet and she went wailing off on him again. Scratched him, but nothing to get overly excited about. Cats do scratch. OK WE UNDERSTAND THAT BUT

    The third time, it was 630 in the morning, I was sleeping, Baze was on my bed the bf was there. I had a newspaper in a frame on the wall. It had been there for at least 2 years. Well, as much as I can figure, the bottom fell off of the frame and the newspaper fell out. The bf sits up, getting all scared (we already went over he fact that there's no way HE has a problem) over the noise and Basil hisses at him. He doesnt like it when Baze hisses so he makes a move to throw the blankets off the bed (mind, off me too) and on to the cat, which, of course, pisses her off MORE and makes her go on an all out attack at HIM. While I'm completely unprotected, he's wrestling with the cat on the floor and she's winning. It's 630 AM all I hear is the wailing and hissing and see him on the floor--he gets up and races to the bathroom where there is now blood all over the floor, some on the wall and a lot dripping into the sink. I get past basil with a hiss but no going off on me.

    He's standing over the sink, white, shaking, and having no idea he's bleeding, and guess who gets to clean everything up. Now after that he said CATS GOING. And I protested--surely you didn't do anything at all to make her go off like that? No, he says. Nothing at all. (uhhuh) I said well what if we did this this and this.

    He agreed "but makes that sound again and she's history" and the cat went on kitty prozac, I got to keep the cat. Two weeks later, almost to the DATE she was in the hallway he was in teh bathroom, opens the door and she goes off on him again. Tries to get to his face. This particular day she went off on me and tried to get in my face, but we had her declawed so we were OK. BUT she made that sound again. That was this past wednesday. He said cat goes. Mind you I haven;t talked to him since--but that's not the issue here. We already discussed the issue and the thing here is


    Ultimately, Im hoping the foster family will let me have Basil back--(she's my sweetiedevilbaby and I feel horrible over everything that's happened already), once I can get my crap together enough to move out, because as it is, the bf turned me into a real heel and liar over the whole cat situation and I just dont even want to look at him anymore.

    Is this enough info to answer or do you all need more?
  5. kyles101

    kyles101 New Member

    did anyone rule out a physical, not mental, problem?
  6. Debbie

    Debbie New Member

    Vet said she was healthy and unless it's a brain tumor or something else in her head then I'm apt to believe the vet. She never even had fleas.
  7. Chessmind

    Chessmind New Member

    Aggression in cats can be caused by a lot of factors (medical reasons, abuse, people fighting with each other in front of the cat and so on). The first time a cat attacks a person you first go to the vet and rule out all medical problems. This means full blood and urine work. Then you have a MRI done to rule out any neurological problems. If everything looks fine then you try to get to get to the root of the behavior. This means getting an animal behaviorist to try and figure out what is causing the aggression. Once the cause has been found then you take certain steps to resolve the issue. To ensure the safety of both the cat and the people the cat will often be kept confined to a large crate (with food/water/litter/toys and so on) until the behavior has been modified.

    To specifically answer your question as to whether anyone has seen this behavior, the answer is yes. I help out at my local shelter and I have seen people give their cats up for this reason. Only one had a neurological problem, most were abused by someone in the house (found evidence of abuse on these cats). However, their behavior stopped once they were settled in at the shelter and treated well and there were a few cases where it was most likely from redirected aggression from another cat.

    What this means is that declawing does not alter behavior, nor does it get to the root of the problem. It has nothing to do with PETA, but everything to do with logic.
  8. nern

    nern New Member

    Debbie: How is she doing in the foster home?
  9. Debbie

    Debbie New Member

    The declaw question:
    If you saw and heard what I saw and heard that morning you wouldn't have given it a second thought. I am glad I did it at this point based on the fact that she did "attack" again, albiet unsuccessfully, much to my phisical well being and hey, I'm the one at the top of the food chain here.

    And NO she is not happy at her foster home. And NO I am not happy with her at her foster home.

    As far as all that other stuff MRI and things, sorry, I'm not a millionaire. If I had the finances I would have moved away from the boyfriend some time ago. Nobody's perfect.

    And If I sound bitchy sorry I've been mental since he said "me or the cat" and its Easter and there's no cat here--(31 and not a day without a cat since I was 9)

    I also know that there has been absolutely NO and I mean NO ABUSE with my cat. Spoiled, yes, but certainally not abused. http://paeksworld.8m.com/basilpaint.JPG

    AND until this he and I have never raised our voices at eachother (infact because of this we just stopped talking...nevermind. you dont need to know HIS problems.)

    If this is redirected from another cat, well, there hasnt been another cat here in a year and a half. I wouldnt understand why it is surfacing now.

    I did talk to a behavioral specialist and it seemed to stem from certain noises and we thought we were doing ok with it--she had not attacked over the garbage or anything else --zippers etc which she usually tried to at least swipe at. The last (4th) time she went off it was because the bf came out of the bathroom. Why the one time and no other time ever? Does she hate him?

    One time I was at the computer with her in my lap and my whole leg fell asleep because of the way I was sitting. I told her I was getting up, and when I stood up, didn't realize my whole leg was that asleep and fell, holding her and all. She got all puffy but DID NOT attack me and I felt certain she would. WHY NOT THAT TIME AND WHY OTHER TIMES????
  10. nern

    nern New Member

    She is a pretty cat.

    But is she still having attacking fits in her foster home? Are they occuring more frequently, less frequently or not at all?

    If not a medical problem, it was likely your(and your bf's) body language, tone of your voices and general reactions in certain situations that were setting her off.
  11. Debbie

    Debbie New Member

    she's in hiding, according to the foster mom. Hasn't come out at all. :(

    PS. One lesson learned: this has caused me to realize a few things about the bf. When someone says its me or the cat, it could well be the cat but the person who says it won't be happy in the long run...


    Of course she's pretty she's the cutest kitty in the entire city I know I looked.
  12. Jamilyian1000

    Jamilyian1000 New Member

    This has nothing to do with your cat, but I think you are a good writer.
  13. kyles101

    kyles101 New Member

    replace the boyfriend?? just joking. you said she went on kitty prozac? what medication was she on? if it was clomicalm or amitriptyline they can take months to kick in.
  14. Debbie

    Debbie New Member

    The medication was something like Buproprin. They said it would take about a month but someone didn't understand that....I AM trying to replace him.
  15. kyles101

    kyles101 New Member

    maybe the cat should be tried on something else? sometimes if the medication doesnt agree with them it can make things worse. clomicalm might help. i dont think amitriptyline is for use in cats.


    hold that thought. i just looked at a site and you can use it in cats. heres the address. http://www.cah.com/library/behavtx.html it just lists the drugs used for specific conditions. another site suggested an animal behavourist. they might be of more help than a vet. by the way, has your cat been spayed?
  16. Debbie

    Debbie New Member

    The cat was spayed. A little late Im afraid. But was spayed.

    Should I get Baze back before or after I move? Before or after I kick him out?
  17. nern

    nern New Member

    If you're going to get her back I would definately wait until the boyfriend is no longer around and it would probably be best to also wait until you move. It may be less stressful for her this way.
  18. kyles101

    kyles101 New Member

    hmm well its not being in heat thats doing it then. i could never date an animal hater :p

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