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Discussion Starter #1
So my 1 year old cat who I brought home from the shelter has become extra aggressive. I'm using the water bottle for when he is in the process of latching on to my feet or attacking my hands. Now it's gotten worse. When he latches on he sticks to me like glue, biting away. Is there anything I can do to remedy this situation. I don't want to take him back to the shelter because I already fell for this cat because he can be very sweet, especially when it's bed time or I have extra time to stay in bed! He snuggles under the blanket. I think my cat has PTSD, but I do not believe it's severe because even the vet gave him good behavior markings.


His medical history :
Wounded by a possible bb gun
Scars around his legs

I think he may have been abused at one point too, but I want to know what I can do to help him show his sweet side 24/7. I can't just ignore his aggressive behavior. His foster recommend I get him a remedy, but I can't afford to buy it so often. It costs as much as cat food! His foster has experienced his super sweet behavior and would agree that his behavior is NOT beyond fixing.
 

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Have you been able to determine if he has a trigger that causes his aggression or if it is misplaced fear or confusion? He could be having PTSD-like problems, this is true.

Have you tried communicating with him like another cat would? With hisses and yowls and even spits. Every once in a while my alpha male, Timmy, decides to treat me like he does the other cats and will hiss me when I tell him to get off my lap. All I have to do is hiss back and he looks at me and jumps right down. If two of the cats are having a disagreement, especially if they are in my lap at the time, I will give a 'momma ain't happy' yowl and the cats immediately stop fighting and jump down. It sounds to me he needs the feedback of cat language to break through his aggressive outbursts. I can only suggest you try it and see how he reacts.

I know imitating cat language is a different way of dealing with cat aggression, but it really does work. It sounds like your poor kitty is having problems with his emotions and needs guidance. I hope this will help him.
 

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I also use cat sounds sometimes. but I would also recommend using herbs or oils that cats don't like but aren't unpleasant to human noses on the bits of that ar gtting attacked. It might be worth looking at adding small quantities of calming hrbs to th fed - this does't have to cost anything as long as you know what to gather (although some of it stinks while being dried!!).
 

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Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums - View Single Post - Kitty Cat Boot Camp

I thought this article which was passed on to me by Mitts and Tess had some good points in it.

I would try a toy with catnip in it. Try to bring it out when you feel the aggressive behavior might be imminent. Let him play with it. And, maybe a sharp NO! and then leave and ignore him for awhile. I am not in favor of striking or spraying but then I have not had such aggessive behavior in any of our cats ever. At only a year old, I think his behavior will change with time.
 

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Ok, now I’m mad. Merry pulls out her soap box. No shelter should foist off a cat on someone that has issues. This cat should have been put in a foster home with a cat savvy person to work on this behavior. What they did gives the rest of us, who work with cats, a black eye. It makes the general public believe shelter animals are damaged goods. Im dealing with this issue right now with a friend of my sisters in Seattle. Its breaking our hearts.

Laurelfeathers had good suggestions. Also it’s hard because you’re on a limited budget. If I had this cat I would put Feliway plug in dispensers around the house to help calm this cat. I’ve had good success with using Composure Liquid on stressed cats and fearful aggressive cats.

This cat does show you his triggers. Learn them, if your deciding to keep him and work with him. Cats have long memories from abuse. Some have life time memories.
It sounds like the spray bottle isnt working. I wouldn’t continue to use it.

Try look thru Jackson Gallaxy's suggestions on Little Big Cat website Library. Also Think Like a CAt: How to raise a well adjusted cat not a sour puss by Pamela Johnson Bennett. You’ll find used copies on Amazon and in used bookstores. I like to send this book home with adopting parent of my cats and kittens.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I hope I don't come off as rude or anything. v__V There are people who do not make hundreds of dollars a month. I'm a college student and I give what I can and I'm currently holding a decent paying job while living with my mom.I don't want to use Feliway because I read that it doesn't always work and I'm not going to be dropping $30-$40 a month for something that may or may not be working. I can use that $$ for future vet bills or something.Shelter animals can be damaged, but that doesn't mean their behavior cannot be addressed in a calm manner. Shelter space and fosters are of limited supply so they can't work with all the adopters, but that's why they make the adoption process difficult. To make sure the person adopting the animal won't give up so easily when a problem arises. (I volunteer with two animal shelters and I've seen some pretty whacked out behavior from these poor critters) He was recovering from his injuries/surgery in a foster home. I don't want to use remedies like his foster was using because the minute the remedy runs out he'll be back at it again.

The latching happens when I'm coming home from the store or something, or on my laptop.I'll try the hissing thing when he latches on and take a look at the books. If this doesn't work I'll consider the remedy his foster was using and slowly ween him off it again.He isn't as bad as he was in the beginning, so I wonder if it's possible that he has some lingering anxiety...I even grew him a catnip plant so he has access to fresh catnip at all times when I'm away. (Got the seeds from Home Depot)
 

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Ok, he's just over 1 year old right?

I think it's possible that you (and therefore everyone who has responded) are possibly over reacting. I think this is likely another case of a bored kitten.

At just over 1 he'll have TONS of energy, and you can choose how he spends it. Playing nicely with a wand toy, learning new tricks and games or...being naughty and 'attacking' you.

I know what I chose when my boys were that age. Break out the toys my friend.

Before buying anything expensive (I understand where you're coming from on that one) try the cheap and easy, not to mention most likely, route first. Get out a good wand toy, or laser pointer, and run that kitty until he's panting! At least 15 minutes twice a day.

If his 'aggression' issue vanishes or greatly decreases you've found the solution. He's just a bored kitten who has no one to play with and has never learned any manners.

I've met many many kittens who have been in shelters from birth or a very young age who have never learned how to play nicely. This doesn't mean that the shelter doesn't love them, but they might simply not have the resources to keep every cat in a foster home until it's adopted. The local humane socitey keeps the majority of it's cats in cages, it's simply not possible to socialize each and every cat that they have.

Does that mean I think it's ok? No. But there's no other option unfortunately.

When I worked at PetSmart the adoption partners we had would bring the kittens in and hope they got adopted...one group (which was a really awful group, TBH) just left them there until they got adopted. The only play and socilaization they got was whatever the employees could spare, since we weren't allowed to do more than a quick clean while we were working.

I can't even count the number of kittens we got that had NO manners what so ever. 4 months old and still climbing people, clawing and biting, had never had their nails trimmed before, wouldn't allow you to restrain them even a tiny bit. These were things I took time out of my day to do with these kittens, but if I hadn't done it they could easily have all turned out like what you're dealing with now.

I say give the poor boy the benefit of the doubt. He's still young, he's definitely going to have energy and want to play. If you drain that energy in good ways then you can work on teaching him that biting and scratching people is not allowed.
 

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The laser pointer is a great idea, since the expense is offset by the fact it's a useful tool for college! (Get one that takes normal AAAs, not expensiv watch batteries). Mine serves double-duty as cat-toy and presentation aide.
 

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I agree that this sounds like a bored young cat. Also, what do you have for him to scratch and climb? Maybe he would like a cardboard box like my Pippi tears up on a regular basis. Certainly cheap--free from Save A Lot. She ignores the special purchase scratching pad. Love the Walmart laser pointers, too. ($1.97, I think.) Also, might you be walking through something that leaves a scent to provoke your little boy? Lavender gets my Ruby going.
 

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I don't really think this is a bored young cat. His attacks happen both when the owner is sitting still and when the owner is physically active. Bored cats usually pick times when their owner is being physically still exclusively. A bored cat would also see a hiss warning as a reason not to play attack and stop. But an ASHD cat would see a hiss as aggression and attack; especially if the owner does not use a yowl as a back up 'I mean it!' command. I really think the owner needs to learn to do a good yowl and try it on the aggressive cat. One or two yowls should send this cat running to hide. If it does not, then this kitty is really mentally ill and needs medication full time. If the owner cannot or will not then medicate because of financial stress, then a new living situation is needed for the owner's safety as well as the cat's safety.

I do not mean to be saying this as a criticism or a put down, but if the cat is truely unable to control its fear and physical reactions due to ADHD/mental health, other intervention is needed for the poor suffering cat.
 

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I don't think we were over-reacting - just reacting to the data.

I would agree that young cats enjoy plenty of stimulus (my two youngsters are very high energy and even my two relatively old ladies like to play when the mood takes them and that's without getting into the four temporary kittens). Similarly, boredom can be a big problem.

I assumed, however, a qualitative difference between misdirected naughtiness and active aggression. I am currently experiencing aggression problems from the kitten's mother (not towards people but towards my cats and my long suffering dog) and there is the world of difference between her body language, sounds, etc. than those of a bored and naughty cat.

I think it is really crucial to establish which side of the line this cat falls. Given age, it is probably the lesser problem (I hope it is) but if it is real agression than it is a more complex problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
For toys, he has a vertical pet links scratching post (thank goodness he doesn't go near furniture), plastic balls, and he has the entire house to jump around. I've hissed at him and he appears to stop after a couple of times. I don't think he is mentally ill because he seems to have calmed down from the first few weeks. His foster has not experienced his latching.The kitten play's with my puppy when I am not home. I would use the feather stick, but he destroyed a toy that had feathers in a matter of minutes and I was scared he would swallow it. I had a laser pointer, but the light died, but I'll get a new one. I never met a cat with so much energy which is why I'm freaking out just a little. Well, I would give all this advice. There is no way I'm giving up on him. Worst case scenario, I'll just bite the bullet and use the feliway and hope he calms down with time.

Thank you.
 
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