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Missy Zane
Missy Zane, Many years as cat sitter & rescuer
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 509
Experience:  A lifetime of living with & loving cats; specializing in behavior and outdoor cats
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Why is my cat so mean

Resolved Question:

My cat is aggressive, sneaky, ferocious, and he attacks me. I feel like he hates me and I cannot think of any reason he should. He's an indoor kitty, declawed, and neutered. He's well loved and healthy. He has what the vet called "horrible etiquette," he runs away from me whenever I try to pet him, he peers at me from around corners and "hunts me," he's a biter, he'll suddenly dart around the house growling... Why is my cat so crazy?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Missy Zane replied 6 years ago.
Hi Brianna...

Do you still need help with this? How old is your cat? Did he live outside before he came to live with you? Is he friendly or affectionate with you at all? Also, would you mind telling me whether you live in a house or an apartment.

Thanks...
Missy
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hi! Yes I still need help. Mogley is estimated to be 2yrs and 7mnths old. (I have been his owner for just 2 years now). I found him outside my apartment building, kept him for about a week, then took him to the Dumb Friend League and finally returned to adopt him just 3 days after dropping him off. Generally he is only friendly when I am alone, or when I'm laying down around bedtime. Then he does come to me for hugs and petting, but not for long before he runs off. He resides with me in a one bedroom apartment.
Expert:  Missy Zane replied 6 years ago.
Hi...

Thanks for the additional information. It sounds like he might have been a feral kitten, and some ferals never become really tame and never live completely comfortably in close proximity to humans. Also, many declawed cats become biters. With their first line of defense -- their front claws -- gone, all they have to protect themselves from a perceived threat is their teeth.

Mogley doesn't hate you! But, even after two years, he still might be a bit afraid of you. When you're lying down, you seem like less of a threat to him.

Here are some things to try:
-- When you're approaching an area where he usually attacks you, say his name and let him know you're coming. He'll be less likely to be startled and feel trapped and like he needs to attack if he knows the approaching footsteps really do belong to you.
-- Try playing with him with an interactive "wand" or "fishing pole" toy. That's a great way to win a cat's friendship without getting too close for the cat's comfort.
-- Try lying on the floor with him or lying on the couch with one arm hanging over the couch. He might approach you for some cuddles and friendship. Reward him for coming around with some treats. If he's aggressive and bites or scratches when you move, have the treats in your hand and just drop them on the floor rather than moving your hand and arm to get the treats out of the bag. That's sort of providing him with a moving target.
-- Don't ever approach him. Let him approach you.
-- Bach Flower Remedies can take the edge off his anxiety and aggression. You can match the remedies to his personality and situation, and you can mix as many as four together in an ounce of spring water. Most health food stores sell Bach Flower remedies. I like to mix the remedies into the fur on the top of the cat's head between his ears.
-- Make sure he has lots of interesting things to do. Keep some blinds and curtains open so he can see outside. And, if you can, put a bird feeder or two outside a window. His aggressive behavior might be due partly to boredom.
-- Floor-to-ceiling cat trees are a great stress reliever for indoor cats because climbing to the top burns some energy. Try to find one with a house or cubby partway up, so he can hide there instead of lurking in a corner waiting to attack you when you walk by.
-- If you have a balcony, letting him go out on the balcony will give him some outdoor time that will also be a great stress reliever.

I hope some of these suggestions help. If you'd like to talk more, please feel free to write back to me.

Missy
Missy Zane, Many years as cat sitter & rescuer
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 509
Experience: A lifetime of living with & loving cats; specializing in behavior and outdoor cats
Missy Zane and 4 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you

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