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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everybody, “English is not my mother tongue, so please excuse me for any mistakes I might commit in it.

It is going to be a long post, because I do not know what to do, and I have limited options where I live.
I am at the end of my hopes, everything. We have a long history of extreme aggression by this cat.

We live in an small apartment with my husband, both he and I have had several cats through our lives. Last year I found a sick cat where I work, she was one to two months old, tuxedo cat. She used to had an eye problem, we were about to lose her eye. She was a bit anxious cat, but she always used to purr and be lovely.

On a long medication history, she got well at the end. But about 8-12 months she started to get into heat continuously.

Her vet refused to spay her due to her weakened immunity. On the other hand, it was unbearable for us, she used to scream all night long for weeks, without giving any pause.

Than we changed the vet, and her new wet said that we can spay her and did the surgery.

After the surgery, because she used cone, lost her balance fell down somewhere and broke her leg.

No surgery was needed but her feet needs to be wrapped. After all, she got well.

1st attack episode

So, now I come to the point. One day, my husband saw our cat swallowed a small piece of plastic bag, my hubby took her to vet. Vet gave an oxygentaed water to her.

Meanwhile because of the cat, we started to argue with my husband because of the cat. I started to cry and yell, and I am sorry to say this, I start to hit and and shake my husband.

Suddenly, my cat came towards me and attacked me viciously in the kitchen, which is a very narrow place.

Several scratches and bites, which were serious, I needed to be hospitalized for the attack. No need to say that my husband was my cat ‘s favorite person, and the one she trusts.

Following the attack we found a cat behaviourist, he recommended some adaptadations in our house, but as I mentioned in the beginnig our apartment is very small, so the things that we can do is limited. We started to use felliway, and we added some boxes in order to catify the house. Also we put her to prozac.

And every evening I played with her using an cat to fishing pole.

2nd attack epsiode

One night my phone rang, I had a very very good news, and start to cry because of happiness. My husband and I was in the kitchen again. He also got happy and we got very close. The cat was very near of us, she start to show agression signs, My husband warned me and I left the place. Unfortunately, my husband moved towards the cat to calm her down, and the attacked happened again.

The second attack was very very serious , she started to pee and poo and could not get to normal even after two days.

This time she was very angry with my husband. When he sees her start to hiss and get mad.

She was ok with me, but when she sees the husband, she was getting mad.

3rd attack episode.

We took her to her vet behaviorist (he lives in another city) and she stayed there for 40 days. We take back her yesterday, and bring back to our house.

She was extremely lovely, and good to my husband. She was so so ok.

But than suddenly she saw my husband in the hallway suddenly, and start to hiss and tried to attack...

Now I closed her in a small room with food and toilet. She stayed in the room for the night.

Could you give me some advice, desperately I need and advice. How my husband and her could establish the bonds again? Is it possible?
 

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I will be kind of blunt and honest with you here. I am not blaming you or trying to make you feel bad, in fact quite the opposite, but I think that a few things really need to be faced here.

It sounds to me as if you and your husband have created a very stressful environment for this cat. You have never done anything on purpose to stress him, you are just living your lives. But the facts are:
your cat attacked because the two of you were physically violent and she was terrified and angry and wanted it to stop. This created an atmosphere of fear for her, because it might happen again. And it has happened again, from her point of view.

When she saw the two of you close together and emotional it triggered that fear and she immediately thought more violence would happen so she tried to make it go away by attacking again.

Then....You sent her away for over a month, which is a very long time for a cat, and maybe she felt safer and settled down, only to be moved again back into the stressful environment. And then you punish her by shutting her into the bathroom. From the perspective of this cat, she is in a terrible place where she cannot relax and if she tries to stop the thing that terrifies her she is punished. Clearly she is very unhappy.

The thing is that the cat doesn't need a behaviorist, let along to go and live with one. What the cat needs, as do all animals, is a non-threatening environment. This cat is not aggressive! She is terrified and trying to protect herself by attacking the "monster" that frightens her.

If you and your husband are going to argue, fight, get physical and so on, this cat will react. And apparently this is how you live, and I am not criticizing you for that, because we each have out own way to handle conflict. But this is not a cat who is the queen of mellow and will sleep through the turmoil. Now it appears she is so traumatized that she is reacting just to the sight of your husband. She is afraid of your husband and triggered when she sees him. She is not mad at him or being aggressive, she is scared, as I said above. So she hisses to keep him at a distance.

In my opinion the best thing you can do for this cat is find her a new home where things are calm and peaceful. I don't think things will improve for her if she stays with you because she is traumatized and every time that the two of you start to express any strong emotion she will be triggered, and every time she is triggered things will get worse for her.

This is unfair to you and to the cat as well. She needs to be somewhere else where things are calm, and you do not need to have a terrified animal around adding to the stress of your life. Please find her a new home. I wish you and the cat the best.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think the same. If only I can get back to that moment.
Now I try to be calm, my husband tries to be calm.
But nothing works.
It would be the very best re-home her, but this is not an option where I live.
Now we are looking for a new bigger house to have a fresh start...
 

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May I ask why it is not an option to re-home the cat?
If nothing is working, even though you try to be calm, does that mean that you don't really succeed in being calm, or does it mean you are calm but the cat is still stressed out?

A bigger house, while giving more room for the cat to retreat and hide, is not going to change your relationship nor the way that you and your spouse handle conflict.

It's virtually impossible to change your habit of being loud or physical overnight, and that is the only thing that would make it possible for this cat to continue to live with you and have an appropriate environment. A larger house won't help, unless your and your husband's behavior changed completely. And even then, it would take a long time (months? years? I do not know) for the cat to come around to being OK in his presence again. It is even possible that the cat would never again trust the presence of your husband, because cats can be like that.

I think that if you give it a good try, ask people you know, put up an ad, maybe, then you can find the cat a new home. It's worth a try, anyway. For the sake of the cat, she needs to be in a different home.
 

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I believe your cat is under a lot of stress, and cats often lash out at anyone around them when they are nervous, so you and your husband must remain calm especially in her presence. I'd suggest, as least for a while, that your husband has no interaction with her until everybody calms down a bit. If she hisses or looks scared when she sees him, have him walk away with no eye-contact or talking.

Putting your cat in a separate room could increase her anxiety and make things worse. You could spend time with your cat just by yourselves for a while with petting, playing, feeding, and treats. After a while, your husband could give her meals or treats, but no further interaction. When your cat calmly accepts food from him, he could try to play with her. If that happens, he could gently pet her. Do this slowly and only move on to the next step only when your cat appears completely comfortable with the last one.

I hope it all works out well for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, when we took her to home yesterday, after she had stayed in the vet for a month. She was cuddly, extremely sweet to my husband, and she has accepted food from him slept his nap. She followed him everywhere.

Until she sees her in the hallway of the house....
Than she starts to shout and hiss. My husband got back to his room.

Then after a while she entered her room, start to scream and hiss towards inside of the room.

I can not predict her reactions, and I really don't know why her mood changed so drastically.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It would be great to re home her, but where I live the cats live in the streets, and nobody nobody wants to take a cat with attack history.
I am aware that this cat can build a new relationship in a new house.
Here, people are leaving their cats in streets, when they encounter a problem with the cat.
I will of course try to put up ad, but I just try to say that there is 0.0001 % chance to re-home her.
 

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Something in the hallway or in the room may have reminded her of a bad experience, or the hallway may be too narrow for her to share the same space with somebody, or the hall and the room may have an odor to it she doesn't like. You could clean the hallway and room with a good detergent, and walk down the hall and enter the room in a calm manner. If she enters the room and starts to hiss or yowl, ignore her until she's quiet, and the moment she's quiet, give her praise followed by a treat. It doesn't seem like this behavior will go away on its own, so both you and you husband need to help her to calm down. Be patient and consistent, because it may take a while, but a stress-free home may make you all much happier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes In the second episode attack, she hissed my husband and peed many times over there in one night. I cleaned there, but she might be remembering the event.
That 's why I think I need to move from this house, which consists of small halliways (kitchen is the same)
 

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Cats need space just like people do, so if moving is an option, it may help all of you to be more relaxed. If not, you could keep your home as neat as possible, because too much clutter especially in a small space can make us stressed.

Meanwhile, you could try putting another litterbox in the area where she pees and see if that helps. Also, you could try playing with her in the hallways running up and down with a wand toy or string, so she associates the halls and the other rooms with a pleasant experience.
 

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I strongly suspect the peeing was from fear, in which case another litter box will not change anything. If a cat is extremely frightened, the bladder will let go, just as it does for many other mammals.

About re-homing her: I wouldn't say that this cat has "an attack history". I would simply say to people that she can get very stressed out if there is chaos or violence or loud noise, and needs a stress-free environment. This cat is not aggressive, as I have said before. She is only trying to protect herself from what she sees as a highly dangerous situation.

The fact that you have this cat means that some people where you live keep cats, even though traditionally they live on the streets. What you need to do is find another person like yourself who wants to keep a cat in their home. Might not be easy, but worth trying, so I am glad you are trying to find that for her.

Although the advice miscellaneous has is good advice, and worth doing if you want to keep the cat, I see this as a situation that would be best solved by the cat being in a different home, because she is very traumatized and it is a difficult and lengthy process to overcome that much trauma and how it is affecting her. Her physical health will be affected by this as well, because repeated trauma causes many medical problems. By repeated trauma I don't mean that your husband is repeatedly traumatizing her, but rather that she is clearly triggered by his presence.

However you decide to manage this I wish you luck. You obviously care about this cat or you wouldn't be here asking for advice. Please let us know how it is going and we will do out best to support you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I will put some ads, but no hope at all. It is like a lottery, if they back to ad. Because outside is full of stray cats.
And I also think that this cat will be great with another home, she can restructure her world with her new owners.
But, What if the incident happens again in the new home ? They will leave her to the streets... where I find her....
I will definetly update here, about the results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I bought a clicker, now we are exericising in hallway with her favorite food. After exercising with clicker, for few weeks, do you think that can I introduce my husband to her again in the hallway?
For instance after few weeks exercising with clicker, my husband opens the door and appears in the hallway ?
Or he takes the clicker and gives her food?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
By the way the pee and the poops were of course of extreme fear. It happened all night long, when he saw my husband in hallway...
Than we took her to the vet (which is four hour by driving) and stayed there more than a month.

Attached are some wounds.. I have others of course:/

Scar Gesture Twig Human leg Wrist
 

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I think that you are to be commended for being willing to work with this cat and not just putting her outside again as no doubt many others would where you are. This is not a condemnation of other people where you live, as I am familiar with the cat culture in your country and many outside cats are fed and appreciated and cared for, they just are not house cats or pets. Your cat is lucky to have you.

The clicker is a great cat training tool, just as it is for dogs. If you want some really great cat training advice, please look up Jackson Galaxy on YouTube. He is currently the foremost cat advice person on the internet.

The thing to remember when re-conditioning an animal is this:
It takes TIME and it takes a LOT of patience. You have to do everything in baby steps, and by that I mean the smallest possible steps, especially when the animal has been traumatized.

So rather than thinking that in a few weeks you can try having your husband in the hallway or even in an open door, judge the timing for that by how the cat seems to be. Before you get to that point, the cat needs to be relaxed and feeling pretty comfortable in your home, and just seeing your husband nearby (not in the hallway). And needs to be calm and comfortable in the hallway without seeing your husband. This might be a few weeks or it could be months or it could be only a couple of weeks.

Once the cat seems more relaxed in general, then I think that if the cat is relaxed and taking treats and petting in the hallway you could try your husband just opening the door a crack, being seen by the cat, then closing the door right away, all of this taking up about 3 seconds.
All this time you are giving the cat SUPER high value treats that the cat loves, and speaking softly and calmly to her. If she freaks out, wait a couple more weeks before trying it again. If she doesn't, then try it again in 2 days. If you can do this every other day for a week without her being scared, go to once a day. If that keeps being OK for a couple of weeks, then he could put his head out briefly, then close the door. All of this in baby steps. Eventually he would open the door a little more and a little more to all the way but NOT put any part of himself out the door, just stand there, 3 or 4 feet into the room and not right at the doorway. Then once that is OK, make it 2 feet from the doorway. And so on.

If at any point she freaks out, you go back to the previous step and stay there again for a while before moving forward again.

I suggest that during this time your husband not look at the cat. He needs to pretend the cat is not there. Ignore the cat. Let the cat approach him at all times, if she wishes to, but he shouldn't approach her at all. And he should take care not ever to be seen in the hallway when the cat is there. Just give her lots of space. If she approaches him, and asks for attention he needs to speak slowly and quietly and pet her slowly and gently.

And of course you and your husband must stay calm and not fight. If you two get angry and need to work something out, you have to leave the house to do this, because if the cat witnesses this again it will undo all of your hard work and she will be back to the beginning again.

Of course the great benefit to this might be that because of this cat you and your husband learn to work things out calmly and without fighting. that would be great for the two of you as well. :)

I truly admire your willingness to work with this problem instead of abandoning the cat, and no doubt others do as well. We will help and support in any way we can.
 

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I had a similar episode with a cat I owned. He was almost 25 lbs so could have been serious. My teenage son & I got into a heated verbal battle. He was standing in the doorway of the room where I was sitting. As we became more and more heated, the cat suddenly lunged at my son and wrapped himself around my sons legs and began to bite at him. He pulled him loose, and pushed him away, and we resumed our shouting. Soon the cat repeated the same attack, and my son again managed to pull him loose. By then we were laughing so hard the "discussion" was over.
It never happened again, perhaps because we normally did not argue like that.
The physical action was a trigger as you know, and he so it seems you will either have to avoid that in front of him or rehome him. Decisions .
 

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I bought a clicker, now we are exericising in hallway with her favorite food. After exercising with clicker, for few weeks, do you think that can I introduce my husband to her again in the hallway?
For instance after few weeks exercising with clicker, my husband opens the door and appears in the hallway ?
Or he takes the clicker and gives her food?
That's a great idea! Clickers followed by a treat is a very good way to train cats, and exercising them until they get tired burns off lots of energy and helps them to relax.

It's not really possible to say how long it will take before your husband starts working with her. As I said earlier, you only move on to the next step when the first one is accomplished. If she's having fun in the hallway and in the room (don't forget the room) then have your husband give it a try. If it doesn't work, back off and try another time. You could try playing with her first until she's a little tired, then have your husband try a little too. Just remember to stay calm and don't make any loud noise. When you're done, give her a treat and lots of praise.

Watch for signs of agitation like hissing, growling, staring, or ears back, and stop the activity right away. Move away from her immediately if you feel she may attack. If you're tense, she will pick up on it, so leave the area calmly. As soon as she's calm, give her a treat because it's best to end a session in a good way.

Even though she's probably peeing/pooping due to stress, putting a litterbox in the room may be helpful because cats are very attuned to scent. If there's a box in the room where she's previously been afraid, and she uses it, it can make her feel that it's her room too so there's nothing to be frightened about.

Regardless of whether you rehome her or not, whatever problems you're having right now needs to be addressed. Have you discussed this with your cat's behaviorist?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@Janis,
It is good for me to hear that somebody else experienced something similar.
I am not the only one.
Thanks for sharing your experience with me.
Did your son get any serious injury? Did he have to use antibiotics after the occurence?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
@Mosi

Mosi many thanks for the advice.
All those were the instructions I need. Now, it is more clear in my mind.
Well I will not deny it, sometimes I can not control my temper since childhood. (I am the one who needs a therapist I think).
But now I try to be calmer, keeping my words in bay and also I do not shout and Try not to be loud with my voice.
Otherwise I know that I will get punished.
 

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@miscellaneous
Hello, thanks for the advice again. we have feliway plugins, but I purchased the Feliway spray in order to use in the areas she spotted before, and in order to use on my husband:/.

I do not know about putting litterbox on those places, because the halliway is so narrow.

My cat behaviourist says that it is fear agression. And he says that if she was able to escape she would escape.
So add some space for her.

But honestly, even before those episodes I never saw this cat run away from something.
(Only the time when I see her run away, When she was a baby. In the backyard of the place I work there used to be other stray cats and I saw her on the tree because she afraid of other adult cats)
When she sees my husband she does not run away, she comes towards him by growling and hissling. And ready to attack.
 
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