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Thread: Why is my cat so angry now?

  1. #1

    Why is my cat so angry now?

    I have known my cat since he was born, adopted him within months, and had him neutered as soon as the vet would allow it. While he was once rather aloof, he's become a snuggling cat and loves to cuddle with both me and my husband. He's almost six years old now, and we've lived in our current apartment for over two years.

    A few months ago, he started becoming aggressive when visitors come over. It doesn't matter if they're completely new or old friends, he reacts the same - hissing, spitting, and even swiping (he's declawed on front paws only). He'll find somewhere to perch that is in the main thoroughfare of the apartment and react nastily whenever anyone gets close.

    And when I say anyone, I mean anyone. He hisses and growls at me as if I was a stranger. I can't even get to pick him up and move him as he's so violent. If he calms down at all, he just gets all riled up again the moment someone comes near (within five feet) once more.

    Then after the visitor leaves, he's back to his normal, cuddly self. He almost seems offended that I'm distrustful of his intentions at that point.

    I don't know what to do. Having friends over is nearly impossible now, since he takes up residence in the high-traffic areas and puts up such a fuss at owner and visitor alike. I'm at my wits' end - what can I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Waltham, MA, USA
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    36,425
    He may have pain as a result of his declawing. I know you cannot go back in time and undo that decision now, but I would recommend against it in the future. Has he been to the vet to check and see if he's in pain somehow? That can cause changes in behavior.

    I know you love him, how do you react when he misbehaves now? Have you tried spritzing him with water when he does that? Is there any way you could just, for example, shut him in the bedroom when company is coming over? He may just view visitors as stress, and is acting out.

    First and foremost, I'd get him checked by the vet, to make certain there's no sudden underlying medical reason for his change in behavior. I know I get cranky when I'm in pain ...

    Once you have ruled that out, then you can work on behavior modification.
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    The declawing happened over five years ago, when he was still a few months old, so I doubt that's the cause. And as for the illness, I did think of that...but then why is he so happy as soon as visitors leave? If he was sick, he'd continue to be upset, wouldn't he?

    At first I tried ignoring him when he would get upset, but nothing changed. We stopped spritzing him with water when it stopped working. He even found the spray bottle at one point and chewed it all full of holes so the water would drain out.

    I can try shutting him away in another room, it will just mean I have to get him into a room and the door closed before I even let the visitor in.

  4. #4
    Even though the declawing was done 5 years ago, he could still be in pain from it. Arthritis can set in even at his relatively young age. I think a vet visit is still in order. Good luck and please keep us posted. It's do difficult trying to figure cats out sometimes.
    Blessings,
    Mary



    "Time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all." Ecclesiastes 9:11

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8
    Is it at all possible that at one point when you had company over someone may have been mean to him without you noticing, I have one kitty (Mookie) that when he was little a repair man came in and yanked his tail, I went mental and booted him out as quickly as he came in, this was a few years ago but Mookie still is very stand offish when people come in. Some people are just cruel and may have done something without you even knowing. Also you may want to try positive reinforcement, have someone you know well and know would never hurt him come in and toss him some yummy chicken or his favorite treats, do this several times and maybe he will see visitors as a good thing

    Best of luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Ploss's Halfway House for Homeless Cats
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    18,317
    It COULD very well be that the company you have invited over may have scents of their own pets on them and it's aggravating him. That's what happened when I started pet sitting at my cousin's house. His cat LOVED me when I first went over there. Now that he's on vacation, she's growling and hissing at me. Go figure.

    Like others have said, it could also be pain from arthritis in their declawed paws.

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
    Mollie Rose, you were there for me through good times and in bad, from the beginning.Your passing will leave a hole in my heart.We will be together "One Fine Day". 1994-2009
    MooShoo,you left me too soon.I wasn't ready.Know that you were my soulmate and have left me broken hearted.I loved you like no other. 1999 - 2010See you again "ONE FINE DAY"
    Maya Linn, my heart is broken. The day your beautiful blue eyes went blind was the worst day of my life.I only wish I could've done something.I'll miss your "premium" purr and our little "conversations". 1997-2013 See you again "ONE FINE DAY"

    DO NOT BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Cedar Rapids Iowa
    Posts
    233
    One of the reasons why Alison my cat is so grumpy is because we had to declaw her front paws at six months of age. We are against declawing. Even our vet is. But she was eating the plaster on the wall and we didn't know what to do but that. Its that and the fact that her mom was mean. But Ashes had the same mom and he is such a sweetheart.

    Alison does have her good lovey dovey moments. You just have to live by her rules. But she has calmed down some since the flood.
    In loving memory of Tigger 2003-2009. In loving memory of Ashes 2001-2013.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Usually in my own little world...
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    4,875
    Cats or just so unpredictable sometimes. I think I would check with the vet if you haven't already. The one suggestion above about having a visitor give him treats was a good idea too.

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=moosmom;2178099]It COULD very well be that the company you have invited over may have scents of their own pets on them and it's aggravating him. QUOTE]

    that's just what I was thinking too, and someone could have mistreated him.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    9

    Cats

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen View Post
    He may have pain as a result of his declawing. I know you cannot go back in time and undo that decision now, but I would recommend against it in the future. Has he been to the vet to check and see if he's in pain somehow? That can cause changes in behavior.

    I know you love him, how do you react when he misbehaves now? Have you tried spritzing him with water when he does that? Is there any way you could just, for example, shut him in the bedroom when company is coming over? He may just view visitors as stress, and is acting out.

    First and foremost, I'd get him checked by the vet, to make certain there's no sudden underlying medical reason for his change in behavior. I know I get cranky when I'm in pain ...

    Once you have ruled that out, then you can work on behavior modification.

    Hi I'm tracey, I have six cats and they are all declawed and fixed. They came thru the surgery just fine. Bambi was ready to play when he came home. He even started bleeding where they fixed him. I was scared and I called my vet and told them what happened, they told me to quit playing with him. So I did and he quit bleeding. But all of them were fine. After a few days they acted like nothing even happened to them. I don't think I gave them a pain pill. Besides when their that young they bouce back pretty quick. So hope to hear from you, Tracey

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Bexhill, UK
    Posts
    8,821
    I agree with the posts about being mistreated by a visitor to your house as he is fine when they have gone. He seems distrustful of "strangers" and there has to be a reason for the change in his behaviour

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Delaware, USA - The First State/Diamond State - home of The Blue Hens
    Posts
    9,045
    I had a similar problem with my RB Meezer Ming.

    He always loved everybody, until one day, a friend of mine was visiting with her young daughter. It was a hot summer day, and the air conditioning was down for repair. The little girl kept pestering Ming and being a royal pain in the a$$. I told her to stop, that he didn't want to be bothered and he wasn't feeling well because it was hot, but she kept up. Finally Ming turned on her and bit her before running off.

    After that, he would not tolerate kids (other than my own), and would actually scream at them and go into the attack mode, if they came in to "his" house. He never acted that way with any of the family, or other adults tho.
    I've Been Boo'd
    Thanks, Barry
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    My little dogs - two heartbeats at my feet.
    by Edith Wharton & Me
    Sparky the Fuzzbutt - PT's DOTD 8/3/2010
    RIP 2/28/1999~10/9/2012
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    Ellie - Mom to the Fuzzbuttz

    To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
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  13. #13
    I would definitely start with a vet visit to make sure his health is okay and that there is no new pain issue going on because of the declaw. You do know that declaw is not just removal of the claws but actual partial amputation of the toes?...this can often cause a change in gait of the animal which can in turn cause hip joints or knees to go out of whack which in turn causes pain. Your vet will know how to feel and probe to look for pain triggers with the hips, back, knees and even feet.

    I would also set up a safe room for your cat to go in when you are going to have company. Why stress him, yourself and your company? I know you love your cat, but you have a right to have company over. He'll be fine in a room by himself for several hours while company is over.

    Another thing you could try is Feliway plug-in diffusers.
    ~~Pat: Mom to (L-R in siggy)Philly, Piper, Molly & Kit


  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Ploss's Halfway House for Homeless Cats
    Posts
    18,317
    Pat,

    I couldn't have said it better!! If I had added my opinion on the REASON people use for mutiliating their pets, I'd have been bashed, so I'll leave it at that.

    Those of you who know me, know where I stand on this issue.

    Rest In Peace Casey (Bubba Dude) Your paw print will remain on my heart forever. 12/02
    Mollie Rose, you were there for me through good times and in bad, from the beginning.Your passing will leave a hole in my heart.We will be together "One Fine Day". 1994-2009
    MooShoo,you left me too soon.I wasn't ready.Know that you were my soulmate and have left me broken hearted.I loved you like no other. 1999 - 2010See you again "ONE FINE DAY"
    Maya Linn, my heart is broken. The day your beautiful blue eyes went blind was the worst day of my life.I only wish I could've done something.I'll miss your "premium" purr and our little "conversations". 1997-2013 See you again "ONE FINE DAY"

    DO NOT BUY WHILE SHELTER ANIMALS DIE!!

  15. #15
    I couldn't have said it better!! If I had added my opinion on the REASON people use for mutiliating their pets, I'd have been bashed, so I'll leave it at that.

    Those of you who know me, know where I stand on this issue.
    Thanks.
    I'm against declawing as well. Even before I knew what it really entailed I was against it. Now that I know what it really is, I try to educate people without being mean. If I didn't know what it truly was at one time, I'm sure others don't truly know what it is. Many vets do not explain what the procedure really is. I've experienced from either myself or someone else telling someone what declawing really is, the person becomes appalled that their vet didn't explain it, that they didn't research it and they feel terrible for having declawed their cat and decide they won't do it again. Education in a tactful if not kindly manner is the only way to attempt to change others' outlook on this. I wish it were illegal everywhere as it is in some countries across the pond from the USA.
    ~~Pat: Mom to (L-R in siggy)Philly, Piper, Molly & Kit


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