Mean cat

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by lscheopner, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. lscheopner

    lscheopner lscheopner

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    Last winter, we had a cat move into our shop. It was a feral cat but has now decided that it wants to be friendly. She(we think it is a female) rubs on your legs and purrs. The only thing is that if you try to touch her she bites and scratches. She has scratched several customers which isn't good. Hence she has earned the name "Cujo." My husband is not a cat lover but has let her stay because they had a huge mouse problem last year and they are all gone! She also has some manners, no walking on customers cars or doing her business inside. We have tried to keep petting her and she is not getting any better. One older gentleman thinks he can tame her by petting her as much as possible. She drew blood on his hand the other day but he keeps trying. Everyday he brings her some sort of treat but thats not working either.
    Does anyone have any ideas how we can get her to quit being so mean? Our dog loves cats and is terrified of her. Actually, so are we! She hopped up on a bench next to my husband the other day while he was working on a part, he said, he wasn't brave enough to touch her to make her get down. So she sat and watched him. Never ran into a cat like this and need help!

    Laina
     
  2. jen74145

    jen74145 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hoo boy.
    Being a (former?) feral, it could be anything... but her warming up a bit suggests to me that she may have been someone's pet at one point, but perhaps somewhere along her road someone was cruel to her, so now she fears human hands... in which case, that man bringing her goodies and loving on her is right on track (and I'm impressed with him!). BUT, if she bites or scratches the wrong person, you could have one nasty lawsuit on your hands... and cat bites get infected really easily, and often require a doctor visit even when you keep them scrupulously clean.

    I also wonder if she perhaps is in pain and you are unaware of it... cats, particularly those with a distrust for humans, hide any pain (or vulnerability). You might think about trapping her and carting her to a vet if you think it could be that.

    I tend to lean towards the former abuse cause myself... in any kitty I've known that acts that way (sweet and loving approach, but touch her and look out) sadly, that's been the case. Time and patience are all you can do... and Feliway. It sort of relaxes kitty's stress and hormones. A bit costly, but with her, I'd give it a shot and see if you can become friends while she's calmer.
     

  3. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There is a lot of truth to the above. Leave her be and don't allow anyone to attempt to pet her. She needs to learn to trust (maybe again after being hurt or firghtened). Feed her treats and talk to her,but don't allow anyone to touch her. It is her space and her call if and when she will trust again.
     
  4. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

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    i'd vote for just leaving her alone. put a sign on the door-letting people know in a nice, funny way not to mess with the resident attack cat. or just when people ask, explain she was probably abused, and doesn't like to be touched. or name her Queen Touch Me Not. but don't allow customers to pet her.
     
  5. momlaffsalot

    momlaffsalot Well-Known Member

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    Great name! Great advice, too. Poor kitty.
     
  6. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My SIL had a manx cat a few years ago named Angel. She was NO ANGEL!! She was abused as a kitten. Well, not really abused no much as neglected. Locked in a basement, & given minimal contact. Not loved on or played with. They got her at 7 weeks old, so you'd think that wouldn't have been too much of a problem.

    She would also rub on you & purr. She'd also play with toys you had. Even let you pet her for awhile, but you never know when she'd SNAP!! I mean she'd go balistic! Hissing, spitting, biting, scratching. Everyone finally gave up on ever really "taming" her, and gave her space to be herself.

    I second the sign "Please do not pet resident kitty if you value your fingers" :grump: or something like that.
     
  7. Ardie/WI

    Ardie/WI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Our much missed cat, Tippy, was feral when we got him and it was only in the later years of his life when he wouldn't suddenly be unable to be touched. He'd stretch and purr and enjoy the touches-then suddenly bite and scratch us. He seemed to be unable to go beyond a certain point.

    We respected that and learned to just stop at a certain look in his eye.
     
  8. lscheopner

    lscheopner lscheopner

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    Great advice about putting up a sign, think we will do that today. We will keep working at her. I think she may have been someone's house cat because of the way she acts. She has been around for 2 winters now. Last winter she would sneak in if the doors were open, stay for a while and leave when she felt like it. Now, she waits at the door to go in or out. She disappeared for a week during our big storm and we thought she was gone. I wonder if someone else is letting her in too. Thanks

    Laina
     
  9. JasoninMN

    JasoninMN Well-Known Member Supporter

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    ok, I don't know squat about cat behavior. I would think though that if you pet her when she was eating she would start to associate being pet with a positive experience and may start to accept it more. I have a black long haired cat that needs to be brushed or he gets matted. He hates to be brushed though, so I have found that in the morning when I feed them I can get some brushing in while he is eating, other wise he tries to bite.
     
  10. amwitched

    amwitched Well-Known Member

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    I rescued my cat, Aylin, when she was just 2 weeks old (she is now 6 years old). She has always hated me touching her, but not DH. After my morning shower, she scratches at the bathroom door to do "morning snuggles". I get to hug and kiss her, pick her up and scratch her everywhere, but outside that door.... watch out. I have so many healed scars on my hands. DH keeps telling me to only scratch her on her head and neck, but it's so hard refrain from trying to love on her. My 18 year old, that passed away, was my baby and I miss all of the love that I used to get from her.

    DH scratches her ears with his big toe (she waits patiently for him to take his shoes off) and sometimes he'll pet her head and neck. He does not try to pick her up.

    So, no amount of time or actions may change your cat's personality/attitude. He is obviously wanting some sort of companionship, though. I'm really glad that you & your hubby are giving him a chance. He is paying you back by controlling your mouse population.
     
  11. Selena

    Selena proud to be pro-choice

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    Some cats get over stimulated quickly and can't handle a lot of petting. I've had two that were that way. A quick pet was ok but much more caused a scratch and/or bite.