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Stray cat problem

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  • Stray cat problem

    MizzouDad has been feeding a stray male for the past 2-3 weeks. Not completely feral, comes when called, seemed friendly enough. We adopt anything that moves in and can get along - with the usual shots and speutering.

    MDad petted him (probably just a little too long) before putting down the food. Cat circled behind, jumped up and bit him on the upper arm, scratched - just went nuts, then stepped back around for the meal like nothing had happened.

    Tetanus is current, started antibiotics, and the live trap is set on the front porch so we can do rabies observation. We live in a rural area and support a shelter that has a trap/neuter/release program, but a cat like this who appears friendly and then goes all medieval on your a$$ is a problem.

    I'm normally up for advocating for any animal, but I'm thinking this guy will have to be executed for his crimes. Any other take on that?

  • #2
    That seems harsh to me... if he/she is a stray, they don't know the rules.... if dinner has been supplied promptly before, to me the cat was saying "ok, dinner now, enough petting, I am HUNGRY"... who knows how hungry a stray is and when they last ate. However, I am of the belief that cats basically do whatever they please and they are basically to be humoured.

    I am of the opinion that I would keep a very close eye on said cat and not put myself in the position where that was likely to occur again.


    • Original Poster

      Mocha -Normally I do everything I can for any animal that shows up here. But cats that bite (and this was a deep, puncturing bite) with that kind of explosive aggression are untrustworthy. He has been fed a.m. and p.m. for 2-3 weeks and had put on plenty of weight. His vaccination status is unknown.

      We've probably adopted 20 cats over the years, including intact males who were just big teddy bears. None have been biters.

      I was already trying to decide what to do if we were able to catch, neuter and test him for the "F"s, and he turned up feluk positive or something. I can't in good conscience keep a FL+ cat outside, and just spent a year with a FL+ kitten in isolation until she died of lymphosarcoma. She was lovable, this cat would be unable to be handled.

      It's a tough choice.


      • #4
        I don't think it would be terrible if you put him down after QT. But after neutering and shots this might also prove to be an isolated instance.

        But I guess MDad knows to put the food down FIRST from now on! Some cats have just not had the socialization that others have and they don't understand why people don't act like cats!
        Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

        Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


        • #5
          i also think execution might be a little harsh :[
          its not like the family cat just went all ape sh!t, he is a stray, you don't know what kind of interaction he's had with humans prior to finding you guys or how feral he was to begin with. you also don't know what was going through his head when he went crazy, something small might have happened that made him feel threatened or insecure - a pet to close to the wrong area, or a touch that felt a little to controlling.
          i work at a boarding kennel and even the friendliest well taken care of dogs and cats can be set off and do things that might seem a little violent - the other day i had a golden retriever try to take my arm off in the middle of me petting her, and another dog got a pretty good bite on an employee because he wanted the dog on the other side of her.
          they are animals, they do act instinctually, and its unfair to expect certain things of them because others have acted that way - especially when you don't know if he knows any better.

          i would trap him, monitor, see if he has any health problems, and see if this is truly a behavioral problem or was just a one time misunderstanding.


          • #6
            Originally posted by SaveTheOtters View Post
            i would trap him, monitor, see if he has any health problems, and see if this is truly a behavioral problem or was just a one time misunderstanding.
            This might be a good idea. It's obvious you're an animal lover, so I'm sure it's a very hard decision for you. Euthanasia is certainly not a horrible option, but maybe a cautious watch-and-wait may be warranted.

            Again, I can't fault you if you decide to euthanize him. It's definitely not the worst thing that could happen to a stray cat.


            • #7
              I met one just like that..

              Out on our back porch. Beautiful big yellow tomcat. Looked in the window all pitiful, cried, rubbed against my legs, acted friendly and lost.

              I bent down to pet him, which he seemed to love. For 3.7 seconds. He then leapt up straight at my face, I put my arm out, which he grabbed, bit, rabbit kicked and slashed until I finally got him off me.

              The next morning he was out in the barn with one of my good barn cats pinned down and squalling. One well placed kick took care of that.

              Had the kick not done it, I'd have shot him the next time I saw him. He was a predator, and I really have no use for that kind of animal.


              • #8
                Agreed with the others that you will need to take precautions to ensure that it doesn't happen again. I wouldn't bring down the gavel just yet... this cat hasn't been socialized and may be unbalanced hormonally. I would go ahead with the trap/test/neuter if you can and then assess when you know more about his health and temperament. My cat was a dump job at 4 weeks in very poor health, and once she started to regain health turned out to have a wild streak- like a switch would go off in her brain and she would lose it, biting and scratching like she was mental. Otherwise she was a sweet, purring, friendly cat, but hold her for too long or catch her at the wrong time and she would transform into a tiger. A year later she is much improved and still getting better, but will still lunge on occasion and we warn our guests not to pick her up. Certainly not an animal everyone wants to deal with, but quite sweet for the most part and worth the effort of socialization. You don't know his history or what sort of insecurities he has that might have caused him to lash out, so if you can I would (very cautiously) give him another chance.


                • #9
                  I'm a huge cat lover and trap, neuter, release any ferals around the farm. However, if that happened to me, I would put the cat down. Cat bites can be nasty and you don't want to risk yourself, husband or friends getting bitten by the unpredictable cat. Plus, with the rabies status unknown, that would make me nervous. If you euth him now, the head can be sent in to the lab to determine if cat has rabies.
                  Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thank you all for your thoughts. We were able to trap and he is now under the legally required 10-day observation at the vet's.

                    He was sweet as pie, transferred happily to the isolation cage and went straight to the food. He's a handsome thing and the vet's recep was quite charmed despite his bad boy rep.

                    I am willing to have him tested and fixed if he's clean and make him a barn cat, but my husband never wants to see him again - like a bad breakup. You do get your feelings hurt when you've tried to save one and they repay you with an attack. 2ndyrgal, I can identify.

                    I don't think we could ever trust him to be handled - MD says there was no warning, though it's possible there was and he missed it - and yes, he should have put that food down first!

                    We are fully staffed with pets and can't devote much to one that needs psychological rehab. I expect he turned up here because he bit someone at his last home and was dumped.

                    So I still have a dilemma. If he tests feluk or FIP/FIV plus, it's probably curtains. If he's clean, who would take him?


                    • #11
                      I'm sure someone would want him. If he otherwise a handsome and pleasant fellow it sounds like he'd make a nice barn cat. There are plenty of cats around that only tolerate so much attention.

                      We have a nasty cat. She is a beautiful little girl cat but all her life she has had a nasty streak. All attention is on her terms. Pet her for too long and she will bite you or scratch you. My kids used to be afraid of her. Luckily for her I'm the kind of mother that would laugh at the children trying to get down the hall to the bathroom by pushing hands and feet on the walls. Mother of the year, I'm not. But the cat stopped delighting in tormenting the children, they grew up and she spends most of her time outside anyway.