Female from shelter, aggression problem - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Female from shelter, aggression problem

I just recently picked up a spayed, one and a half year old cat from a rescue home, who had been living there with two non-abusive women for the last 7 months. She was very playful when we visited her, tolerant of petting and everything and we thought there wouldn't be any problems when we took her home the following week.

She enjoys rubbing against my outstretched arm, but when my girlfriend tried it she was scratched a couple of times followed by a loud hiss from the cat. I personally didn't have any problems until play time. Unlike previous cats I've owned, she attacks your hand that's holding the toy, not the toy itself. She also does this with claws and can cause quite a bit of damage for her small size. Her behavior is also getting progressively worse. She now attacks your nearby hand when she's laying down, and inches her way towards you across the carpet with her claws until she can dig them into your legs. Walking around she's mostly fine though, with the occasional cranky (and unexpected) outburst.

Right now we're saying "no" to her in a loud voice when she scratches us just to project dissatisfaction, and leave her alone afterwards. If it's bad, we use a spray bottle. But tonight I noticed that when I approached her, I got hissed at violently. I don't want her to become increasingly afraid of us. Are we going about this the right way? Is there anything different we could try? Should we return her if it continues? Thanks for your help! If this matters at all, she was around two dogs at her shelter and another cat I believe.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 12:48 PM
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Re: Female from shelter, aggression problem

Sounds like your kitty didn't get to learn as a kitten about how to play properly - there is a phase of early kitten hood when cats learn from their mother and siblings about when to stop, when to keep claws in, how to tell what's fun from what hurts. Your best bet is to redirect her - take control of her play time by offering to play with her first, rather than allowing her to initiate play her way, and use toys which will keep her further from your hands (fishing pole, toss toys, etc.) until she begins to learn. The spray bottle is not so great, since it will just teach her to stay away from you, and that is not what you want.

I am sure others will jump in with some good suggestions. Your kitty will learn fast if you give her a chance! Lots of luck,

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