Sweet cat with redirected aggression, please help: euthanasia may be the only option.

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I believe there are members who do, I don't know if any are reading your thread...
 

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Here is a thread about pet screen
 

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This may have already been discussed, but ... something came to mind last night; has CC been evaluated for seizure disorder? The trigger events and corresponding behavior sound pretty classic for seizure, i.e., epilepsy. Another possibility would be toxoplasmosis infection which causes seizures, but I'm less inclined toward toxo as I don't believe it corresponds with trigger events. Epilepsy, on the other hand, does have triggers such as sound, motion, light, etc.
 
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catluvs

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This may have already been discussed, but ... something came to mind last night; has CC been evaluated for seizure disorder? The trigger events and corresponding behavior sound pretty classic for seizure, i.e., epilepsy. Another possibility would be toxoplasmosis infection which causes seizures, but I'm less inclined toward toxo as I don't believe it corresponds with trigger events. Epilepsy, on the other hand, does have triggers such as sound, motion, light, etc.
No. I really wish the vet would have checked her out more when I took her, but all three vets I’ve talked to agree that it’s a behavioral thing. The thing is, the birds have been there for weeks. When the noises first started happening, we hadn’t had a big fight in a while. I was afraid that was going to start episodes, but other than them being startled a few times, they’d just go sit in the bathroom and watch the wall and listen. A couple times it was really loud and she charged at Tuck but I just separated them. Since the big fight, one of the biggest actually, happened the other day she’s been extra wired. And since that movement last night was really loud, it triggered her worse than before. The thing is though, her attacking me was calculated. I don’t think it’s her fault she’s wired that way, there’s something bad wrong with her reactions and fear and perceptions of situations, but she was calm and walking around looking for a fight. Her tail wasn’t even that puffy. Before it happened I fully didn’t think it was going to become a situation. I was glad I had locked Tuck and Lo out, and thought I had prevented it all. I thought she’d calm down in a few minutes. So I sat there relaxed and very still, when after she was done walking around she came up in the bed and started sniffing really strongly. I didn’t even look at her as to not provoke her. And then quick as lightening she attacked my face and started yowling. I’m going to see what I can do about a fence or a screened in porch, or anything, I’m going to exhaust all ideas for a solution, until I can have my own yard. But she’s not living with us anymore. There is absolutely no way. It’s a miracle she didn’t get my eye.
 

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Oh my, I see much has happened since yesterday....first of all, you are NOT a bad cat parent! Your efforts to help her have literally been nothing short of heroic. CC is very sick. If you had to put her down, it would be no different than putting down a very physically ill cat.

As far as screens, I have a semi-feral that is currently living on my lanai (which is a screened patio). She feels very safe and has a scratcher, bed, playpen, etc. I have seen pop-up screened pens/enclosures for cats in various catalogs. I left a hole in my screen because my feral is used to being outside, but 99% of the time she stays in the screened enclosure. In other words, there is a good chance CC might actually like it and not try to bust out the screen.

I agree with Gremlin that perhaps a seizure disorder diagnosis might be in order - an MRI? This could shed some great light on what is going on, and could better determine the right meds (phenobarbital is VERY effective). I never had a kitty MRI, not sure the cost. Do you have a Care Credit card?
 
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catluvs

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Oh my, I see much has happened since yesterday....first of all, you are NOT a bad cat parent! Your efforts to help her have literally been nothing short of heroic. CC is very sick. If you had to put her down, it would be no different than putting down a very physically ill cat.

As far as screens, I have a semi-feral that is currently living on my lanai (which is a screened patio). She feels very safe and has a scratcher, bed, playpen, etc. I have seen pop-up screened pens/enclosures for cats in various catalogs. I left a hole in my screen because my feral is used to being outside, but 99% of the time she stays in the screened enclosure. In other words, there is a good chance CC might actually like it and not try to bust out the screen.

I agree with Gremlin that perhaps a seizure disorder diagnosis might be in order - an MRI? This could shed some great light on what is going on, and could better determine the right meds (phenobarbital is VERY effective). I never had a kitty MRI, not sure the cost. Do you have a Care Credit card?
It can’t hurt to call and ask. I imagine it’s a lot of money, though. I have care credit that I maxed out for Tuck on his first blockage, still paying on it :( with other loud noises that don’t directly affect the house though, she’s fine. Really loud thunder, lawn mower, really loud truck going by, etc. But if it’s in the house or porch or against the house... it’s like she perceives it as a territorial threat. And it doesn’t have to be a loud noise, a while back my washing machine jiggled the screen door (I had both doors shut), no big noise happened, but she ran to the door and started sniffing under it, perceived that to mean a cat or something was outside, and started charging/attacking. How this escalated to this level revolves around smelling a stray male cat I had pet. I always think to myself if only I hadn’t pet him that day, maybe it wouldn’t have got to this point, and I could have tolerated the rest of it, even though she had previously done things like attack me when I was crying hard over an unfortunate situation involving a dog last spring. I feel like it’s all my fault, and when the guilt is almost too much, I have to remind myself that Tuck and Lo aren’t this way. I’m really distraught right now and just trying to take one minute at a time
 

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If you are able to do the screened in porch I would make sure to cover the screen with a strong chicken wire type layer because with the intensity of her reactions I think she could easily tear through regular screening. I hope the landlord agrees to this. It's certainly not going to change his property because screen can be easily removed. Hope he's not needlessly resistant to doing this.
I had a cat on phenobarb and while it has a bitter taste the pill was really small and it was very cheap. Maybe $10 per month (but that was in the early 2000's.)
That's a great thought, Gremlin's Guesthouse Gremlin's Guesthouse ! An MRI could be expensive, but if it leads to getting Cc better and you being able to move on with your career, a home of your own, maybe?
 

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How would she potentially react to the birds or roaming cats in a screened in porch?
 

pearl99

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I’m so, so sorry, guys. I’m going to have her euthanized tomorrow. I was going to put her in her own room for bed, but before, was going to let her out and about for a couple hours with everyone (heavily monitored) as some slow reintroduction time. Everything was fine. Then, in my bathroom in my bedroom, there’s a nest of birds that live on the side of the house. They made a loud banging noise against the siding of the house. Everyone started running and Cc ran directly at the source. I knew there’d be another brawl and I was mainly trying to protect Tuck to I quickly shut my bedroom door. She came stalking towards me and I made myself relax, sat very still on my bed. She noticed me, slowly got on the bed and came sniffing at my face. I didn’t even look at her, just relaxed. And she LUNGED. I literally peed on myself, it was so terrifying. I’m so sorry, but I can’t do this anymore. I can’t. I did all I could, and I wish I could have done more, and I wish I was a better cat parent. This has traumatized me and I will be so traumatized when I do it. I feel as though there’s nothing else left to do.
And if putting her to sleep is your final decision, we are here for you. In no way is it you, something is wrong in her through no fault of her own or yours. It can be a final act of compassion. As in a physical illness, as sweetblackpaws sweetblackpaws says.
 

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One last ditch effort. Does anyone have cats who live in a screened in porch? Is there a way to cat proof that so she doesn’t shred the screening and escape? I’m talking to my landlord today and asking if I can pay for the porch to be screened, also going to ask about some kind of catio for the yard
Before you get into this, I think you should search the web for "catios." While there are some simple solutions, they are still time consuming, involve some cost, and you do need to be a DIYer with some kind of minor building skills, or know a good handyman. I've found deer fence to be quite effective, and also affordable. (Bird netting is too flimsy.) It comes in a fairly large roll, I believe I purchased mine at Ace for around $60. You would be looking at stapling it to the structure with a staple gun every 3" or so, so your landlord might not approve.

Another option that worked well for me when I was in a rental was building a 3-sided wood frame out of 2x2 lumber. Mine was constructed to cover a patio slider. Cover the frame with nursery cloth (this material not recommended for CC as she could tear it) or deer netting. Once covered, the structure can be placed up against the exterior wall and around the slider. You could install 4 clamps (pipe clamps or strapping material), 2 top 2 bottom, to secure it to the building so no one could squeeze out the sides. I also installed a small door in mine so I could get in and out to the patio, but again, that takes some experience.

I have also made a walk-in cage out of PVC pipe and connectors. This material is not expensive and can be drilled and screwed, and covered with deer fence or some other material using zip ties. And you can also create a swinging door using plain old door hinges.

I'm attaching pictures of one of my catios. This is a separate structure from my house, and includes 2 rooms, one for fresh air lounging and one for sleeping and eating. It is insulated, and has electricity and running water. It was first wrapped with chicken wire (to ensure ferals could not escape and predators couldn't get in), and then that was covered with lattice. This structure was built by a contractor and ended up costing around $3,000.

I know where your mind is going and I wish you luck. Your kitty is sick and no one seems to be able to diagnose her illness. But whatever it is, it's serious and may not be treatable. As noted in my earlier post, there are infections/parasites/neurological disorders that could be causing seizures. I found some helpful information about "cats with seizures" on YouTube videos.
 

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Oh my, I see much has happened since yesterday....first of all, you are NOT a bad cat parent! Your efforts to help her have literally been nothing short of heroic. CC is very sick. If you had to put her down, it would be no different than putting down a very physically ill cat.

As far as screens, I have a semi-feral that is currently living on my lanai (which is a screened patio). She feels very safe and has a scratcher, bed, playpen, etc. I have seen pop-up screened pens/enclosures for cats in various catalogs. I left a hole in my screen because my feral is used to being outside, but 99% of the time she stays in the screened enclosure. In other words, there is a good chance CC might actually like it and not try to bust out the screen.

I agree with Gremlin that perhaps a seizure disorder diagnosis might be in order - an MRI? This could shed some great light on what is going on, and could better determine the right meds (phenobarbital is VERY effective). I never had a kitty MRI, not sure the cost. Do you have a Care Credit card?
I looked into this a year or two ago and believe the quote was somewhere around $4,000. But I'm in CA where everything costs at least double compared to the rest of the US.
 
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catluvs

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Before you get into this, I think you should search the web for "catios." While there are some simple solutions, they are still time consuming, involve some cost, and you do need to be a DIYer with some kind of minor building skills, or know a good handyman. I've found deer fence to be quite effective, and also affordable. (Bird netting is too flimsy.) It comes in a fairly large roll, I believe I purchased mine at Ace for around $60. You would be looking at stapling it to the structure with a staple gun every 3" or so, so your landlord might not approve.

Another option that worked well for me when I was in a rental was building a 3-sided wood frame out of 2x2 lumber. Mine was constructed to cover a patio slider. Cover the frame with nursery cloth (this material not recommended for CC as she could tear it) or deer netting. Once covered, the structure can be placed up against the exterior wall and around the slider. You could install 4 clamps (pipe clamps or strapping material), 2 top 2 bottom, to secure it to the building so no one could squeeze out the sides. I also installed a small door in mine so I could get in and out to the patio, but again, that takes some experience.

I have also made a walk-in cage out of PVC pipe and connectors. This material is not expensive and can be drilled and screwed, and covered with deer fence or some other material using zip ties. And you can also create a swinging door using plain old door hinges.

I'm attaching pictures of one of my catios. This is a separate structure from my house, and includes 2 rooms, one for fresh air lounging and one for sleeping and eating. It is insulated, and has electricity and running water. It was first wrapped with chicken wire (to ensure ferals could not escape and predators couldn't get in), and then that was covered with lattice. This structure was built by a contractor and ended up costing around $3,000.

I know where your mind is going and I wish you luck. Your kitty is sick and no one seems to be able to diagnose her illness. But whatever it is, it's serious and may not be treatable. As noted in my earlier post, there are infections/parasites/neurological disorders that could be causing seizures. I found some helpful information about "cats with seizures" on YouTube videos.
Thank you. I’m definitely going to be brainstorming. My grandmother lives near me and is so upset at my face she may even let me build/have something permanent on her property, until I buy. She has a “tiny house” that’s insulated with an a/c and a heater for winter, windows, and a porch. That would have been perfect, but unfortunately someone is staying in it right now. Could be a future option though.... if worse comes to absolute worse (besides euthanasia), what if I kept her in her own room most of the time, with some time out in the living room while Tuck and Lo are shut in my room? Would that make her aggression worse? Would that be cruel? It’s not a big room at all, and there’s no bed, only a chair, cat bed, some blankets I put in there because she likes to sleep in the floor, and an end table next to the window for her to look out. She’s destroying the carpet and even the side paneling on the frame but it’s honestly whatever at this point, I’ll just have to pay for it, and face the wrath later. I just don’t know if that’s a good idea
 
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catluvs

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How would she potentially react to the birds or roaming cats in a screened in porch?
That’s my main concern, other cats. Even if she couldn’t get out, seeing them is going to stress her out really bad. I can already imagine hearing her throw a fit on the porch while we’re inside
 

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No. I really wish the vet would have checked her out more when I took her, but all three vets I’ve talked to agree that it’s a behavioral thing. The thing is, the birds have been there for weeks. When the noises first started happening, we hadn’t had a big fight in a while. I was afraid that was going to start episodes, but other than them being startled a few times, they’d just go sit in the bathroom and watch the wall and listen. A couple times it was really loud and she charged at Tuck but I just separated them. Since the big fight, one of the biggest actually, happened the other day she’s been extra wired. And since that movement last night was really loud, it triggered her worse than before. The thing is though, her attacking me was calculated. I don’t think it’s her fault she’s wired that way, there’s something bad wrong with her reactions and fear and perceptions of situations, but she was calm and walking around looking for a fight. Her tail wasn’t even that puffy. Before it happened I fully didn’t think it was going to become a situation. I was glad I had locked Tuck and Lo out, and thought I had prevented it all. I thought she’d calm down in a few minutes. So I sat there relaxed and very still, when after she was done walking around she came up in the bed and started sniffing really strongly. I didn’t even look at her as to not provoke her. And then quick as lightening she attacked my face and started yowling. I’m going to see what I can do about a fence or a screened in porch, or anything, I’m going to exhaust all ideas for a solution, until I can have my own yard. But she’s not living with us anymore. There is absolutely no way. It’s a miracle she didn’t get my eye.
Anxiety after a seizure is not unusual. Blood work is required to diagnose parasite infection. I'm not going to argue with a vet, but I have observed a direct correlation between skill level and length of practice. This is one behavioral issue I'm not familiar with. Behavioral issues are generally things like urine marking, food aggression, overgrooming, eliminating outside the box, etc. ???

In the interim, one of my adopters found a quite nice condo on Amazon for around $80. I doubt this will work for long-term confinement, but it would keep everyone safe until you can figure out what you want to do.
 

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Thank you. I’m definitely going to be brainstorming. My grandmother lives near me and is so upset at my face she may even let me build/have something permanent on her property, until I buy. She has a “tiny house” that’s insulated with an a/c and a heater for winter, windows, and a porch. That would have been perfect, but unfortunately someone is staying in it right now. Could be a future option though.... if worse comes to absolute worse (besides euthanasia), what if I kept her in her own room most of the time, with some time out in the living room while Tuck and Lo are shut in my room? Would that make her aggression worse? Would that be cruel? It’s not a big room at all, and there’s no bed, only a chair, cat bed, some blankets I put in there because she likes to sleep in the floor, and an end table next to the window for her to look out. She’s destroying the carpet and even the side paneling on the frame but it’s honestly whatever at this point, I’ll just have to pay for it, and face the wrath later. I just don’t know if that’s a good idea
Yes, a tiny house would be great. However, awfully expensive solution for a cat house :) BTW, one of my local rescues uses those little wooden sheds to house their rescues, and the cats have access to a chain link fenced yard. But I wouldn't let CC out in anything that didn't have a cover over the top as she would probably climb up and out.

Not sure why you think giving her her own room might be cruel? She does need to be an only cat, so would consider segregating her to be a good idea. I'm sure she will continue to cause damage, and will eventually scratch through the door trim, but sounds like you're resigned to that. I think you'll just have to try it and see what happens. If it truly is a behavior problem, and not a medical problem, do keep in mind that you are the one in charge here (well, mostly) ;) I know they can be as aggravating as a two-year-old throwing a tantrum.

I really liked the suggestion about contacting Jackson Galaxy. This is right up his alley. I'd send your wound pictures along with your inquiry.
 

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Thank you. I’m definitely going to be brainstorming. My grandmother lives near me and is so upset at my face she may even let me build/have something permanent on her property, until I buy. She has a “tiny house” that’s insulated with an a/c and a heater for winter, windows, and a porch. That would have been perfect, but unfortunately someone is staying in it right now. Could be a future option though.... if worse comes to absolute worse (besides euthanasia), what if I kept her in her own room most of the time, with some time out in the living room while Tuck and Lo are shut in my room? Would that make her aggression worse? Would that be cruel? It’s not a big room at all, and there’s no bed, only a chair, cat bed, some blankets I put in there because she likes to sleep in the floor, and an end table next to the window for her to look out. She’s destroying the carpet and even the side paneling on the frame but it’s honestly whatever at this point, I’ll just have to pay for it, and face the wrath later. I just don’t know if that’s a good idea
ABSOLUTELY yes. That's what Jackson Galaxy calls, "site swapping" and he recommends it very highly.
 
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catluvs

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Anxiety after a seizure is not unusual. Blood work is required to diagnose parasite infection. I'm not going to argue with a vet, but I have observed a direct correlation between skill level and length of practice. This is one behavioral issue I'm not familiar with. Behavioral issues are generally things like urine marking, food aggression, overgrooming, eliminating outside the box, etc. ???

In the interim, one of my adopters found a quite nice condo on Amazon for around $80. I doubt this will work for long-term confinement, but it would keep everyone safe until you can figure out what you want to do.
The way it’s been described to me is a very severe case of redirected aggression, due to being overstimulated by a stimuli that they either can’t get to (seeing outside cats, DEFINITELY one of her triggers) or the nervous system having an overreaction due to general anxiety and instead of hiding to going on defense, the cat goes on offense. It could very well be what you’re saying though. But wouldn’t there be some kind of sign of a seizure, even if it’s very subtle and small? I’ll have to google it as well and read up on cat seizures. But last night for example, her behavior when it happens reminds me of those hunting dogs that point and go on high alert, and then head for the source. She stands to attention and actively seeks out what she thinks is the threat and then will attack anything that’s alive near her, even if it’s not the threat
 
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catluvs

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Yes, a tiny house would be great. However, awfully expensive solution for a cat house :) BTW, one of my local rescues uses those little wooden sheds to house their rescues, and the cats have access to a chain link fenced yard. But I wouldn't let CC out in anything that didn't have a cover over the top as she would probably climb up and out.

Not sure why you think giving her her own room might be cruel? She does need to be an only cat, so would consider segregating her to be a good idea. I'm sure she will continue to cause damage, and will eventually scratch through the door trim, but sounds like you're resigned to that. I think you'll just have to try it and see what happens. If it truly is a behavior problem, and not a medical problem, do keep in mind that you are the one in charge here (well, mostly) ;) I know they can be as aggravating as a two-year-old throwing a tantrum.

I really liked the suggestion about contacting Jackson Galaxy. This is right up his alley. I'd send your wound pictures along with your inquiry.
Sorry for the double reply. She HATES, absolutely hates, being confined (as I’m sure most cats do, but whereas Tuck and Lo get annoyed, it affects her worse than them) so I’ve never wanted to do that since the room is so small (damage aside, which I was really worried about and am still nervous about). When I would keep her in there for a short time and let her out, I could tell she was distraught. But I’m honestly past what she likes and doesn’t like, lol, as long as it’s comfortable and she has everything she needs, with a little window access
 
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