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Does Your Cat Act Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Christopher’s Does!

Written by: Christopher Bays

Last Updated on January 30, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

You have my full attention

Does Your Cat Act Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde? Christopher’s Does!

Hi, I’m Christopher! Read my introduction to learn more about me and my silly Russian Blue cat, Olga.

In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dr. Jekyll creates a potion that turns him into a murderous fiend. Although he can initially control when his alter ego appears, Mr. Hyde eventually becomes the more dominant persona. I never associated my pets with Robert Louis Stevenson’s Victorian thriller until I adopted Olga.

Like plum sauce, she’s a mixture of sweet and sour, and she can instantly switch from one to the other. It doesn’t happen all the time. Sometimes, she’s nice even when she’s irritating. Depending on their personality, cats will bite you when you pet them too long, and others attack when they’re overstimulated during a play session, but Olga’s behavior differs.

I have one eye on you
I have one eye on you…

Sneak Attacks

Out of the blue, she’ll attack my hand when it’s on the armrest of my recliner, and when I say “No” or yell something profane, she retreats for a second but then nudges her head against my leg. After a playful or not-so-playful bite, some animals run away and hide when you cry out in pain, but Olga seems indifferent.

She’s an expert at hiding when she wants to be alone, or someone is shooting fireworks, but she doesn’t hide when she thinks I’m upset. I don’t want to give you the impression that she hisses or screams when she turns into Hyde, but she’s more aggressive and more likely to bite or scratch.

I’ve never been severely wounded by her attacks, and most of the time, I’m more surprised than upset when she pounces. However, she’s come a long way since she was a kitten.

Look into my eyes; they're telling you to feed me
Look into my eyes; they’re telling you to feed me!

Mr. Hyde as a Kitten

Unlike Dr. Hyde in the 19th-century tale, Olga had more problems letting her “good” side take over when she was a kitten. She didn’t like being picked up or petted on her back and used her sharp teeth and tiny claws to repel my attempts. The only time I could pet her was when she was dozing off, and even then, I risked a bloody hand if she regained consciousness.

Although she wasn’t the most affectionate kitten, she liked sitting near me when she wasn’t tearing through the house. At night, she slept in a chair in my bedroom and only jumped on the bed occasionally to attack my feet under the covers.

This is my chair, not yours!
Sitting by me may be risky.

Tolerant Cat Owners

It took nearly a year before her Jekyll side became more pronounced, and I remember being happy that I spent much less on hydrogen peroxide and bandages than when she was a kitten. Every cat misbehaves, but some owners don’t understand how close housecats are to wild felines. If they stay inside all day and cannot hunt and pounce on their prey, they need an alternative, which can include attacking humans.

Playing with toys and climbing on cat trees can keep some cats occupied, but a hand hanging off the couch or wiggling feet under a blanket is too resisting to ignore sometimes. Whether you have a Jekyll, Hyde, or a combination, like Olga, try to be tolerant with your cat.

Their scratches and bites are painful, but when you consider that cats are descended from skilled predators, you should be proud you can care for a furry killer who loves you, even if they have a strange way of showing it.

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