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Cat question...need some help! Please!

TheAlmightyMiko

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Hi everyone!

It's been forever since I've been here...I bet no one even remembers me! lol

This isn't a GP related question, but I really need some help here.

About a year ago I adopted a cat (Bailey) from my local Humane Society. He's almost 2 years old and was surrendered by his old owner when he was about one year old. He's always been very playful but I noticed from the beginning that sometimes he just didn't know when to stop. I tried discouraging negative behaviour and really really rewarding him for the good things (using his scratching post, etc.) But sometimes, and recently a lot more frequently (probably at least once or twice a day), Bailey has become very aggressive. And it happens completely randomly. He will get a look in his eyes that just is very hard to describe (he looks wild), his ears go back, and he'll meow and then start lunging at my arms, my legs, even my face-whatever he can get at. He will bite and not let go. And even when I do manage to get him off me, he won't stop, he'll just keep coming back for more, keep lunging at me. Unless I lock him out of the room I'm in I just can't get him to calm down. And it's not playful-it breaks the skin, and I've got quite a few scars already from it. I'll wake up to him btiting me in the middle of the night, I'll be petting him and all of a sudden his personality will just turn and he'll become vicious out of nowhere. There don't seem to be any triggers.

I really don't know what, if anything I can do to curb this behaviour, because frankly, it's terrifying. To make him stop attacking me, my friends, my family (he'll do it to anyone...and it is attacking) I literally have to throw him off me, or he won't stop. (I know it sounds awful but it's honestly that bad). What's strange is that he only displays this behaviour towards people-he completely ignores the piggers (phew!) I don't want to have to surrender him, but I'm afraid of him, especially because this behaviour is very atypical (I've had cats all my life and have never seen this kind of behaviour displayed before) and is so unpredictable. Has anyone been through this? Anything that I can possibly do? I love him so much and want to help him...but I really just don't know if there's anything I can do.

Any help or suggestions at all would be appreciated.
 

KjerstiMoo

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I would talk to a vet about it.Maybe he has some sort of brain damage that makes him click like that?
 

Texas Rustlers

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The vet can possibly prescribe valium.

A
 

Texas Rustlers

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The vet can possibly prescribe valium.

A cat behaviourist may also help
 

Rachy1412

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My cat will do the same thing if you wind him up! He will go from playing nicely to lunging at your face. You just have to walk or run away from him! But my cat will stop when you walk away, he is just playing. He too gets that look in his eye that his about to attack, it is quite scary! No one's been hurt yet and he only does it if you wind him up, so I can't offer you any advice on how to stop it.
 

nonamian_girl

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Have you tried spraying him with water?
 

krittercrazy

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I have worked a spca and have experience this behavior first hand. It can be very scary and cats can do some serious damage. Generally this sort of behavior is the result of stress....who knows what in prevous home, being uprooted from a home he knows, spending time in the shelter(high stress). Many nice sweet cats are dropped at the shelter and go beserk there. I was attacked by one poor cat. Though I didn't know it at the time since no one could touch her, she was declawed on all four feet and had NO teeth. She chase me around the room with the intention of taking me down. Another time a family brought in a cat that had been born at their house. She would wait behind a bush and viciously attack anyone that walked by. Turned out that mom was the same way and they had already euthanized her.
It sounds like Bailey is redirecting his stress to you. Get him to the vet to rule out any physical problem. Then talk to a cat behavior specialist. You might want to start taking notes as to what is going on when Bailey attacks(and just before he attacks) What is in his line of vision, what sounds, how is he being touched. For a lot of male (neutered or not) cats, scratching their belly is stimulating.

http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Pointe/9352/behavior.html
 

janetangel

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His behavior definitely sounds out of ordinary. I would definitely talk with your vet and look up on the net to see if there any animal behaviorlist in your area. I contacted one by phone one time and was able to get helpful hints for my issue from one call at no charge. She was recommended by my vet for a dog I had a long time ago.
Spraying him with a spray bottle may help him stop the behavior towards you. You also do not want to play with him in any agressive manner. That shows him it is okay to act aggressive toward you. Most cats would be able to handle a little rough play here and there, but yours does not seem to be able to handle it right now.
Cats are also territorial. Are there any other scents he may be picking up that is triggering his behavior? Do you have catnip around him. Sometimes catnip can have a favorable reaction and sometimes it is not.
Another thing he could be in some kind of pain and does not know how to tell you he needs help. Is he peeing everywhere, but his litter? That is a sign of a UTI which is very uncomfortable in a cat.
I would suggest to definitely find out from your vet if it is physical or mental so you will have a better idea what direction is needed to treat your Bailey.
Please keep us posted. I am curious to see what you find out.
 

Shadow

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My cat (Shadow, where I get my username from) does that all the time. He's a grey big male maine coon cat, so I just put it to that. He sweet when he wants to be (generally when he's tired, just woke up, or is eating), but he'll flip out if I try to pick him up when he's on his side.
I usually have a cat scratch or two, but it's never been anything beyond that. Honestly, I think it's his breed more than anything. He lept of my roof to attack another cat. He just loves his claws. But to me it's just his personality and I have no problem with it. :)
 

janetangel

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Shadow I agree with you breed has some personality traits too. Glad it works for you and your cat. Manx is also a breed that can lend to agressive behaviors.
All my cats are just DSH, rescues, I got all of them as kittens. Angel who is now my oldest, was the youngest kitten I ever adopted, she was just weened from mommy. Her and I are buddies. She is showing signs of her elder years now, she is 15 yrs old. None of my cats have ever shown agression out of the ordinary. My step sister does have a cat she takes to a behaviorlist because he trips out on her. He must have not been socialized too well before she adopted him. He destroys a lot in her house and attacks the other animals. He is doing better now that he has been receiving counseling and treatment. It has taken a lot of patience and work on my step sisters part to work with him. She also had to be educated how to work with him to help him control his behaviors.
 
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Inrun

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Every single Maine Coon i've ever known has been a large fluffy lovely nice cat. I've never viewed agression as a breed trait in them. If anything i've heard that they're supposed to be extremely personable and friendly and in general large fluffballs.
 
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