Help before i have to rehome can you train a cat not to be violent?(26 Posts)
Sally struck out at DH the other night fangs and claws into his foot for no apparent reason. DH went nuts
Today Sally struck out and attacked the labrador on his face dH went nuts
Can she be trained not to strike out or should she be rehomed?
We have had her from the rescue centre for about 14 or 15 months and she is approx 19 months old, She is spayed dont know if thats of any relevance.
Ive never rehomed a pet ever, once we have them they stay but shes causing problems between us. DH hates her, i love her but im so sad she can go back to the rehoming place as we signed to say we would return her if required. But its not like taking something back to the shops. I know i have to do whats right for her, but i will miss herso much as she loves a cuddle and the other cat isnt a cuddly one, shes DH's too as well as the dog.
Has she been to the vets to check for any problems first? Then I would try a felliway diffuser before making any decisions.
She may be bored! The most common reason for cats to unexpectedly lash out is boredom!!
Toys, feeding toys, play mats, towers and outdoor playtimes should help with energy and boredom levels!
As PNut says, a vet check can help rule out any health concerns and feliway, pet remedy etc can help in the home!
Has she always been like this or is this a new problem. Cats can get a bit crabid when they are in pain.
You've only had her a few months, she's probably not 100% settled especially if you have another cat.
What do you mean by "DH went nuts"? If he is scaring her and raising her stress levels she will be more likely to lash out.
Is she allowed out? If she is used to going out and you are keeping her in it could be boredom and frustration.
Cat attacking dog in face is not too rare, they like to keep them in their place. Mine always tries to claw the dog on the nose. Was DH interacting with her when she went for him? Is he aware of cat body language, it is normally really obvious when a cat is getting wound up but some people are just unaware.
My immediate thought would be a vet check up as she might be in pain. Is there another pet or person (no disrespect to you or your family), in the house bullying her or something outside? Sometimes cats will strike out if they're stressed from bullying. Does she have plenty of toys to play with and does anyone play with her? She's probably afraid of something in or outside, and is reacting to that. I wonder if keeping her in for a few days would help? Try a felliway plug in and see if you can establish what's upsetting her - so much easier said than done, I know.
How long do you spend playing with her each day? She's still a young cat so if she doesn't get her energy out chasing something on a string or a laser pointer then it's not that unusual for her to practise her hunting skills by running out and pouncing at people's feet. Some cats grow out of it, some don't. My mum's cat is a pouncer and a biter. It's annoying and hurts but isn't really dangerous or worthy of rehoming. What made her go for the dog? Did she run out and pounce on him from nowhere or was the dog bothering her and she swatted him? Cats don't usually attack for no reason. Either she's "playing" or she's feeling threatened in some way. There's no point your DH going mad about it. Either she needs playing with or she needs to feel safer and more secure. Going mad won't achieve either of those things. If the dog is bothering her then the dog needs to be kept away from her or she needs to be given high shelves or a baby gate so that she can escape the dog to somewhere he can't follow her.
Would checking for hidden injuries be worth it?
I understand that cats can hide their injuries well and thast the pain can show in other ways.
Speak to the place uot her from, I assume a charity type place? Th may be able to help.
She sounds like a cat tbh. They are mad. You either like them or you don't. They do bite and scratch. But they won't tear a small child's head off or anything.
shes allowed out when ever she wants.
She sunk her teeth into DH whilst he was having his tea
THe dog was walking past her when she struck out at him
She steals food from the neighbours cats and steals from our other cat and the dog. Who never does anything but let her take his dinner.
I dont think the dog is bothering her, more she is bothering the dog.
I guess its the vets for her to see if theres an issue.
Its new behaviour, nothing at home has changed
Personally, I'd get of DH rather than the cat.
Our cats behaviour changed and he became violent. Turns out he had an injured back and was in a lot of pain. Whilst he is so much better now after the painkillers he has never returned fully to his 'chilled ' self and needs more patience. Definitely worth a vet check.
If it's new behaviour something has changed for her. Maybe she's hungry, if it's someone or something just walking past it could be she feels threatened (they think differently to us) or maybe wants more attention in the way of love/being playful. However, as it's new behaviour I would get her checked out immediately - my lad started grumbling at us if we even got near, it turned out he had a nasty infected wound that I had no idea about.
Could DH have been wiggling his toes or something without realising and she pounced?
Wrt the dog i think cats tend to have to be in charge, so she may still be trying to enforce her status - you haven't had her long, it's probably all in flux still.
I strongly reccomend the feliway plug in for multiple cat households. We had one when we brought baby home and our previously grumpy and huffy cat is like a kitten again, chasing his tail and everything! They are expensive but really really worth it.
If this is new behaviour then my first concern is that she's in pain. Could be bored.
Can I ask how vicious these attacks are? - is your cat really sinking in teeth and claws very hard? Every cat I've owned has enjoyed playfighting and has occasionally scratched/bit to keep people in line, but one time I was attacked by a wild cat and boy, there was a difference. I was literally crying in pain (and got a horrible infection which had me literally pacing the floor all through Christmas night, took two rounds of antibiotics and I couldn't use my right hand for two months). So I think, with cats, you have to accept that they are a bit bonkers as conkers, and I'm yet to meet one who doesn't enjoy pretending that feet are mice, but obviously if you think somebody might actually get hurt you need to take action.
I'm a bit more worried about your dh's response - does he have much experience of cats?
the atttack on DH was very hard left marks and broke the skin through his sock, marks still visable the next day.
She does like to play attack but is usually more gentle.
Re hunger i think that may be the trigger - we were eating at 1st attack and she was in her feeding space (on the table erhm) when she attacked the dog.
She eats loads though and has very smelly outgoings so we have cut back a bit on the wet food and feed biscuits and 1/2 a wet pouch twice a day.
DH has had lots of experience with cats, we have had 3 previously and all reached a grand age without any violent outburts.
He Went nuts by shooing the cat out the room and out into the garden.
He was upset the cat hurt his dog and on the face close to his eyes
thanks for all the respnses
Sadly, I had to give my cat back to the rescue last summer for the same reason.
We'd had him from September 2015 and around May 2016 his behaviour changed and he became aggressive. Biting and lashing out with claws. Much more than in a pouncing on your toes type nip. First took him to vets to check for injuries. Nothing found. Got some calming drops for him from vet. Nothing changed. Got a feliway plug-in. Nothing changed. It got to the stage my DD was terrified of him. Then on Brexit day I was up early watching the news when he launched himself at my face, bit my chin, drew blood, I had to see GP for cleaning it and was prescribed antibiotics and had to have a tetanus booster.
Back to vet, recommended PTS, rescue centre took him back for 1-2-1 fostering. I'm not sure if the rehomed him again or not.
I've had cats all my life, and have a new one now, and I've never experienced anything like this ones aggression. Or pain like it when he bit! It was sad to give him up but I couldn't keep him after all that.
We had a hostile psycho kitty (who is currently warming my lap). We have loved bombed him into being much nicer pet but he's still a pillock too quick with too sharp claws. Grumpy old man cat.
Try leaving dry food out for her all of the time & see if that helps. Some cats are always hungry. I have one who grazes during the day. I think she might be fearful of not being fed, having lived on the street for goodness knows how long.
Cats will be cats. Cats lash out at dogs its nothing new. You say you've had cats but it really doesn't sound like it if you know nothing about cat behaviour.
In my experience, cats attack out of nowhere because they're either in pain or scared.
Have you been to the vets? If she's given the all-clear, is there a new cat in the neighbourhood, or is someone fussing her/picking her up when she wants to be left alone?
How is she generally with the dog? Do they coexist peacefully in the main? Does he frighten her?
Does she have plenty of places to retreat to? I mentioned on another thread about cats feeling secure in high places e.g. on top of a chest of drawers/ bookshelves and so on. If you manage to keep her can you get her a nice tall (5ft) cat tower/tree in a corner somewhere so she can relax out of the way of the dog and the household?
If she's scared/uneasy could you fit a indoor gate somewhere so she has a dog-free domain?
What kind of food does she have? It's worth changing to a higher quality dry food if you're feeding supermarket brands. Even the premium supermarket dry foods are full of cheap cereal. One with a higher meat content is preferable and may well sort out the smell!
Agree with the vet and Feliway advice too.
Hope you find a way forward.
Sorry I missed your update about the dog!
Most of my advice still stands. Sounds like she's trying to establish herself at the top of the hierarchy She probably felt threatened as the dog strolled past and lashed out at the closest thing, your DH's foot.
I'd try all the suggestions, it doesn't sound that unusual. She's young, has lots of energy and has another cat and a dog to coexist with. Some cats will only tolerate being the lone cat in the household.
Can you shut her away in another room/ outside while the others eat?
Mine's good at regulating his food intake so I leave his dish out all day filled with high quality dry food. Could you try this if you can find somewhere where the dog won't eat it?
thanks for further responses, it will be difficult to leave food out all the time as the lab will eat it!
Dog and cat get on fine and are often found sharing the same space without a problem, sally loves to play with his tail! and hes never bothered by her.
I have had lots of cats so do know how they behave ive just never had one like this! it is more than a playful pounce i can assure you. Anyway all is back to normal at the moment
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