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Aggression in My Cat

  1. #1

    Aggression in My Cat

    I found my cat two years ago as a stray kitten. He's always been on the more aggressive side, but I've never let it bother me because I know each cat has their own personality. However, I feel that it has gotten a little out of hand. One minute, he'll be laying up against me, purring and seeming fine while I pet him, but then he'll randomly fold back his ears and start biting and clawing my arm. I haven't noticed any particular spot that makes him do this, it's just at random most of the time. He is also fairly aggressive with strangers and hisses at them and sometimes tries to attack their legs. He's not, however, aggressive towards other cats. I was wondering if there's seems to be any particular reason why he may get so aggressive sometimes. Is it because he needs to play more? I leave the house fairly often for school and work and don't have much time to play with him. Is there any way to help get his aggression out without me or strangers being the target especially when I'm not home?

    I've also noticed he's been throwing up more often, but the aggression has been going on before this started. I took him to the vet recently and nothing seemed to be unusual. I'm not sure if this relates at all though to the aggression.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    My cat is not aggressive at all, but, if he's on my lap or on the floor and I'm petting him....he can go from purring or even trilling to biting (never breaks the skin) and clawing, grabbing my hand. I've read that cats do this when they've had enough of being petted, or petted in a certain way that's causing them to be overly stimulated. Their reaction is simply telling you, enough, time to stop.

    If he's attacking visitors to your home, then you can stop him in his tracks with the use of a water bottle. Get a simple spray bottle set on medium stream and have it handy where guests might be present. When the cat looks like he's about to charge someone's leg, give a squirt from the bottle. That should deter him.

    I do really think that exercise, both physical and mental are very important to cats. They need human contact and engagement with something as simple as a feather wand. My cat destroys them, but recently my husband repaired the last one by filling the cup at the end with Elmer's Glue and replacing the feathers. It had to set for a few days away in a closet, but the repair worked well. Even a half hour play time with one of these every other day will help him get some exercise and entertainment, also bond with you. When they start panting, you can call it quits and put the toy away.

    He should have at least a couple of tall cat scratching trees placed near windows so he can relax and look out at birds and squirrels if that's possible. I don't know your situation. If he never goes out, maybe you can create a cat run for him out of a basement window if you live in a house or condo that will allow that.

    I think the more relaxed the cat's environment and atmosphere is, the more likely he is to be calm. Too many strangers, lack of a set routine, etc., all contribute to a feeling on insecurity and stress for cats. Hope something I've said helps even a little bit. Welcome to the forum, good luck with your kitty and don't be too eager to give him the aggression label until you've tried some remedies.

  3. #3
    Thanks for all your advice. I feel that I should have been a bit more specific in my post. He doesn't lightly bite or claw my arm, it's usually to the point that he holds onto my arm with his claws and digs his teeth into my arm and refuses to let go. Most of the time I have to rip his claws out of my arm to get him off. I wouldn't be so concerned if it was a little scratch or nibble on my hand because he doesn't want to be pet anymore. It's extremely painful and once he gets like that and I get him off of me, he continues to jump at me and try to attack. When this happens, I usually bring him to another room to let him cool off. On top of this, he sometimes gets randomly aggressive towards me and tries to scratch or bite me when I walk by. I don't think this is him trying to play either because his ears are pulled back like he's angry.

    He has a large, medium, and small sized cat towers with multiple scratching posts. There's also a window sill that I keep the blinds drawn up enough for him to lay down and watch outside, it's one of his more favorite spots. Strangers usually don't come over, but sometimes I'll have a friend over and he'll rub up against them for a few seconds before hissing and growling.

    I love him to death even though mostly every other person claims he's psychotic or a demon because of how he behaves with them. Every time he acts up, I can't forget all the times he's been so sweet to me so I could never consider him a bad cat, he's just temperamental. Whenever he's good, I always make sure to reward him with treats, but I'm not sure how effective that's been. I tried using a spray bottle at one point, but it only made him get more aggressive and attack the bottle and my hand.

    I hope I've given some more clear information on my situation. Thank you very much for helping me out (:

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    USA
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    Well, I can only suggest keeping his nails trimmed down so they're not so sharp. I will also have to pull my cat off carefully when he clutches my hand in one of these moods, but it's never too bad. I've had no real experience with an aggressive cat, but your story reminded me of the My Cat From Hell shows on cable TV with Jackson Galaxy, the cat behavior expert. He had some episodes specifically on attacking cats. Here the website, I don't know if you can see the full episodes, but some of the videos may be of interest to you. http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/my-cat-from-hell/

Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

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