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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
 
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Serious Behavior Issue (picture added)

Sorry if I jump right in without all the proper introduction, but I'm really very concerned and hoping -praying- someone has an answer. Everything else has failed so far.

We have three male cats. The oldest is 6; he was neutered a little late in life by the Humane Society, around age 3, but has had no issues. The youngest was also neutered at the Humane Society, around 6 months. No issues. The middle was neutered around a year or so, and is a source of immense concern.

This is gonna be a little long.

The first visit I brought him in his carrier, sat him on the floor in the lobby between my legs while I filled out the paperwork. Stupid Humane Society doesn't have seperated lobbies and someone's uncontrollable dog landed in my lap. The kitten in the carrier was scared so bad the carrier jumped across the floor. When his time came to go to the back, he was too frightened to come out of his carrier.

Fast forward a week or so. Try 2. This time one of us sat in the car while the other waited inside. When his turn came, we covered his carrier with a blanket and took him straight to the back. The attending vet was a bit rough. I tried to take the cat out of the carrier, but she snagged the carrier from me and said "I'll do it!" and proceeded to reach for him. She snagged him by the scruff of the neck and was gone. I hesistated but figured he was already out of the bag, should be upfrom there.

Wrong. Hours later they call to advise he's hissing in the kennel and no one can get him out. I said can't you tranq him and just get this over with, he's terrified. No. Come get him.

So I do.

The bring him in a freakin' cardboard box. His soft carrier opens all the way from the top to front, but they chose to put him in a box. He is yowling and carrying on. They drop him on the table. I demand to speak with their supervisor. The staff is curt, refuse to find a supervisor or vet, and I leave with my cat. As soon as I got him to the car, I said his name and stuck my hand over an air hole for the scent. He immediately began mewing and I held him on my lap the ride home (passenger side).

A few weeks go by. He's extremely aggitated. We hope it'll pass.

He still needs fixed.

Getting him to the new vet office requires a lot of patience, cooing, and finally trapping into the carrier. He hisses at the new vet; she specializes in ferals and isn't taken back. She has to use cat gloves, net and instantly tranq him. We have her do all shots, nail clippings etc while he's out. He has not been back to the vet since.

Fast fwd over a year later. He is still a walking mess. He has been perfectly fine with the household people and the other cats. Problems begin when company comes over. It can be one or more people, people he already knows and had previously developed postive relationship with - but he begins hissing at them. Sometimes small swipes. The problem is, he approaches them -- even if they proceed to ignore him, he presses forward, ears back, yowling and hissing and swipes. He draws blood. Men, women, doesn't matter. Anyone.

Up to this point, a household person could simply say his name in a reprimanding tone or clap hands together. Sometimes just entering the room with him would send him to his polite corner or more often -- up to the legs of a household person. Up to this point, he would just want attention from a household person, proceed to roll on his back and do cute things to get a tummy rub.

I've sought other advice, from ignoring him or having just one guest gently touch a safe spot for him then stop before he starts hissing.

Until this week. Nothing has changed, but now when company comes over he is far more assertive with them. And saying his name, entering the room, hand clapping does nothing. Tonight, he began hissing at company staying over. I said his name and he began a deep horrible growl and began a crouch like he was gonna spring at me. The guests backed into the other room and cat continued to approach me very unabashed, growling.

He had never growled before.

I had to wait for him to wander into the room with the litterbox and shut the door.

Within minutes he begins the pitiful "I'm sorry" meow.

What do we do with him??

We have had him his whole life and before the neutering fiasco he was absolutely loving to everyone.

Had I known, I'd rather steam clean carpet every night than be faced with this horrible situation of feeling like there's no option but euthanizing. I can't believe there's no other option.

Someone please tell me there is an answer.

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 01:51 AM
 
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Re: Serious Behavior Issue (picture added)

awww he is adorable and that is sad about what is happening. I wish I had better advice to give you.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Serious Behavior Issue (picture added)

Thank you.

BTW - I just saw online that on occasion, neutering isn't 100%, ie, a testicle might not have been fully descended. Therefore, he's still developing hormones. Does his behavior sound like unneutered male cats? I've really only had one, Boo, that wasn't neutered young, and he didn't act that way but he's pretty weird anyway.

He was eventually neutered at a feral clinic. Maybe they botched??
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 02:49 AM
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Re: Serious Behavior Issue (picture added)

Hi, I'm not sure I'll be much help.
I don't think extra testosterone could be the source of his problem, though I think a blood test could let you know if his levels are normal for a neutered male or exceptionally high. I think he had a very bad experience the times you took him to the vet and he was traumatized by the way they handled him. It almost seems like 'misdirected aggression' but it is happening with every *new* person in his territory. I'm not sure how I'd go about fixing that. My usual response would be to socialize and desensitize him, but that almost seems dangerous to try with him when he reacts so aggressively. I'm also not sure I'd like to keep him medicated so he remains mellow all of the time.
Can you contact a behaviorist? Maybe they would be able to help more.
Best of luck to you and your kitty,
Heidi



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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 02:58 AM
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Re: Serious Behavior Issue (picture added)

This may not be the right answer, but this is what I would do. He is obviously greatly distressed when company comes over. I would put him, a litter box, water and a bed in a safe room away from the guest before they arrive and have him stay there until they leave. Its safer for the guests and it would be less traumatic for him. Yes he might not like being locked up, but I think that feeling pales in comparrison to the deep fear he is experiencing at the sight of strangers in his home.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Serious Behavior Issue (picture added)

He went full out at the other cats again, and making horrible noises at us. We had to get a kennel setup for him. He now looks very small and confused. Calling vet tomorrow.

This sucks.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 03:55 AM
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Re: Serious Behavior Issue (picture added)

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hope you get some answers.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Serious Behavior Issue (picture added)

So far the plan is have the vet do a blood test to rule out hormones. See if I can get a medication for the time being to chill him out. Keep the wire kennel and try a desensitizing method I found online, that says to keep them in a kennel, not too close to but not isolated from the stimulant. In small doses reward cat with treats while stimulant is in the area, but not directly involved. When he begins to ignore the guest and is comfortable eating the treat, move on to the guest attempting to give treats. From there we can try out of the kennel and eventually, months down the line, move onto gentle petting. He's too far shot at the moment to start with the petting desensitizing.

So, basically break it down into very very small steps based on his responses. I guess the worst thing you can do is back away when he starts his behavior. Unfortunately most of my guests wouldnt be willing to risk a limb (can't blame them) and so his behavior is being re-enforced. I do know someone that would be willing to help with this.

If anyone has any experience or comments on the plan of action, please let me know

Everyone has been great for a new member jumping in with such a weird issue. Thanks, it's been a cr*ppy night so I appreciate all the sincerity. I can see on your posts you all love your furry children like we do ours.

I feel horrible for the cat, he's so confused by the whole scenario. His "brothers" are out comforting him now through the kennel and he's already stopped hissing at the kids when they walk by his kennel.

Months, but not impossible?

@kobster - that's a great short term solution, you are right, but it's not really practical long term with the house setup, company, etc. Another great worry of ours is we don't have children - yet. Some people say that he should be accustomed to any child that lives here full time -- but what if they're wrong? Obviously I'd never leave a child unsupervised even with a calm fat cat. But it's not realistic to expect to live with a dangerous cat and have children. Anyway, thanks for your reply - I agree with it short term, and have done it at times when he's over bearing.

@Heidi n Q - Thanks for the idea on blood test. I was wondering what they'd need to do to test for a botched job; a little frazzled at the moment, kept thinking xrays or god knows what. I will also ask them for a behaviorist recommendation.

As a kitten, he'd run around in circles 'til he fell over, like this. . .


We think he might be a ninja cat in training. . .


ohlooksomethingshiney
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 04:53 AM
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Re: Serious Behavior Issue (picture added)

He really is a gorgeous kitty.

I read a book called The Cat Counsellor ...there were examples of cats behaving the way yours does and she wrote about how the issue is resolved...it was long ago, but might be worth trying to get hold of?


*edit* I have found it, hope its ok to link Amazon?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cat-Counsellor- ... 522&sr=1-3
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-18-2009, 05:04 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Serious Behavior Issue (picture added)

That looks like a great book - I'll order it. Thanks!
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