Cat came back to me "aggressive" after being adopted.

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  pussigato 5 months, 4 weeks ago.

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  • #858807

    Deanna Wathen
    Participant

    So this year, I managed to so far get 8 of the strays in my neighborhood spayed. One of them was a kitten that was born on my property, who we called Patches. About a month ago, we found a family to adopt her, and since then, she has lived with them.

    That was until I got an email from the woman that had taken her saying that this kitten had been “aggressive” with her daughter, her husband, and her dog.

    I was a little shocked. This kitten had been raised indoor/outdoor, but she had never shown signs of aggression. I had only ever seen her hiss once or twice when she was really young, just starting to be socialized. She was, if anything, a spoiled brat, but she was the sweetest kitten. Her purr box was always on and ON LOUD, and she liked to crawl right on top of you and fall asleep. She got along well with my cats, and until my dog started getting to rough with her, they were both good friends. I specifically looked for a family with children to adopt her because she seemed so perfect for a family.

    So they dropped her off. Both the mother and daughter were crying, so I know there were no ill feelings. When I brought Patches to my place, where she had been raised, she didn’t recognize it, which I expected. But then, she started to act strange. She growls when I touch her anywhere below her neck, which makes me worry that a dog or child hurt her. She has a brother, who I know she probably doesn’t remember, and they just didn’t get along one bit. She isn’t purring, and I’m having to constantly correct this nipping/biting behavior that she’s somehow developed.

    This is not the same kitten that I gave to that family. Is it possible that this is just her outgrowing her kitten phase? Or is this like real sign that they did something to her? Any input would be appreciated!!

    #858817

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    Deanna, it certainly sounds suspicious, but of course you will probably never know. Who knows what goes on in someone’s house behind closed doors? 😐
    Could be they were loud people, with a boisterous dog, and she might have been afraid. They say that kittens should be socialized very early like in the first few weeks of birth, and in my experience, this is so true. Ones that I have hand reared myself have been different that ones that I have taken in that have been grown already.

    Also, many people are clueless about how to be around a cat. How to approach one without making it feel threatened, loud noises, coming at it from above so that it cowers and swats. It may take a while for her to unlearn her behavior, but I think with patience you can manage it.

    #858843

    Deanna Wathen
    Participant

    She seems to be going back to her normal self, but it’s sad that she isn’t like she used to be.

    I got a text from her previous owner, the lady who gave her back to me, and she wants me to consider giving Patches back to her while she looks into how to deal with her behavior. I told her I’d discuss it with my boyfriend, but I don’t really want to give her back to them.

    The only reason I haven’t made up my mind about it is because there are children involved, and I know they loved her. I feel like I’m taking their kitten away from them, but I don’t want to give her up again if I feel unsure about it.

    #858850

    pussigato
    Participant

    I agree with your concerns Deanna. A cat, esp. a kitten, doesn’t just “become” aggressive. There are some underlying reasons. The big issue is are you willing to ask about the home situation? Where does the boyfriend fit into this?

    I’m sorry the children lost their kitten but you have to think of Patches welfare. Purrhaps, you can tell a little white lie-a friend decided to adopt Patches…or, the truth, that you’ve decided to keep her.

    PG

    #858853

    katzenjammer
    Participant

    Purrsonally I think that I’d want to put Patch’s safety and happiness first. You may never get the full story as to what went on at adoptees home. But IMHO this to-ing and fro-ing is not fair to Patches. And what is plan while she “looks into how to deal with behaviour”? I don’t think that the children will suffer inordinately long-term, and when they are a bit older family might reconsider adopting a kitty, there are too many looking for furever homes. Might sound a tad harsh, but I would tell them straight out that I’m not comfortable with this plan. Your decision of course.

    #858856

    Kittyzee
    Participant

    My first thought after reading this again, is what does she classify as ‘aggressive behavior’? Kittens have to be taught how to play–no hands, feet, etc. which children are famous for doing. Only with toys like wand toys, and of course lasers are out of the question with children IMHO. I would look to the kittens’ welfare first. They had their chance, and now she’s back home where she belongs. Yup, I know I sound like a hard a$$, but you won’t have to worry about the kids getting bitten or scratched really bad as the kitten has every right to protect herself.

    #858878

    Deanna Wathen
    Participant

    So I spoke with the mother and she said she spoke with a professional who gave her some advice. She informed me that she had been using the red light pointer to play with her, and that this professional said that might have caused the aggression. I’m actually kind of against red light pointers, so I would kind of understand this. She said that the aggression didn’t start until she got the pointer, so she thinks that’s what it is too. She also said that according to the professional she spoke to, she thinks the reason there is tension between the kitten and the dog is because they are not allowing them to play. Apparently, she’s had them being introduced for the past few weeks on a leash and they don’t get to really play. I know Patches is good with dogs because she was raised with one, so I guess that kind of makes sense.

    The only real problem I have is the traveling back and forth and the stress it might cause on her. I genuinely believe this family is genuine and they love her, and like I said, I feel like I’d be taking a kitten from her family. So I think I’m going to give them another try.

    #858879

    Deanna Wathen
    Participant

    It is unfair to patches :(. And since she’s been back with me, she’s readjusted so quickly. But the reason I had to find a new home for her was because I already have so many cats, and I take care of the feral population in my neighborhood. She wasn’t getting enough attention from me. I can’t afford her vet bills. This family took her to the vet the day they got her, and it was a Sunday!!!! They are committed, I know they are. I just still feel bad 🙁

    For anybody who wants to see her!!!

    #858884

    pussigato
    Participant

    If you haven’t already given her back then consider and/or call these no kill shelters in North Carolina:

    http://www.nokillnetwork.org/d/North-carolina/

    #858885

    katzenjammer
    Participant

    Patches is one sweet kitty, love her markings! I would check out PG’s links above. This must be very hard for you.

    #859177

    Deanna Wathen
    Participant

    She went back with her previous owners, and I’m pretty happy about the way that it turns out because I’m currently “fostering” a new kitten with a couple more on the way, but I wanted to let y’all know since I started this thread 🙂

    So they are pretty sure the red lazer pointer caused the aggression so they trashed it. They also have been socializing her more with the dog and letting them play, and decided to try a peanut butter filled bone to distract him. She said it made a “tremendous” difference.

    She also mentioned something I hadn’t heard of before, a “pheremone collar” to help Patches with anxiety. She said that sometimes when kittens get fixed a little too early, it can cause some aggression, so that part was my fault. 🙁

    They took her to the vet and confirmed that she was healthy and happy, and I told them that if anything happens, I’d take her back. Thanks for the help yall!

    #859179

    pussigato
    Participant

    Thanks for the positive report Deanna. Many kits are fixed when 2 lbs./8 weeks so don’t blame yourself. You’ve done a fab job by Patches and it’s good you’re keeping in touch with her family.

    Hopefully, we get to see your new fosters as our Daily Kittens.

    PG

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