Cat Behavior Advice...
 

Cat Behavior Advice Needed!!  

ShawnSok
Originally Answered: Cat Behavior Advice Needed!!

My cat is 12 and I have had him since a kitten. We recently moved into a new home with my fiancé and her 18 year old daughter 2 months ago. Loki seemed to be adjusting well, but just last week, he witnessed a loud bang when the daughter tripped towards him and he went into attack mode and chased her back towards her bed with the claws out. Since then he hisses at her and even stalks her when she is present. His aggression even differs to others if you get in the way. How can I get this behavior to stop as she is afraid of him. He is extremely friendly to everyone else and has never acted like this before.

Please help!!


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Melina Grin
Originally Answered: Cat Behavior Advice Needed!!

Hi Shawn

Thank you for getting in touch and congrats on the move.

From what you described Loki could be displaying redirected aggression; he got frightened by the loud bang that caused him agitation leading to redirected resentment towards the daughter when she tripped towards him.

Generally aggression cases towards people require a vet examination including environmental/behavioral evaluation. To prevent an attack, try identifying the reason for the trigger and remove it, generally keep the environment free from loud noises.

Get the daughter to start out feeding Loki once a day to make sure Loki associates her with a positive experience. Desensitize Loki to the trigger through gradual exposure to the fearful stimulus with a treat when his calm and encourage the daughter to give him few treats in between meals, she can toss the treats away from her body and wait till he returns asking for more. You can also teach Loki to perform an alternative behavior like Sit or Find the treat as a distraction to the stalking behavior.  

Lastly, add cat hiding spots, avoid handling and enrich his environment.

 

Hope this helps

Melina


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ShawnSok
Originally Answered: Cat Behavior Advice Needed!!

@melina-grin thank you for your thoughts, we are trying your food suggestion.


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ShawnSok
Originally Answered: Cat Behavior Advice Needed!!

Well, today started out horribly. The daughter went down and tried to give home treats. He looked fine with it and then with no warning, like a light switch, he turned aggressive and swiped at her feet while hissing. He was then hissing at everyone. Any more suggestions on fixing my Jeckyl and Hyde cat?


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Melina Grin
Originally Answered: Cat Behavior Advice Needed!!

Hi Shawn

Moving and sharing a home with new people is a stressful event for most cats. Desensitization to a scary stimulus or event likewise takes weeks to months, there are no quick solutions.

I would recommend obtaining professional behavioral help after a vet visit to rule out any health issues, most likely Loki’s recent behavior is fear-anxiety induced.                                                                                                                                                                  

To comfort and distract him, add interactive playtime, extra TLC with the person he is most comfortable/content with or anything else Loki enjoys doing, i.e going for an outdoor walk.

Furthermore, purchase and plug in a Feliway diffuser, play some relaxing music to help with the calming effect and encourage your daughter to feed Loki his usual meals without the added treats for the moment, take things slowly in a calm manner.

To find an animal behaviorist in your area click here.

 

Wishing you all the best

Melina


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