My mother's cat has never been right since she grew up from a kitten. She is about 7 now. She has been treated with nothing but love when my mother adopted her from a kitten, but has always been aloof, afraid of things, and won't let anyone pet her. Now, she has recently been attacking my mother for no reason. My mother just doesn't know what to do. My mother loves animals but has had no pleasure from this cat for 7 years, has tried to love her but nothing works and it depresses my mother because of the rejection.

She is at the point of giving the cat to a rescue place, now because of the attacks. I don't think this cat is adoptable. She must have experienced some trauma before the adoption, but should my mother do? My mother is elderly and at her wits end.
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My mother's cat has never been right since she grew up from a kitten. She is about 7 now. She ... experienced some trauma before the adoption, but should my mother do? My mother is elderly and at her wits end.

As much as we would like to, we cannot save them all. If the cat is actually attacking your mother, then she must be removed from the home. Let the experts at the rescue group decide if she is re=trainable. Good luck.
circa 26 Feb 2004 00:34:05 GMT, in rec.pets.cats.health+behav, Msrebug (Email Removed) said,
My mother's cat has never been right since she grew up from a kitten. She is about 7 now. She ... experienced some trauma before the adoption, but should my mother do? My mother is elderly and at her wits end.

Has your mother talked to a veterinarian about this? About medications (for the cat), perhaps?
Laura

I am Dyslexia of Borg,
Your ass will be laminated.
My mother's cat has never been right since she grew up from a kitten. She is about 7 now. She ... experienced some trauma before the adoption, but should my mother do? My mother is elderly and at her wits end.

Has she been checked medically? If she is healthy, you might consider Feliway. Are there other cats there?
Karen
My mother's cat has never been right since she grew up from akitten. She is about 7 now. She has ... have experienced some trauma before theadoption, but should my mother do? My mother is elderly and at her wits end.

Hi ,
The problem is that although your mother thinks the cat is attacking for no reason , the cat might have her reasons . It's very disappointing when a cat doesn't live up to your expectations . All cats are different.
I have a cat that is affectionate but doesn't like being picked or cuddled. When my previous dog died , I put too much pressure on my cat and was trying to compensate for my loss . one day I picked her up and cuddled her and she growled at me ; I ignored her and she badly attacked me, which was my fault .
A study by the biologist Turner showed that if owners intitiated interaction with their cat, it lasted a shorter time than when the cat intitiated interaction. It might be the cat can't cope with the pressure of your mother wanting to pet her or it could be that something else has frightened the cat and it's redirecting its aggression towards your mother. For now, I suggest your mother backs off from the cat.
Is it possible to have a cat behaviourist visit to see how your mother and her cat interact? A vet will recommend one , after a vet check. A behaviourist will be able to assess the situation and give your mother a plan to follow to try to improve the situation Also, read any book by Pam Johnson -bennett. She explains the nature of cats very well and how to deal with tricky situations without using any negative methods, or go to her foum Think like a Cat and read the archives or post this question.
http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ptthinkcat?redirCnt=1

It's very possible to improve this situation but perhaps because of its genes or because it wasn't socialised properly as a young kitten , it will be the nature of the cat to be nervous. Feral cats and kittens have been tamed as some of the regulars here will testify. Perhaps they can give you some advice.
If the cat goes to a shelter it will have very little chance of finding a home . Perhaps when things improve , may be your mother could adopt a second cat that is more affectionate but they would have to be carefully introduced so as not to put too much stress on the first cat .
Alison.
As much as we would like to, we cannot save them all. If the cat is actually attacking your mother, then she must be removed from the home. Let the experts at the rescue group decide if she is re=trainable. Good luck.

I agree, only because the mother is elderly (I assume, from the use of the term, that Mom is over 70 and is beginning to have health problems herself, doesn't "get around like she used to", and all the other issues that come with aging). I think the cat has issues, but is retrainable with a lot of time and patience and probably medication (assuming she isn't physically ill). I think Kitty needs behavior therapy and an environment where if she doesn't want to be touched, she doesn't have to be. Your Mom probably wants a companion and the stress of an aggressive animal coupled with trying to introduce another cat as a companion might be too much.
My guess is that a cycle of unwanted attention (no matter how loving) has led the cat to become aggressive at the slightest inkling that unwanted attention is about to be bestowed (even Mom looking at her could set her off). Just a guess, since I haven't even seen the cat or anything.
Do try to contact a rescue group that will take the cat - this animal is not adoptable and would be put down at any typical shelter. Even "no- kill" shelters often euthanize aggressive animals. The rescue would have to know the cat is aggressive and agree to try to work with her.

Also, do get her checked by a vet. Chronic health problems that cause pain can make the sweetest cat into a very grumpy kitty. If she was declawed, have them x-ray her feet. A botched declaw can cause bone malformations and claw regrowth inside the feet and this condition is not detectable with normal yearly physicals.

~kaeli~
Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball!
http://www.ipwebdesign.net/wildAtHeart
http://www.ipwebdesign.net/kaelisSpace
As much as we would like to, we cannot save ... experts at the rescue group decide if she is re=trainable.

That you are writing this cat off with no knowledge of thecircumstances or details about what is happening in the ... a way to resolve the issue without dumping the cat on someoneelse and expecting them to deal with it. Megan

I assume that this means you are willing to adopt this cat.

Good for you!
~~
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(Email Removed) (Hagar) dumped this in on 26 Feb 2004:
That isn't exactly what someone should conclude when reading experiences of others with aggresive animals. The post meant that things like this can be resolved if you have the patience, love, and open-mindedness to try to resolve it. I take a lot of offense at people who want to give up on aggressive animals. It reminds me too much of the kids today who run rampant because their parents can't handle them, or don't care to.

With kids, you can't "give them away" even if you want to sometimes. I'm dealing with an aggressive cat and I think I had a breakthrough tonight as to why he is acting the way he is now, but no answers as to what to do about it. Yet. I would never give up on him. (these last comments don't have anything to do with the OP)I don't know what to say to the OP. Her (his?) mother is elderly and I can understand it is scary to deal with them when they attack. I'm not elderly but I've been scared of my cat at times. I think the vet should be involved. There are drugs even if we don't like to resort to them, some need them. Maybe there is something external prompting it. A cat outside? Diversions like a laser pointer work when you remember to carry it around with you (maybe there is a reason the designers put a keychain clasp thing on it?) Providing lots of interesting toys (and some just plain ones easy to fling around and chase down) and a cat tree or at least places for kitty to jump up to where he knows he is king of it helps.

And just plain setting aside some time to play with him interactively with a feather/stick toy wears them out enough to make them take a rest for a while, and you need only swing a stick. Emotion: smile

Coming into a conversation out of nowhere with your comment doesn't help.
(Email Removed) (Hagar) dumped this in on 26 Feb 2004:
That isn't exactly what someone should conclude when reading experiences of others with aggresive animals. The post meant that things like this can be resolved if you have the patience, love, and open-mindedness to try to resolve it. I take a lot of offense at people who want to give up on aggressive animals. It reminds me too much of the kids today who run rampant because their parents can't handle them, or don't care to.

With kids, you can't "give them away" even if you want to sometimes. I'm dealing with an aggressive cat and I think I had a breakthrough tonight as to why he is acting the way he is now, but no answers as to what to do about it. Yet. I would never give up on him. (these last comments don't have anything to do with the OP)I don't know what to say to the OP. Her (his?) mother is elderly and I can understand it is scary to deal with them when they attack. I'm not elderly but I've been scared of my cat at times. I think the vet should be involved. There are drugs even if we don't like to resort to them, some need them. Maybe there is something external prompting it. A cat outside? Diversions like a laser pointer work when you remember to carry it around with you (maybe there is a reason the designers put a keychain clasp thing on it?) Providing lots of interesting toys (and some just plain ones easy to fling around and chase down) and a cat tree or at least places for kitty to jump up to where he knows he is king of it helps.

And just plain setting aside some time to play with him interactively with a feather/stick toy wears them out enough to make them take a rest for a while, and you need only swing a stick. Emotion: smile

Coming into a conversation out of nowhere with your comment doesn't help.
Situations like this make a good argument for adopting adult cats. You know what you are getting then.
That said, I wonder if this situation might just be a build up of "bad blood" between these two. It seems the OP is disappointed because the cat isn't the snuggle bug she had hoped for. The cat could be picking up on the owners ambivalence and acting out.
If it was my cat I'd ask the vet for options to improve the relationship.

Has anyone had any success bringing a "shy" cat out of their shell? Or is the trick just being happy letting kitty set the pace of interaction and accepting that they need their space?
W
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