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Advice on our nasty nutty cat? Think she has BPD

14 replies

Slambang · 12/12/2011 22:06

Have finally admitted that DF (dear feline Hmm) is a nasty disturbed piece of work. I think she has some sort of mental health cat issues. She's middle aged (8 yo) and is getting nastier with age. Her normal behaviour is to mew, purr, invite herself onto a lap, settle down, purring loudly and then suddenly for NO apparent reason bite deeply into any arm or hand nearby and then attack with a viscious dig of her back claws. She regularly draws blood and leaves deep welts and tooth holes. She growls violently and aggressivey if something happens that displeases her - a cushion is moved or she is asked to get out of the way. She attacks the dog, literally running across the room to smack the poor dog in the face if the mood takes her (especially if food is in the air). She has never been badly treated. She is healthy, vet checked regularly, active and has a supply of mice everything a cat could want. We have had lovely gentle kind cats before so I don't think we have somehow caused this through bad ownership.

I've reached the stage where I actually don't want her any more. I would not miss her and have fantasies about her being PTS moving house. I wont get rid of her because I strongly believe in the lifetime commitment of having an animal but how on earth should we deal with this bloody nasty disturbed and disturbing cat?

OP posts:
PurplePidjInAPearTree · 12/12/2011 22:39

I'm not as experienced as you, having only had two cats one of whom is now deceased. However, I began my life as a cat owner at the same time I started working with children with behaviour issues. As a result, I inadvertently practised on my kittens - and ended up with cats who know "oi", "no" "no claws" and recognise their names in conversation as well as coming when called even by a 4yo visitor!

At the first hint of over-excitement and claws coming out, i would pick Kitten up, look them in the eyes, say No then put them on the floor away from me. I have also been know to gently tap/stroke the offending paw and say "No claws". Now all it takes is "Millie..." and a raised eyebrow for her to turn round and saunter nonchalently away from whatever it is she's not supposed to be doing Xmas Wink

Bunnies are harder to train, but he's getting there Xmas Grin

LoopyLoopsWoopDeWoops · 12/12/2011 22:41

You just described my cat.

Hassledge · 12/12/2011 22:42

No idea but it sounds hideous. We have a very thick and unpredictable 4 year old female - the thought of her going this way is horrifying. Can neutered female cats be menopausal? Have you seen the vet since this started?

NorkyPiesWithJingleBellsOn · 12/12/2011 22:43

I would take her to the vet. Perhaps she is in pain.

crazycrackernanna · 12/12/2011 22:45

I too am trying to make my kitten a sociable friendly girl Smile

I tell her a firm "NO POPPY!",when she swipes and bites,and she lays down with her head down,just for a split second,and then does it again Grin

But I do thinks she understands my displeasure of her claws and teeth.

TopazMortmain · 12/12/2011 22:49

That's my cat. Or one of them anyway. Here's what I do:

Being on lap or sofa fine but one bite and you're out the door.
Own floor cushion as can't stand the anticipation of being bitten
Lots and lots of toys on sticks (try and reach my from the end of that! Ha!)
Golf balls to chase

Change in diet essential. Whiskas pouches and wet food = insanity. True. Dry food = less nuts.

HTH a little. Diet and boredom main factors that make mine a lunatic.

Fluffycloudland77 · 13/12/2011 08:39

When she goes for you hiss at her really loudly, I do that to my bengal when he decides to "play" with my forearm.

He gives me look when I do it twice like "yes I know what it means, stupid cat mommy" and settles down afterwards.

Is she a tortoiseshell?

MyLittleFluffball · 13/12/2011 09:29

When did you get the dog? Could her behaviour be due to the stress of adapting to the dog?

What consequences does she experience for her misbehaviour? Animals respond to negative consequences too. Have a look online for ideas (nothing cruel!), but having a water spray bottle that you squirt on her when she behaves badly could be a deterrent. The hissing option made me laugh and probably would also be effective, I know that my new little cat always perks up her ears if I make a meowing sound so cat noises mean something to them, you may as well use their language!

I have had four cats in my lifetime and all have been lovely. But I certainly believe you that this is likely due to "nature, not nurture" (as long as there are no big stressors in your cat's life) - cats can have bad personalities and mental health problems just like people do. When I was at the RSPCA picking out my new little cat, I could see the diversity of the cats' personalities including some that seemed to have rather vicious streaks! I would feel the way you do if I had a nasty-natured cat - fed up and disliking the cat, but feeling obligated to "see through" my responsibilities as an owner.

An animal behaviourist may be able to help.

Slambang · 13/12/2011 17:30

OOh answers!!! Thank you - and sorry - I went to bed last night so missed you all. To answer your wise and wonderful questions...

The consequences for an attack are generally a loud shout (Ouch FFXXX%$£!!) and DF being dumped unceremoniously on the floor so she knows it isn't well received. In fact she often does it and jumps off all in one movement as she is predicting the result.

The dog - have had for 6 years. Yes, the cat was stressed by dog's arrival and was very sniffy for a year or so. But dog is now part of the furniture and they curl up together in the warm spots. The only thing is DF's aggression seems worse now than it was when dog moved in.

Tortoiseshell - YES Fluffy!! (are they notoriously nutty?)

The strange thing is that with most cats you can usually tell if they're getting irritated. The ears go back, tail flicking etc. With DF she can be in mid lovey dovey mode, rubbing up against you and purring when she attacks. There seems no reason or warning.

I don't think its pain. She is fully vet checked. (The vet wears protective gloves Blush. There doesn't seem to be any area of her body that causes her more irritation or agression.

I do think we just got a dud cat Sad

OP posts:
Fluffycloudland77 · 13/12/2011 18:43

I read once the rescue centres call them naughty torties.

We had one, bit nutty but was abused as a kitten so we let it go.

4c4good · 13/12/2011 22:04

I was once interested in adopting a cat from a rescue, but they warned me he would bite, hard, without warning. They explained to me that some cats get over-stimulated or zoned-out and and so 'in the moment' they don't know quite what to do but bite and that was why it happened. I didn't adopt him, but someone did - I kept checking. would also check with vet, def.

frillyflower · 24/12/2011 20:47

We have a cat like this. She was a rescue cat and I thought she was bitey and antisocial because she had been pulled about by kids in her previous home.

I now think that this is probably her nature (and why she was rehomed).

HeadsRollingInTheAisles · 24/12/2011 20:58

Also called tortitude. Have her teeth been checked, they can be a cause of pain but maybe just the way she is...

Daveslittlehelper · 24/12/2011 21:11

We Have two terrible Torties. Definitely an attitude thing with those girls!

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