Super Aggressive Cat - sometimes

rubydoo67

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Hello, I know there have been a lot of aggressive cat posts and I tried to read through them but still feel at a loss.

We inherited an approx. 8yo male (neutered) cat from my hubby's grandmother after she passed away. Grandma got Rudy as a small kitten and Rudy lived with two small, aggressive dogs (don't think he's ever seen another cat). Grandma died unexpectedly in the home and Rudy lived there alone for a month after (my MIL did go and feed him).

We had four cats when Rudy came to live with us. We kept him isolated for almost a month, following slow intro protocols. After a month with us he got blocked but has pretty much recuperated from that. He is on special food although I think the blockage was totally stress-related. he was good at his last checkup.

AGGRESSION: Rudy's aggressive behavior is something I have never seen. He is usually calm, sleeps with me, comes when called, likes to be with me and will follow me, etc. But, when he sees our one female cat all hell breaks loose. It's like he's in a trance, his tail is going wild and his body is like a brick. He hears no noises and nothing can break his concentration on her. He hasn't attacked her yet......but has chased her and I know he will if he could get the chance. We have tried to shoo him away only for both my hubby and I to be attacked, even a broom doesn't work. Rudy will not back away, but rather stands up and then lunges at us. God forbid you point a finger at him and say "no", he will lunge for it. Same with feet. He is not aggressive with any of our other cats, though he tried with one but that cat hissed back and no problems since. He is afraid of our other female cat as he steers clear from her and she doesn't even blink at him.

I actuallly thought Rudy's aggression issues were getting better as I kept reinforcing "no" if he started to come look for her. For the past week or more, he had been listening and would walk away calmly. However, today was different. Today, I told him "no" and he came back. I repeated it and then stood up to block his view and get his scruff. My hand slipped from his scruff and he attacked my arm. I have two very deep puncture wounds on my inside wrist from his first bite and then he bit down even harder the second time. Like I was a mouse he was trying to give the final kill to. I also have cuts all along my arm.

I am at a loss. We have tried Prozac for him (which he won't eat in his food), redirecting with toys (he doesn't really play with any), Feliaway plug ins and firmly saying "no" each and every time we see him starting his trance. I'm going to ask for transdermal gel Fluoxetine but really don't know what else to do. Not fair to my female kitty and not fair to him to keep him locked away in the basement, but we are at our wit's end. Most of the time he is sweet, extremely smart and very personable...yet at these times he is an absolutely violent aggressor.

Someone told me his trances could be seizures? Never had a kitty like this one.............we need help/ideas. Thanks!!
 

maggie101

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Have you tried hissing. It seems like if you ever try to fight back he will fight back so no broom,squirt bottle, scruffing then your hand will be available. Try clicker training him to sit. One of my cats likes me to throw something and land in shipping trash. Any odd noise will distract them. If you have Alexa have her play music or make a noise like a horn
 

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Hi. Rudy has had it very rough. He has been through a lot - losing his caretaker, being left alone in that house for a month, coming to a new home, having to deal with other cats, getting a blockage, having to recover from that, and now back to re-dealing with the other cats. And, one month's worth of introducing him to a new home and other cats is way too short of a time frame for an older cat - much less given all that he has been through. With an older cat, it can take months and months and months - under 'normal' circumstances.

How long has it been since he was completely recovered from the blockage, and did you re-start the introduction process all over again at that time?

The Prozac might not be a bad idea for now, and you could even try to feed it to him mixed with some baby food meats (no garlic/onions, just plain baby food meat), before you get the transdermal version. For whatever reason, most cats seem to like it.

But, in addition to that, I think you should consider starting over with introductions - especially if the Prozac doesn't seem to help. And, ensure each step is successful before moving on to the next. He should be separated, but shouldn't be 'locked away' in a basement without routine/regular interaction with you while he is there. However, if you have a spare bedroom upstairs that could be his own safe place, that would be better. Something easier to deal with when going through introductory steps once he has a chance to settle down? Just in case you haven't seen/read these articles before...
How To Fix An Unsuccessful Cat Introduction
How To Successfully Introduce Cats: The Ultimate Guide

I don't know about the trances being seizures, except to say it would seem odd - but, I suppose not entirely impossible - that he would only have a seizure when he sees this one cat. I do believe he is going through re-directed aggression when he attacks you for intervening between him and your one female cat. Another couple of articles, should you have not seen these before.
Why Do Cats Attack?
Re-directed Aggression In Cats
 

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Yah no, I would say never ever scruff him again. Scruffing is only used by mom cats to move kittens, not as a form of preventing an adult cat from moving. I hate when vets do it lol.

I would try super slow introductions, feliway, and later if you see him fixate you can redirect with a hand clap, or a laser pointer. Unfortunately the problem when people get young kittens as an only cat for a long time it is much harder to introduce them to other cats. Is your one girl more timid? Does she walk a bit more scared then the others? Some more dominant cats will fixate on cats who are more scared and is less likely to not only not attack, but as well will run.. chasing other cats is fun for cats. Check out Jackson galaxy and Pam johnson bennet for alot more info and resources to help :)
 

pearl99

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I have used a piece of cardboard to stop one cat from running at the other- holding it in the pathway of the incoming cat when I sense the run about to happen, and to break the line of sight in a stare. I always have it in my hand now when having my newest cat having time with my others.
And I've used throwing a blanket over two cats in a tussle/fight. It startles them some and they stop, then I can scoop one cat up in the blanket without having to get myself in the range of being the target of redirected aggression.
I'd start the intro over too, with Rudy in his own space and visiting him and playing with him.
The "trance" is most likely intense concentration on the other cat, I've seen the "brick" posture! If he gets to the point in introducing (which can take months) of being with the other cats for brief periods I'd use the cardboard to break the stare. He likely would not pay any attention to distraction at that point. Then I'd end the encounter, with play and food/treats for Rudy. But that's a ways in the future.

Maybe somone else on here can chime in with intro advice? I've done some but I'm not as good as some on here whose threads I have read- C calicosrspecial , Jcatbird Jcatbird to name a couple?
 

calicosrspecial

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Hello, I know there have been a lot of aggressive cat posts and I tried to read through them but still feel at a loss.

We inherited an approx. 8yo male (neutered) cat from my hubby's grandmother after she passed away. Grandma got Rudy as a small kitten and Rudy lived with two small, aggressive dogs (don't think he's ever seen another cat). Grandma died unexpectedly in the home and Rudy lived there alone for a month after (my MIL did go and feed him).

We had four cats when Rudy came to live with us. We kept him isolated for almost a month, following slow intro protocols. After a month with us he got blocked but has pretty much recuperated from that. He is on special food although I think the blockage was totally stress-related. he was good at his last checkup.

AGGRESSION: Rudy's aggressive behavior is something I have never seen. He is usually calm, sleeps with me, comes when called, likes to be with me and will follow me, etc. But, when he sees our one female cat all hell breaks loose. It's like he's in a trance, his tail is going wild and his body is like a brick. He hears no noises and nothing can break his concentration on her. He hasn't attacked her yet......but has chased her and I know he will if he could get the chance. We have tried to shoo him away only for both my hubby and I to be attacked, even a broom doesn't work. Rudy will not back away, but rather stands up and then lunges at us. God forbid you point a finger at him and say "no", he will lunge for it. Same with feet. He is not aggressive with any of our other cats, though he tried with one but that cat hissed back and no problems since. He is afraid of our other female cat as he steers clear from her and she doesn't even blink at him.

I actuallly thought Rudy's aggression issues were getting better as I kept reinforcing "no" if he started to come look for her. For the past week or more, he had been listening and would walk away calmly. However, today was different. Today, I told him "no" and he came back. I repeated it and then stood up to block his view and get his scruff. My hand slipped from his scruff and he attacked my arm. I have two very deep puncture wounds on my inside wrist from his first bite and then he bit down even harder the second time. Like I was a mouse he was trying to give the final kill to. I also have cuts all along my arm.

I am at a loss. We have tried Prozac for him (which he won't eat in his food), redirecting with toys (he doesn't really play with any), Feliaway plug ins and firmly saying "no" each and every time we see him starting his trance. I'm going to ask for transdermal gel Fluoxetine but really don't know what else to do. Not fair to my female kitty and not fair to him to keep him locked away in the basement, but we are at our wit's end. Most of the time he is sweet, extremely smart and very personable...yet at these times he is an absolutely violent aggressor.

Someone told me his trances could be seizures? Never had a kitty like this one.............we need help/ideas. Thanks!!
Hi,

I am so sorry.

I am going to echo Feebysowner. Rudy has been through a tremendous amount. Losing his mother is very traumatic. Living alone is traumatic. It causes a loss of confidence, a loss of security.

Then coming into a home with 4 cats (predators in his mind).

BUT and I find this so hopeful. "He is usually calm, sleeps with me, comes when called, likes to be with me and will follow me, etc.". I can't say enough about how positive and encouraging this is. And this tells me we can get to a better place.

The intro was way too fast. Rudy went through such trauma. So what we need to do is take a step back to total separation. No visual. We'll have to figure out how best to do this. I don;t like taking territory away BUT we need to get him in a more confident place and a more secure feeling. Then we need to re-introduce them and to build Rudy's confidence (which I think you have done an amazing job of).

His attacking you and your husband was "re-directed aggression".

Cats take on our emotions so the more "stressed" or "aggressive" we are the more a cat can become. So we really want to stay as calm and confident as possible. De-escalate. Now it is VERY hard in a tense situation like you describe. So that is why we want to keep them separated and re-introduce. This should reduce the re-directed aggression substantially or even eliminate it depending on the situations.

And during the re-intro we'll want to work on building his confidence, getting that trust. I don;t think he ever lost trust in the humans in the house so we are going to use the humans to build his confidence. Using food, positive encounters, safe love, calm and confident and loving emotions.

We'll help you through this. I am really encouraged by what I read about him. We just need to stabilize him, build his confidence and slowly re-introduce him. And deal with any bumps we may encounter (which i am sure we will). But Rudy sounds like a wonderful cat so I am highly confident we can get there.

Hang in there and please ask anything anytime. There is a lot of nuance here but we can help you through it.
 

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But Rudy sounds like a wonderful cat so I am highly confident we can get there.
...and bless your heart for hanging in there - be sure you keep an eye on those puncture wounds, and definitely have large pieces of cardboard and blankets available.
 

pearl99

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...and bless your heart for hanging in there - be sure you keep an eye on those puncture wounds, and definitely have large pieces of cardboard and blankets available.
Hopefully the blanket won't be needed when the time comes :)!
 
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rubydoo67

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Thank you so much to everyone who responded. I apologize for the long delay in responding, it’s been a heck of a month. So the cat bite sent me to the ER. I had called our local healthline who scared the bejeezus out of me about cat bites. Of course, I also “googled” and freaked, esp. since I immediately had lost mobility in my wrist “couldn’t even hold a book or hairbrush”. Thankfully, I didn't need to be admitted to the hospital; I was sent home with medicine and told to seek out a hand orthopedic if it didn’t get better (mobility wise). I never knew they handled this type of injury.

Anyway, my cat continued to be loving toward me, following me and listening to me. Although at first I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t leery of him. He licked my wounded wrist, which I know is me assigning him human traits, but I wanted to believe he felt bad for hurting me. Lol! He wasnt skittish, upset, or aggressive toward me or the others in the home after this incident and has t been since.

Right after the hospital visit I called our vet and got the trans-Dermal Fluxotine gel I had read about previously, explaining there was no way this cat would take a chill pill (literally) and could smell smashed pills in his food so wasn’t eating. The vet was on the same page and had a special compounding pharmacy handle it. I feel this has been a miracle! He is much, much more relaxed but not drugged out at all. He shows an interest in the other cat now and then, but doesn’t chase her aand basically stays far away from her. We have allocated him freedom to come and go in our basement and he loves it down there! He’s the only one who uses it and it is his domain. He will still come up and sleep next to me (and on me) some nights. Our terrorized cat is out and about more also and more confident. I also am awaiting a very, very tall cat tree to help her confidence.

Although the problem isn’t 100% fixed, I feel we are on the path, and there is Hope with the medicine and behavior modification. My poor boy has had such trauma, I hope he can have some joy too. Thanks for listening and the advice.
 

Furballsmom

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I feel we are on the path, and there is Hope with the medicine and behavior modification. My poor boy has had such trauma, I hope he can have some joy too.
Wow. I'm almost (yeah, I know - - not, but still!) speechless. This is incredible, and YOU are incredible (as is your vet). Huge kudos and a tip of the hat to all of you - go team!!
 
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rubydoo67

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Aw, thanks. I also should mention that in addition to the medicine, I read the advice everyone gave. I did start him over with no access to other cats, his own room, his own feeding area, adding another litter box (we have 2 more than the # of cats we have), more playtime (he doesn’t play with toys but likes to chase the red pointer light). We also made a point to brush him more, using the same brush between all cats and extra petting and praise. So, it’s not just medicine alone.
 

pearl99

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Wow what good news! I'm really glad the prozac is working. I'm sure Rudy is feeling so much better too. Thanks for the update and taking him in!
What hard work you've done! You're doing Great.
Keep us updated if you like, it's so good to hear how things are going.
 

calicosrspecial

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Aw, thanks. I also should mention that in addition to the medicine, I read the advice everyone gave. I did start him over with no access to other cats, his own room, his own feeding area, adding another litter box (we have 2 more than the # of cats we have), more playtime (he doesn’t play with toys but likes to chase the red pointer light). We also made a point to brush him more, using the same brush between all cats and extra petting and praise. So, it’s not just medicine alone.
Fantastic.

I am SO GLAD to hear you are healthy and all is well.

And as stresses go down, confidence goes up, love goes up, the cats take on the emotions and things tend to get better.

It sounds like you are doing an AMAZING job!!

Please let us know if you have any questions. We are here to help all of you.

Keep up the great work!!
 
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rubydoo67

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Just thought I’d post: a quick update. My formerly super aggressive cat has chilled immensely. I feel somewhat foolish for never realizing the amount of trauma his life has consisted of and thinking he was okay so soon after coming in our lives. It really is sad knowing he doesn’t know how to play with others as he was never around other cats, being taken from his Momma so young. He has been trying to play with one of our cats but comes across rough, although they can sit at the door together and watch the birds. The cat he was very aggressive toward still hides from him when she hears him, he still stays out of her space in the day but we have caught him running toward her a few times. If we shout ”no”, he does stop and turns around. Ofttimes he just turns around and doesn’t try to go to her. He is still on the transdermal fluoxetine, which has done wonders. There has been zero aggression toward myself or any humans since the last incident in March. So, we are still a work in progress but we will get there. Just wanted to offer and update and say there is hope for anyone dealing with the same issue. (he is the black cat in the pic, named Rudy The other cat (white) is another rescue who wants to be friends with everyone. But he can’t abide Rudy messing with his girlfriend (the cat Rudy chases) so will lay with him at the door but will sometimes play “blocker” at night by laying across door frames so Rudy won’t enter and mess with/look for his girl).
 

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calicosrspecial

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Just thought I’d post: a quick update. My formerly super aggressive cat has chilled immensely. I feel somewhat foolish for never realizing the amount of trauma his life has consisted of and thinking he was okay so soon after coming in our lives. It really is sad knowing he doesn’t know how to play with others as he was never around other cats, being taken from his Momma so young. He has been trying to play with one of our cats but comes across rough, although they can sit at the door together and watch the birds. The cat he was very aggressive toward still hides from him when she hears him, he still stays out of her space in the day but we have caught him running toward her a few times. If we shout ”no”, he does stop and turns around. Ofttimes he just turns around and doesn’t try to go to her. He is still on the transdermal fluoxetine, which has done wonders. There has been zero aggression toward myself or any humans since the last incident in March. So, we are still a work in progress but we will get there. Just wanted to offer and update and say there is hope for anyone dealing with the same issue. (he is the black cat in the pic, named Rudy The other cat (white) is another rescue who wants to be friends with everyone. But he can’t abide Rudy messing with his girlfriend (the cat Rudy chases) so will lay with him at the door but will sometimes play “blocker” at night by laying across door frames so Rudy won’t enter and mess with/look for his girl).
:yess: :hyper: :clap2: :rock:

THANK YOU for all you are doing and have done!!!

No reason to feel "somewhat foolish" at all!! The fact you stuck by him, helped him, is fantastic and you should be proud!!! Hi past may have been sad but his future is so much better because of you!!

"He has been trying to play with one of our cats but comes across rough" - That happens all the time when the mama cat can't provide proper socialization skills. Building the other cat's confidence should do wonders as using distraction and positive association techniques.

"although they can sit at the door together and watch the birds." - THAT tells me they will be fine. If they can accept at times they can improve and accept the vast majority of the time.

"If we shout ”no”, he does stop and turns around. Ofttimes he just turns around and doesn’t try to go to her." - THAT tells me all will be fine. That it isn't that serious and existential. With more work it can improve. Just keep working on confidence, using the distraction as you are, etc.

LOVE the picture!!

Let us know if you need some fine tuning help. Just keep building confidence through Play, Food, Height and Love, make positive associations using food, and try to make every encounter as positive as possible using distraction as needed. You are definitely going in the right direction and more improvement can happen.

Keep up the great work and THANK YOU for all you have done!!!
 
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rubydoo67

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Happy Spring! Another update in case anyone wants to read the ongoing trials of an aggressive (formerly) cat. A cat I inherited about one year ago due to a death in the family and the saga of him attacking me that sent me to the ER and his continuous attacking of another one my other cats.

It's been about 8 months since my last update. My (formerly) aggressive cat, Rudy, is still with me. He is "my" cat and follows me everywhere, even sitting outside the bathroom door like a dog while I'm "busy" (lol!). He sleeps with me at my feet or against my back or sometimes on top of me. He often rubs against me and looks for chin and head rubs.

We've had no aggressive behavior from him toward any human or cat in the house since I last posted 8 months ago. (he can get over-stimulated from petting, like other cats, and has 1x put his mouth on my hand after a petting session, but zero biting). Although not aggressive, he does still have his eye on the cat he was trying to attack previously. For the most part he ignores her but will stop and stare into her space once in a while. They are still separated but I have caught him twice in "her" section of the house. Thankfully, he was just laying not far from her. He wasn't stalking her, eyeing her or doing anything but laying there and napping. I think she was asleep and didn't know he was there. However, I have found if this cat runs or moves quickly, he will get excited and try to chase her. A loud "no" from me or another stops him and he will leave the area and leave her alone (again, he's like a doggie). We stopped the Prozac several months ago and he is on no medication at all.

So, it's all is not 100% perfect but it's definitely 100% better.

Has it been a pain-in-the-butt? YES! Have I thought many times "I should have my Mom/neighbor/friend/rescue, etc. take him" YES! Have we spent way too much $$$ YES!!! However, I'm so glad I didn't give up on my boy. He is such a super smart cat and my next move is try to walk him. I actually think he will do pretty good with it. (we shall see).

Thanks to all who gave words of encouragement over the past year. It is a long-term work-in-progress but again, my boy is worth it and I hope this may help someone else know that it is possible to make it work.
 

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calicosrspecial

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Happy Spring! Another update in case anyone wants to read the ongoing trials of an aggressive (formerly) cat. A cat I inherited about one year ago due to a death in the family and the saga of him attacking me that sent me to the ER and his continuous attacking of another one my other cats.

It's been about 8 months since my last update. My (formerly) aggressive cat, Rudy, is still with me. He is "my" cat and follows me everywhere, even sitting outside the bathroom door like a dog while I'm "busy" (lol!). He sleeps with me at my feet or against my back or sometimes on top of me. He often rubs against me and looks for chin and head rubs.

We've had no aggressive behavior from him toward any human or cat in the house since I last posted 8 months ago. (he can get over-stimulated from petting, like other cats, and has 1x put his mouth on my hand after a petting session, but zero biting). Although not aggressive, he does still have his eye on the cat he was trying to attack previously. For the most part he ignores her but will stop and stare into her space once in a while. They are still separated but I have caught him twice in "her" section of the house. Thankfully, he was just laying not far from her. He wasn't stalking her, eyeing her or doing anything but laying there and napping. I think she was asleep and didn't know he was there. However, I have found if this cat runs or moves quickly, he will get excited and try to chase her. A loud "no" from me or another stops him and he will leave the area and leave her alone (again, he's like a doggie). We stopped the Prozac several months ago and he is on no medication at all.

So, it's all is not 100% perfect but it's definitely 100% better.

Has it been a pain-in-the-butt? YES! Have I thought many times "I should have my Mom/neighbor/friend/rescue, etc. take him" YES! Have we spent way too much $$$ YES!!! However, I'm so glad I didn't give up on my boy. He is such a super smart cat and my next move is try to walk him. I actually think he will do pretty good with it. (we shall see).

Thanks to all who gave words of encouragement over the past year. It is a long-term work-in-progress but again, my boy is worth it and I hope this may help someone else know that it is possible to make it work.
He is as gorgeous as ever!!! Thank you for the pic!!

He sounds like he knows he is loved and responding to the love. Fantastic.

"Although not aggressive, he does still have his eye on the cat he was trying to attack previously. For the most part he ignores her but will stop and stare into her space once in a while." - Yes, they do that. Sometimes it is just being interested.

" They are still separated" - Ok. At some point hopefully we can get them fully intro'd.

" but I have caught him twice in "her" section of the house. Thankfully, he was just laying not far from her. He wasn't stalking her, eyeing her or doing anything but laying there and napping. I think she was asleep and didn't know he was there." Very interesting!!! VERY positive sign. With some work they could be intro'd.

"However, I have found if this cat runs or moves quickly, he will get excited and try to chase her." - Yes, normal cat behavior. It is the hunting/prey instinct. Normal for cats.

"A loud "no" from me or another stops him and he will leave the area and leave her alone (again, he's like a doggie)." - VERY positive. When distraction works.

" We stopped the Prozac several months ago and he is on no medication at all." - Great!!!

It sounds like his confidence has grown tremendously. GREAT work!! A confident cat is more likely to accept and be accepted.

You are very welcome but THANK YOU for all you have done to give him a great life!!!

I am optimistic by what you tell us that they can be intro'd with some work. So if or when you chose to make the next step please let us know.

Great work!!!! Thank you for everything!!!
 
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