Basically i am gonna tell you the story of what happened to me this past weekend and how i got attacked by my sisters cat. I would like to know what you think may be wrong with him and give me some information about it all. Thanks.
So i got to my sisters house and she and her husband were gone out with their friends for a few hours, i knew this and because i had spent a month living at their house house sitting while they were on vacation in September i still had a key. They have two cats, one which is very sweet and shy and wouldn't hurt a fly and the other who has always been mean and will smack and scratch if he doesn't want you to touch him or be near him (everyone knew this and everyone stayed away from him even if he rubbed against your legs because as soon as you leaned down he would try to bite or scratch you to get away from him.) Anyway like i said i had spent a month at my sisters house living there alone with the two cats and the mean cat had grown to love me, he'd cuddle up and be sweet and rub against me, let me pet him, lay on me, everything. He has like two personalities where he can be a huge mean cat or he can be really loving and generally he is only really loving to my sister and only sometimes to her husband. Anyway moving on with the story i got myself settled onto the couch and Arthur (the mean cat) had come up and sat on the other side of the couch, after a while he came over and was laying against me letting me pet him. Then he began to smell my hand, he did this for a good minute or two and when i decided to pull my hand away to rest it on my lap he began to hiss at me. I jumped because i wasn't expecting it and he jumped down onto the ground and continued hissing then began to growl and make very scary 'demon' (for lack of better word) noises at me. His ears had shot back and he was stalking me in clear sight, he was crouched low to the ground continuing to make these scary noises and by that time i had jumped up onto the couch so i was standing. I slowly began to walk to the other side of the couch and he continued to follow, all the while making these noises and i knew that i needed to get away, somewhere with a door to close myself in a room away from him. The only rooms with doors were up stairs so i decided to run so i threw the pillow that was in my hands down onto the cat and made a run for the stairs but he ran after me and got ahold of me on the stairs. I do have either cat scratches or bites on my leg and foot where he got me. And I'm not sure if i shook him off my leg or not but he noticed the other cat sitting on the stairs and immediately went after him. So i ran up stairs and locked myself in the bathroom, shaking and in shock that it had happened (then afterwards balled my eyes out because it was quite traumatizing.) I could hear Arthur (the mean cat) going after the other cat still making those scary noises and the other cat crying. I couldn't leave the bathroom because i knew he'd go after me so i sat in the bathroom and waited until i couldn't hear them anymore before i ran out to the computer room, grabbed the phone and ran back into the bathroom so i could call my parents and then my sister.
What you should know is that this cat has gone into this weird psycho mode twice before. Once when my sister had put on lavender scented sunscreen, which she had to run into the bathroom and shower and he was fine afterwards, and then a second time when they had the windows open in their house and another cat had been around he went psycho and attacked the other cat (my sisters other cat) and then went after my sisters husband. So I'm pretty certain it's just different scents that set him off but it's really really weird. I know that he has two different personalities but it's really scary that he could turn so quickly on not only other animals but on humans. He was definitely going in for the kill when he was going after me. No it wasn't play, he didn't want to be fed, he just went crazy and turned on me.
Oh and because of the bites/scratches i had to go to a doctor and get put on antibiotics and i got a tetanus shot also. The cat is unfortunately being euthanized because of these reoccurring instances but he is in quarantine at the vet for ten days.
I know that was a scary situation. I had a cat like that once! He was all sweet one minute, and the next he went for the Jugular. In my opinion, some cats are ultra sensitive to scents and very fearful of new things(other animals, people, etc.). I honestly don't think there's any way to change them.
Those cats need to be the one and only cat in a home for the safety of the other animals in it. The mean cat attacked the other cat because that was the closest target. I am worried about that other cat's safety. I would seriously try to talk your sister into finding another home for him to protect that other cat.
They don't want to put the huge responsibility of this cat onto someone else. The cat can turn far too easily even on humans that they know they'd just be dumping a problem onto someone and that's not fair. Nor is it fair for them to give the cat to someone who lived on a farm because he'd end up getting eaten by a wild animal. It's not a good thing to have to put a pet down but when they are attacking humans and other animals there isn't much of a choice for them.
I also believe he is just really sensitive to certain scents. Though there could be more to it since he was a cat they had gotten at the humane society when he was young so who knows what could of happened to him before that whether he could of been abused or something terrible like that.
How old is this cat and where did it come from? Has it been spayed or neutered? All cats have much keener sense of smell than humans and are generally adverse to anything smell that isn't something edible because they perceive it as a threat. Reacting to the cat in fear only reinforces that threat. Some cat will run from such smells and others will instinctively feel the need to eliminate the source of the smell, in this case you. You didn't mention if Arthur had actually attacked or injured the other cat. If the other cat was not injured, the other cat may have just been reacting to the smell or the commotion in a different way. This is an important point because it gives a major clue as to Arthur's reasoning. Had you petted the other cat and transferred the same smell to him?
I seems as though the trigger for his attacks in every case has been a threatening or undesirable smell, so the solution seems pretty obvious. Don't use perfumes or scented soap or lotions when handling the cat (generally a good idea in any case when handling any animal) and confine him to a room when they have company or need to use scented cleaning products or have windows open.
The cat is five and he was neutered. I'm not quite sure where he came from, i only know that they had gotten him from an animal shelter. It's hard not to react in fear when it's stalking you while growling and hissing at you, knowing well that he wants to get at you. I knew he had done this twice before and the only person that was able to calm him down was my sister. Arthur did attack the other cat and i had pet the other cat when i walked into the house. But in the case of Arthur attacking the second time he went after the cat first then my sisters husband.
It has always had to do with smell but the cat has always been mean in any case and since they plan on having children soon and they know well that they can't have him around children (as he does hiss and try to swat at their niece and nephews when they're over at the house.) But i must add that they said the cat seems to be getting worse so there might be some mental problem with him also that seems to get worse as he gets older, i don't know.
If he is getting worse, then there might actually be some medical problem that they are unaware of. Some cats do get aggressive when they're not feeling well. I would definitely bring this up to your sister. It's worth looking into.
Recent abuse isn't possible. My sister and her husband are animal lovers and would never hurt their pets. And the other cat they own is shy and would never attack because he is really scared of the mean cat. It's quite possible that he was abused before my sister and her husband adopted him years ago but there isn't any recent abuse to the cat. He's just the dominant one and wants everything his way. I don't think the over reaction freaked him out because he was going insane on me before i even reacted.
I know from other animals that abused they do behave differantly, I have to say my knowledge of cats is limited I have only had mine 2 years , I hope they figure it out , I was in fact thinking of past abuse when they got him or possibly kids or other family ?
Nope, they rarely have kids over, only their niece and nephews and they live about an hour away so they don't go over to my sisters place often. And abuse from other family isn't really possible because the cat has never let anyone come around him, he was always mean where he would hiss and swat if he didn't want you near him, even as a kitten. Something just isn't right with him and it's sad.
I understand your reactions given the circumstances. However, that doesn't mean there is something not right about the cat. Cats are not prone to mental disorders or insanity in the way that humans are. That is not to say that their behavior is not affected by their environment, it clearly is. But is has nothing to do with a mental disorder. Going back to one of your earllier comments, I would agree with ZQ and suggest trying to rehome this cat. There are actually lots of cat lovers, including some on this forum, who enjoy the challenges and rewards that can come with working with fearful or aggressive cats.It takes a lot of time and patience. A farm environment or integrating him into an existing TNR feral cat colony might be other good choices. As long as your sister is upfront about his temperment, any of these choices are better for him than euthanasia.
It's hard for you guys to fully understand the circumstance given you have never met or seen the cat in person so the comments about trying to find him a new home just aren't helping because you really don't get justice in me explaining how bad he really is. Rehoming him wouldn't do because he will not change, he was been a mean/aggressive and now violent cat since he was young. At a young age he would of been fine being a feral cat living in the wild because he could really fend for himself, but putting him out in the wild now wouldn't work (plus my sister lives in Toronto, a busy city even in the suburbs where he would end up getting killed by a car.)
I am fairly certain something isn't right with his mental health, and yes i know animals don't have the same mental problems as humans but that doesn't mean they can't have some type of mental problem or some type of imbalance that is making him get worse and worse (and they do try and teach the cat what is wrong by firmly telling him 'No' and also putting him in time outs in the bathroom.)
and Zodiac i am not dismissing your point at all. There's something that isn't completely right in this cat and i don't believe there is any way to fix it because it isn't a habit of his, it's how he is and always has been (just getting worse with time.)
Trust me I understand. I work at an animal shelter and have worked with 1000s of cats including feral cats. The majority of feral cats don't live in the wild by the way, they are city dwellers. I am not suggesting rehoming to change the cat, but rather to change his environment. I don't know what any of us can add at this point. You have asked us what we thought and we have told you.
Technically that still is the wild, by wild i didn't mean like out in forests or anything. And i am just saying that rehoming him and changing his environment won't help, it will just put the problem on someone else, he won't change. And yes i appreciate seeing what everyone had to say but it still is hard for you guys to get the full effect from just some stories. Thanks for actually taking the time to look this over though.
Well he's an indoor cat and he's had all of his shots up to date (he actually had his boosters earlier that week before he attacked me.) But he is in quarantine right now so their keeping an eye on him at the vet. I don't think he does since I'm sure they would have called me by now but the health inspector did call me (as they do when any animal breaks skin on a human) so i have to get ahold of him and see what he needs to talk about since it's impossible to actually get ahold of anyone (lol).
I would not find another home for Arthur. It is not fair to the new owners. There is only one answer - have him put down. People do not realize how dangerous a domestic cat can be. I have seen two deranged cats and hope never to see another. In one case the cops were called to remove him. But the cops were terrified (rightly so) and had to call animal control.
I hope you'll let us know what you found out from the vet about the quarantine. I have a cat that is hard to handle. I am the only person in this world that this cat has bonded with. After reading your story I put gloves on to put her in a carrier to take her to the groomer to get the matts out of her fur. She'll be 2 in May and I have to tell you I am concerned about her getting worse over time with people, including me.
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