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Our cat who was feral as a 6 month old. Attacks us when he

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gets upset or if we...
Our cat who was feral as a 6 month old. Attacks us when he gets upset or if we do not give him what he wants
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 2 hours by:
6/22/2016
Cat Veterinarian: Cher, Feline Specialist replied 1 year ago
Cher
Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21,475
Experience: Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
Verified

Hello, and welcome!

My name is ***** ***** my apologies that you didn't receive an earlier answer. Different experts are online at various times and I recently logged in and read your question. Your patience is greatly appreciated!

I'm sorry to hear that Taz is taking out his frustration on you by attacking. That 'feral' part of him will always be there; it's innate, built into his personality, however, since you got him at such a young age, there's still time to acclimate him to being a housecat. I can recommend some calming remedies that will help and also suggest some changes in how you relate to each other.

First, get some Feliway plug-in diffusers which emit cat-calming pheromones and have no scent to humans. Here is more info:

http://www.feliway.com/us

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There are other over the counter oral calming remedies which may help, but you can only try one at a time; don't give both concurrently:

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=3550

This is homeopathic and sold in most major pet supply stores or can be ordered online.

http://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/vetri-science-composure-feline-bite-sized-chews

--------------

You can enrich Taz's environment so he's not bored and you can also play with him with interactive toys and toys he can play with on his own; his bad behavior is most likely asking for attention from you. Here is a list of some great toys, including a cat dvd:

http://www.pawswhiskersandclaws.com/pwc%20foraging.pdf

http://www.zootoo.com/pet-product/cat-toys/funkitty-twist-n-treat

http://www.batarat.com/

http://www.catdvd.com/

http://www.shopfatcat.com/Cat-Toys_c_7.html

http://www.amazon.com/FroliCat-BOLT-Interactive-Laser-Pet/dp/B0021L8W6K

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Also, make sure you have a tall kitty condo or cat tree with different levels, shelves and 'hidey holes.' There's also a flat platform on top, where Taz can feel like king of his 'jungle;' cats love to be 'on high!'

This can also be used as a scratching post, as they are usually covered with carpet.

I'm not a fan of the spray bottle, myself, because you could accidentally squirt water into his eyes, mouth or ears. If you see him 'prepare' for an attack---his ears will be flattened back, his eyes narrowed, his tail swishing quickly or slapping on the surface he's on, you can head it off by shaking a can of coins or pebbles, but do this out of sight. If you're, for example, sitting on the couch and you see him approaching, shake the can under a pillow, so he doesn't see where it's coming from. You want him to associate his undesirable behavior with the startling noise, and not associate it with you.

IF you are sitting on the couch, you can use a pillow to gently push him away and say 'no', firmly, but don't yell. Because he wants your attention (negative or positive), you can always leave the room and he will soon learn that he would rather have your company than continue his attacking behavior.

Praise and reward him when he acts properly (no attacking). Talk to him all the time and tell him what a good boy he is and offer him cat-healthy treats (but, don't overdo it on the treats). Also, repeat his name a lot, this calms cats and they love it!

If he seems resistant to these ideas, as a last resort, you can discuss an anti-anxiety prescription medication with your vet. There is a wide variety, but Clomicalm is well-recommended:

http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/prescription/clomipramine-clomicalm

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Make sure Taz's nails are well-trimmed all the time, so if/when he attacks, he can't scratch you badly.

I hope this helped and all will go well with Taz's new behavior modification regimen.

Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback; that is the only way I receive credit for my assistance. Thank you very much!

Providing a positive rating will not end our conversation, should you need me for any follow-up. Simply click 'Reply' for clarification or additional information, if needed, at no additional charge.

Warmest wishes,

Cher

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Cher
Cher
Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21,475
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Experience: Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience

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