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My son has a rescue he has had for 10-11 years. The cat is…

Customer Question
My son has a...

My son has a rescue he has had for 10-11 years. The cat is at times lovable and affectionate, but out of nowhere will attack and bite. He has bitten me and I'm terrified of him. He is well cared for and doesn't seem to be aggressive to my son, but will bite others. He attacked me while I was just sitting in a chair paying to attention to him. Any suggestions on how to calm this boy down?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Is the cat bleeding a lot?

No, he's been taken to the vet for vomiting problems recently and has a clean bill of health. This is not a recent problem, he has been aggressive since he was rescued. We figured he had a rough start and would eventually calm down, but it hasn't happened.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Phew. What is the cat's name?

Gambit, he lives in L.A.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Gambit?

Not health wise, he seems friendly (at times) and healthy.

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 1 hour by:
5/29/2018
Cat Veterinarian: CalCatDoc, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago
CalCatDoc
CalCatDoc, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 627
Experience: I have 31 years of clinical experience, with the past 22 years being in a feline-exclusive practice.
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Hi! I'mCustomerand I can help with your question.

Do you happen to know if Gambit was an orphan kitty that needed to be bottle fed?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
No idea, he was adopted at around a year old. No history known.
Cat Veterinarian: CalCatDoc, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

It's possible that he was a bottle baby. They can have severe aggression problems that make them difficult to keep as pets.

I have a former bottle baby as my cat hospital mascot and he was quite dangerous with his intercat aggression and then the secondary redirected aggression toward humans. And then also his play aggression which was intolerable.

When I found out about the latest greatest treatment for feline oops need to shut down computer

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Cat Veterinarian: CalCatDoc, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Sorry about that, had a malfunction.

I put my very challenging and dangerous mascot on Paxil (paroxetine) and in very short order got myself a lovable, darling (though still a bit nutty and prone to bitiness) boy. He has taken his meds every day for 4 years and I agree completely with pharmacologists' assessment that it is the go-to drug for feline aggression. It's not a cure, but is a very good management technique.

So you should discuss Paxil with your local vet and once he's on it, get some pointers on how to avoid inadvertently provoking any residual inappropriate behavior. Cats have a timer and we always need to learn how long it is and stop stimulating them before it runs out. Also, don't stare him in the eye, and never use hands as playthings (general rules to avoid bad cat behavior).

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Cat Veterinarian: CalCatDoc, Cat Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Traditionally a lot of these cats got turned into outdoor-only cats or even put to sleep or dumped at the shelter. But we don't need to do that anymore.

Do of course always be cautious around any aggressive cat because cat bites are dangerous. See a physician immediately for any cat bites.

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