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I don't know whether you answer questions about animals. If you do I could surely welcome some extra input about Poeskin. An 8-year-old black cat that I picked up from a friend who asked me to take care of him because he was terrorizing her two cats. She inherited the cat from her daughter, who could no longer keep him.
The first night we had him he seemed to be lovely, cuddly and friendly. I locked him in the living room for the night. Which he broke out of and then only reappeared the next afternoon at dinnertime. My husband and I both welcomed him into the house but he didn't seemed to pay as much attention to me as the night before. Which was all right by me but then later in the evening as he was lying next to me I was stroking him. He jumped up and bit me really quickly, I told him that was not on and ignored him for the rest of the night.
What to do? Why? Angry? Dominance? Scared reaction... To what? Or is he just plain crazy?
Thanks for any feed back
May 3, 2015
Thanks your question.
Firstly I don’t feel the cat is crazy, reactive-and unpredictable, definitely. His reactions come from the memory of trauma experienced earlier in his life.
Cats, like dogs are emotional creatures and they very often develop strong fear based reactions when confronted with what they feel is a challenging situation. If the fears are not resolved then they can become angry and reactive as a means of protecting themselves from the potential of further harm.
Unfortunately their survival instincts disallow them to immediately discern if you’re a nice person or not, they need time for the humans in their life to prove that the care is consistent and the love is unconditional.
In your situation you didn’t appear to do anything ill intended, but sudden movement was enough for him to go on red alert and then bite you. Its also hard not to take it personally, but it is best if don’t, as it is not personal.
I feel Poeskin is going to need a lot of help in learning to trust you and your family and if you persist with him you are going to need a lot of patience. If possible I would restrict him to being an indoor cat for the moment, although this will challenge him. By providing a smaller area for him to be in, it will create the boundaries he needs to start to feel safe and to learn to trust again.
He will want to go outdoors but the more space he has the more area he feels he has to try and protect to feel safe in. If being only inside is too much for the family then build him an outside cat enclosure, where he can be stimulated enough but still in a smaller confined space. Naturally provide him with toys etc when he is in the enclosure to keep him company and for him to learn to be a playful cat again, rather than fearful and an unpredictable one. After he spends the day in his enclosure then it would be wise to bring him indoors at night. You can also place a harness on him so he can be lead inside and outside on a lead, this will also give you a little more control over him. Initially getting on the harness could be difficult if he is a scratchy bitey cat.
The other thing that would be very helpful in calming his nervous system and in helping him release his fears is to give him some flower essences; you could find them at your local health food shop. However you will need to describe his symptoms so they can find him the right remedy. Flower essences can be placed in his drinking water if it is too difficult to give them orally, or you can put a few drops on the top of his head.
When he becomes calmer and less reactive you could also get him checked out by an alternative vet who provides such services as Chiropractic, Kinesiology, Bowen and or Acupuncture. Kinesiology feels the most appropriate energetically.
I wish you well; it will require you to be patient if you were to persist in helping to heal him. If you feel it is too much then it would be better to find him a new home for him sooner rather than later. Too many more disruptions in his life will make it harder to retrieve his sweet nature and true personality.