Skip to comments.The Bossy Cat And Owner-Directed Aggression
Posted on 11/15/2015 1:44:07 PM PST by EBH
Owner-directed aggression in dogs has been written and talked about at length, but feline owner-directed aggression has received less attention. In dogs, âconflict aggressionâ has replaced âdominance aggressionâ as a more accurate description of the behaviorâs motivation.
The change occurred because pundits no longer accept the premise that the relationship between dogs and their owners is governed by pack mentality, as neither dogs in the wild nor, as it turns out, wolves seem to organize themselves along these lines. With this in mind, it seems ludicrous to discuss dominance or status-related aggression in cats, as they do not organize themselves into packs and should have no biological drive to establish themselves in any kind of order.
But is it so ludicrous to consider that there may sometimes be a particularly bossy cat that calls the shots with others in a household? I think not.
One social arrangement of cats has been described as a âdespotic hierarchy,â a system in which one cat assumes control over all others who, barring the odd pariah, live peaceably as subordinates. Another more fluid, social situation between house cats involves a sort of time share arrangement in which one cat may avail himself of a preferred sunny location on a windowsill through lunchtime, subsequently deferring to another in non-peak hours. Because of observations like these, it seems that status must play some role in inter-cat relationships and, if this is so, then owners, too, might find themselves included in the arrangements.
(Excerpt) Read more at veterinarypracticenews.com ...
Well 'friend' is quickly devolving into serious foe.
In the past few weeks I have been attacked 6 times with this weekend the attacks becoming more unpredictable.
The first time I chalked it up to petting aggression as this little cat doesn't show any fear. Me sitting on the bed in new cat room. Her walking on me, kneading me, purring and out of nowhere...bam she takes a bite of my hand.
A few days later I am again sitting on the bed and she is laying next to me, but not against me. I go to get up and I am again blessed with a bite.
Needless to say I was perplexed as she seems quite relaxed in her new home. So I thought ...maybe she thinks the WHOLE bed is her cat bed. And I start sitting in the chair in the room and avoid sitting on the bed.
Yesterday I was treated to several attacks as I tried to tidy up the room, pick up her cat dishes, etc.
And then this morning was pretty much my last straw as I sat in the chair replying to a text message...she again bit my hands.
I found this article interesting as I thought how we wouldn't tolerate this behavior from a dog and how I am considering taking her back in to my vet to be put to sleep. I have done lots of cat foster work and have not found a cat I couldn't handle, but this little cat seems to be truly a bit unstable. There are no real warnings from her, no hissing, no growling, not even a swipe of the paw first(yes she has her claws). She goes directly to bite. So even rehoming her isn't an option.
She's been to the vet 3 times now. Has all her shots and was going to be spayed last week, but when they shaved her belly they located a spay scar. So she was a household pet at some point. It is this behavior I am seeing now that probably got her dumped on the street.
Yes, there are unstable cats. I know people deny this but I have always found female cats much more unfriendly than males. I’ve put up with a rude female cat for 18 years now although she doesn’t stalk ME - she stalks the dog. And she loves to bite although rarely scratches. Odd, because she was a lovely kitten.
A pharmaceutical calmer might be necessary until she catches on that she is not allowed to bite and that you are her friend.
I hope something works to mellow her behavior. I'd hate to think she would have to be put to sleep.
Not all cats are lap cats. Please don’t have her destroyed.
That cat’s gotta go,no cat should be able to deny you your own bed.I wouldn’t put up with the biting attacks either.Find yourself another cat.
I take it very seriously that I am strongly considering having her PTS in the morning. I am very upset about making this decision and hope my vet understands.
Cats are prone to brain tumors which generally causes some of this behavior. How about taking her to the shelter and explain the problem? Maybe they’ll take her back and she can live out her life there?
She is not fearful. If these biting attacks were out of fear, I’d understand. I’ve trained through those kind of things.
Flick her nose when she bites? Yell at her? That’s bad ju-ju.
I don’t expect her to be a lap cat. I do expect to be able to live with her though.
She had blood work done last week and it all came back normal.
Vet started her on Zylkene to see if we could take the edge off. It actually seems to have made things worse. I’ve Feliway diffusers running too, also started her on a tryptophan cat treats.
At first I thought she was feral, but even that could be worked through in time. But this behavior of no warning and direct biting isn’t going to work.
At one point, she started biting when I would pet her. "No!" Didn't work, So the 3rd time she did it, I hissed at her. Not a growl or spit, but just a "hhhhhhhhh!" She jumped up, gave me a startled look, then turned her back to me, a sign of respect. About two days later, she tried to take another taste, I hissed at her again, she jumped away and shook her head. She has not tried it since. Now when she wants to grab and bite, instead she will take hold of my hand and start licking me.
I believe my cat is feral. And, no, sometimes it can’t be worked through. I would just take her back to the shelter and say you two are incompatible. She’d probably be a good barn cat if you lived in farmland territory.
No reason to kill the cat...try to work with a shelter that specializes in working with the kitty to find her a new home where both of you would be happier...
My one cat ran around my house for several years as a feral. He would only show up at dawn/dusk, would hide in the bushes and was unapproachable. One winter morning he was sitting on the back step obviously quite ill. I was able to scoop him up and get him to the vet. That was five years ago and this autumn he has decided he likes laps for the first time. We worked through his deep-seated wild fears, but it has taken months and even years to get to where we are today with him.
There is a ‘kitty ping’ list here at FR where someone might be able to offer a viable solution...anyone know who is the caretaker for that list?
Before I take a new cat into the Slim house it get’s my patented “Good Kitty Test”.
First, it has to enjoy petting without acting aggressive. Second, it has to tolerate being picked up without aggression or immediate attempts to escape. Third, it allows tummy rubbing without attacking the hand. Fourth, it allows it’s feet to be handled gently.
Every cat I’ve had passed this test, and I’ve never had one that subsequently bit or scratched me. I even had one that used to ride on my shoulders around the house, and loved brushing so much you could brush it with a running shop vac, and it would just stand there.
Slings is, so you pinged the right FReeper.
I know I’ll be flamed but indoor cats IMHO are more demanding. Sounds like she spent a lot of time outdoors. Have her chipped and if she will tolerate it, put a collar and tags on her then let her out. First however, feed her lots of yummy food and keep her in a room where she only has that yummy food and a cat box and her own bed. Keep her there by herself for at least a week. She will bond to that space and not be so inclined to wander off. Our Bob is not a cuddly cat (although he does not bite) but he comes home every night and goes to his space to sleep. We have never allowed our pets to sleep with us. They are animals. We are people. They are here for our amusement and not the other way around. It works for us.
I just worry about her going after some unwitting kid in the neighborhood. She will go right up to you for attention.
hmmm. Good point. I remember a cat on my uncle’s farm. It was a barn yard cat but no one had warned me. He had a small mustache so I called him Hitler. He would come up to me and rub on my leg and purr and then with no warning he would rack his claws on my skinny little naked leg. He did that once, maybe twice and then I learned to throw dust on him when he came near. He never bothered me again. Also, if she bites you and breaks the skin, you need to have a doctor look at it asap. If you have not had a tetanus shot you need to get one. Cat bites are nasty.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.