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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24467
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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My cat acts really aggressive when have visitors over. she

Customer Question

my cat acts really aggressive when have visitors over. she even attacks me after they leave.
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What seems to be the problem with your cat?
Customer: not sure what's wrong with her. I had to get a vet that does house calls to come over. she didn't find anything definitive other than behavior. the vet had hard time examining my cat. the cat was very aggressive(growling, hissing, almost like a scream sound)
JA: The noise must be worrying. I'll connect you to the Veterinarian. How old is to?
Customer: the cat is 8 years old
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about to?
Customer: it's gotten worst after an injury cat got about 8-10 months ago. the cat got scared when I came into my bedroom and jumped off the bed - she growled really loud. the next morning - she couldn't walk good(hind legs) and tail not working. I took her to local vet and they took xrays and couldn't find any bro***** *****mbs or broken tail. her tail still isn't moving. she eats/drinks good. one while she kept urinating/pooping all over the basement instead of litter box. so I used 2 litter boxes and set them in the area where she was using the bathroom - now she goes back to litter box. she doesn't like people visiting or even walking pass the house
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

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Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

I have advanced training in feline behavior and can tell you that your cat is most likely demonstrating redirected aggression towards you. This occurs when the target of her aggression (you) is not the stimulus that triggered the state of aggressive arousal. Territorial, fear-induced and defensive aggression are the types of behaviors that are likely to be redirected by her. Stimuli that can cause an aggressive state of arousal include the sight or sound of another cat (at times quite far away from the home), unusual noises, odors of other animals, unfamiliar people, and unfamiliar environments. A common situation is one in which the pet becomes aroused upon seeing or hearing another cat while sitting in a window. When the owner attempts to pet it, pick it up, or nudge it away from the window, it attacks. It may show aggression toward another pet when approached in similar situations. Redirected aggression is a common cause of the sudden appearance of aggression between cats in the same household that have been living together amicably for quite some time. This type of aggression is probably the most dangerous type of aggression cats exhibit due to the uninhibited nature of the bites. Treatment involves identifying triggers for arousal and then removing the pet's access to the stimuli. You may have to be quite the detective as stimuli can be imperceptible to owners. Medication can be beneficial for reducing her response to environmental stimuli - psychoactive drugs such as Prozac have been used. The most important thing that I can impart to you is to be careful around her when she is aroused. Too many of my owners have ended up in the hospital due to infected bite wounds. One encouraging fact is that many of our cats will habituate to the arousing stimuli and "self-cure" within weeks to months.

It would be prudent to sequester her in a quiet, dimly lit, and unlikely to be disturbed area when you're expecting visitors. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.