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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-02-2006, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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Dr Jekyll with me, Mr Hyde with others.

Hey there,

I have a 2yo, tortoise shell, indoor, de-sexed, female cat and she really is the most affectionate cat I've ever had. She's talkative, always follows me around the apartment (my appartment is as big as most houses), sits on my lap when I work, sleeps with me at night... you get the idea.

But that's with me or my fiance. But if I'm not around and/or other ppl are in the apartment she becomes a savage. It's happened on a few occasions where I've been out and left visitors on their own to when I return I'm met with horrid tales of my cat going psycho, scratching them, and having to somehow shoo her into a room and close the door. I'm not talking playful fights, I'm talking back arched, fat tail, claws out, hissing and she really has a go at other ppl. Real savage attacks.

I couldn't believe it at first. I had my parents over two months ago who are cat people. I left them to go to work to be called 40 minutes later that my cat "had lost the plot" and they shut her in one of the rooms where she'll hit up against the door. My dad told me that "in my my life and all pets we've had, I've never been scared of a cat, until today!" When I returned she was all meows and leg-rubs as if it never happened. But a few times while I was there she'd hiss or jump at my parents, I'd rush to the area and see her sitting down making a low growling noise.

My fiance (I think) is trusted like me, but just the other night she was at the appartment with 3 other adults and she started to go psycho and scratched my fiance on the leg. Again, when I got home later she's calm and happy to see me.

I seem to get the idea that she gets vicious when she's left with ppl she doesn't know or feels out numbered by strangers.

She's spolit, she's only ever known the insides of two appartments. She gets fed well, gets a new flea collar every 6 months, etc... well loved. I'm going to start triming her claws (to save our new furniture and for our protection), but after that I'm at a loss of what to do?

If anyone can give me some insight and ideas it would be greatly appreciated.

thanks!!

chris v
(ikywmm)
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 11:15 PM
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Chris - most cats don't like strangers. I think they consider them threats and intruders upon their territory. Even so, your cat's reaction isn't typical. The typical reaction is for a cat to run and hide. Then after a while with the strangers in the house they realize they're not a threat and their curiosity gets the better of them and they come out to socialize.

Realizing that your cat is going to act this way toward strangers -- and everybody but you two are strangers to her -- I suggest you prepare before they come. Get yourself some Feliway spray. If you're not familiar with it, it's a product that contains synthetic feline "calm" pheromones. It's supposed to calm a cat down. Spray that around before your guests arrive. Then if she acts out, immediately isolate her in a room with a closed door.

The second suggestion is to not leave her alone in there with your guests. From a practical point of view, if they get hurt, you could be held liable. If you absolutely have to be out, put her in a room and close the door, or even put her in her carrier.

I just thought of a third suggestion you might think off-the-wall but it's worth a try: ditch the flea collars. If you need flea protection, use a topical such as Frontline Plus, Revolution, or Advantage. Some of those flea collars contain chemicals that some cats react to. There's some remote possibility that your cat's behavior might be affected by the flea collar.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 12:19 AM
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I have a cat who is similar to that, although no where close to that extreme.
She won't actively seek out and attack people. If left to her own devices, she'll hide, but if they approach her, she will attach (bite/scratch), but people think she looks petable and I think she feels cornered when people approach her. I have a few friends who are afraid of her, but with me she's super cuddly.
Whenever anyone comes to my house, I tell them not to approach the calico, she will bite.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 01:06 AM
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Oh, yes, Jennifer makes another really excellent point: when your guests come over, instruct them to totally ignore your cat. Don't look at her, don't talk to her, and for heaven's sake don't approach her and try to pet her.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 03:26 AM
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Re: Dr Jekyll with me, Mr Hyde with others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ikywmm
My fiance (I think) ......




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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-06-2006, 10:44 PM
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Chris,

This sounds very similar to my cat Tink. The only difference is Tink doesnt go crazy cat on our visitors (bushy tail, clawing yada yada) but instead simply stalks them. This was very strange to us because as stated, most cats simply go and hide. Tink however will purposefully race to get infront of our visitor and get inbetween where they are going and hunker down infront of them with this "and where do you think your going" look on her face. Only time she hisses/growls or paw/bat at them is if they try and touch her... otherwise she is constantly watching their every movement and following them to ensure she can see what their doing.

We just concluded its a territiorial thing and that she is in a protective mode over the house and us.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-09-2006, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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Hello again,

Thank you all for your very indepth replies. I'll look into the Feliway spray and try using something different than a flea collar, but right now we're going to combat the problem by getting into the habit of putting her in a room while we have guests over. It's the only way to be sure. Especially since someone mentioned that we're liable (and these are awfully ligitious days we live in).

It's just a real pity because to us she's a very loving cat. I guess she's just very protective of her home and owners, I guess it's nice to know that

I had a plumber over today where the cat was in the bathroom. I told him to not go in there and left for work. I get a phone call later on from the plumber saying that he's left the the hot tap on in the bathroom from when he first got in and now that the mains are back on the water's pouring out the bathroom taps. He opened the door a crack and said the cat was making some scary growling noises and he refused to go in, what did I want him to do? I told him to turn the mains off and I'll switch them back on tonight. Again, when I get home and let her out of the bathroom she's all happy meows.

I'll make sure I get her a nice bed and some play things for when we have to put her away.

Thanks again
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 07:17 PM
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WOw i had a similair cat to this but he was a HUGE male tom cat! NEver heard of a female being like this!


Just curious do you have any pics of your cat? WHat was she like growing up ???


How big is she? Just so curious such a odd character! AND interesting!!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cateyes1981
WOw i had a similair cat to this but he was a HUGE male tom cat! NEver heard of a female being like this!


Just curious do you have any pics of your cat? WHat was she like growing up ???


How big is she? Just so curious such a odd character! AND interesting!!
Here is a pic of Tink, our female territiorial kitty...




I've read that Orange cats tend to display more territorial behavior, and also tend to be a bit more agressive. Another thing that I have researched is that it is very rare to find an orange female, which Tink obviously is. Not sure if that has anything to do with her personality.

She is about 15lbs, not her recommended weight. You can tell this because her head is not big, like you would find on a larger male Tom.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 08:51 PM
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Rocket has a small head for his size, which you can probably see in this photo:



I attribute this to a pediatric neuter (not my choice) -- he didn't have a chance to start developing his "cheeks" (I don't remember the correct term)

I think if it was my choice, I'd delay a male cat's castration until just after puberty, so his male hormones have a chance to tell his face to fill out.
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