Help!! New cat is mean.

beberz

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Hello I just recently adopted a male cat, he's 1 year old, declared, and neutered. I was told that the woman was getting rid of him because she's older ans had a hard time taking care of him. I get him home and I expect some hiding and getting used to the house. But right away he turns aggressive attacking me, my husband and my kids. I will not have a cat that attacks my kids for no reason. So is there anything I can do to help him adjust? It's been 2 days My kids are afraid of him, to be honest I'm even getting Leary of him. And my other cat just watches jumping in to defend her family.

I also wanted to add that the woman who gave her to me said she's used to kids.
 
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shadowsrescue

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You have only had him for 2 days.  The poor sweet boy has been uprooted from his only home and now is expected to adjust to your new home.  Did you ever visit him in his previous home?

Did you bring anything of his from his former home that has his scent on it?  Cats are very territorial.  He has lost all of his territory from his previous home.  He now needs to know where he can establish his territory in your home.  Do you have a cat tree of a place for him to look outside?  What about a cozy place to sleep or a safe place to hide? 

Are you spending time talking quietly to him and allowing him to approach you?  He needs to learn that he can trust you.  That you will be the one to care for him.  He is scared right now and acting out the only way he knows how; aggressively.  He is afraid you might hurt him and he has no idea where he is and who your family is.

You need to take things slow with him.  When a new cat comes into a home, it is best to isolate him for a few days in one room.  A room that is quiet.  He needs time to adjust before being let out in your entire house.  While he is in this room, he needs quiet visits from you and your family.  Not all at once.  Use quiet inside voices and offer him a yummy treat.  He may not eat it at first in your presence, bu he will learn to associate you with something good.  Allow him to approach you.  Do not grab for him or expect him to want to be held or sit on your lap.  YOu need to develop trust.

Once he has calmed down you can start to play with him.  A laser pointer, da bird wand toy and even some toy mice and catnip toys.

You also can try a feliway diffuser.  It has special phermones that will help to calm him.
 
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beberz

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That's what I figure more time. My kids are 2 and 1. He's got everything from his old owner. Perhaps assuming he'd let me try to put all his stuff in my closet and see if I let him kind of hide out there. When I feed him and offer him treats he growls and hisses and swipes at me. Thankfully he's declawed.

Last night while we were sleeping He was nosing around and I must have scared him when I rolled over because he bit my arm hissed and ran away.
 

shadowsrescue

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Are you spending any time with him?  Sitting down on the floor at his level?  Looming over a cat is very frightening to them. 

Your kids are very young.  They need to leave the cat alone.  No chasing or running after him. 

So, did you ever go and visit this cat before you brought him into your home?  I am just wondering what his behavior was like with is previous owner. 

When you offer him treats, sit on the floor and speak softly to him.  If he is afraid just leave the treats and tell him he is safe.  Try again later.
 

Kat0121

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That's what I figure more time. My kids are 2 and 1. He's got everything from his old owner. Perhaps assuming he'd let me try to put all his stuff in my closet and see if I let him kind of hide out there. When I feed him and offer him treats he growls and hisses and swipes at me. Thankfully he's declawed.

Last night while we were sleeping He was nosing around and I must have scared him when I rolled over because he bit my arm hissed and ran away.
Yes. More time for sure. How long depends on the cat. A safe room is a good start and a tree by a window with a cubby or some type of hiding place is great. They need to feel secure. I put a tree in Henry's room that has a cubby in it but he wasn't too thrilled with that set up because we can see into the cubby from the windows that look into the room. I bought his one of these and he loves it. 


I also went to a local thrift store and bought some children's books that I read to him. It's a good way to get them used to your voice and your presence in a calm, non threatening way. You can also sing to him or just tell him about your day. Offer him treats but don't be surprised if he won't take them from you at first. I've had Henry for 2 months and he just started taking things from me. The thing is that you can't take it personally. They aren't like humans. They don't operate that way. He's nervous and doesn't know what your intentions are yet. it will take time, patience and lots of love but he will come around. You just need to realize that it will take place on his terms and when he's ready and there's no way to rush that. Your patience will pay off big time when the time is right. Thank you for giving this boy his forever home. 
 
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beberz

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Ok here's an update on Snickers. I've moved him into the closet (I've got a large walk in closet so it's not like a tiny little hole) his tree is in there, as well as his food water and litter box. Every time we go in we offer him treats and try to sit down and talk to him. He still hisses at us. But I figure he'll come around. He seems curious.

I never did see him before adopting him. The woman was saying he was going to the pound. I do wonder if maybe she fibbed about his mannerisms. But I also realize we're his 3rd home in under a year! I wouldn't trust anyone either! But I'm optimistic that with more time and love, he'll come around.
 

shadowsrescue

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Ok here's an update on Snickers. I've moved him into the closet (I've got a large walk in closet so it's not like a tiny little hole) his tree is in there, as well as his food water and litter box. Every time we go in we offer him treats and try to sit down and talk to him. He still hisses at us. But I figure he'll come around. He seems curious.

I never did see him before adopting him. The woman was saying he was going to the pound. I do wonder if maybe she fibbed about his mannerisms. But I also realize we're his 3rd home in under a year! I wouldn't trust anyone either! But I'm optimistic that with more time and love, he'll come around.
When you go into visit him, be sure you are sitting on the floor.  Just talk softly to him.  Tell him about your day.  Read aloud to him.  Spend 15 or more minutes with him.  Tell him he is safe.  He needs to trust you. 

Are the treats gone when you come back the next time?  You can also up the treat reward.  Try plain cooked chicken, tuna or even Gerber Stage 2 chicken or turkey baby food.  It has only chicken or turkey and water, with no added spices.  Cats love it.  You can offer a small amount on a plate.  It's a treat not a meal replacement.

Leave a few toys too.  Try a bit of catnip. 

Try not to leave him in your closet too long.  Can he have access to your room next (with the door closed)?  That would give him more room and maybe a window to look out too. 

Just stay super calm with him.  I would also really try Feliway plug ins as well as some Composure liquid max to help calm him and feel more at ease.  You can find them both at good prices on Amazon.
 

bengalcatman

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.....we're his 3rd home in under a year! I wouldn't trust anyone either! But I'm optimistic that with more time and love, he'll come around.
If you have the patience he will probably come around. Keep in mind it may take some time, especially after he was rehomed so many times.

Our male Bengal had several homes before we got him and he was extremely angry and aggressive. The owner who gave him to us lied about his behavior too. It took about 3 months for us to see that he was making progress, and believe me, we talked about giving up on him many times. Very trying. I suspect that in our case, the breed made it a lot harder.

Each time a cat is rehomed, his whole world gets yanked out from under him. After a few times, the cat is angry and trusts no one and nothing. The only hope is that with time, the cat learns to trust again. Not just trust you, but trust life itself, trust that things can remain the same, that the world won't change overnight. Trust that life can be good, stable and safe. Cats don't understand words, they only understand what they experience, and right now that cat knows for sure that everything will change any day now, and he is very angry.

Somewhere behind all that anger is a very lonely cat with a broken heart.

Eventually, with time, the cat may start to see that things are the same, and start to hope that they will stay the same. Eventually, despite the anger, the cat will want to try and form a relationship to ease the loneliness.

It sounds like you are doing the right things, keep it up and look for positive signs.

Eric
 
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beberz

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I've left the door cracked so he can come out of the closet when he wants. He spied on us. Shortly before bed I went in and sat down. He seemed to crave attention. He rubbed my hand and my legs but was hissing and growling the whole time. Then I got his toy and he played for a while. I even lured him out of the closet with it. That That seemed to boost his confidence. He jumped in bed with me but jumped down when I moved. Now he's wandering the house. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
 

shadowsrescue

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I've left the door cracked so he can come out of the closet when he wants. He spied on us. Shortly before bed I went in and sat down. He seemed to crave attention. He rubbed my hand and my legs but was hissing and growling the whole time. Then I got his toy and he played for a while. I even lured him out of the closet with it. That That seemed to boost his confidence. He jumped in bed with me but jumped down when I moved. Now he's wandering the house. We'll see what tomorrow brings.
Rubbing your hand and legs is a sign that he wants to trust you.  Yet he is still fearful.  You have no idea what happened to him at his previous homes.  Allow him time to trust and learn that your home is full of love and that he can be safe. 

Do you have any Feliway plug ins?  Getting one for the closet area or your bedroom would be a good idea.  You also can try some Composure liquid.  It is a calming supplement that helps calm to calm some of their fears.  Both can be found for good prices on Amazon.

Keep working with him many many times throughout the day.  Just sit and be with him and speak softly.  Also remember to always bring a special treat.  You can offer one when you come into visit and another when you leave.  Food is usually a way to a cats heart.

Thanks for updating!
 
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beberz

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Final update on Snickers. He officially thinks he's the boss. He's mostly adjusted, he plays and cuddles and let's the whole family pet him. He does hide from the kids which I don't blame him. I wish I could hide! Lol. Thanks for everyone's help!
 

MoochNNoodles

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That's great news!!!  


My 2 keep their distance from my kids too.  I try to be sure the girls always have somewhere to go to get away from the kids; usually it's the cat tree but I also still gate off my kitchen/dining area.  It's a semi-open concept house so that is where I have my desk and computer, the cat tree and a reading corner.  It's sort of the cat's side of the house I guess.  Training the kids in how to act around cats is a work in progress.
 My 5 year old "gets it" but they still prefer to only come to her when she is laying (awake) in bed.  That is progress for us!  
 

manemelissa

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I'm glad to hear that Snickers is adjusting to his new life!

I just wanted to add that declawed cats can be prone to resorting to biting and "attacking" when they're afraid. They can't defend themselves with their claws anymore, so their only defense is their teeth/mouth. It's a good idea to keep in mind that in the future when Snickers feels afraid, he will most likely lash out exactly like what you've been seeing these past 2 weeks.
 

shadowsrescue

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Thanks for the update.  So glad he is adjusting and settling into your new home.  Time and patience are always your friend
.
 
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