cat with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde behavior - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
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cat with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde behavior

So this is a bit of a long story, so I thank anyone and everyone who actually takes the time to read through this very much. Any tips, advice, anything is very greatly appreciated because I am going absolutely nuts over here.

My cat's name is Maple, she's a spayed female domestic longhair. She's about 6 or 7 years old now, hard to know for sure because she was adopted from the SPCA. The family has owned her for about 5 or 6 years now. Only very slightly overweight but otherwise appears to be in good health. Four people in the household including myself.

In the beginning she was an awesome cat. Cuddly, sweet, has always been vocal. She used to come and sit with me all the time, she'd sleep in my bed with me, all that fun stuff. But then after a year or so we moved to a different house and it seemed there was a very slow change in her and it's only been getting worse and worse.

It began when she started hissing at me for what seemed to be no reason. For instance, there was a time I was walking through the basement just past a fridge we had down there, she happened to be lying down on top of it. I looked up at her and upon this, she hissed and swatted at me. Just, out of the blue. But it was completely random and didn't happen all that often to start. At first I thought this was nothing. But then the hissing became far more frequent, it was in different places and situations so I can't even place what the problem was, or is. It was whether or not I was wearing any perfume, didn't matter what sort of clothing I was in, time of day didn't matter (though at first it only seemed to be at night, now it is literally any time of the day.)

So more recently, it has turned into a full Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing. She never peed anywhere but her litter box before but a couple of months ago she began urinating on specific, clean clothes... And here's the kicker: the laundry table for clean clothes is directly above her litter box by about 4 ft. So when someone first said it's probably a urinary tract infection, due to her strange behaviour and placement, I knew it likely wasn't the case because no one in this house will listen to my concerns. First it was my clothes on there, then she appeared to be targeting my dad's work clothes. Then there came a day where he had a pair of clean work pants on my bean bag chair (yes, odd placement, don't ask) and I came up that morning to find that my bean bag chair had been peed on and maybe like, a drop on my dad's pants. We took her to the vet, they did the whole urine testing thing and, voila, no UTI.

Just the other day I got home from work and my dad did shortly after, but he was still outside so I was talking to him with the door open. He was doing something out there so I closed it when we were done talking, looked down and the cat had walked up to me. Upon me looking down she hissed, then hissed a second time and ran away. I've walked into the spare room and turned on the light before and she ran out the door passed me hissing and spitting on the way out from across the room. There was even a time I had just filled her food bowl and she hissed at me. I've walked up and pet her nicely while she was on a chair and she's done it.

Then there's the boyfriend thing. For whatever reason, she hates my boyfriend even more than she hates me... But it's weird. She does a full on predatory stalk with him like she wants to full on attack him. She'll follow him like that, in the whole prowl thing, stalk him, but if he turns around and looks at her she hisses and runs away. I've got a dog trained in protection that absolutely loves him, and she's been like this before he even came into my life a couple of years ago so I know he's not the problem. She doesn't really like my dad much either but for some reason just suddenly started to hate my guts and I can't figure out what I'm even doing wrong.

I brought her to the vet due to her behaviour and was given this questionnaire but my mom is in this denial that there is anything wrong with the cat. She says the cat probably hates me because I'm mean to her, but the only time I'm remotely "mean" to her is when she's being an idiot like this. I do absolutely nothing that I am aware of or can even ATTEMPT to pinpoint when she acts this way so, yes, when she randomly hisses out of nowhere I might yell at her a bit. But I would never, ever hit her or anything. And I don't act mean or anything towards her in a way that would frighten or harm her.

Oh and I should mention, yes, I have two dogs, not just the one, but they are outside a lot of the day and are not given free range to the house, they have boundaries they can't cross so they usually aren't a stress for the cat at these times. Even if they are inside, she gets along perfectly fine with them. She, on the other hand has free range since she's strictly indoor.

I should also add that she does seem to get weird whenever she's in the basement. Like more 'angry' than usual. Sometimes she'll be lovey with me and lay with me on the floor but downstairs I'm afraid to even approach her.

I'm at a loss. I don't know what to do, and I think I am actually beginning to hate the family cat. I think what makes it worse is the fact her weird behaviour is being defended, even if she's acting out randomly like this. If there's any advice or ideas, any input someone may have, I would greatly appreciate it. Even if it makes me feel like an idiot! Thanks for taking the time to read this mess.

Last edited by marie73; 01-19-2018 at 01:58 AM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 04:04 PM
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It seems to me that all the problems started after you moved into a different house. It's possible the former owners had cats or some kind of other pets, and kept them in the basement a good part of the time. Your cat could still be smelling their scent and it is upsetting her. Cats are more affected by scent than anything, so this could also be why she has decided she doesn't like you.....because you have mingled your scent with that of your boyfriend that you say she "really hates". So what to do?......have you noticed whether she is aggressive if you've had a shower/bath and washed your hair, so that you wouldn't have any of his scent on you? Is she better with you then?
Rather than yelling at her when she's snubbing you, ignore it, and instead call her to you and offer her a really good treat (such as a morsel of roast chicken, or a bit of cheese). Bribery can often win over a reluctant cat if its mind is changed that your the treat giver...get other household people to not give her treats....also you could be the one that feeds her meal as well. Attempt to play with her with a wand-type fishing pole type of toy like "Da Bird" or one that has feathers on the end, and get a piece of window- blind cord and drag it around in front of her in a snakey fashion to see if you can entice her to play and chase it. Doing nice and fun things with her can get you on her good side, so don't give up on her. You might also do a thorough cleaning of the basement floor and surfaces with enzyme cleaner such as "Nature's Miracle", and see if that makes a difference with her mood in the basement. Hope some of these suggestions will be helpful.....give us an update.

Last edited by catloverami; 01-19-2018 at 04:08 PM.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-19-2018, 08:01 PM
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Location: Springfield, Missouri
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Call an exorcist!

But seriously, it HAS to be something about the new home that has her riled. If possible keep her out of the basement. Try Feliway diffusers. As Ami wrote it probably is scent related.
How long have you been in the new residence? Cats sometimes take months to acclimate after a move. Do she have a favorite spot? A nice big cat tree? Do you play with her a lot? At all?
She may be feeling left out.

Or maybe she sees dead people. Because let's face it, cats do some WEIRD stuff!
But I hope this helps!

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 01-20-2018, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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Sees dead people... Hah!

Thank you guys so much for responding! I've lived in this house for about 5 years now, showering doesn't really change anything. I've had it happen literally right after a shower. And as for feeding, I did try that but there was even a time she hissed at me right after I filled her bowl! She was beside me when I did it and as soon as I had, she looked at me and hissed! Like, what?!

I also do try playing with her, she used to play more but she just seems interested less and less in it. When I try it looks like part of her wants to play, but then there's a switch in her that says, "Meh, nevermind." Occasionally I might be able to get her to go after one of those... I don't know what they're called but they usually come with emory boards. Those feathers on the stick with the bells? She used to come running at the sound of the bell and that stopped too.

I think I may try Ami's idea on the treat thing, I haven't tried that yet because food didn't seem to be working. I mean, it was even always me giving her the wet food when she got it. I have also been trying to keep her out of the basement as much as possible but sometimes she sneaks passed someone and gets down there, but it's usually not for a very extended amount of time.
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