Jekyll and Hyde Cat

My lovely big black cat Mads is quite a behavioural conumdrum! When she was a young cat, she fell from a second story window and shattered her leg, which got essentially rebuilt. She is now terrifed of vets. She is known as very aggressive by them, as if we have to take her, she works up to such a state she has to be gassed in her carrier to be safely examined. The last time she was there I had calmed her down, she then saw the vet and went into full on attack mode (rather than trying to escape to tries to main the vet), which resulted in her biting my hand repeatedly through to the bone. The thing is, at home she is such a cuddle bunny and so gentle with my partner and I and in front of us if we have visitors, however if she thinks we arn't watching she will attack visitors especially children. She has stalked and attacked a friends 5 year old and also scarred my nieces' head, but as soon as she realises that myself or my partner can see her she becomes 'angelic' again. If we have workmen in the home we have to close her in one room, as she is that protective of us. If a stranger comes near myself or my partner, she will put herself in between and show aggression (much like a dog would). Oddly she is great with a little cat we rescued a couple years ago and is protective of this little one too and is never aggressive towards her, any other cats however she is aggressive but clearly frightened of. I can't help but feel her problem is insecurity rather than aggression. She is a cat that people have to ooze confidence around in order to dominate and be safe around. The slightest hesitation or hint of fear of her and she will attack that person. She really is such a nice cat though, and she adores affection, but I would like to be able to help her NOT attack visitors, workmen, the vets etc. She suffers from crystals so the stress of getting worked up does not do her any good. Any ideas how to calm her down when she turns into the crazed ball of teeth and claws at the vets?

Answer By kate
the quick answer is no. My sister had a cat who was absolutely lovely to her but was a killer cat at the vets who were actually scared of him and hated him to visit and anyone who came near also got the aggressive treatment.

Aggression in cats is often caused by fear and as she has had traumatic experiences in her life she may be very fearful of new situations and people and her aggression is her way of dealing with the fear.

I can honestly say that I have never come a cross a full blown cure of this. generally it calms down a little (not the vet though) as they get older and more settled in their home.

All I can recommend is that you advise anyone who comes to your home not to look at your cat or approach them in any way. Both of these could cause fear. For anyone who visits regularly they could try to build some bonds with her over time, Please see my web page about this here

best wishes Kate

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