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I never thought I'd be this person, but I have just about had enough of our brat cat

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  • #41
    I have a family member with a cat like this - worse actually. I've unfortunately had to feed it while they were away. It rubs all over me while I'm feeding it and purr, purr, purr and seems to enjoy being petted - but when it's done, it's like a switch goes off and it seriously attacks. Hisses, bites, and claws. It's attacked everyone in the family at one time or another, and will run across the house to claw my dog sleeping on the carpet. My dog is not afraid of it though and scared it enough that it leaves him alone now.
    They just had a baby and I can only imagine what is going to happen. I wish I knew what was wrong with this cat. It acts like it's feral when it goes nuts.
    You are what you dare.

    Comment


    • #42
      Originally posted by vacation1 View Post
      If euthanasia is on the table, why not declaw? I know it's a mutilation rather than the simple operation we used to think of it as, but it's better than dead.
      The cat won't magically become well adjusted if it's declawed. It'll be in pain, so even more grouchy, and it will figure out that hey, I still have teeth! I'll just bite that kid I hate.

      Comment


      • #43
        OP, I think you shouldn't take the "animal has got to go if it hurts my kid" thing seriously unless 1) Kids will get hurt badly; and 2) you don't feel malice toward the animal.

        You come across as feeling malice toward the cat. It doesn't deserve to die for that.

        You said you grew up in a family that did "disposable animals" but if you want to break that cycle with your own kids, you have to do something different.

        And it sounds like the cat might be very happy in another home. My cat likes being an only cat in a home where I also do most of my work. Kitteh is the center of the universe, complete with her own person.
        The armchair saddler
        Politically Pro-Cat

        Comment


        • #44
          Originally posted by vacation1 View Post
          If euthanasia is on the table, why not declaw? I know it's a mutilation rather than the simple operation we used to think of it as, but it's better than dead.
          No.

          Dismemberment and years of pain will NOT help this cat be a happy member of a household.

          Comment


          • #45
            saje - this was basically the scenario that happened in my house. The kitten I found in the road was weak, and tiny. He poised no threat to Mr. Grumpy gus. He's now a bigger cat than Tobe but is not top cat. He is just a laid back cat that rolls with the punches. Ironically, we now have a 3rd cat. She was a feral kitten starving in the surrounding woods. I captured her, her siblings, tamed them, and found them homes. She remained. She was very tiny, very weak and Tobe accepted her as well. I swore hell froze over this day- 2 yrs ago. So we now are a 3 cat household
            "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."

            Comment


            • #46
              Originally posted by Highflyer View Post
              Honestly, it sounds like your kids just need to learn that some animals don't like being petted. Three is not too young to learn this. I wouldn't put up with real biting, but being scratched is sort of part of having a cat and kids. Is there some reason you can't look for a full grown, easygoing second cat that will give her some company and your kids something to love?
              Agree with this. He wants to pet her. She wants to be left alone. He can learn not to touch. She cannot be communicated with as easily. He needs to not pet the cat. Even supervised. She's said in the clearest possible terms that she wants to be left alone. She has taken the "mild" approach to this (ignoring the petting and then swatting as opposed to affirmatively coming after your son and/or biting). She wants to be left alone. Why can't she be left alone? She's not "unhappy" or "lonely" in general. She's only unhappy at being petted by the kids who she is distrustful of. I suspect if you just stop letting them bother her, you'll stop feeling like she's so lonely/unhappy. Let her seek out attention from the people she wants attention from on her own terms.
              ~Veronica
              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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              • Original Poster

                #47
                It's a the morning of a new day, and I'm trying a few new things. This morning, I had my older son feed Mija and pet her once (he's old enough, he was afraid to, heh), and I explained she's a "no-touch cat." I think going with that will be good for everyone, particularly the 3yro.

                As mvp said, if I want to break the cycle of growing up with disposable animals, I have to do something different. I have to acknowledge that no matter how abhorrent I found it when my parents dumped our cats/dogs/etc. off (we did have some interest etcetera animals), I grew up with that behavior modeled to me, and like it or not, it made an impression. If I want to be different, I need to acknowledge my reactions, the source of them, and be willing to change them. I am.

                So, we're going to try the no-touch cat thing. I have wand toys and laser pointers--that might be a good way to redirect the 3yro's interest in her.

                Heh heh...no touch cat. I do like that. And it's a good lesson. Incidentally, she's due for her shots, so we'll mention the nutty behavior to the vet while we're at it, too. Since she's been like this since pretty much day 1, I don't expect much--but hey, it's worth mentioning.

                Incidentally, hubby is encouraged as well and willing to try a few things. I really do think we're still grieving the other cat, and it's coming out in unanticipated ways.

                I'll give Mija a quick scratch behind the ears from all of you.
                SA Ferrana Moniet 1988-2011
                CP Trilogy 2002-2015
                My bloggity blog: Hobby Horse: Adventures of the Perpetual Newbie

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                • #48
                  I hope that things work out well for you and your family. I think your decision to break the cycle is amazing and will teach your children a valuable lesson about the permanence of family despite challenges and compassion in general. I think your cat will adjust to the new way of life very quickly.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    We had at least 5 or 6 cats at any given time when I was a kid (we lived on a farm next to a state park so there were a lot of strays/ dumped cats). They ranged from the one that could be dressed in doll clothes and pushed in a stroller to the one that you had to throw a blanket over to catch. We learned VERY quickly which was which Good luck with her!

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                    • #50
                      Unless you are able to keep them physically seperate, I know from experience that it is really really hard to convice a 3 yr old that loves cats that they may not pet a particular cat that actually lives in their house. My 3 yr old daughter is persistent about showering attention on our housecat. The cat is clearly not thrilled with the attention but she is amazingly tolerant. Glaring at me the whole time she is being loved on. ("Really? You had to bring this thing home? We were happy dammit")

                      You can try try try to teach child not to touch cat but you are dealing with a toddler, it is not the same as an older child.

                      You can try Feliway, I have heard about good success with that. At the end of the day you have an obligation to keep your child safe. You can't see every single thing a 3 yr old does and if the cat is prepared to be that violent, I would pick child over cat. Sorry cat lovers.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        I really don't like declaws, but research shows....

                        1) they do NOT increase the frequency of biting by the cat
                        2) they do NOT cause "years of pain." Declawing an older cat is more painful than a younger one, so its ideal to do it younger if its definitely going to be done, but once the cat is healed they should be fine.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by Eventer13 View Post
                          I really don't like declaws, but research shows....

                          1) they do NOT increase the frequency of biting by the cat
                          2) they do NOT cause "years of pain." Declawing an older cat is more painful than a younger one, so its ideal to do it younger if its definitely going to be done, but once the cat is healed they should be fine.
                          I'd love to see that "research". My real life experiences with hundreds of declawed cats visiting veterinary hospitals is that you most definitely have a better chance of being bitten by a declawed cat than one with intact paws. They also tend to be crankier, more defensive and more difficult to handle overall. Whether that's pain related or learned as a result of perceived lack of defenses, I don't know. And I don't really care either. I've witnessed hundreds of declaw procedures carried out in various ways - laser, guillotine clippers, scalpel, scissor clippers - no matter how you slice it (ha ha), it's a barbaric and unnecessary procedure. Once declawed, there is no way for a cat to stretch the muscles and other soft tissues of the back, forelimbs, necks...I hate to think how uncomfortable they must be in areas other than their feet and if you've never tried to palpate the remaining phalanges on the toes of a declawed cat, I can tell you, they have a strong opinion about it when you get to the tips.
                          I pray for a day when we stop doing vicious things like declaws to our pets.
                          "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen
                          http://www.etsy.com/shop/tailsofglory

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                          • #53
                            You really CAN teach a toddler not to touch. I was that toddler and it was a lesson that served me well when I got into horses a couple of years later. It also helped me to understand from a very young age that animals were all unique individuals with their own thoughts, feelings and personalities, not simply fluffy toys for my amusement. This is also an invaluable lesson.

                            It may make your job easier or harder because there was recently a "yes touch" cat; it may take a while for the wee ones to understand that Inigo was a very different animal than Mija, but once they do they will take the no touch/yes touch info and apply it to all future furry friends. How great is it going to be to have your kid ask you if the strange dog is a no touch animal or not rather than galloping right up and hugging it?

                            I hope all goes well OP, and applaud your efforts to make everything work.
                            bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
                            free bar.ka and tidy rabbit

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by Lauruffian View Post
                              Heh heh...no touch cat. I do like that. And it's a good lesson. Incidentally, she's due for her shots, so we'll mention the nutty behavior to the vet while we're at it, too. Since she's been like this since pretty much day 1, I don't expect much--but hey, it's worth mentioning.
                              You might have a complete senior panel done - this will look at metabolic chemistry, she may have kidney/liver damage from the lily incident & this may become more of an issue as she ages; also research Jean Dodd's & thyroid panels (her company Hemopet offers basic & comprehensive thyroid panels that are far more efficient/sensitive than the traditional version offered by general labs: you can have your vet draw the blood & send out the sample or send it on yourself - usually less $) as thyroid issues are linked to aggression in animals (alot more research has been done on this in dogs than cats (for obvious reasons)).

                              If you go onto a cat forum, there are many cats that have similar behavioural issues as your kitty - the pet me, pet me, I bite now behaviour - & you'll find methods that have worked with other cats.

                              I'd be inclined to bring home 2 new kittens, rather than a single & do a slow introduction the "cat way" (again discussed ad nauseum on cat forums )

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Lauruffian View Post

                                Incidentally, he told me that our 3yro wasn't petting her when she swatted--she actually attacked him as he alongside that side of the bed. I had assumed he was petting her from what I overheard, but everything unfolded on hubby's side, so I didn't actually see anything.
                                That actually scares me. At the end of the day, kids are higher on the foodchain than pets. Teaching a child not to antagonize an animal is good parenting, but if she's attacking unprovoked that's a different story

                                FWIW, we had one that started doing that, and it turned out to be tumours related to suspected FIPS. I'd start with a vet exam and go from there...
                                "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  I really don't like declaws, but research shows....

                                  1) they do NOT increase the frequency of biting by the cat
                                  2) they do NOT cause "years of pain." Declawing an older cat is more painful than a younger one, so its ideal to do it younger if its definitely going to be done, but once the cat is healed they should be fine.
                                  who exactly did this research, and where is it published? because it contradicts everything I've ever read. I attached some stuff below.

                                  another big reason to never amputate all of your cats toes: they often don't like to use the litterbox after you cut their toes off. If you think a cat that occasionally claws someone is irritating, wait until your cat is peeing and pooping all over the house. You'll wish you just had the clawing problem back.

                                  I haven't looked at the primary studies cited here, so they may be mis-quoted, but it's a good start for people who are on the fence about declawing:

                                  Since 1966, there have been several articles in the veterinary literature that have examined the behavioral changes caused by declawing:
                                  ◾Yeon, et al., (JAVMA 2001) found that 33% of cats suffer at least one behavioral problem after declaw or tendonectomy surgery. The study showed that 17.9% of cats had an increase in biting frequency or intensity and that 15.4% would not use a litter box.
                                  ◾Bennett, et al., examining 25 declawed cats, reported that declawed cats were 18.5% more likely than non-declawed cat to bite and 15.6% more likely to avoid the litter box.
                                  ◾Morgan and Houpt found that the 24 declawed cats in their internet survey had a 40% higher incidence of house soiling than non-declawed cats.
                                  ◾Borchelt and Voith, looking only at aggressive behavior in a retrospective survey of pet owners, found declawed cats bit family members more often than did non-declawed cats.
                                  ◾Gaynor (in North American Veterinary Clinics, April 2005) described cats suffering from a chronic pain syndrome as a result of declawing that is associated with increased biting.
                                  ◾In a retrospective phone survey, Patronek found that among 218 cats relinquished to a shelter, 52.4% of declawed cats versus 29.1% of non-declawed cats were reported to have inappropriate elimination.
                                  ◾Landsberg reported that about 5% of cats developed either biting or litter box avoidance problems after declaw surgery. These figures were obtained by means of a written retrospective owner satisfaction questionnaire, approximately half of which were distributed by veterinarians other than the investigator.
                                  ◾ In a commentary of the Yeon article, Professor Nicholas Dodman, DVM, MRCVS, DACVB of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine writes, "It is amazing that none of the studies to date on declawing has addressed the right questions to the right persons and drawn the right conclusions. This study is no exception. Owners are an unreliable source of information about their pets, especially months or years after the fact….Almost one-half of the cats in the study required post-operative opioids to control pain following surgery, and the remainder would have probably benefited from it. The owners reported that one-half to two-thirds of the cats in this study showed signs of pain after surgery, likely only the tip of the iceberg…. In addition, though the authors were more interested in comparison of the two techniques, it is notable that about 33% of all cats developed a behavior problem after surgery, either house soiling or increased biting. Whatever the owners may have assessed, this was not a good outcome. And, to top it all, 42 of 57 cats (74%) had at least one medical complication following surgery. In light of such findings, it is hard to see why veterinarians don't spend more time and effort recommending alternatives to declawing than these painful and sometimes debilitating procedures. Instead, we seem to keep finding ways of justifying declawing as an essential component of feline practice."
                                  ◾In the December 2003 issue of Cat Fancy magazine, Karen Overall, DVM, PhD, DACVB, a board-certified animal behaviorist, writes that scratching behavior is a complex behavior that "behavioral biologists have been almost wholly uninterested in" and that "fewer and fewer people favor declawing." She observes that "cats do not scratch to annoy us; they scratch to communicate something and the cues are physical and olfactory. This is one aspect of declawing that has never been investigated, and until we understand how much these elective surgeries affect normal feline behavior, we could do best to avoid them."

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    OP has the cat had her T4 checked lately? Hyperthyroidism is very common in middle-aged cats and one of the symptoms is increased irritability.

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Lauruffian View Post
                                      As mvp said, if I want to break the cycle of growing up with disposable animals, I have to do something different. I have to acknowledge that no matter how abhorrent I found it when my parents dumped our cats/dogs/etc. off (we did have some interest etcetera animals), I grew up with that behavior modeled to me, and like it or not, it made an impression. If I want to be different, I need to acknowledge my reactions, the source of them, and be willing to change them. I am.

                                      So, we're going to try the no-touch cat thing. I have wand toys and laser pointers--that might be a good way to redirect the 3yro's interest in her.

                                      I really do think we're still grieving the other cat, and it's coming out in unanticipated ways.

                                      I'll give Mija a quick scratch behind the ears from all of you.
                                      Think of it this way: You have three confounding problems:

                                      1. You want to do differently but haven't seen how.
                                      2. You have a kid-- and a 3-year-old to boot-- to teach as well.
                                      3. You guys are all missing Better Cat.

                                      Of course you'd like to just pack off Mija to the nearest cat orphanage!

                                      If you can parse out these different things and be willing to roll with it, one day at a time, honey, that is what "doing it differently than your family does" looks like.

                                      When I wrote what I did about you changing a family pattern, I was thinking about how you'd explain to kiddo where Mija went and why. It might be hard to be honest about that without trying to skirt the issues of feeling bad that you ditched a cat and being sorta sad that the good parts of Mija aren't around anymore. In other words, anything you guys did that wasn't a clear "win" for the cat would be you doing to your kid what was done to you with respect to Dixie Cup Animals.

                                      Maybe talking to your 3-year-old is a great ethical or personal-values litmus test: If you can't explain your action to him while you feel good about what you did and sure you can cope with the feelings is raises for him, it's ain't right and you aren't ready to do it yet. Yessirreebob, use kiddo to keep you from being unethical or doing something you'll regret. That's a good use of a kid.
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by saje View Post
                                        No. Dismemberment and years of pain will NOT help this cat be a happy member of a household.
                                        To call declawing "dismemberment" is ridiculously hyperbolic. It's an amputation. I'm aware it's been discredited as a simple or humane act, but it's still not dismemberment. If you tore the cat's toe off, that would be dismemberment.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Main Entry: dismember  [dis-mem-ber]
                                          Part of Speech: verb
                                          Definition: cut into pieces
                                          Synonyms: amputate, anatomize, cripple, disassemble, disjoint,dislimb, dislocate, dismantle, dismount, dissect,divide, maim, mutilate, part, rend, sever, sunder,take down
                                          So cutting 1/2 the toe off is ok?

                                          In my mind, dismembering is not too strong a word for declawing.

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