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

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catluvs

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Here are a couple of new ideas: I did mention the Nurturecalm pheromone collar, which I think is a real winner. Whether you can get it on her, though, is another story. While I haven't found Feliway to be all that great, it is an alternative that might be helpful. Plug in a couple Feliway diffusers in her room.

For damage control, an item I found extremely useful is a product called ssscat, made by Innotek (Radio Systems Corp., www.innotek.net, Knoxville TN). It is canned air with a motion sensor top that snaps on. I used it to keep the cats from spraying on the front door (because they could smell outside cats). You set the can in front of whatever you want to protect and when the cap senses motion, it sets off a burst of air. Totally safe, odorless, causes no injury, and they will stay away from the protected area. If you are dealing with a behavior issue, maybe it's time for CC to get a little gentle push back. :wink:

If memory serves (which it usually doesn't), I believe the approximate costs for these items would be:

Nurturecalm collar - about $14 from Chewy
Feliway - around $20 from Chewy
ssscat - about $20 for the cap, and maybe $13 for the cans, not sure where to buy any longer and I was receiving a rescue discount from our local farm supply store.

I'm still leaning toward some kind of neurological issue, but that's just my guess.

I like the suggestion about a containment system right inside the room, and think the PVC plan would be a good choice for that. It goes together kind of like Tinker Toys. You just need to measure and cut the straight pieces.
Thank you so much!
 
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catluvs

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Everything youre saying is SO familiar to me. I cant remember exactly, but i think shortly before the first attack by my old cat Simon, my then-bf had petted a stray. He was fine for the first 6 months to a year we had him. And the sniffing! Simon did the same-it was like he didnt realize it wwas me, or my bf. We began to realize sniffing was a warning sign of an attack-he'd come up, sniffing really intently, and then just go crazy and attack hard. I was always like-doesnt he recognize me? Cant he hear my voice and realize its me?

I definitely think that your cat has whatever mine had. The behaviours are identical.

Like i said before, i understand and commend your loyalty to your animal. I was the same. Most people wouldve euthaized after the secomd or third attack-i lost count of how many times i got attacked. And it was hard bc once he calmed down hed start his sad little "where are you" meow and dig at the door to come back in the room with me... but once he was back i was scared to move to fast, cough too loud, i was afraid of the phone ringing, something banging in the apartment upstairs form me. And then the last awful attack happened and i had to admit defeat. I have enough time and space from it now to fully know that i tried my best and im not bad for having him taken and euthanized. But it took a while.

Again, i greatly respect your loyalty to this cat-but you and yoyr other cats deserve to be happy, not scared all the time.. and it cant be a fun existamce to always be so scared that you feel you need to attack.

If the screened in porch thing doesnt work, please know you did right by this animal, and you did way more than a lot of people would.
I’m really glad you found this thread - I had started to think Cc was unlike any other, or it was something I did. It really is comforting to know at least someone else has experienced this level. I’ve felt so hopeless and still feel very hopeless, but doing the best that I can do with what I have right now. Going to take it one day at a time

Edited to say: the fear of making noise is EXACTLY what I’m going through. I won’t even pop popcorn or cook certain things because I’m scared at what might happen. One of the biggest fights has been when I had my phone on speaker (not even loud) when I was calling my brother. He didn’t answer and when the voicemail started speaking, that’s what triggered that fight. I mean, no one can live this way. At all. I’m doing my best to try to figure it out, though
 

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I’m really glad you found this thread - I had started to think Cc was unlike any other, or it was something I did. It really is comforting to know at least someone else has experienced this level. I’ve felt so hopeless and still feel very hopeless, but doing the best that I can do with what I have right now. Going to take it one day at a time

Edited to say: the fear of making noise is EXACTLY what I’m going through. I won’t even pop popcorn or cook certain things because I’m scared at what might happen. One of the biggest fights has been when I had my phone on speaker (not even loud) when I was calling my brother. He didn’t answer and when the voicemail started speaking, that’s what triggered that fight. I mean, no one can live this way. At all. I’m doing my best to try to figure it out, though
I truly believe that if CC can be properly diagnosed and given meds for it, you will be able to live in a much better way.
 

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I truly believe that if CC can be properly diagnosed and given meds for it, you will be able to live in a much better way.
I agree; meds are the magic word here. I really would spend most of your efforts on figuring out a way to get meds into her. Keep experimenting with different wet foods and toppings. Once she gets on the right regimen it will be easier to take her to vet appointments.
 

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I just wanted to remind you that you have several contact methods that I sent in a PM for Jason Galaxy. I was able to get through to his reps on the phone in the past and they were very kind. The suggestion by Gremlin's Guesthouse Gremlin's Guesthouse to attach the photos of the wounds you have gotten is great advice.
I also wanted to tell you a little about seizures. You asked about signs of a seizure. The things you have described that come before an attack could very well be your signs. Being “on point” like a hunting dog, dilated pupils, stopping and then immediately going off, sounds sending her off, smells sending her off, are all things that can come before a seizure. There are different types of seizures. Petit mal and grand mal are both seizures but one type has more noticeable signs. Petit mal can easily go undetected if you look for the typical things we associate with seizures. They can often just look like the cat is thinking about something or pausing momentarily. I have a lot of experience being around both types of seizures. It is possible that you could get a vet to try the medication without having to go through all the testing. Testing does not always show seizure activity anyway. I don’t know how many different medications are available for cats with seizures but where one might not work, another might. Please do follow up on that one as I think it is very possible. I believe CC was a bottle baby? Many things can cause seizures. Including birth injuries, a lack of oxygen at birth or later, inhalation of fluids causing loss of oxygen, head trauma etc. etc.
For the porch, there is a metal mesh that is called hardware cloth. It is tiny squares and very strong. It can easily be placed over screening and CC could not scratch through it. Get the kind with small square gauge and she should be safe.
I have a male cat with Felv who lives in his own room. He does want out at times but has learned to “claim his room.” He knows it is his safe spot. I had to let him complain at first but he did stop. Cc may rebel for awhile but in time she may come to see her room as her sanctuary. I think that is a perfect option for now. I really hope you don’t let her out. I know it’s hard to hear her complaining but it is the safest thing for her and for all of you there. You may find that once adjusted, she is calmer. Give her time to learn she is okay there. :alright::grouphug2:
 

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Please don't give up on your cat. You can help retrain its brain. I just adopted 2 brothers, one with cptsd and he has his own room to settle down in, plenty to chew and claw, lots of cuddles on his terms and he needs to feel special sometimes. You said u have anxiety/panic attacks and your environment helps. Cat is the same, ask it what it needs. Even keep away from conflict/triggers. Tune into its channel :) meow
 

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Hi.
I write this with tears of frustration and sadness coming down my face and the cat in question in my lap.
I have 3 cats, all of whom were littermates. They’re 3 years old. One of my female cats has always been nuts. Her name is Cc (short for crazy cat, or crack cat my brother jokes) and she has very bad redirected aggression. She’s a loving and playful cat who loves her brother and sister.... until she sees another cat, smells another cat, hears another cat, hears a loud noise on the porch and assumes there’s another cat, among many others. While she’s always been “attacky” if a trigger is present, it’s gotten especially crazy within the last year. I pet a stray cat, didn’t get to the bathroom in time, thought I would need stitches after she attacked. Was locked in there for hours. I made a gasping noise because my other cat was trying to eat a piece of tape, I gently tried to wrestle him down to get it out of his mouth, and she attacked both of us. That time she hit a vein and I was bleeding so bad I have stains on my carpet. A neighbors cat was yowling outside last week, it tuned into a knock down drag out cat brawl between the three (due to her heightened state) which included chunks of hair being ripped out, nail husks embedded in backs, and face sores. I had to sit still on my bed and wait until it was over, lest I receive battle wounds, too. This morning, my washer made the screen door rattle, which sent her into attack mode on my boy cat, who was doing nothing. etc. etc. etc. My male cat also has FLUTD, which the vet emphasizes is very much triggered by stress. After she calms down, she’ll go back to her old self and try to be affectionate with them, but they want nothing to do with her now, with good reason.

I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried removing every trigger within my power. I’ve tried playing with them even more than I already do. I’ve tried giving her places to hide. I’m young and live alone, so my house is pretty quiet (I’m scared to breathe too loud). I’ve googled and googled and googled, and have done everything I’ve read/thought of. Took her to the vet, who prescribed liquid Prozac, but I’m having a very hard time getting it administered, since she doesn’t like anything except her dry cat food and cheese (wouldn’t eat the cheese with it, even tried doing it a little at a time).

I’m truly, truly at a loss. I’ve worked a long time to get rid of my panic attacks and have been successful for several years, but now they’re back. I’m scared in my own home. I’m scared to leave for work, afraid a situation will arise that I can’t help diffuse, and my boy cat will pay the price. The vet said she’s legally obligated to suggest euthanasia, but I don’t see how I could ever do that. My heart is broken enough as it is. She also said that she thinks she’d make a good transition as a barn cat, within a program who actually takes care of cats and wants the best for them. I have no idea what to do. All I know is I can’t live like this. It’s fair to no one, not Cc, not my other female cat, and especially not my boy cat, who has a life-threatening illness attributed to stress.

What do I do? Is it possible to rehome her to a single cat household?
Also change of diet.....look at possible too much taurine? Artificial additives? Sounds more psychological though
 

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Hi, Catluvs. I'm quite moved by all the wonderful information and suggestions, as well as the heartfelt compassion, that has been shared here with you. Obviously, some things are going to be easier for you to do than others. I have heard your expressions of confusion, trepidation, and fear, and I understand that you may be "stuck" in those feelings. And when we feel stuck like that, we tend to do nothing.

I may be misinterpreting, and if I am, I do apologize. However, I was a bit concerned to hear you say you were going to take things "one day at a time." Honestly, you have run out of time and can no longer wait to see what tomorrow will bring. I guarantee you, it will be more of the same. Everyone in your home is suffering, and I just want to urge you to take that first step forward and follow through on something - anything that might make a difference. Doing so will begin to build the important momentum you need to get started on bringing this terrible situation to conclusion. You're not going to know, and nothing is going to change until you try. Letting it ride day-by-day is only going to prolong your misery and that of your cats. 😟 We're all pulling for you and your kitties!
 
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catluvs

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I just wanted to remind you that you have several contact methods that I sent in a PM for Jason Galaxy. I was able to get through to his reps on the phone in the past and they were very kind. The suggestion by Gremlin's Guesthouse Gremlin's Guesthouse to attach the photos of the wounds you have gotten is great advice.
I also wanted to tell you a little about seizures. You asked about signs of a seizure. The things you have described that come before an attack could very well be your signs. Being “on point” like a hunting dog, dilated pupils, stopping and then immediately going off, sounds sending her off, smells sending her off, are all things that can come before a seizure. There are different types of seizures. Petit mal and grand mal are both seizures but one type has more noticeable signs. Petit mal can easily go undetected if you look for the typical things we associate with seizures. They can often just look like the cat is thinking about something or pausing momentarily. I have a lot of experience being around both types of seizures. It is possible that you could get a vet to try the medication without having to go through all the testing. Testing does not always show seizure activity anyway. I don’t know how many different medications are available for cats with seizures but where one might not work, another might. Please do follow up on that one as I think it is very possible. I believe CC was a bottle baby? Many things can cause seizures. Including birth injuries, a lack of oxygen at birth or later, inhalation of fluids causing loss of oxygen, head trauma etc. etc.
For the porch, there is a metal mesh that is called hardware cloth. It is tiny squares and very strong. It can easily be placed over screening and CC could not scratch through it. Get the kind with small square gauge and she should be safe.
I have a male cat with Felv who lives in his own room. He does want out at times but has learned to “claim his room.” He knows it is his safe spot. I had to let him complain at first but he did stop. Cc may rebel for awhile but in time she may come to see her room as her sanctuary. I think that is a perfect option for now. I really hope you don’t let her out. I know it’s hard to hear her complaining but it is the safest thing for her and for all of you there. You may find that once adjusted, she is calmer. Give her time to learn she is okay there. :alright::grouphug2:
Thank you. I plan on trying to reach out to him.
 
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catluvs

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Hi Catluvs; how is CC doing today? How are you doing?
Cc is still confined to her own room, and I let her out and about if she chooses for about an hour twice a day while Tuck and Lo are shut in my bedroom. I let them smell each other under the door but they haven’t interacted. She was really upset about being in the room at first, and is still jumpy when I let her out, but I kind of noticed that she seems like she’s accepted it, and she was playing with me a bit earlier. I still don’t trust her at all, and I hope that she’s not going to start hating the bedroom and go insane. I feel extremely guilty about her being in there, but I made her a nice bed level with the window today so I’m hoping she’s fine with it. Tuck and Lo are fine, however I’ve noticed Lo now showing fear aggression towards Tuck when he’s running around trying to play. This though makes me see just how different Cc is. While Lo attacked Tuck yesterday after she thought he was a threat, she stopped after a second when he didn’t react and she didn’t do anything to me, never has. I pet her on the head and she calmed right down. As for me.... I’m still really upset and just trying to gather my thoughts. Thank you for asking
 
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catluvs

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Hi, Catluvs. I'm quite moved by all the wonderful information and suggestions, as well as the heartfelt compassion, that has been shared here with you. Obviously, some things are going to be easier for you to do than others. I have heard your expressions of confusion, trepidation, and fear, and I understand that you may be "stuck" in those feelings. And when we feel stuck like that, we tend to do nothing.

I may be misinterpreting, and if I am, I do apologize. However, I was a bit concerned to hear you say you were going to take things "one day at a time." Honestly, you have run out of time and can no longer wait to see what tomorrow will bring. I guarantee you, it will be more of the same. Everyone in your home is suffering, and I just want to urge you to take that first step forward and follow through on something - anything that might make a difference. Doing so will begin to build the important momentum you need to get started on bringing this terrible situation to conclusion. You're not going to know, and nothing is going to change until you try. Letting it ride day-by-day is only going to prolong your misery and that of your cats. 😟 We're all pulling for you and your kitties!
You’re right, that’s the way I’ve been feeling for a really long time. She’s still in isolation, and I’ve been letting her out (alone) to wander around and spend some time with her. I haven’t let them interact and I don’t know if I will again. I’ve been in contact with the rescue I was talking about, but I’m not sure what I could do. I also called ANOTHER vet this morning and had a chat about it, and may bring her to them for an additional appointment, but they said it sounds like a classic case of redirected aggression, except really intense. I’d really like to be able to hold out until I can have my own yard, fence her in, screen in my porch, and have her her own catio and run of the yard. But I’m not sure how she’s going to live in a room for that long with limited time out. But then again, I think of shelter cats who are in much smaller spaces, and some are in there for a while. So I mean, I’m not really sure what else I can do at the moment. I’m going to reach out to Jackson like JCatbird said. But as long as no one is getting attacked... idk, my big issue right now is the guilt I feel. I did talk to my landlord and he said if I bought the stuff, he’d turn this porch that he has already built (not attached to a house) into a kind of catio, and place it behind my house. I’m not sure if that’s a good idea with stray cats though, I almost think her own bedroom would be better. I’m just not sure
 

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You’re right, that’s the way I’ve been feeling for a really long time. She’s still in isolation, and I’ve been letting her out (alone) to wander around and spend some time with her. I haven’t let them interact and I don’t know if I will again. I’ve been in contact with the rescue I was talking about, but I’m not sure what I could do. I also called ANOTHER vet this morning and had a chat about it, and may bring her to them for an additional appointment, but they said it sounds like a classic case of redirected aggression, except really intense. I’d really like to be able to hold out until I can have my own yard, fence her in, screen in my porch, and have her her own catio and run of the yard. But I’m not sure how she’s going to live in a room for that long with limited time out. But then again, I think of shelter cats who are in much smaller spaces, and some are in there for a while. So I mean, I’m not really sure what else I can do at the moment. I’m going to reach out to Jackson like JCatbird said. But as long as no one is getting attacked... idk, my big issue right now is the guilt I feel. I did talk to my landlord and he said if I bought the stuff, he’d turn this porch that he has already built (not attached to a house) into a kind of catio, and place it behind my house. I’m not sure if that’s a good idea with stray cats though, I almost think her own bedroom would be better. I’m just not sure
TAKE THE OFFER, C catluvs , please. If CC doesn't like it, you don't need to keep her in it. And it sounds like she's doing well, considering! Yes, I hope you can connect with Jackson. He is the most amazing cat AND human behaviorist -- his gift is unlike any other I've seen. He truly cares about the cats, of course, but he also cares about the people. I think you're right in keeping CC away from Tuck and Lo. "If it works, don't fix it." Not sure at all about "redirected aggression" as it sounds much more neuro to me, but I'm not a vet. MUCH gratitude to you for staying in her corner. I truly believe this situation can be improved.
 

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I think her own bedroom would be better, not much outside influence compared to outside. IMHO I feel like there is a lot that would set her off outside. But you are there and have the decision to make, outside or inside. Yay for your landlord offering that.
I wouldn't worry too much about containing her in the bedroom. She has comfy bedding, a window...less stimulation that sets her off. She may be more comfortable with less stimulation. It's where she needs to be while you find answers and treatment. So much more safe for all. She may complain but you have to let her complain knowing this is the best.
Hoping for good news from Jackson Galaxy!!
 
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catluvs

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I just wanted to remind you that you have several contact methods that I sent in a PM for Jason Galaxy. I was able to get through to his reps on the phone in the past and they were very kind. The suggestion by Gremlin's Guesthouse Gremlin's Guesthouse to attach the photos of the wounds you have gotten is great advice.
I also wanted to tell you a little about seizures. You asked about signs of a seizure. The things you have described that come before an attack could very well be your signs. Being “on point” like a hunting dog, dilated pupils, stopping and then immediately going off, sounds sending her off, smells sending her off, are all things that can come before a seizure. There are different types of seizures. Petit mal and grand mal are both seizures but one type has more noticeable signs. Petit mal can easily go undetected if you look for the typical things we associate with seizures. They can often just look like the cat is thinking about something or pausing momentarily. I have a lot of experience being around both types of seizures. It is possible that you could get a vet to try the medication without having to go through all the testing. Testing does not always show seizure activity anyway. I don’t know how many different medications are available for cats with seizures but where one might not work, another might. Please do follow up on that one as I think it is very possible. I believe CC was a bottle baby? Many things can cause seizures. Including birth injuries, a lack of oxygen at birth or later, inhalation of fluids causing loss of oxygen, head trauma etc. etc.
For the porch, there is a metal mesh that is called hardware cloth. It is tiny squares and very strong. It can easily be placed over screening and CC could not scratch through it. Get the kind with small square gauge and she should be safe.
I have a male cat with Felv who lives in his own room. He does want out at times but has learned to “claim his room.” He knows it is his safe spot. I had to let him complain at first but he did stop. Cc may rebel for awhile but in time she may come to see her room as her sanctuary. I think that is a perfect option for now. I really hope you don’t let her out. I know it’s hard to hear her complaining but it is the safest thing for her and for all of you there. You may find that once adjusted, she is calmer. Give her time to learn she is okay there. :alright::grouphug2:
I thought I had replied, but I guess I didn’t. Thank you :hugs:
 

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Cc is still confined to her own room, and I let her out and about if she chooses for about an hour twice a day while Tuck and Lo are shut in my bedroom. I let them smell each other under the door but they haven’t interacted. She was really upset about being in the room at first, and is still jumpy when I let her out, but I kind of noticed that she seems like she’s accepted it, and she was playing with me a bit earlier. I still don’t trust her at all, and I hope that she’s not going to start hating the bedroom and go insane. I feel extremely guilty about her being in there, but I made her a nice bed level with the window today so I’m hoping she’s fine with it. Tuck and Lo are fine, however I’ve noticed Lo now showing fear aggression towards Tuck when he’s running around trying to play. This though makes me see just how different Cc is. While Lo attacked Tuck yesterday after she thought he was a threat, she stopped after a second when he didn’t react and she didn’t do anything to me, never has. I pet her on the head and she calmed right down. As for me.... I’m still really upset and just trying to gather my thoughts. Thank you for asking
This is great news. I'll bet everyone's blood pressure will drop considerably in a day or two. This will also give you a chance to watch and assess her behavior when she is alone with you. All in all, I think you might have a pretty good opportunity here for more clues into what's going on.

I would also agree with pearl99 that inside for now is probably the best plan. I kind of think she might go bananas with overstimulation from neighborhood cats, dogs, and possibly wildlife, and weather might be an issue as well. Don't know where you live, but we have all kinds of wild critters, dogs, etc. at my house. I've struggled with the same feelings of guilt with my boy Peanut. He is a such a sweet and affectionate cat and would be thrilled to live in the house with me. However, he has to stay in the habitat with his sister because he's quite sensitive and territorial and needs to mark everything he comes in contact with. As a matter of fact, he is so skilled that he was once able to slide open the door to my china cabinet, perch on a scant 9" shelf, spray and get down without moving a single plate or glass. :cringe: Now that's what I call impressive! For some reason, he doesn't need to do this in the habitat - go figure. Several months ago he also began violent attacks on Sushi. I have no idea why, since he had been living peacefully in the habitat (catio) with her for several years. He was recently diagnosed with hyperthyroid, so perhaps it had something to do with his illness. After the second attack, I knew this wasn't random and I removed Sushi from the habitat and brought her into the house. I often feel so sad (and guilty) that I can't have him inside where I know he would be happiest. But the reality is that he can't be in the house. He has everything he needs for comfort; warm bed, one with heated pad, food supply, fresh water, even a nightlight so he isn't in total darkness through the night, and access to outside for fresh air and mental stimulation. At each feeding (now about 4 times a day) I try to spend some extra time with him petting and scratching.
I can only do what I can do, and same goes for you and all of us. You're doing what is best for everyone, and CC will acclimate as Peanut has. Be sure to get the Feliway plug-ins, which will also help CC with any anxiety she may be feeling. You've made a good beginning and you're on your way, just stick to your guns and get rid of that unnecessary guilt. It will only lead you in the wrong direction.:clap:
 

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That is incredibly kind of your landlord. Clearly, I misjudged him - I never had such a nice landlord, lol! I would certainly take him up on his offer - if you end up not using it, so be it. But it is good to have options. It sounds like things are going well in her room, though.

I still think she has a neurological issue, but that is just based on cats owning me, not medical expertise. I still think meds will be the long term solution that is needed.

You have nothing to feel guilty about. You are a wonderful pet parent :alright:
 
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