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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 09:02 AM Thread Starter
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Agressive to people...


I recently brought home a new cat. I already have a cat so I expect some bickering between the two.
But, my new cat (Presley) is showing aggressive behavior to people and my other pets (rats). I was watching him to see what he would do when he went to investigate and he tried getting his hand in their cage.
He will be fine one minute and let you pet him and go near him and then he will randomly hiss and growl and swipe at you with his ears back. He attacked my hand yesterday.
He also showed aggressive behavior towards guests I had at the house.

I brought him home from the clinic on a two week trial. I would feel awful sending him back, but I refuse to endanger the lives of my rats and I don't want this behavior to continue. I don't trust this cat. I am an Animal Science major so I know basic behavioral modification, but I am in class Monday - Friday 9-5.

I am not one to "give up" with my animals and when I get an animal it is for life. But, where do you draw the line?

Any advice or opinions on what I should do?

Thank you!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-18-2007, 09:28 AM
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Do you have any info on him? Age? What's his story? Was he a stray? It's hard to say what kind of history some cats have.(abuse etc) Might take a long while especially with rodents in the house. It's a completely new environment for him I would imagine. I'm just thinking out loud here.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-20-2007, 12:41 PM
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Did you do the proper introduction? Look up introductions in this forum, there is plenty of good information.

Also as far as a cat going after a rat, honestly, what else would you expect? . I would keep the rats’ cage somewhere out of reach of the cats, on a high shelf or behind closed doors.

These things can take time. You should probably start a re-introduction process.

Also, behavior modification (or training and we like to say ) can be very species specific. Trying to train a cat using dog techniques, is likely to exasperate behavioral problems. If you are at a school that teaches animal science, then the library is likely filled with many good books on cat behavior.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-23-2007, 11:25 PM
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I don't think there's anything seriously wrong with this cat but perhaps it just isn't the cat for you, and you don't have the time to work with him. Since it was understood by the shelter that it was just a trial, I'd suggest returning him ASAP before he gets used to your home and so he can have another chance at adoption.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-23-2007, 11:59 PM
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Training a cat and training a dog are quite different. Cats require more of a teaching approach if you're going to be successful.

A cat that is being introduced to a new environment will tend to revert to instinct-driven behavior due to stress. That means he or she will go after your rats if they're accessible.

I would suggest you follow the advice this forum has to offer regarding introductions.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 11-24-2007, 10:19 AM
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In a new environment it's not unusual for a cat to be stressed and anxious and lash out. You mentioned that you had guests over as well -- I would suggest having a "safe room" or a "safe spot" that is just for the cat to retreat when you have guests over. Having a new home is stressful enough, the idea of meeting a bunch of new people can make that situation much worse.

As far as the rats, I can only repeat what's already been said -- what can you expect? I also agree with everyone that said to try some proper introduction techniques and see how the kitty fairs.

Good luck to both you and your kitty!
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