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Need help with nightmare cat

(56 Posts)
MrsGradyOldLady Tue 05-Jan-16 09:06:07

I've posted before about my cat buy nothing has changed at all.

We adopted him 2 years ago. He was 3/4 years old un nuteured Tom found living rough. A local cat charity took him in and castrated him and then we adopted him.

He has absolutely destroyed a sofa, 2 leather chairs and a carpet with his scratching. He will not use any type of scratching post or pad. He sprays frequently. Sometimes in front of me and even pissed in the toaster.

The main problem though is his agression. He frequently attacks my 15 year old Tom. I keep them mostly seperate but we have kids so it's impossible to keep them totally seperate all the time. He attacks alk the neighbourhood cats too. I've had my next door neighbour round in tears as he's constantly attacking one of her cats. If I try and keep him in he gets aggressive with me and the kids and scratches the door so hard it sounds like he's kicking it in. And then he'll pounce on the other cat. If I'm late feeding him he does the same. Or he'll go up to the chair and start scratching it.

I've tried felliway but it only worked for a day or two. He's been to the vet but he attacked her too. The vet thinks he's just a nasty cat and a killer. She thinks he was castrated too late and lived rough too long to be a family cat.

I do have a friend with a small holding who could take him but that would be a last resort. Two of the three kids do like him despite him also scratching and biting them. My husband strongly feels he should be rehomed but I'd rather try and tame him if at all possible.

cozietoesie Tue 05-Jan-16 10:16:44

There are times - luckily just a very few - when there's not much to be done if the entire household are to be happy. Including him, because it doesn't sound as if - given that you've had him for 2 years - your family and him 'suit'. He's probably not content himself.

What would the smallholding horne be like?

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 05-Jan-16 12:53:46

What shelter can the small holding offer him? Our cattery has a feral who lives in a barn and is very happy.

MrsGradyOldLady Tue 05-Jan-16 14:16:53

Well it wouldn't be as nice as a home. It would be a bed in a tack room type home. There are other cats there - 2 or 3 I think. All neutered but not domestic cats.

I'm not so sure he's unhappy really. I think he likes fighting and scratching and pissing everywhere. I don't shout at him or anything when he does it. Well I do when he attacks the other cat but not for the spraying. The older cat was stressed at one point and he had to have blood tests and urine tests at the vets but he's happier now I've seperated them more - seperate feeding, sleeping and cat litters.

Can I not get some sort of kitty tranquilisers? Or tame him somehow? The other thing is that he's MASSIVE so if he did live anywhere with other cats he'd definitely beat the shit out of them.

cozietoesie Tue 05-Jan-16 14:20:39

Would he be contributing to suppressing the rodent population there?

NightWanderer Tue 05-Jan-16 14:29:14

The small holding sounds much better for him. We have a number of strays in our neighborhood who I neuter, feed and they have access to bedding in our shed but they are not domestic cats so would go crazy if I tried to bring them in the house. It's sounds like your at is similar. Not all cats are suitable as pets.

cozietoesie Tue 05-Jan-16 15:12:08

In my experience, MrsGrady, domestic cats do not enjoy, 'fighting and scratching and pissing everywhere'. Some of them have problems and have eg accidents but inside their own homes, they're mostly cuddlebums.

His problems might stem from his history. If he was raised feral, lived feral and was a very late neuter, you would essentially be living with a wild animal. Just because he's a cat, might make him no more amenable to family life than, say, a 3/4 year old fox. Is it really fair on your family and - in particular - your other old boy?

Or on him?

MrsGradyOldLady Tue 05-Jan-16 15:16:17

Yes he would be there as a mouser. He is very good at that I have to say.

He does like coming in for short periods. He comes in for food and a sleep but then he gets bored I think and starts going nuts. He's very dirty too. He doesn't really clean himself - I have to clean his nose and face as most of the time he has dried food caked up his nose. And all the white parts of his coat are stained brownish.

I know I'm making him sound awful but he does seem to care about my youngest daughter. He will let her stroke him but no one else can. He follows her when she goes out to play so he is really sweet in some ways.

I'm not sure how he'd get on living semi wild. He'd have no one to clean his face. I have to worm him and give him flea treatment every month due to all the animals he eats/fights.

Maybe he could live in an outbuilding in my garden? But then that doesn't solve the problem of him beating up all the neighbourhood cats. And dogs.

MrsGradyOldLady Tue 05-Jan-16 15:20:32

Yes sorry - I don't really think he enjoys it. I think indifferent would be a better word. He's definitely not a cuddlebum.

I think he his like a wild animal unfortunately. I can't really stroke him. I have to be really careful when I'm worming him or cleaning his face or he just savages me. He will let my daughter stroke his face though.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 05-Jan-16 15:25:01

Could he live in your shed?.

cozietoesie Tue 05-Jan-16 15:30:21

Even wild animals can have soft spots. The trouble is that there's no guarantee of consistency to them. You just don't know but that he might turn on your daughter at any time. - and truly domestic cats are not really like that.

For myself, and I speak as one who until recently had an ex-street cat living with me, I'd let him go to the smallholding. If you did, would you be undertaking to fund his continuing vet care? (Worming is an issue right enough.)

MrsGradyOldLady Tue 05-Jan-16 16:17:31

Yes I'd be happy to continue paying for his vet care. I'd probably have to trap him first though then perhaps take him for his boosters once a year.

I do care about him. He's a real character - he's crosseyed, has a broken tail and a torn ear.

I was hoping someone would suggest something I'd not tried to be honest. He's not a bad lad - he just knows no different. You are right though - he's already turned on my daughter. She's just got a way about her when it comes to animals and is very very good at picking up the signs so she knows when to get out of his way fast.

fluffycloud yes he could live in my shed. Or porch which is heated. My older cat would be safe as he doesn't really go out much. But he'd still be attacking the neighbours cats.

I do think he likes living here. He's had ample opportunity to leave but he always comes back. And he's as healthy as he can be - yes he's dirty but he doesn't have worms or fleas or ear mites. And I do need to treat him for the various battle scars he comes home with which wouldn't happen if he was living semi wild. In an ideal world we'd all live on a small holding and then he'd be happy. ..

NightWanderer Tue 05-Jan-16 18:34:45

This might be a stupid idea but how about giving the small holding a trial? See how he settles in there and if he seems happy. If he prefers home then you can catch him and bring him back. If he seems happier there then you can feel better about the whole thing. There are literally thousands of cats looking for a home, so perhaps you could rescue a different cat, one who is a bit more relaxed with family life.

cozietoesie Tue 05-Jan-16 18:38:23

I don't think that that's a stupid idea at all.

MrsGradyOldLady Tue 05-Jan-16 19:16:45

Yes I could try that. I guess I could still see him and give him his flea and worm treatments - if he'd still let me near him of course. Or like you say I could trap him.

Do you not think he'd beat up the other cats though? Although he's neutered he's spent most of his life with testosterone pumping through him and he's got that muscular build to him. He does have one friend that he doesn't attack though. I think it's possibly semi feral as it seems to roam quite a large area.

I would like another cat but I wouldn't risk it again. My older cat was very stressed for months - with cystitis and pulling his fur out so I don't think it would be fair to him. He's quite elderly now and I think he just wants a quiet life.

lljkk Tue 05-Jan-16 19:30:02

He sounds perfect for the smallholding. Best thing for him.

cozietoesie Tue 05-Jan-16 19:31:10

I think they'd likely all reach an accommodation and maybe even (after some minor territorial squabbling) form a little colony. From the sound of it, there would be lots of hunting going on which would occupy minds.

MrsGradyOldLady Tue 05-Jan-16 19:56:39

Yes your probably right. Poor bugger.

Maybe the other cats would like him because he'd certainly be a good protector. Once he'd stopped beating them up of course.

I do want him to be happy. I just wanted him to be happy here with us.

cozietoesie Tue 05-Jan-16 20:26:01

He might well have been as happy with you as he's capable of being in a family setting - but that might not mean a lot. Just think of him purposefully doing his 'rounds' of a sunlit spring morning, with dew glinting and his whiskers a-quiver. That could easily be his idea of fulfilment. smile

Archfarchnad Tue 05-Jan-16 20:48:28

I could imagine he'd be a lot happier on the smallholding. He really sounds semi-feral rather than a truly domestic mog. We also have a late neutered male who was found living rough aged around 2, but he's settled down completely since then to become, as cozie describes it, a total cuddlebum who loves human contact while also appreciating his time out-and-about in the daytime (although he never goes far from home), and he keeps himself scrupulously clean too. Your lad sounds very different, much less 'at home'. I think once he has unlimited space outdoors with the other cats they will all learn to live with each other. And if you retain responsibility for his health and wellbeing, I think it's a win-win situation.

You really have been very unlucky though. I once found some online statistics (can't locate them now though) about late neutered males and how many of them retain the 'unwanted' tom characteristics of aggression, spraying and roaming. Very few of them kept two or more characteristics after neutering, while most, like our boy, lose all of them. Obviously the later the neutering, the less likely it is to be effective.

"Just think of him purposefully doing his 'rounds' of a sunlit spring morning, with dew glinting and his whiskers a-quiver. That could easily be his idea of fulfilment." Well, that's still Archcat's idea of fulfillment too, but now he manages to follow it with an extended sleep on my bed, a chat, some Applaws and a head-bump session. The cat who has it all!

lljkk Wed 06-Jan-16 18:10:28

You could still go visit, maybe? Not the end of the relationship, just a change.

ozymandiusking Wed 06-Jan-16 18:16:35

Some cats just need to be put to sleep!

lljkk Wed 06-Jan-16 18:20:27

I kind of agree with Ozy, but since another option presents itself, better to pursue that.

Pipestheghost Wed 06-Jan-16 18:32:32

Pts is a bit drastic if another solution hasn't been pursued hmm

Sleepybeanbump Wed 06-Jan-16 21:57:48

Not on the same level but our mental tortie was put on Zylkene by our vet. It's a natural calming drug derived from milk protein. It has improved her behaviour.

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