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Need some help - Lex is turning on my daughter

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Lex

759967
 
 
Purred: Mon Jun 24, '13 1:32pm PST 
Hi We've had two cats, Lex and Lulu, brother and sister, since they were 4 months old. We got them from a no kill shelter - they were abandoned by their mother. They are now 5 years old. About two years ago the boy Lex started attacking the girl Lulu. To make a very long story short, Lex was either snuggling with Lulu or literally trying to kill her. She got so jittery that she would poop and pee when she was attacked. We tried lots of things, and after 2 years finally decided that they could no longer live in the same house (trust me, we didn't take this decision lightly and we tried EVERTHING). The incessant racket was keeping us up at night, even when they were separated. A week ago Saturday, we returned Lulu to the no kill shelter. We decided to return Lulu because she really didn't have any other issues, she's smaller and cuter, and we thought she'd be more adoptable. Lex pees standing up (doesn't squat - healthwise he checks out fine) he's a bit bitey, he scratches more, won't tolerate having his nails trimmed. We were afraid he'd never be adopted or be adopted and then end up in a bad situation.
Anyway, it had been going fine with Lex since we gave Lulu up - he was enjoying having us to himself - until yesterday. Our daughter J tried to brush him (another thing that's wrong - he doen't like to be brushed) very gently, and he basically tried to kill her. He didn't scratch her too badly because she found a couch cushion to put between her and Lex. But now she is afraid of him. He will snuggle with her on the couch a bit,but when she gets up, he chases her and attacks her. Does anyone have any ideas of how we can handle this. He's ok one minute, and the next his tail is puffed up and he's hissing and trying to attack her. We put him in the basement to calm down, but it's happened 4 or 5 times now. His sense of smell seems to be a factor. He seems to sniff at her quite a bit, almost incessantly. I actually had J take shower yesterday thinking she had picked up some kind of scent outside, but that didn't seem to help. Any thoughts/ideas/thinks to try? Thanks!
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Tigger

Knead softly &- carry a big purr
 
 
Purred: Mon Jun 24, '13 2:25pm PST 
wow - that is some agression. As silly as it sounds, maybe he is missing Lucy, as they were together for 5 years. That is a long time & now she is gone. Even though they fought, she was still there. He is placing his aggression on your daughter, and can feel her being scared (which I can understand being scared) Is he neutered? if not, that needs to be done ASAP. I would try feliway plug in, parhaps a calming collar, and I have had some luck with Rescue Remedy stress drops & Pet Naturals calming treats. Maybe a vet visit is in order too. I would have their visits supervised, so that you can step in. This is sad all around - having to give up a kitty you have had for that long, and another that is not being pleasant. Have her be very quiet around him, do not look him in the eye when she gets up. Maybe if she tosses him a treat or toy before she walks away to distract him. I hope things improve for you...hug
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Lex

759967
 
 
Purred: Mon Jun 24, '13 2:30pm PST 
Oh yes, he is neutered.
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Miss Tiny- Burr Burr

Love and adore.
 
 
Purred: Mon Jun 24, '13 2:31pm PST 
when you say they were abandoned by the mother, do you mean the cat mother or human mother?

often cats raised without a mother cat turn aggressive because they had no "adult" to tell them to stop while growing up.

His aggression sounds pretty bad and i dont envy your situation. He might need meds or a vet vist to see if hes sick. is he declawed?
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Lex

759967
 
 
Purred: Mon Jun 24, '13 2:51pm PST 
They were abandoned by their cat mother. The weird thing is, they got along beautifully for the first 3 years or so. Then it was like a switch seemed to go off in Lex all of a sudden one day.
What do you mean by meds? We tried the Feliway, the calming collar, rescue remedy and also Bach “Vine” drops. Nothing seemed to work (this was all when he was attacking Lulu). Are there other meds he could be on to calm down? The vet never mentioned anything. Also, he’s not aggressive all the time. My daughter is outside playing right now and he is totally fine. He just seems to snap.

He is not declawed. We had to sign an agreement with the shelter not to.
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Monster

It's all about- me.
 
 
Purred: Tue Jun 25, '13 1:26pm PST 
I recommend that you watch some of the episodes of "My Cat from Hell" on Animal Planet with behaviorist Jackson Galaxy. He deals a lot with cats that are aggressive towards one person in the family. I also recommend that your daughter actively play every day with Lex using wand/fishing pole type toys (no hands) to the point where he's exhausted. Expending that energy and relating to her in a positive manner can help calm him down. You may also want to consider a cat behavior consultant.
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