Cat aggressive towards husband please help baby is coming

kittymom161616

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I (we’ve) had my little cat for five years we adopted both her and her brother and raised them as indoor cats. The girl has always been a bit more anxious around others when we had visitors in the home, quite territorial, sometimes scratching, stalking behaviors but generally keeps to herself otherwise. She gets peevish towards my husband at times if he lets her too much and he gets a little nervous around her from time to time but otherwise she shows him affection and he plays with her lots. I am pregnant for the first time and baby is coming soon. My husband was away for a couple days and she went bonkers on him when he came home, hissing stalking, charging him wouldn’t even let him through the front door. Her brother came to see her during this and she attacked him brutally (first time ever). I was able to calm her when I got home but after a couple days and trying to reintroduce her and her brother nothing was helping. We had her checked out at the vet and started her on Clonicalm. It’s been difficult getting the dose in her as she will often refuse to eat the treats the dose is in once she tastes one. But she was slowly able to be reintroduced to both her brother and my husband. Two weeks late I thought it was happy days, she was even tolerating visitors at the house (one at a time to start) so much better then even before. Her little personality even started to come back after starting the medications. However again today my husband came back after a couple work shifts in a row and she hissed and tried to attack him again when he entered the front door. I don’t know what to do. I will phone the vet this week and see, maybe two weeks isn’t enough for the medication to fully work. I am also so nervous everyday when I give her her dose because sometimes she won’t even take it and if I can’t get it into her then what else can I do to help her. Please any advice. Since she was reintroduced we have put cat trees upstairs, play with her at least 10-15 minutes first thing when we get up.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. It sounds like there is some scent your husband is bringing home from work that she finds upsetting. That, in turn, is causing what they call re-directed aggression toward your other cat. You can try getting your husband to remove his shoes, and maybe even change clothes as well as washing his hands to see if that would remove whatever smell he is bringing home.

As far as the medication goes, if it is a pill than can be crushed or a liquid, you can mix it with a bit of one of the following to see if that might help:
1.) Lickable treats, such as Applaws, Tiki Cat Stix, Vitakraft, Wholehearted, and Inaba Churu, just to name a few. Tiki Cat Mousse works well too.
2.) The 'juice' from canned tuna or chicken in water, with a piece of the meat as a treat afterward.
3.) Baby food meats (Gerber Stage 2 or Beechnut - neither have any additives like onions, etc.).

I have included a few TCS articles for you to review to see if there are any ideas/tips for you.
Re-directed Aggression In Cats – TheCatSite Articles
Why Do Cats Attack? – TheCatSite Articles
Cats And Babies: All Your Questions Answered! – TheCatSite Articles
 

rubysmama

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I also think it sounds like redirected aggression, though why it's suddenly happening, is odd.

Your husband hasn't changed anything like his shampoo, soap, etc. Not wearing different clothes, gloves, or new shoes / boots? Is he carrying a suitcase or bag when he comes in the door? Driving a different vehicle?

In addition to the articles FeebysOwner FeebysOwner posted, there's also this one on Cat Aggression Toward People – TheCatSite Articles

Welcome to TCS. btw. Sorry though for the reason that brought you here. Hopefully we can help you solve the mystery.
 

ArtNJ

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A couple of work shifts in a row, he **definitely** smells different. That is a huge thing for cats. What does he do?

One trick might be to change in the garage before coming in the house. Maybe not even into fresh clothes, a pair of sweats or other around-the-house clothes worn once or twice with his familiar scent might even be better.
 
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kittymom161616

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I also think it sounds like redirected aggression, though why it's suddenly happening, is odd.

Your husband hasn't changed anything like his shampoo, soap, etc. Not wearing different clothes, gloves, or new shoes / boots? Is he carrying a suitcase or bag when he comes in the door? Driving a different vehicle?

In addition to the articles FeebysOwner FeebysOwner posted, there's also this one on Cat Aggression Toward People – TheCatSite Articles

Welcome to TCS. btw. Sorry though for the reason that brought you here. Hopefully we can help you solve the mystery.
Thanks you guys for the help. That’s the thing he’s worked night shifts before and comes home and no issues. I was thinking the same thing that it’s because his clothes are at work longer, but he wears a uniform at work then changes back into his clothes before he comes home, but maybe just the extra time sitting in his locker?? The treats Ive tried are her favourite temptations once I basically use a scalpel to insert a piece of the pill into it. But she’s so smart now even taking extra care to ensure the med doesn’t transfer to the outside shell, it’s like she knows what ones have been tampered with. The other issue is her tiny mouth is so small if she does eat a treat, it always breaks into pieces then she’ll eat the pieces, but of course if the pill piece is in there she’ll avoid it. I’ve tried the greenies pill pockets which she loved at first but of course after tasting a pill piece in one avoids it. It’s so hard because her brother is sooo food motivated I could easily slip him anything. But for her she’s already so picky... My last resort might be to try to switch her food to wet, but even then I foresee her eating around the pill pieces and since she eats such a small amount it would be hard to tel if she gets the full dose. Today I tried the hardest route to put the piece in myself and it did work, I had to hold her little mouth closed. When it came time for the next piece however she wigged out too bad and I couldn’t hold her tight enough to put the pill in, close her mouth etc so she spat it out and hid under the bed from me. But even with just half the dose she’s soooo chilled out right now, much more different then she’s been the last few days which makes me think she wasn’t getting any of her meds from the treats!! I’m going to call the vet Monday and see if there’s any transdermal option I can try in the mean time.
 

lmdisalle

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I (we’ve) had my little cat for five years we adopted both her and her brother and raised them as indoor cats. The girl has always been a bit more anxious around others when we had visitors in the home, quite territorial, sometimes scratching, stalking behaviors but generally keeps to herself otherwise. She gets peevish towards my husband at times if he lets her too much and he gets a little nervous around her from time to time but otherwise she shows him affection and he plays with her lots. I am pregnant for the first time and baby is coming soon. My husband was away for a couple days and she went bonkers on him when he came home, hissing stalking, charging him wouldn’t even let him through the front door. Her brother came to see her during this and she attacked him brutally (first time ever). I was able to calm her when I got home but after a couple days and trying to reintroduce her and her brother nothing was helping. We had her checked out at the vet and started her on Clonicalm. It’s been difficult getting the dose in her as she will often refuse to eat the treats the dose is in once she tastes one. But she was slowly able to be reintroduced to both her brother and my husband. Two weeks late I thought it was happy days, she was even tolerating visitors at the house (one at a time to start) so much better then even before. Her little personality even started to come back after starting the medications. However again today my husband came back after a couple work shifts in a row and she hissed and tried to attack him again when he entered the front door. I don’t know what to do. I will phone the vet this week and see, maybe two weeks isn’t enough for the medication to fully work. I am also so nervous everyday when I give her her dose because sometimes she won’t even take it and if I can’t get it into her then what else can I do to help her. Please any advice. Since she was reintroduced we have put cat trees upstairs, play with her at least 10-15 minutes first thing when we get up.
Hi! I am literally in the same boat. Crabby 4.5 year old cat... always been anxious/aggressive/sassy. First baby due this winter.
She is on prozac now- may switch it up. Be open to meds.. I will NEVER give away my cat and the reason she acts out is because she is a little unstable mentally. Meds really were a game changer to make her comfortable.
Amazon sells pill guns. I roll her pills in butter and the pill gun makes it so easy to get down her throat.
 

lmdisalle

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Thanks you guys for the help. That’s the thing he’s worked night shifts before and comes home and no issues. I was thinking the same thing that it’s because his clothes are at work longer, but he wears a uniform at work then changes back into his clothes before he comes home, but maybe just the extra time sitting in his locker?? The treats Ive tried are her favourite temptations once I basically use a scalpel to insert a piece of the pill into it. But she’s so smart now even taking extra care to ensure the med doesn’t transfer to the outside shell, it’s like she knows what ones have been tampered with. The other issue is her tiny mouth is so small if she does eat a treat, it always breaks into pieces then she’ll eat the pieces, but of course if the pill piece is in there she’ll avoid it. I’ve tried the greenies pill pockets which she loved at first but of course after tasting a pill piece in one avoids it. It’s so hard because her brother is sooo food motivated I could easily slip him anything. But for her she’s already so picky... My last resort might be to try to switch her food to wet, but even then I foresee her eating around the pill pieces and since she eats such a small amount it would be hard to tel if she gets the full dose. Today I tried the hardest route to put the piece in myself and it did work, I had to hold her little mouth closed. When it came time for the next piece however she wigged out too bad and I couldn’t hold her tight enough to put the pill in, close her mouth etc so she spat it out and hid under the bed from me. But even with just half the dose she’s soooo chilled out right now, much more different then she’s been the last few days which makes me think she wasn’t getting any of her meds from the treats!! I’m going to call the vet Monday and see if there’s any transdermal option I can try in the mean time.
I have tried transdermal- it is almost more annoying and not as effective. I forgot to mention that I also put my girls anxiety meds into clear empty pills. (size 4 on amazon). When rolled in butter, and administered with the pill gun, it is so easy. It will take a few weeks for her to get used to it, but a routine will be formed.

Do NOT get discouraged. This is a big time of transition for your little family. Everyone (included kitty) is going to react. Sending you positive vibes :)
 
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