My cat attacked me

jade14

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I am very stressed out about this and am not sure where else to look for advice. I am currently waiting in the (human) ER waiting room. About an hour ago my 20 week old kitten got her leg stuck in crack of a door. She was screaming so bad. My husband and I rushed to free her. She peed all over herself and we couldn't get her leg out. I thought he was going to have to take the door off but he managed to pry it far enough away from the wall to pull her out. As we were doing this my dog started barking and my other cat lost his mind. He started hissing and growling and I thought he was going to go after my dog or my husband. I went to pick him up and he climbed up my leg. I grabbed ahold of him tight even though he was clawing and biting my arms. I threw him in our bedroom and shut the door so we could work on getting my kitten free. After getting her free we couldn't even walk in the room he would growl and lunge at us. This cat is the sweetest cat ever. The love of my life. I can do anything to him. He is so laid back. I don't know what got into him. He is very attached to the kitten. I am sure he thought she was being hurt but I can't have him attacking us. He is currently still locked in the room (my husband is home with them while I am at the ER). He has a litter box in there and water luckily already. I am so worried he is traumatized and will never be himself. Once before a similar incident happened when we were living with my parents a few months ago. My sister's dog went after my dog and my cat then climbed up my sister's body to try and attack him. Nothing more than a couple small puncture wounds. Nothing like this. My arm and leg are scratched to pieces.
Any advice?? I am so worried about him. Sorry for the run on sentences.
 

ArtNJ

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This is called redirected aggression. Something stresses a cat, and it lashes out at whatever person or animal is close. It can be an outside animal they see or smell, a dropped dish, a stepped on tail, or in this case a screaming kitten and/or a barking dog. Keep the cat separated over night and that should be the end of it.

This sounds like a VERY stressful incident. I know you had an incident in the past, but that also sounded like a high stress incident. So I don't know you will have a recurring problem with this cat. Nonetheless, anytime a potentially high stressor is present, you would be wise to give this cat room. Do not try to comfort the cat -- you can't, and must try and steer clear until the stress level goes down. Also, since you have multiple pets, if it is clear that you are in a redirected aggression situation, get a towel and capture this cat using the towel for protection, and separate it from the other pets.

So there is nothing wrong with your cat -- this is a normal cat thing. At worst, your cat might be a bit more prone to these episodes than some cats, but when something very stressful happens, this can happen to just about any cat, no matter how much it loves you.

If I'm wrong, and the future proves that this cat is in fact very prone to these episodes, you might need to talk to your vet about medication, especially if you have or plan a child in the home.

Redirected Aggression in Cats: Recognition and Treatment Strategies | IAABC Cat Blog
 
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jade14

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This is called redirected aggression. Something stresses a cat, and it lashes out at whatever person or animal is close. It can be an outside animal they see or smell, a dropped dish, a stepped on tail, or in this case a screaming kitten and/or a barking dog. Keep the cat separated over night and that should be the end of it.

This sounds like a VERY stressful incident. I know you had an incident in the past, but that also sounded like a high stress incident. So I don't know you will have a recurring problem with this cat. Nonetheless, anytime a potentially high stressor is present, you would be wise to give this cat room. Do not try to comfort the cat -- you can't, and must try and steer clear until the stress level goes down.

So there is nothing wrong with your cat -- this is a normal cat thing. At worst, your cat might be a bit more prone to these episodes than some cats, but when something very stressful happens, this can happen to just about any cat, no matter how much it loves you.

If I'm wrong, and the future proves that this cat is in fact very prone to these episodes, you might need to talk to your vet about medication, especially if you have or plan a child in the home.
Thank you. That makes me feel a bit better. That is my concern. We do not have kids but are thinking of getting pregnant within the next year. I have bad anxiety as it is and when episodes like this happen it makes me worry about worst case future scenarios happening. We have a camera set up in the room and he is now relaxed stretched out on our bed. Hoping that is a good sign and will give him space until the morning.
 

ArtNJ

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Your very welcome. Its a legit worry. Some cats are more prone to this than others. However, these both sound like very stressful incidents. I don't know if something more routine, like seeing another cat through a window, is going to trigger this cat. So at this juncture, I wouldn't be too concerned, but its certainly something to watch in the future. A cat that is very unusually prone to redirected aggression might need medication before you could safely bring a toddler into the mix. I think those cases are very rare, but from reading here a lot, it seems that some cats really do have a serious issue with it.
 
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Talien

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He may have thought you were what was hurting the Kitten and was trying to protect her. Is your Cat friendly with your Dog too? That would also explain why he tried to attack your sister's Dog when he went after yours. It's not as common as it is with Dogs, but some Cats are very protective and will literally throw themselves at anything they see as threatening.
 
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jade14

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He may have thought you were what was hurting the Kitten and was trying to protect her. Is your Cat friendly with your Dog too? That would also explain why he tried to attack your sister's Dog when he went after yours. It's not as common as it is with Dogs, but some Cats are very protective and will literally throw themselves at anything they see as threatening.
Yes at the time we were quite sure he was protecting our dog. They are quite bonded. But he has really bonded with the kitten. He did try to go after the dog once shortly after we got the kitten because he is so protective over her. Which was surprising because they have always got along.
 

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Just wanted to say I'm so sorry for this and I hope you're alright, minus the shock! It's terrifying to see an otherwise affectionate and beloved cat go into that "panic mode", but try to remember that this is still your sweet cat, he was just scared out of his mind and his instincts are telling him he has to protect himself. Because this was a really bad episode, just go slow and be gentle with yourself and your cat, there may still be triggers like you, your other cat, or that area that is going to cause your cat to be tense and scared. Let your cat calm down completely and then you can try building his confidence back up: a calm presence, play, treats. Sending you much love, and like ArtNJ said, this isn't necessarily an indicator that your cat is high strung in general. Another cat screaming and scared to the point she's peed is an abnormally stressful situation and it seems very natural that any cat would react with fear.

Hoping things are better today! :vibes: :redheartpump:
 

susanm9006

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You just don’t ever want to pick up a hissing and growling cat because usually they will do exactly what your cat did. You want to be calm and put something like a pillow, between you and the cat and move away slowly. If you have to remove them you need to use a big towel or blanket and sometimes they will even fight their way out of that. It’s normal behavior for a cat that is frightened out of their mind.

So don’t be fearful of your cat, just handle the situation differently next time.
 

PghBellacat

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I am very stressed out about this and am not sure where else to look for advice. I am currently waiting in the (human) ER waiting room. About an hour ago my 20 week old kitten got her leg stuck in crack of a door. She was screaming so bad. My husband and I rushed to free her. She peed all over herself and we couldn't get her leg out. I thought he was going to have to take the door off but he managed to pry it far enough away from the wall to pull her out. As we were doing this my dog started barking and my other cat lost his mind. He started hissing and growling and I thought he was going to go after my dog or my husband. I went to pick him up and he climbed up my leg. I grabbed ahold of him tight even though he was clawing and biting my arms. I threw him in our bedroom and shut the door so we could work on getting my kitten free. After getting her free we couldn't even walk in the room he would growl and lunge at us. This cat is the sweetest cat ever. The love of my life. I can do anything to him. He is so laid back. I don't know what got into him. He is very attached to the kitten. I am sure he thought she was being hurt but I can't have him attacking us. He is currently still locked in the room (my husband is home with them while I am at the ER). He has a litter box in there and water luckily already. I am so worried he is traumatized and will never be himself. Once before a similar incident happened when we were living with my parents a few months ago. My sister's dog went after my dog and my cat then climbed up my sister's body to try and attack him. Nothing more than a couple small puncture wounds. Nothing like this. My arm and leg are scratched to pieces.
Any advice?? I am so worried about him. Sorry for the run on sentences.
My Cat "Loki" attack me a few years ago. He actually drew blood. He was always attacking my other cats and I finally put him to sleep. It took a few years for my cats Hermonie and Renesmae to recover. They are fine. I would consult your veterinarian too. It was very hard to put "Loki' to sleep but my vet thought there was something wrong with him. Bella-http://www.bellagoestothemovies.com
 
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jade14

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You just don’t ever want to pick up a hissing and growling cat because usually they will do exactly what your cat did. You want to be calm and put something like a pillow, between you and the cat and move away slowly. If you have to remove them you need to use a big towel or blanket and sometimes they will even fight their way out of that. It’s normal behavior for a cat that is frightened out of their mind.

So don’t be fearful of your cat, just handle the situation differently next time.
Honestly I even knew that at the time. It was a split second decision because I believe if I hadn't done what I did within the next second he would of attacked my dog who was standing right next to him. If the situation ever happens again we will handle things differently.
 
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jade14

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My Cat "Loki" attack me a few years ago. He actually drew blood. He was always attacking my other cats and I finally put him to sleep. It took a few years for my cats Hermonie and Renesmae to recover. They are fine. I would consult your veterinarian too. It was very hard to put "Loki' to sleep but my vet thought there was something wrong with him. Bella-Home
He has never shown any aggressive behaviour towards us until that one time in the 5 years we have had him (since he was 8 weeks old). I truly believe and hope it was a one time thing. He has never shown aggressive behaviour towards my kitten.
 
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jade14

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Please let us know how you are
Thank you for your concern 😊 I am doing fine and my arm and leg seem to be scabbing up. Still look like war scene and get many comments from clients at work 😅 Sawyer is much more trusting of me. He lost a claw on my pants and allowed me to soak it tonight. Things seem back to normal.
 
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