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Discussion Starter #1
For the 2 weeks since I've taken him to my house (he seemed like an abandoned house cat), Prince has been the sweetest, best-mannered creature I ever knew. He even asks permission to explore something for the first time in the apt., and each night before climbing into bed with me.

Half an hour ago he was placidly and sweetly going in his litter box when he suddenly turned crazy, he seemed spooked, took off violently, then climbed the highest places in the apt., as if he was being chased/threatened by another animal. When he lay down and seemed to have calmed down, I came up to him asking him sweetly what happened, and for the first time ever he attempted to swat me with his paw! He then hid from me. After some time I tried to approach him slowly again, and he made this sound like "don't come near", then went and tried to find a place to hide from me. Then he lay down, and after a while came asking for my lap as he always does. I had an instinctive "NOOO!" reaction and rejected him. His eyes were wide (surprise because I never said NO to him before). He's now lying on the floor and when I approached him a couple minutes ago he didn't shoo me away but didn't ask for a caress as he ALWAYS does when I approach him.

I'm not experienced with cats, so please help us here....

A list of possibilities:

1. A ghost in the house (yes, I believe in those things)
2. I changed his litter brand today from common clay to clumping clay
3. I washed his litter tray with a new soap today
4. I fed him salmon, chicken hearts, tuna and chicken wing meat (a tiny bit of each) all raw and mixed together, for the first time. He loved it and ate it all.
5. Being inside is driving him crazy.
6. I scooped his tray just before he went in it, and he was smelling and smelling the clumps in the waste-bin next to his litter tray (which I can only dispose of tomorrow).
7. I smoke. The windows are a bit open, but not completely because it's a bit cold.
8. Sudden bad mood?
9. Maybe he heard some noise outside that scared him?
10. At one point, he was smelling the new litter and the tray so much that I thought I'd seen him ingest a few grains of the "sand". I'm not sure he did, though.

Thank you all in advance! I'm scared...what if he's a cat prone to crazy attacks?
 

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Something, sound or scent, startled him and he probably just reacted to you. He still has a way to go for complete trust. I wouldn't worry to much about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
11. One of the strays I feed downstairs, who is the most aggressive one in the colony, rubbed against me (a lot) a few minutes before. Maybe that's why Prince was smelling everything like a madman around his litter tray. I was standing next to him, and he acted like he could smell an aggressive cat, it could've been my pants legs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Jackmom, we posted at the same time. Now that you say that, I'm more convinced it's possibility 11... The night I met Prince I thought he was a crazy cat. He was acting just like tonight. And this very aggressive (stray female) cat was with me at the time. Then when she wasn't around, I discovered that Prince wasn't crazy, but the sweetest thing on Earth. Now he's lying on my lap sleeping like nothing happened. Next time the aggressive stray rubs against me, I'll make sure to immediately take off my pants when I come back up home. I won't stop allowing her to do it, as it's (I believe, sadly) one of the very few pleasures the poor (pregnant) cat has in her life downstairs as a stray. She constantly rubs against my legs.
 

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Crazies

#9 or #12 (ummmm, he/she is a cat.)
Cats can hear noises humans can't, anything from an insect in a wall to a sound outside. They can also smell a lot better than humans. Your cat may be reacting to either one.
 

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Could be a bug bite. He sounds like a sweet cat. Nothing to worry about. He was just spooked (yep, another possibility is spooks). he didn't attacked. He was just scared and them came to you.
 

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One of my cats occasionally, right after using the litter box goes tearing through the house, almost like she is being chased. Never aggressive, but she doesn't have an aggressive bone in her body (unless you are a vet).

There was a thread about this behavior a while back and it seems to be pretty common. Sounds to me like your cat gets wound up a bit more them most.

I would watch for other signs that going to the bathroom is causing her pain, but I wouldn't worry too much at this point. Maybe he just really likes the new litter and got over-excited.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Woodsman, do you happen to remember the title of the thread or any word in it I could do a search on?
 

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I'm going to buck the crowd, and vote for #2 and #3. Whenever I would wash Muffs' litter box and change the litter (just putting new fresh litter of the same type in the box...not even changing brands), she would go nuts. She would go in the box, sniff around and then start running around like a wild cat. She wanted nothing to do with me for a while. I now rarely do a full litter change-out. I scoop the litter boxes, dump all of the clean used litter into one box, wash out the boxes and fill them back up with part new litter, part used. That keeps her happy!
 

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Sometimes cats will behave like this if they have a UTI, as it's painful when they pee, or if it was a large poop may have caused an anal fissure which would also cause pain that would scare him and send him fleeing out of the box. Has he been constipated? If it happens again in the litter box, you should take him to the vet. If he has a problem he could develop an aversion to using the litter box as he will associate pain with it, and then start doing his business in other places. Hope it's a one-time thing and isn't a problem.
 

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It's nothing to worry about. Cats who experienced bad things, such as neglect or violence tend to get scared very easily. Panic is the reason for attacking you. As a rule, never touch a cat which hides in a small dark place, especially if he took refuge there on purpose. Without variation his mind wil switch into the: "I've got to defend myself" mood and strike you.
What you can do however is show support and comfort, so kneel (making yourself smaller, shows that you are not a threat) and speak to him gently. If he still choses to hide, go do what you normally do and he will come over when he's ready and he got over the fright of whatever scared him so much.

You shouldn't punish him again by refusing to caress him or take him on your lap. Remember it was you who entered his personal space, regardless of your good intentions. We, humans, also react this way sometimes when we are too sad or too frightened and reject the close ones who try to help us, so nothing new there.
Perhaps he was relying on that caress to let go of his fears and since you haven't given it to him he feels pretty confuse now and can't trust you as much. I suggest you spoil him a little for the following days until the bond between the two of you grows back.
 

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There was a thread started on 9/8/10 by Aerohip titled "Help my cat just attacked me" Perhaps that's the one Woodsman referred to...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I was almost sure it was 11 indeed, but today it happened again. He was happily playing with a paper bag when i suddenly see him running like mad all around the house with the bag in tow. He was very scared. At some point the bag was left behind in my bedroom and after some crazy moments of knocking everything on his way and darting and climbing, he gradually calmed down. He's been in this apt. for only 2 weeks. I think that when an object suddenly moves by itself, it spooks him. He doesn't realize the object moved because HE applied movement to it before. This is what makes games fun for him, but then it can also scare him. This time he wasn't scared of me, though.
 

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It's always hilarious to see a cat running like mad thro the house with a bag chasing him, as he put his head thro one of the handles. :p
 

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Discussion Starter #16
OOH, I hadn't seen there was a second page! It's all very relevant and interesting, thank you all!

Modra, I didn't punish him, I was scared he was going to attack me, that's why I jumped with a "NOO!"

I do think he's easily spooked because of prior bad experiences. It's also a trait of the Turkish Van to startle and even attack if something touches their tail or back end. He does react like a street cat often: very little play on his own, easily alert/scared of movement, dislike/apprehensive of new noises and new toys, running to retreat in some safe corner if something scares him, eating very quickly and extremely aware of movement around him while eating, will stop eating if I pass by him, and at night he won't lie down on the bed before I raise the duvet and show him that there's nothing under it except my legs. Who knows how long he was a stray since he was dumped/lost (maybe he was always a stray, just is unusually friendly and comfortable with humans...).

All in all, I think he's extremely brave to have adjusted so well and soon to a new home. He never spent time hiding at the beginning, just here and there an hour under a small table with a long tablecloth, and the first couple days he wanted to be only on my lap. He still prefers to sleep next to me during the day, but not on my lap anymore (he's too big and my lap is too small).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Awww catloverami, I think that's indeed what happened!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I got him a scratch cone a few days ago, and he's still scared of it, because he knocks it down and then thinks the cone is attacking him. Now I'm seeing the hilarious side, LOL can't stop laughing here!
 

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It's always hilarious to see a cat running like mad thro the house with a bag chasing him, as he put his head thro one of the handles. :p
Yes indeed. Abby put her paw through the handle of a bag once and was running around the house like a crazed animal, figuring if she ran real fast it would somehow leave her alone. I managed to settle her down and get the bag off her. Even though I sort of felt sorry for her, I couldn't help but laugh at her too! She wasn't laughing though. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Now I know to cut the handles on one extreme. :)
 
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