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Returning cat

(7 Posts)
marylinmonroeroe Mon 28-Mar-16 10:26:18

I've had my cat for almost 6 months. He's a 7 year old rescue cat.

Despite the fact that the shelter told me he was good with children, he clearly isn't. He bites, scratches and swipes them resulting in my youngest being terrified of him. I try to keep them apart and put the cat in separate rooms but he's pulled the carpets up trying to get out and seems to want to be around the kids, however when I let him in he just attacks. They all have scratch marks on them and he's even drawn blood.

I told the people at the shelter and they said he was likely to be playing hmm

I'm really tempted to take him back to the shelter. I'll feel guilty and I know it's not fair on the cat but we can't keep living like this either.

What would you do?

cozietoesie Mon 28-Mar-16 10:39:51

What do the children actually do when he's around? (How old are they by the way?)

marylinmonroeroe Mon 28-Mar-16 13:05:11

They're 3, 5 and 8. I don't let my youngest near him too much because I know cats and small children are not the best mix but often the cat will run up to him and bite him on the arm for no reason.

cozietoesie Mon 28-Mar-16 13:17:25

I'm assuming he's neutered having come from a shelter - but does he go outside?

LillyBugg Mon 28-Mar-16 13:23:01

I would take him back. They should at least be trying to support you with this and they're not. How can you be expected to succeed when they won't even try and help? I know it's harsh, and I do love my cat, but it's always kids before cats.

marylinmonroeroe Mon 28-Mar-16 17:51:10

I don't think he's suited to a home with children, I think he needs a quiet home. I can't bear to see any more scratches on my kids.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Tue 29-Mar-16 09:53:24

What is his body language like when the kids are around, and especially when he bites/scratches? Are his ears back, tail fluffed up, growling or hissing (aggressive/defensive) or ears forward, even purring? I ask because we have a bitey rescue and we're having biting/pouncing at the start but he was purring and lively - play-hunting us. We have a lot of fishing rod toys and kicker toys about now so that if he gets that wild look (or even tries to grab someone) we use a toy to let him play safely at arm's length and that's worked brilliantly so far. He still occasionally tries to bite but is told firmly No and given a kicker toy to expend energy on instead, with praise and treats after if he cooperates, and time out in a closed room to calm down if not. We make sure he has at least two scheduled extended play sessions every day, and DD2 (who was very wary of him) is now comfortable doing this, it's helped her confidence with him.

If yours is frightened or aggressive of course this doesn't apply - and regardless of what the reason is, I'd say you should not feel guilty about returning a cat if things aren't working out after six months. You've given it a good shot, and I think it's quite common for cats not to get on with kids (when we visited our local rescue centre they only had a small handful of cats to introduce us to because the majority seemed not to be suitable for a home with children.)

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