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Removing cat canines? (I think cruel but looking for advice)

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  • Removing cat canines? (I think cruel but looking for advice)

    Any suggetions very gratefully accepted. Kind of venting, open to feedback.

    Kitty is a VERY aggressive fixed male, I fixed whenI got him as young adult/stray from the shelter. He bites. He attacks(to kill) the other cats. He is loving and sweet a good part of the time, follows me around, sleeps right next to me every night, brings me his toys to play with, can be very, very loving, falls asleep in my arms-I ADORE this cat.

    But, just about lost my arm this week to his attack(had managed to separate him from the other cat-mom mistakenly let out the other cat without realizing this guy was out-and he just lunged at my arm, bit and hung on). Had three days of IV antibiotics, scary. Also got my husband a few weeks ago (had to do the whole antibiotic thing, didn't have to do the IV drugs like I did, but scary, could not use his hand).

    I have tried the feliway plug in, the pheromone collar, composure "calming" pills. He did lose his buddy this January and I know that was really hard for him. My husband adopted a new male cat-very sweet and loving, gentle, never fights back,just a big orange lover- and course my cat hated that. I understand his world got rocked in a big way. Someone had suggested a water bottle for him this winter when he did a lot of this, but eventually (am a slow learner) that just seemed wrong, not to mention it didn't work-he got wet and mad, thats about it.

    I love this cat. Adore him. He and I are bonded for whatever reason and I don't want to do anything to hurt him. But, I am looking for any suggestions. My vet thinks removing his canines would help but that seems horrendous to me (anyone done that?). I am opposed to declawing. We have discussed my mom taking my husband's cat (possible, not sure how that work but are considering) but cat does still bite, just not as ferociously.

    Of course, I (and my husband) am actually willing to keep him as is-whether or not my mother takes orange guy. It is NOT my ideal situation but if that's it, then that's it. My issue is not for me but my husband missing work (and suffering, not okay, regardless of whether or not he is willing) or, God forbid someone watching him if I travel. Him doing this to a neighbor? Horrendous.

    I feel like he trusts me to make good decisions for him,just wish I knew what that was.

  • #2
    I had a cat that got caught in somebody else's trash once and launched pretty good, either that or he got rolled by a car, anyway he had a half a canine and eventually it infected and abcessed, and we caught him and had the tooth removed. Not a biggie as far as his daily activities.

    In your case I'd rehome the other cat and take your guy into the vet to see if this is his personality (we have an attack cat also, after four years he's mellowed a bit but still has "kill the hand" moments), or some possible pain issue. I watched "Our cat from Hell" the other day and a lot of what the guy does is the same stuff we did to mellow out our mean guy.

    If he's tha aggressive that you worry about him chewing up a caregiver then don't forget if you take away his fangs he still has claws and can do some serious damage with those. Perhaps boarding him at the vet's on trips?
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible


    • Original Poster

      thanks Re!
      What did you do to mellow your kitty? I would be interested in ANYTHING!!

      He did NOT launch like he does now pre other kitty (he lived with two females before-aggressive/intimidating but not anything close to what he does now and he really loved one of them, who used to give it right back to him if he tried anything with her). My neighbor watched them, he was fine. But, he will still bite/snap first, ask questions later,not necessarily hard but hard enough-biting is for sure his first response.

      but, yes, new kitty sparked something worse in him.

      And good to know that removing the canine didn't totally traumatize your guy. I just hate "anatomically modifying" him so have been resistant.

      I dunno-I just love him anyway. He has this sabertooth grin he gives me. He runs up to me whenever I call him, follows me, if I am upset about something, he's the one who will reach out his paw (sheathed) and touch me. Sigh. My arm looks like Popeye.


      • #4
        Geez -- it is a huge problem, but I hope you don't have his canine's removed. There is a guy now on Animal Planet or another channel that does animal shows that is like the dog whisperer for cats. He goes to peoples homes and observes the situation and their comments and helps fix the problem. Might be a thought.
        Good luck and God bless for loving him!


        • #5
          Difficult to do without the risk of fracturing the jaw.
          "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

          ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


          • #6
            If I'm reading it correctly, he's fine with humans unless he's in the process of attacking another cat?

            He sounds like he'd prefer to be the one and only.
            I LOVE my Chickens!


            • #7
              I will take a lot from my cats, but after 2 trips to the people hospital, I would be looking at putting the cat down, not pulling his teeth. I'm kind of surprised that animal control hasn't given you a call already, but maybe doctors don't have to report cat attacks, just dog bites.

              I love my cats but I'm not prepared to sacrifice body parts for them.
              Visit my Spoonflower shop


              • Original Poster

                I do understand why people would consider "being done" with this guy but euth'ing for me is not an option. he is a healthy, happy cat (mostly) and I don't believe in it for behavioral issues, particularly with no real intermediate inteventions. Docs don't have to report even dog bites (mom was bitten by neighbor's dog last year and was asked if she wanted to report, she said no, dog not dangerous, UTD on vaccines). Cat is indoor, UTD on all vaccines.

                I do agree that he needs to be one and only, I guess I needed to have that clarified. I am seeing that may be his best option

                And its true that while my husband, and me as well, would be willing to tolerate his behavior, I certainly would not expect anyone else to experience this (he is not allowed around others). I have been slow to appreciate the real risk he poses.


                • #9
                  can you let him out to predate?

                  I had a seriously aggressive cat, first owners brought her to the vet to be PTS for biting when she was 3 ish. I ended up with her, and holy cow she was aggressive! She had days when she'd stalk me around the house and viciously attack me. Nothing like having a cat attached to your leg by its teeth.

                  Letting her go outside to kill stuff made her much, much better. She was a wicked phenomenal hunter, and turned into a fabulous and useful, albeit still slightly scary, farm cat.

                  I wouldn't remove your guys teeth. I would look into his living situation and try to make it more to his liking or put him down. (sorry I know you like him )
                  Unrepentant carb eater


                  • #10
                    Before removing canines, have a vet work up done - contact a feline specialist, even if you need to do phone consults, travel for the appointment etc.

                    Cat aggression has been discussed on another board I used to frequent - it was a few years ago so I'm not sure the discussions are in the archives - so just do some searches on cat or pet forums.
                    There are biochemical issues that may contribute to cat aggression, so I'd run some chemistry panels & thyroid checks: for thyroid, listen to Jean Dodds if you can still find her pod casts online, there are written versions but much easier listening to her speak on the topic.
                    Definitely use her thyroid function tests as offered through Hemopet - if your vet refuses to follow her protocols, you can have your vet do the blood draw & then send the sample off yourself.

                    Even if your cat has no detectable issues, you can often learn his triggers & "tells" that let you know NOT to touch/interact with him.
                    Most aggressive cats respond more effectively to withdrawal of interaction; whereas punishment, engaging them physically, or even shouting at them usually has little positive effect on their behavior, simultaneously you need to start rewarding the behaviors that are positive - this is generally long term stuff where benefits are observed over months to a year (at least)...

                    Removing the canines does nothing to treat the behavior & you may actually observe an escalation of aggression once the teeth are gone & he realizes his vulnerability (much like declawed cats that become aggressive biters).

                    If you've never been seriously attacked by a cat (or witnessed one) it's difficult to imagine how scary & determined they can be.

                    I must admit, my first action would be re-homing the "new" cat (at least temporarily) & then re-introducing him to the household after several months (not sure how you did the initial introduction) over several weeks ie moving only at the rate that your cat feels comfortable with (though some cats will NOT tolerate same sex housemates).

                    I'll also admit that we are a single cat household due to current cat becoming increasingly aggressive to enemy felines that we attempted to foster/adopt.


                    • #11
                      I know someone who had a cat that hated the other cats in the house. He was put on kitty valium/diazepam. Definitely took the edge off the aggressive cat. He became tolerant of the other cats.
                      "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."


                      • #12
                        I second the kitty valium. I worked with, and cat sat, for a lady that had multiple cats. Everyone got along except her large, neutered male Maine Coon and her tiny female kitty. The Maine Coon would go after the little female, so he was put on valium. The tiny dose he received daily was enough to keep peace in the house. I would recommend chemical assistance before permanent removal of teeth. Its worth a try....


                        • #13
                          Sorry, but you won't declaw but will put him through the greater pain of pulling 4 healthy canines? With likely a fractured jaw to boot? I think you have some serious misconceptions about the procedures. The root of a healthy canine is at least as long at the exposed part of the tooth. The gum has to be cut back, while the root is slowly and carefully seperated from the bone.

                          I think the cat needs a different living situation. Start realistically looking at the options. Not by what makes you happy but what makes him happy. Because right now he is not.
                          You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!


                          • #14
                            Almost lost an arm => Euth

                            My arm and safety is worth more than any animal. I wouldn't try to rehome because I wouldn't want to put something else at risk either. Try the kitty valium but seriously I would consider putting him down. If the Valium doesn't work and he attacks again you might have a more serious infection on your hand that ends badly.

                            It really sounds like you've tried everything you can within reason. At some point you've got to remember that while we love our animals they are not worth losing a limb over.


                            Hope you're feeling ok.


                            • #15
                              My heart kitty was a stress biter. I did the antibiotics three times in the 10+ years I had him. Lots of people told me they wouldn't put up with it but I did. I could do anything with him 99% of the time. Oh except take him to the vet. That was one of his triggers.

                              You don't live in the Seattle area, do you? I would kittysit, I know the drill. And I think I'm now immune to cat venom!

                              I'd try the Valium and rehome the other cat. In my case a second cat improved the biter's outlook on life but it sounds like it pushed your boy over the edge.
                              Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


                              • Original Poster

                                Jean Dodds looks very interesting, am going to talk to vet about the thyroid levels, AND diazapam or prozac. I would love to learn any behavioral techniques someone may have tried that worked. I have considered letting out to predate; my main concern is that a neighbor kid would try to pick him up or something-we do have very close neighbors with kids and animals (cats, rabbits) and worry that he would be more of a hazard outside. But I am considering all (well, not ALL but many) options!

                                i am not "willing" to do anything at this point except get more information,and certainly never wrote I was willing to break his jaw. I think I mentioned the canine pulling had been suggested but I wasn't keen on it. None of this makes me happy, which is why I am getting as much information as I can so I can make the best decision possible for him, isn't that what pet owners do?

                                I am interested in the temporary rehoming other kitty. We had to do a verrrrrry slow introduction because I was waiting to get other kitty's test results. They went on a cross country trip together, could see each other but not interact.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by JoZ View Post
                                  My heart kitty was a stress biter..
                                  He is my heart kitty.


                                  • #18
                                    is this cat free fed?


                                    • Original Poster

                                      No, not free fed. Tell me about that. do you think it would make him happier? I was hoping he'd go all wet but he thought otherwise, so he does get dry.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by lilitiger2 View Post
                                        No, not free fed. Tell me about that. do you think it would make him happier? I was hoping he'd go all wet but he thought otherwise, so he does get dry.
                                        here is what I did for our cat who would go from Nice to Really Ugly in a split second. I could never figure out what the trigger was, so instead of trying to go that direction, I had her work for some of her food. I did anything I could think of...station training, foot handling, tricks, anything that would keep her brain occupied for at least 10 minutes.

                                        If this were my cat, he'd get used to wearing a harness and he'd have to learn how to walk with it on. He would begin to drag a leash. At least then, you'd have a way to handle him from a distance. I'd also crate him every time he aggressed to me, or if crating is not an option, I'd tie him up where I could watch him. In addition, I would deliberately selection 2 or 3 particular toys that would elicit a very pronounced hunting trigger and I'd play hard with him for 5 minutes or so. These toys bring out the stalk/hunt in my cats. I would also buy a laser pointer and use that to run him up and down stairs (if you have them) to get him out of breath quickly.