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Rescue cat has turned vicious!

25 replies

whomovedmychocolate · 10/02/2011 08:23

We got a rescue cat last year - he's doubled his weight and was a really nice cat for a while, but never really cuddly you know, quite distant (but I don't mind that).

A month ago he bit me - hard enough to cause a major infection and for me to need the wound dressing for a week.

Then he bit DS (2) (although not as hard but I think that's because DS yelled and startled him).

Then this morning, for no reason, he attacked DH and bit and scratched him really badly.

DH wants to send him back to the Cats Protection people because of the kids.

Is there absolutely anything I can do about this before we do? He's had a shit life really been a stray and unloved and we wanted to be his forever home but he's just really vicious (and he's not sick btw, we checked this out with the vet).

OP posts:
ClaireDeLoon · 10/02/2011 08:29

Difficult, never a nice decision to make but I would go with your DH's view. If he attacks without provocation he needs to be in a home without children.

You could try feliway etc but in the long term he may never change. My parents have a cat that had been badly treated and she attacks occasionally and she's never got over it, but you know the signs to look out for, your DC's are probably too young to do that.

clayre · 10/02/2011 08:31

We have an evil cat too, got her as an 8 week old kitten from the cpl, we just give her space, nobody goes near her as we are too scared, sometimes she comes to us, usually when she's hungry! We asked at the vet about her and they said she mostly ferrel, nothing we can do with her, I wouldn't never send her back tho!

IngridBergmann · 10/02/2011 08:32

Oh dear Sad

IME also the more stresshead cats don't really get over it. You don't need a cat you can't approach safely.

Has he been 'done'? if not that might help a great deal! But otherwise yes he needs to go back and be with a childless family.

I've fostered loads of rescue cats, and would not stand for this with kids in the just makes you miserable.

whomovedmychocolate · 10/02/2011 08:51

He's been 'done' - he's a rescue cat. I'm absolutely gutted because he's doubled his weight since he came and he has gone from not even entering a room if there was anyone in it, to coming for a cuddle each night.

Feliway doesn't work btw, we tried it previously when he first arrived and he piddled all over the dispersal unit Shock Hmm

My real worry is quite selfish - I have a heart condition and a history of reacting very badly to cat bites. Each time I get bitten it's 10 days of antibiotics at least and quite often they have to be intravenous and so I have to be admitted to hospital.

Also he's attacked DS when he was asleep before because DS moved his foot.

Oh damnit, I really don't have any other choice do I? :(

OP posts:
whomovedmychocolate · 10/02/2011 08:51

Sorry that wasn't clear - I get infections much more easily than most people and they become serious very quickly - blood poisoning 24 hours after a bite for example.

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IngridBergmann · 10/02/2011 08:54

Well in that case he would be an ex cat Smile

I agree you have no real choice. It's a shame but the work you have done with him will not be wasted. It will help immensely in getting him into a new home.

Well done for what you've achieved so far.

whomovedmychocolate · 10/02/2011 08:57


Poor bugger, it's not his fault. He was a stray from birth, spent two years with a family who didn't want him because they had other cats and he kept beating them up and now this :(

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IngridBergmann · 10/02/2011 08:59

He is well ard then and won't take it personally.

I'm sure you feel worse about it than he does.

warthog · 10/02/2011 09:02

i agree - i think you have to take him back for the welfare of you and your family. you can't have him attacking without provocation, esp with little kids around.

whomovedmychocolate · 10/02/2011 09:04

I've emailed the cats protection branch. I'll have to give them a call later when the kids aren't around. :(

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whomovedmychocolate · 10/02/2011 15:42

Well Cats protection were no help at all Angry. Despite their website saying (and them saying at the time) that they would take back any rehomed cat at any time, they refuse to take him back into care because they say no-one will want him. They suggested we take him to the vet for euthanasia :(

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IngridBergmann · 10/02/2011 15:45

Shock No way. NO way. Have you tried their head office? Surely if it says that on their T&C...

I'm very angry on your behalf and on the behalf of [nameless Tom].

I think you should ring their director.

whomovedmychocolate · 10/02/2011 16:00

But either way Ingrid - the cat will end up dead. If they do take him back and they are unable to find him a home (which they won't) his end will be the same. I can sort of see their point - their shelters are full and they can't take on any more. He was a direct adoption (from his previous 'owners' - such as they were). So they've not even 'met' him, from their PoV they just introduced me to the owner. :(

If they did take him in, he'd end up being killed anyway because they don't rehome cats with a history of aggression. :(

I just don't know what the hell has happened to him. When he bit me, he actually took a chunk out of my thumb-bone - I was shown the xray in A&E. The doctor said I was really, really lucky where he bit me that he didn't cause nerve damage as well as deep tissue damage and infection. :(

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IngridBergmann · 10/02/2011 16:03

That's rough Sad

The only thing I can think of is phoning around a few farms and asking if they want an outdoor cat. Is he a fairly good mouser?

Or could he live in your shed etc?

He does sound very, well, whatever happened to him before has damaged him I think hasn't it. Poor old sod. It's not his fault.

But you cannot keep him anywhere near you, he is a threat in terms of your health and your kids' safety.

Farmers often want barn cats to keep the rat population in check. It's gotta be worth a try Sad

coatgate · 10/02/2011 16:04

Oh poor you. What a dreadful situation to be in. No real solution to offer but I would hate to be in your position. Sad. Could he not live outside somewhere? Is there a farmer who might give him a home in a barn? I am sure there must be other cat rescuers around no?

whomovedmychocolate · 10/02/2011 16:12

We've tried the local farmers but they already know of him because he's been kicking the proverbial out of the farm cats and, according to the farmer from the next village, terrorising his sheep Blush

He can't live outside sadly. He goes into other people's houses and I'm worried he'll attack the neighbours.

I did speak to the other rescue centre and they said they'd euthanise him too. Apparently some cats just get like this esp if they've been badly treated. :(

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IngridBergmann · 10/02/2011 16:17

Well, in that case...I don't know if it would be worse, but to keep him caged?

Like they do at rescus centres. An outdoor shed with wire run, sort of idea - fed and watered every day, warm enough and so on.

It is perhaps your only real chance of keeping him alive and it may not be the sort of life he would enjoy.

I'm sorry. It's a sad situation but I have had a cat that I would actually almost have been relieved to see disappear. Snarling and vicious whenever I went near him.

I was lucky to be able to move house and leave him there, as he came with the rental, but tbh I expect the next people had him PTS.

whomovedmychocolate · 10/02/2011 16:22

I'm going to take him to the vets. It's the kindest thing I can do for him in the circumstances. :(

Can't do an outdoor shed - listed building/conservation area, council sniffing around weekly because we are building at the minute - and I don't want him to live in a cage. He'd hate it. He's essentially a wild cat who has learned to be domesticated now and then in order to be fed isn't he? :( Also since he has escaped from the cattery at the vets when he's been taken for treatment, a cage might not be sufficient.

My mum's cat is feral - but you know where you are with a feral cat. If you pat it, it will bite you. But they don't generally mosey over when you are sleeping and attempt to kill you.

God what a mess. :(

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IngridBergmann · 10/02/2011 16:25

I support your decision and think it is on balance totally the right one.

Poor old thing has had a very happy life with you so far and he would not have had that had you not stepped in and taken him on.

He doesn't sound happy now, so in that sense I don't think it's wrong. It would be a matter of time before someone got him with a rifle anyway if he is a threat to livestock.

You are doing the right thing.

ClaireDeLoon · 10/02/2011 16:25

Why don't you go ask for advice on // forums. That is a site dedicated to rehoming and rescues. There may be a suitable rescue that can help.

coatgate · 10/02/2011 16:52

Best of luck with whatever decision you make. Sad Poor thing.

thebountymuncher · 10/02/2011 16:59

Poor you, and poor wild cat Sad

Horrible decision for you to have to make.

Best of luck from me too.

xenaworrierprincess · 11/02/2011 20:26

Ask vet about Zylkene it's a milk protein supplement that is good for stressed cats i was sceptical but it has done wonders for my 'damaged' rescue cat - really changed his personality. You don't need a prescription andcan buy it online. Always dificult if you are worried about safety of children - hioe it all works out.

ClaireDeLoon · 11/02/2011 22:45

How is all this going?

Ingles2 · 11/02/2011 22:50

oh crap...always upsetting, but you can't keep a vicious cat.
I'd have it put down, there's no way I'd want it to be rehomed and risk it biting another child on my conscience.
Shame but got to go.

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