Redirected aggression

Rhin

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Hi guys
I have 2 cats - a little over a year old from different litters, neutered, indoor and fairly well behaved. 2 weeks ago I took for temporary care one more cat - Ex-indoor male cat, around 6-8 months old, not neutered, normally it behaves quite well, if it wasn’t the part that it went into heat while in my care. Of course my two cats did not take lightly on the new cat, especially the female that had constant attention from the new cat. I did my best to keep them separately, with occasional walk around the flat and under my control. So far so good however the problem comes now - in order to keep the new cat calm and fairly happy I tried to give it some extra attention. That does not help much but during the play sessions he is quite sweet.
However its temperament switches very fast. Its tail plays around like a drum even for what I think is unhappiness that my cats don’t let him do as he wish,I bar his way toward an area that is off limits, my cats go near his sand box and so on. I get it, he is trying to establish territory for himself, but I am unable to establish the ground rules with him. The first day when I got him, he attacked me - quite fiercely. He was at a new place, other cats - ok, nothing to worry about. Since then he has attacked me on multiple occasions, unprovoked - no body language suggesting hostility and first time I wasn’t even paying attention to him. Every time it draws blood and I did trim his nails in one of our sweet quality time sessions, so if I hadn’t I suspect that I would have needed to go to the hospital also.
last note - the previous owners had thrown him because he had scratched a 2 years old child. I suspect that he was taken as a playmate for the child but things did not go right. fact that he was thrown shows that he did not have a deep bond with his owner, so his behavior training must have been quite lacking.

So an overview - I know and suspect the reasons for its behavior. Is there anything that I can do? When a new owner turns up, it will be extra stress for him to switch the environment. The new person should not have other pets or children, he needs to be neutered so the bad behavior can be softened. As for the redirected aggression toward people I suspect that anything that stress it will trigger it and will be extremely hard to get rid of.

Any advice or ideas?
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. The only thing that I know to offer is to keep this un-neutered male completely away from the other cats - period end of report. If you are not planning to get him neutered before he is adopted, then find someone who has no other cats that can take him in until he is neutered. Male cats do not go in and out of heat, as females do, they are always - technically 'in heat'. Nothing about this situation will be resolved until he is neutered, and then where ever he is, he can be put through a proper introduction with any other cats that might be in that household.
 

Mamanyt1953

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I am in agreement with FeebysOwner FeebysOwner on this. If you can afford it, I'd have him neutered. There may be low-cost clinics in your area. A google search would turn them up, as we don't know where you are. It takes a few weeks for all the hormones to actually leave the system, but he'll begin to settle in small ways before then.

As for his behavior, he's reacting much as I'd expect an abused (thrown...bet it wasn't the first time he was hurt, either, if the truth was known) and neglected cat. Actually, I'd really like to get Jcatbird Jcatbird to weigh in on this. Dealing with a cat who has had trust broken is somewhat like dealing with a true feral, and she is wonderful with ferals. She may have some ideas to help you socialize him with minimal injury!
 

ArtNJ

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Just FYI so you can use the correct terminology, there is no redirected aggression described in the OP. That term means if something scares a cat, like a dish dropping or another cat screaming because you stepped on its tale, the scared cat will lash out at anyone and anything nearby. Instead, the stuff you described is either because: (1) the cat was improperly socialized or abused; (2) because he is unneutered; (3) because he is a very young cat and they are often a PITA towards other cats, or (4) because there was no slow introdution process used. I think its mostly 1 and 3, but it could be all four, can't say.
 
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