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fear aggression in cats?

November 8th, 2004, 07:23 AM
Hi Lucky, you seem to be extremly knowledgable on the subject of cats so here is my situation.

Last year in late october an old roomate of hubbys showed up at our old place (also a farm) for a visit. He and his wife and child seemed like nice enough people (so I very wrongly thought).

It was getting time for them to go when the wife said to hubby "Do you think we should try to get Jerk back into the car?" I didn't think it very kind to call there child a jerk and said so she was right there :eek:

They laughed at me and proceeded to tell me that they had brought their pet cat "JERK" for a car ride (from Niagra falls) complete with a litter box and food dishes, and when they got to our house they thought he would like some fresh air so they left the car window open and Jerk had lept out :eek:

Wifey and I called and called for Jerk to come (I was the one making the effort more than her) After about half an hour and many comments (such as Jerk is a good mouser he will be ok outside) I realised that they had chosen our house to dump their cat these 2 were suddenly in my bad books and I let them know that what they did was very irresponsible! They didn't seem to care much just unloaded the litter box and said "don't worry he will do fine and find a home soon. I was appalled at their behavoir, said so and stormed into my house. (We never saw them again!

Trying to make this short sorry

I fed Jerk every day and after a week he let me near him it was getting extremely cold but he would not come in the house. He looked forward to seeing me come out of the house every morning because I started letting him come in the car to get warm when I took my daughter to school and anywhere else I went. We moved that December and I knew we had to take him with us.

He finnally came in the new place but was very aggressive (apparently I later learned through other family members that this guy is not nice to animals and his daughter terrorised the cat, Jerk used to pee on HIS clothes, god only knows what he did to him after that)

Jerk's attitude has gone from exteremly aggressive to semi aggressive in one years time. I think he hates men he growls when he hears a mans voice. My son and hubby have had to call me many times just to get by him as he stands there growling claws ready to swat daring them to pass :eek: He seems to like me ok and has not yet clawed at me ( I assume because I go out of my way to comfort him with love at all times)

So that aside here are my questions:

1) will Jerk ever overcome his agression....the men in my house love pets but are not fond of being attacked so the soft spot for him is rappidly growing thin!

2) Jerk has accepted that my other 5 cats are here to stay and puts up with them and they with him but........there has been a new stray comming around who is an intact male and Jerk just hates all out brawl happens every time the stray comes near I assume because this male is intact. I am thinking of maybe keeping the stray but can't help but think I will be making a recipie for disaster. it took Jerk a year to adjust and I don't want to upset the boat so to speak any thoughts?

3) Scarface (the stray) gets along fine with the females but I have also one other male (Tiger) that doesn't like him, he doesn't attack but growls (he is not a fighter by nature but stands his ground, he likes to be king of the manor and Jerk seems fine with him).

Any thoughts or ideas you have on helping with fear aggression in Jerk would be greatly appretiated

November 8th, 2004, 07:49 AM
Wow Iggette,firstly,you have a heart as big as a house :love: hopefully Lucky can give you some answers,but in my own lowly wisdom,fear-aggression takes a long time to root out...your house seems to be a regular haven for strays of all kinds :thumbs up
Your"friends"I hope are no longer on your visiting-list..anyone who allows a little cat to be abused would be forever banned from my house :evil:
After what they did,I guess Mr and Mrs"Jerk"will not be returning...

November 8th, 2004, 07:55 AM
Wow ! You appear very knowledgeable about cats so I feel I can offer no advise ;) Just wanted to say Those people :eek: I really am speechless I know there are bad happenings to animals world wide but thier cheek and sheer audacity of doing this to you and your family leaves me speechless guess there is no depths to low for some to stoop huh ? Big pat on the back to you for taking the cat on good luck ! :)

November 8th, 2004, 08:08 AM
*awww shucks* thanks for the compliments *blushes*

Ya I haven't seen these people since nor are they on my visiting list ....I think they got the message when I said "This is a really horrible thing you just did to Jerk.....he has been an inside cat for 5 years and you just dumped him here why would you expect him to survive a winter just because he knows how to catch a mouse :mad: You 2 are F#@*ed up people in my book" and I stormed in the house no goodbyes, left hubby just standing there in shock at my sudden outburst after what seemed to be a nice Hubby understood my position on animal abuse real good after that.

Yes I seem to be a real magnet for strays of any sort and there are lots out here in farmland unfortunatly :(

November 8th, 2004, 08:53 AM
igg: i think it is hard to say what jerk's behavior may do int he future or any of the other cats for that matter. i guess that is just the nature. i would think that you keep up giving jerk lots of love as you have been, he will eventually come around. your son and husband may even try to come out to give jerk his food once in a while to show that they are not going to hurt him.

i have friends who have a very aggressive cat towards anyone but her parents. kitty hisses and growls at everyone. i visit my friends one every other month (on average) and have started bonding with kitty by being the one who feeds him chicken treats. although she still does not let me pet her, she will come over and rub up against me now (real progress accoring to my friends!)

long story short, jerk has come to trust you and she must see your son and husband's behavior to be the same intention. being animal lovers, i am sure they will eventually earn jerk's trust.

as for the stray, as long as he is in tact, the other cats will show aggression. unfortunately, they can sense/smell scarface and they hate that. plus, i'm sure scarface is doing his part to taunt the others.

for the time being, as long as jerk isn't coming in the house, you may want to set up a bed in a barn or shed somewhere? that way, even though he won't stay inside with you, he will ahve somewhere warm to go when it is cold out.

good luck to you! and good for you for caring for these animals. i swear, if my husband would let me, i would n't just have 4 cats and a dog...

November 8th, 2004, 09:38 AM
ok not sure if I made myself clear but

All my cats go outdoors and live indoors (even Jerk Now)

Scarface the stray has been in the house once and has had several overnights on our porch (which is actually a mudroom totally enclosed about 16x8 ft and door to inside is always closed.

Scarface seems a little timid about quick movements but is generally a loving and playful cat, he comes around and doesn't really ever start fights as far as I have seen but like my tiger will never back down and defends himself fiercly is a very strong muscly cat where as jerk is same size but not nearly as husky or streetwize so to say,

I will try to get pics of both

November 8th, 2004, 09:56 AM
Scar pic #1
In pic #2 Jerk is the black and white cat

Lucky Rescue
November 8th, 2004, 10:18 AM
Wow - very nice of you to keep this cat. Most people would not.

Is everyone spayed and neutered? If this new stray is intact, that itself can cause aggression among your other cats. Intact cats make neutered cats very nervous and anxious, so you should get him neutered as well.

I too had a stray adult male I took in. He also hated men so much he would pace and growl like a dog when he even heard their voices outside.

Since you don't know what these people did to this cat, abuse may very well be the reason for his behavior. Combine that with the fact that he was driven quite a distance and then dumped in a strange place with a bunch of other cats and totally traumatized. You can see why he would have no love or trust for people.

Cats do not understand physical discipline and it will either make them hate or fear people, or both. Your cat is not showing "fear aggression" since that would only be seen if the cat felt cornered. He is showing offensive aggression and that is a bit harder to resolve. This cat cannot get over this until he learns to trust and that no one is going to hurt him.

Has he ever actually attacked anyone? If not, tell the males in your house to not look directly at him and to turn sideways when they pass. This will tell the cat "I am no threat". If they stand there stiffly and looking at him, he sees this as a challenge or a prelude to an attack on him and he is trying to ward it off by acting aggressively.

If there is any kind of treat he really likes ( I find most cats go bonkers for "Pounce") then have the guys drop a few on the floor for him as they pass by. Catnip is also good for relieving tension and that may help if he favours it.

Since this cat is SO stressed and anxious, I really suggest you try "Rescue Remedy" for him. You can get this at a health food store, and many people swear by it.

November 9th, 2004, 05:32 AM
Hey Lucky thanks for responding,

Jerk only attacked on 1 occassion, my son was walking up the stairs and Jerk was already on the top he climbed the stairs Jerks paw came out suddenly swailing in every direction with nails out David was lucky, Jerk missed his face and but of his nails nicked his arm not badly but had he been just 3 inches closer it could have taken an eye out :eek: Dave screamed and I came running, picked up Jerk and locked him in my room, I sat with him till he calmed down. No insidences since but alot of growls as they pass by.
I will take the advice on the pounce idea I havn't bought it in a long time as catnip grows wild out here so I have been drying and freezing it for the winter. Cats just love it as a treat once in a while.

To answer your question, yes all my cats have been fixed with the exception of Scarface of course, which also explains why Jerk and Tiger put up with each other but not with Scarface.

This Rescue Remedy you speak of?.....What is it (food, herb,pill)? and What does it do?( I assume it will calm him maybe) I will look for a Health food store and call to see if they carry it.

Thanks for your help

November 9th, 2004, 06:59 AM
Awww Iggette,thank's for the pics,it's always nice to see the animals we are discussing...Scarface looks to have been a beautiful cat and will be once again in your care :thumbs up
I think Jerk will definetly come around,we don't know what your"ex-friends" did to him,like Lucky says.Sometimes I just hate people :mad:
I do the same with my cats"cat-nip-farm"outside,I take it inside and dry it for winter-use...instead of buying the expensive stuff in the store.
How is"Buddy"and your other doggie accepting all these newbies?

Lucky Rescue
November 9th, 2004, 09:37 AM
Rescue Remedy is a liquid composed of natural ingredients which soothe and calm animals.

You'll need to get Scarface neutered asap, as his intact status is causing stress and tension.

Thanks again for helping these kitties!:)

November 9th, 2004, 08:47 PM
I hope it is going better with the situation. Do you have a new name for "jerk"? It seems to suit the previous owners better than the poor kitty. Good luck with everything.