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Hello everyone. I have a nine year old male cat that is neutered. He is 14.5 pounds which the vet said was perfect for him and he has no other diagnosed issues other than feline asthma. He is not receiving treatment for asthma because I was told he would develop diabetes if he continued with the oral medication or steroid shots. The oral medication wasn't preferable. He still coughed, but with the steroid shot he didn't cough for 3 months. The vet really wanted me to keep him on the steroid inhaler as it wouldn't cause side effects but it was very expensive. Nearly $500 every two months. I tried it once and even that didn't work. The vet said I should keep trying it because it takes time for the medication to work but I did not have the money available. The vet convinced me to switch to the oral tablets since it was a lower dosage than the steroid shot.

This past summer I decided not to continue with the oral medication because I did not want the cat to develop diabetes which the vet was certain would happen. They didn't even seem to work that well. I instead focused on keeping the house very clean and switching his litter to a dust free brand. I also focused on him losing weight which has improved his condition. At his worst point, his gums were blue during one of his coughing fits and I was afraid he would suffocate (which led me to purchase the $500 inhaler). He coughs and wheezes throughout the day but has not come close to experiencing the blue gums I mentioned earlier. I believe his weight loss has helped with the severe coughing fits but now he has developed aggression. He has always been a little irritable but we always respected his space and so everything was fine.

He has now started actively seeking me out to lunge at me. It started with him waiting to attack me until I had my back turned and I wasn't looking. The first time he did it he was meowing for me to feed him by the kitchen but I ignored him because it wasn't meal time. That is what all the advice online says if your cat is demonstrating unwanted behavior: "Ignore him so he gets the message." Wrong. I was getting ready to leave the house in that moment when I felt my cat lunge himself at me. I had scratches that day through my clothes, no bite though. I was shocked because it hurt so badly. He used a lot of his force to make sure he hurt me. A few months has passed and he has since chased me out the front door, lunged and bitten me while I was sitting on the couch and minding my own business, and now doesn't care if I am looking straight at him, he will still lunge. Sometimes I have been able to fend him off with a pillow in between him and I, but it's still scary because he tries to come back around and get me again.

I thought the aggressive behavior was due to him wanting more food but now I don't think so. I can easily take away his food bowl and put it down with no consequence. He is lashing out at me because he is frustrated with something. He has also eaten and then come over to lunge at me and bite. Obviously his attacks have changed the relationship dynamic: I don't give him as much attention anymore because I'm afraid of him. I have had to move him into the guest bedroom because if he is free roaming the house, the behavior starts up again. Today I went into the bedroom to give him pets, and he was nothing but kind. But I know as soon as I get him outside in the general living space he will start back up again within a few days. I know he is unhappy in the guest bedroom because he cries and tries to open the door, but I can't take him out anymore because I don't want to risk getting bit while I'm pregnant.

It has gotten to the point where I have been looking to re-home him but no one I talk to wants him because of the unprovoked aggression. The last time he lunged for me was really scary because I was sitting down and he went for my stomach, not even my leg which was much closer to him, and would have been a better target. I even called the animal shelter as the last resort and when I was honest with them they said they couldn't take him because of his behavior. She suggested I take him to the vet which is what I am doing this weekend.

The cat is not a bad cat. He is absolutely fine with my husband and my mother, literally anyone else who comes in the house. He's even perfect at the vet and everyone always gushes over him. I even have a hard time believing this behavior is happening because there are times when he is nothing but friendly and wants to be near me. But the thing is, I just don't trust him anymore because in the past when I have trusted him, he's attacked me.

Aside from take him to the vet this weekend, what do I do?
 

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Ask the vet if it could be his thyroid. My hyperthyroid cat picked fights with neighborhood cats and with my other cats for a while before he was diagnosed. Even now he gets cranky and aggressive whenever his medication dosage isn't as high as it should be. Additional symptoms were weight loss and a greasy looking coat. He's never attacked me but he's always outside, and I'm not.

You didn't say how you managed to accomplish the weight loss and how difficult it was. If you're the one who always feeds him, and he's hungry, he may be attacking you because he thinks it's a way to get food. If you think that's the case, I'd make sure he's getting plenty of protein and fats, and limit the carbohydrates . . . sort of a kitty Atkins diet.
 

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Steroids can have a mental effect (violence or depression IIRC) on people. Might they have such on cats?

My cat will attack, but it is play and we both know it. I'm walking my thousands of steps and he will swipe at me as I go past sometimes. It's a game.
 

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That would be really unfortunate if the treatment I selected for him had that effect on him. :(

What he is doing now is not play. His tail gets puffy and his ears go back like he's mad. And he just looks angry.
 

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The fact that he's fine with your husband and mother and other people, appears to me that it's somethig about you that he doesn't like. Did this attacking start when you became pregnant by any chance? Animals can sense that, and some have the opposite effect and become more loving and protective. The only thing that comes to my mind at the moment is that you should be prepared at all times to "protect' yourself. Arm yourself with a water pistol, or sprayer, and when he attacks spray him in his face when he attacks. A lot of cats hate that, and hopefully he would too. Continue the petting of him in the bedroom where he doesn't attack you. If the water spraying doesn't deter him, for your own safety and your new baby, you should find him another home at a cat shelter. Also some humane societies have a "farm program" where they give cats like him to farmers as a barn cat to keep down mice and rats. All the best.
 

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Thank you for your response. The only difference I can think of between me and my family is that he has always been more bonded to me. The behavior started shortly before I got pregnant but it didn't stop when I became pregnant. I feel heartbroken because I love the cat and it has taken me two months of fretting to realize the cat can't stay in the house. The only reason I was conflicted was that he was so friendly in certain circumstances! I do want to do what is best for him.
 

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I would try the water spray when he attacks and see if it will deter him from doing it. Just be very careful of any scratches or bites that you may get that break the skin, and disinfectant them as soon as possible as they can cause a serious infection, and you don't want to have to take a course of antibiotics to get rid of it while you're pregnant. I hope things go well for you. Give us an update.
 

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Thank you for being so kind! I definitely want to see what the vet says and I will update sometime this weekend.
 
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