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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 6 year old neutered female Tabby called Molly.

We had her when she was about 4 weeks old. She had been found in a garden and we adopted her.

When we first had her she used to jump at our legs with her claws out, but we thought she was just playing :roll:

However, as she got older she got more aggressive. She will come and rub round you, purring, she will then let you stroke her, but then will suddenly either bite you or scratch you :evil:

A couple of times she has been in the garden looking at something in the grass. I have bent down to see what she is looking at and she has dived at my face with her claws out :cry:

If you pick her up, to put her downstairs if we are going out, she spits and yowls and tries to scratch you.

She gets on great with our other cat, is scared of strange cats in the garden, but hates people.

I have had to warn all the kids in our road not to touch her as she attacks for no reason.

I would like to say no one in this house has ever hit or mistreated Molly, my kids love animals.

Anyone got any suggestions in dealing with this little madam???

Kate xx
 

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Well, it sounds as if there are a few things going on...

A lot of cats have a problem with being easily overstimulated by patting, even though they came up to you and asked to be petted. Best way I've found to deal with this in the shelter is to pat only once or twice and then leave them alone, even if they still seem to want attention. It's one of those situations where it is FAR easier to change your expectation than the cat's personality

A lot of cats will lash out if you interrupt them while they're concentrating, hunting, or if they're looking at a strange animal. They're just redirecting their aggression onto the nearest possible target (you, in this case). Giving the cat ample personal space when she looks like she's being very intense will help avoid that situation. Heck, my cat hates being touched while she's washing or hunting, and will invariably bite...so I leave her alone while she's washing and hunting.

If the cat doesn't like to be picked up, there's not a lot you can do to change it (many cats hate being restrained), short of trying to make it an enjoyable experience (and making sure that the cat doesn't always have something bad happen every time she gets picked up). Try just picking her up for a second, giving her a treat, putting her down exactly where she was, and immediately walking away. She may have decided that every time someone picks her up, they're going to take her someplace that she doesn't want to be.

Is your cat an indoor/outdoor cat? I'm sure that no one in your home has been cruel to the cat, but if the cat goes outdoors, it's entirely possible that someone else could be mistreating her. I am quite sure that this is why my own cat loathes children to the point of attacking them if they get within a foot of her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks a lot for the advice.

I will try patting her just a couple of times and also picking her up for a second, and then putting her down.

As soon as you pick her up she kind of arches away from you and is struggling to get down!

She is an indoor and outdoor cat so I wouldn't know if anyone is mistreating her when she is away from home.

Some of the kids in our road have come up to me and said that they have tried to stroke her and she has scratched them, so I don't really know.

Are some cats just naturally bad tempered as are some of the people that we encounter??????? Or is it always a kind of learned behaviour due to bad experiences?

Kate
 

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My mother's cat is normally in a "bad" mood - it's just the way she is. She DOES NOT like to be picked up and will only be petted on HER TERMS. There have been times when all I have done is walk into the same room as her and I get hissed at.

She sounds a lot like your kitty. We adopted her when she was very tiny. She was born under a porch and her mother was a stray. My mom thinks that she comes from a long line of strays and this is just the way she is.... :roll:

I don't really have much advice to offer except what we do with my mom's cat, which is just to leave her alone. When she wants our attention, she definitely has no problem demanding it! (And lord help you if you don't give it to her!)
 

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Well, kids have the potential to just be inherently offensive to cats. They have high, loud voices, move quickly, and tend to invade the personal space of animals without even realizing it...and often cats just develop a general aversion to children (as well as a dislike for being handled). Kids are usually completely oblivious to a strange cat's body language, so in a lot of those cases, kids just may have gotten too close, too fast, and the cat felt a need to defend herself.

Personally, I'd be concerned that someone had somehow hurt the cat when it wasn't under your supervision.

Sure, some cats are just generally unfriendly toward people, and usually trying to make them change is as futile as trying to change people. Better to play to the cat's strengths...if she's a good hunter, play lots of mousie-chasing games. If she responds to food, you can use small treats to make things like being picked up less unpleasant. If she likes a pat or two, but gets stressed and hostile, give her just what you know she can handle and stop before she feels aggressive.

I think it took me about a year to really get through to Assumpta (and even now, there is just no negotiation with her on the subject of children and my mother-in-law...she remains firmly convinced that they are evil and must be eaten at any cost). It's hard because you just have to work on the cat's schedule and ability level, which usually doesn't coincide with our own. I think that just making sure the cat has her personal space and adjusting your approach to patting a bit might alleviate part of the problem...though if someone is abusing her when she's outdoors, you may not see a whole lot of progress.
 
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