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Anything we can do to help our cat be less of a bastard?

(105 Posts)
SharingMichelle Mon 01-Aug-16 08:15:37

He bites and scratches if anyone goes too near him. All kids have scratches, scars and scabs all down their legs / backs.

He lies in wait and pounces, and draws blood.

He pretends that all that is behind him and comes for a cuddle, and then turns into a razor-wire bear-trap when your guard is down.

He attacks and bullies nice cat constantly and I'm genuinely worried she might leave home.

He provokes unstable dog who then attacks him.

He charges around the house at night, smashing things and savaging toes.

He swipes the back of the cleaner's legs.

He smells.

He has questionable toilet habits and often walks poo around the house.

He wails and howls if you put him outside. If you shut a bedroom door he leans on it and yowls until you open it. He can keep it up for over an hour.

He gets stuck up trees. I have to use oven gloves to get him down because obviously he tries to savage me as I rescue him.

He costs a fortune at the vet because they have to sedate him to do anything.

He refuses to use the balcony to come in and out of the house (I think he might be afraid of heights).

He steals food. If I do fish or chicken we just have to accept that we have to shout over him yowling at the back door throughout the meal. If we let him in he crashes onto the table and makes off with food from our plates.

He refuses to give up his litter tray and go outside like nice cat.

I am horribly allergic to him and sneeze and snot my way through every day, taking antihistamines every day.

He is a weird combination of desperately needy, he refuses to be alone, but then is vile and violent to everyone around him.

But we do love him. We have to, because he is our cat. We can't get rid of him. We're stuck with him. Genuinely looking for serious suggestions as to how to make him slightly less awful to live with.

He's 1 year old. He's been snipped. He's got very dodgy eyesight.

BorpBorpBorp Mon 01-Aug-16 11:54:50

Feliway? I can't really think of anything else. If he's only 1 he might mellow a bit yet though, as 1 is still quite kitteny. Good luck!

OrangeSquashTallGlass Mon 01-Aug-16 12:03:11

DPs family had a cat like this. It completely mellowed with age but as a young cat it was a mixture between a ball of love and an absolute dick.

Costacoffeeplease Mon 01-Aug-16 12:06:50


ditsygal Mon 01-Aug-16 12:10:56

Theres some calming tablets called Zylkene you can buy from amazon or online pet shops etc. you break the capsule and put it on their food. I am about to try them on my cat to see if I can stop a habit of him weeing in inappropriate places , so can't say if they work or not but have loads of good reviews on amazon

mumchkin Mon 01-Aug-16 13:09:40

He sounds stressy. Our cat was always highly strung and then eventually was getting constant feline cystitis from it so in a lot of pain and not using his litter box. We reluctantly put him on Prozac and it has helped loads. Hasn't made him drowsy or changed his personality either - might be worth a try.

toadgirl Mon 01-Aug-16 13:13:16

He probably feels very vulnerable if he's got dodgy eyesight.

Maybe he lashes out because he is surprised when someone touches him?

Where did you get him? Could he be part-feral? I've had a part-feral cat before and he was liable to lash out if you weren't careful.

I agree with PPs that something to lower his stress levels could be good as it sounds as if he'd get more out of life himself if he was calmer.

SharingMichelle Mon 01-Aug-16 13:16:04

Gosh, drugging him is a big step. I'll do some research. Hadn't even considered that might be an option.

We really do need to do something. Youngest is in tears on my knee as I write this- she walked into the kitchen and he launched himself at her legs, biting and scratching. Drew blood in 4 places.

SharingMichelle Mon 01-Aug-16 13:18:55

He was a rescue. Yes, feral.

Thingiebob Mon 01-Aug-16 13:41:23

Jesus! Why on earth would you keep a violent animal that's attacking your kids in your home? Get rid.

emotionsecho Mon 01-Aug-16 13:54:07

Agree with Thingiebob why on earth are you putting your family and other pets through this? If you really care for the health and wellbeing of your children and other pets this cat needs to go.

This cat also sounds extremely unhappy and/or unwell, stop prolonging the misery and take the most humane option.

toadgirl Mon 01-Aug-16 14:17:33


That changes everything. You cannot tame a feral cat, to my knowledge.

Can you rehome him on a farm looking for a good mouser, for instance?

SharingMichelle Mon 01-Aug-16 14:18:55

Get rid to where exactly? Make him someone else's problem?

The cat is not unhappy or unwell, he is just a malevolent bastard.

SharingMichelle Mon 01-Aug-16 14:20:58

Of course you can tame a feral cat. A feral cat is the result of domestic cats being abandoned in the first place.

Thanks anyway guys. I'm going to investigate the calming drug option and keep looking for ways to manage him.

toadgirl Mon 01-Aug-16 14:22:01

A feral cat is basically a wild animal, not a pet.

I understand how you feel sorry for him and it's great you feel such responsibility towards him. I'd look at trying to find the right home for him, making sure that whoever takes him on knows exactly what he is.

Perhaps your local animal rescue will have contacts for people who'd be open to having a feral? Someone with a good bit of land, for instance.

That way, you'll know he's gone to a good home but you won't have your family being terrorised by him.

gamerchick Mon 01-Aug-16 14:22:32

If he's feral it's doubtful he'll chill, he sounds stressed, scared and unhappy.

I agree, maybe a farm where he can do a job and still be cared for might suit him better.

Costacoffeeplease Mon 01-Aug-16 14:22:58

I've tamed feral cats - zyklene isn't a drug as such, it's made from a milk protein that calms them, a bit like having warm milk - my dog has it very regularly

toadgirl Mon 01-Aug-16 14:25:39

Well, if we're talking true feral and he's already a year old, I don't think he can be tamed. Maybe we are differing on semantics - a feral is not the same as a domestic cat that hasn't had a lot of human interaction.

How long have you had him?

toadgirl Mon 01-Aug-16 14:25:57

The feral cat is a cat that has been born into wildness or has not had human interaction for a significant period of time and is self-sufficient. There is some disagreement over exactly what classifies a cat as feral, but groups tend to use factors such as the cat's levels of socialization and comfort with humans, and whether it is owned, kept confined, or dependent on humans for survival to determine whether a cat is feral. Feral cats are usually considered to be distinct from stray cats, which are socialized cats who no longer live in homes, but could potentially be reintroduced successfully.

NarcyCow Mon 01-Aug-16 14:26:18

Rescued ferals are more usually rehomed on farms or similar, so they can live in outbuildings and be minded but not closely involved with humans.

I'm a very devoted cat person but I'd be looking out for that sort of setup for him. He's not cut out to be a family cat.

toadgirl Mon 01-Aug-16 14:32:33

Get rid to where exactly? Make him someone else's problem?

I don't think finding the right home is the same as getting rid of him. The right home would be good for him, as well as you. If it were a dog behaving like this, you would have to think about rehoming for your children's safety. Cats can do a lot of damage too.

Of course you can tame a feral cat

How long have you had him? Have you noticed an improvement in him since the time you first took him and do you think you are on the track to getting him to calm down? It you see steady progress, there may yet be hope.

Thanks anyway guys. I'm going to investigate the calming drug option and keep looking for ways to manage him

Hope the calming drug works and things get less stressful for you all. He is a lucky cat to have you smile

Yoghurty Mon 01-Aug-16 14:36:27

Years ago, I had 2 cats from Celia Hammond. Not quite 'feral' but born on the streets (so gangster!) and lived outside until they were rescued at 4 months old by CH.

It took us a few months to have them trust us, and they still had behaviours they had learned that they didn't need anymore (stealing food from our plates and running away with it) that took a few more months to unlearn.

It took a while, but they settled down and became lovely little things. Never lap cats, but affectionate and calmer.
Feliway helps.

Having said this, we didn't have children to worry about and if blood is being shed, waiting and patiently continuing with this might not be an option for you?

SharingMichelle Mon 01-Aug-16 14:42:38

Okay. He was born in the wild to feral cats but was found (abandoned) at a very young age and bottle fed. He's been with us since about 6 weeks old. He is utterly dependent on us, would not survive in the wild, and we are his (slightly scarred) family. He belongs with people and is extremely needy for company (I mentioned the wailing when he's shut out in the OP). He's been with us for nearly 15 months.

I think feral was the wrong word. He's a bully and a thug, but he's not scarred, stressed or anxious. He's a bit broken I suppose, but it's not his fault.

Our other cat has a very similar story and is a sweetie.

We aren't in UK. There are no cat rescues or lovely farms for him to go and live on. It's us or the streets where a visually challenged idiot like him would last 2 minutes.

Apols for drip feeding. Didn't really mean to - I just came on hoping for advice to manage a bullish, claw-happy sod of a cat.

Happy to take advice aimed at the children too. Really can't work out what exactly it is that provokes him, unless he's just being teenagery and hormonal.

HuckleberryGin Mon 01-Aug-16 14:42:40

Feral means not socialised before 7 weeks as a kitten and therefore will always be a bit wild. We have two semi feral cats and although they have come a long way they will never be fully tame and always a bit jumpy due to the fact they didn't have the right human contact prior to being 7 weeks old.

HuckleberryGin Mon 01-Aug-16 14:43:05

A domestic cat that is abandoned is not a feral cat. It is still a domestic cat.

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