How to curb aggression in 10-month-old neutered male cat?
March 28, 2018 7:00 PM   Subscribe

My 10-month-old domestic shorthair was neutered at 5 months old. For the past few months, he has still gone on to display some aggression, mainly late in the day, and it seems to have gotten worse lately. Halp?!

My catten, Junipurr, can be very affectionate. We have an after-work ritual where I let him out of his room (he stays in one bedroom during the day, so I can make sure he doesn't get out of the house), pick him up and cuddle him. He loves it. Then he follows me around the house, periodically soliciting petting. This afternoon he bugged me 3 or 4 times while I was cooking dinner, and I stopped each time and gave him his fill of petting.

He also loves on weekends when I will stay in bed late. He invites himself in and we cuddle. He purrs vociferously and gently paws me if I stop petting him before he's done.

Mostly I leave these cuddle sessions unscathed. He used to suddenly get tired of them and get mildly bitey to express his displeasure, but since I learned how quickly he can go from YES to NO, I am extremely aware of his body language and stop before any warning bites can occur.

Late in the day, though, he changes from being a generally sweet cat to being a fearsome house panther.

This evening at 9, he pounced my moving feet several times and would not stop. In the final pounce, he grabbed my foot with both paws, claws out, and sunk his teeth in. He didn't break the skin, but it genuinely hurt. I know that if he were really trying, he could have hurt me much more (he gave the vet a deep puncture wound once). But still, that level of bite is unacceptable.

He is shut out of my room when I sleep (because otherwise he will walk all over me and wake me up), but if I go to the bathroom at night, I often find him in the hallway or in the doorway of his room, and he will sometimes pounce my feet (though he has never bitten me like this). He acts skittish, too, sometimes doing the "Halloween cat" pose, zooming away or even hiding from me behind a piece of furniture. He generally comes off as a different cat from Day Junipurr.

I have tried dissuading behavior I don't like by taking suggestions I've found online: yelling/making loud sounds like a clap, suddenly ignoring him, or spraying with water. They do not work. He doesn't care about the loud sounds, even if I try to come up with new and alarming ones. The most he will do is pause for a moment to contemplate the interesting new sound. He doesn't like being sprayed with water, but it won't make him go away. I have tried this when he leaps onto my night stand and starts knocking off items. He doesn't understand where the water is coming from and will look around for its source, but won't actually get off the night stand. Ignoring also doesn't work, not that it would be an option when he actively has possession of my foot.

I found Junipurr in my back yard when he was about 4 weeks old after his mother apparently either died or abandoned him. My own mother posits that because he lost his family so young, he never learned appropriate limits from his mother and siblings. She thinks I should actively slap him away when he does something naughty. I feel rather horrified at the prospect of physical discipline (I love my cat very much and don't want to hurt him), but I suppose I could get over it if it seems like it would genuinely be a good idea. But were I to shove him, I'm pretty sure he would then also bite my hand.

I don't believe this to be a medical issue. He has a clean bill of health from the vet, has a healthy diet, plenty of fresh water, a lustrous coat, uses the litter box appropriately, grooms well, etc.

He has lot of toys to play with, and I also engage in interactive play with him, including this evening before the Bad Pounce. It occured to me that maybe he pounced me because he was wound up from playing, but it wasn't a particularly enthusiastic play session, and he pounces me outside of play time too.

I have tried to get him some toys that will help him quench his hunting instinct. This evening I turned on a battery-powered ball that rolls around in different directions. He just watched it, didn't pounce.

Short of buying him some live mice and releasing them in the house for him to chase (I'm not really going to do this, I just enjoy the mental image!), what can I do to curb or redirect his aggression away from me? Do people think this is a hormonal issue given his age and gender, even though he's been neutered? Is this aggression or really just play, from his perspective? Should I start trying to act like a cat sibling and be more vigorous in my correction of his behavior?


P.S. I've never owned a cat before, and wouldn't have labeled myself a "cat person" at all prior to this. I've had to learn cat behavior from, um, scratch, so it could be possibly I am missing some obvious sign or piece of information.
posted by nirblegee to Pets & Animals (29 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is an easy one. Play HARD, really hard till he is exhausted, every single evening. If he isn't enthusiastic about whatever play you are engaging in, find something that gets him going. Fishing pole type toys seem to be the best. Watch Jackson Galaxy for great ideas.
posted by stormygrey at 7:06 PM on March 28, 2018 [9 favorites]

Please don't accuse me of thread-sitting, but I just want to add: I tried playing with him upstairs, with multiple toys tonight (squeaky slipper, stuffed pig, jingly ball, squeaky mouse), he wasn't that into it so I took the battery-powered ball downstairs to the wood floor to try to get him interested in that. He watched it but didn't chase it. It was generally a meh play session, because he didn't seem that into it. He has a fishing pole thing with fabric on the end of it, which he used to love when he was younger, not so much anymore. I didn't play with it this evening.
posted by nirblegee at 7:12 PM on March 28, 2018

He is a kitten and really just playing. Get some toys and divert his attention when he goes after your feet.

Have you tried a laser pointer?
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:13 PM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

She thinks I should actively slap him away when he does something naughty. I feel rather horrified at the prospect of physical discipline (I love my cat very much and don't want to hurt him)

Oh Lordy, thank you. Yeah, Don’t do that. Thank you.

My cats do not bite me because I make high pitched crying sounds at the slightest scratch. They assume I am very delicate and easily destroyed. It’s incredibly effective...way more so, in my experience, than spritzing with water or whatever. Try it!

Anyway...I think your cat might be lonely and bored and also likes you very much. Kitty might not want to stick in one room...who would? Can you and kitty expand your horizons somehow? Is this the right living situation?

You seem like a really kind pet owner.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 7:14 PM on March 28, 2018 [10 favorites]

He might like bigger toys, but also, cats are funny about what grabs their attention. You have to tease them a little bit (like touch the toy to his tail or paws) to get them to want to play with an object.
posted by AlexiaSky at 7:17 PM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

A tired kitty is a well behaved, sleepy kitty. A bored kitty is, well bored. And most likely either obnoxious, destructive, or both. A cat that age is really still a kitten with the strength of a full grown cat. He needs play time. Lots of play time. There is something out there that will get his attention. Some cats are jumpers, some cats are stalkers. Try the laser pointer or the what’s known as the ‘Cat Dancer’ (it’s literally just cardboard on a stiff wire but it drives my cats bonkers!). Or maybe he’s just bonkers for the rings of milk jugs — you’d be amazed at what some cats get attached to. But figure out what he likes and then tire his feline butt out. Also seconding to check out Jackson’s Galaxy, for sure. He explains it better, but the idea of “hunt (ie play), eat, sleep” matches natural cat rhythms and makes them much less annoying roommates. :)
posted by cgg at 7:21 PM on March 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

I found that my cat outgrew really bitey play. She used to like to wrestle-bite me and sometimes it hurt or drew blood, as she got older she stopped on her own. I think it's just that she's a fierce hunting cat and needed fiercer play like she'd have gotten from another animal or else to hunt things.

Have you tried saying "NO" in a very loud voice and immediately withdrawing after the bad pounce?

Don't slap him away - leaving all else aside, animals don't really understand that kind of thing in any case, and you would hate it if you shattered his trust and affection.

Ten months is still really young. My bet is that even if you did nothing to change things, he'd basically stop this within a year.
posted by Frowner at 7:25 PM on March 28, 2018

Also, what about climbing structures or tunnels? We have a foldable nylon cat tunnel and even now that my fierce hunting cat is middle-aged, she can usually be coaxed into vigorous pouncing around and through the tunnel. Honestly, some cats are not super playful. The meanest cat I've ever known loved to play and it didn't change her desire to hurt you.

Does he have a good, tall scratching post? My cat really likes anything she can scratch at full length, and that means things that are at least 30 inches high.
posted by Frowner at 7:28 PM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sometimes things like battery balls are just too weird for cat brains.
posted by rhizome at 7:30 PM on March 28, 2018

Cats who are taken from their mother too young often don't learn bite inhibition (controlling the pressure when they're just playing.) Sometimes they pick it up, sometimes they never do. What worked with a related problem with a cat of mine was completely disengaging whenever she so much as touched me with a tooth - off the lap, off the couch, out of the room for at least five or ten minutes. Playtime was *over*. It took about six weeks of consistency and that was pretty much it.

I will heartily second both playtime and Jackson Galaxy (the show is My Cat From Hell, and at least a couple seasons are on Hulu, if you have access to that.) He's got some excellent, specific ideas for exactly this problem.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:33 PM on March 28, 2018

Try rotating the toys so he has novelty, with the exception of his true favorite(s). Re biting, I made a pair of thick mitts (like long oven mitts) and our cat, also a stray, quickly learned that he could be aggressive only when mr. carmicha or I were wearing them. Any other time and interaction would abruptly cease. He likes to gnaw on our hands, hold them with his claws out, kick rabbit-style, etc. when we wear the gloves. We have a whole vocabulary that goes with this activity: think WWE commentary. We're a little rough with him too, e., g., flipping him onto his back, grabbing his head, etc. When he wants to play rough, he goes and sits by the gloves. It's been years since he did anything hurtful to either of us.
posted by carmicha at 7:54 PM on March 28, 2018 [6 favorites]

Experienced cat people have told me how to handle this, and it seems to work: when the cat gets too rough, squeak (high and loud) like another kitten would, and let your hand(s) go limp. This is how groups of kittens teach play boundaries to each other: they yell (in kitten tones) and stop playing.

I've seen it work a few times.
posted by amtho at 8:38 PM on March 28, 2018 [4 favorites]

I think I may have given this advice before on AskMe and it is RIDICULOUS but it was the only thing that worked with my affectionate/late-in-the-day aggressive cat. Like Junipurr, my cat was undeterred by clapping noises or being sprayed with water.

What did work was shaking a tambourine at him.

He is terrified of the noise a tambourine makes. He flees. He hides underneath furniture.

He is now 8 years old, mostly chill, and enjoys being petted, cuddled, and napping with me. Every once in a while something activates him but he knows I don't like it when he is bitey so all I have to do is say "NO" and he backs off.

I am convinced that it's because he's worried I will break out the dreaded tambourine.

I'm a musician so I already had a tambourine in the house when I discovered this. But if nothing else works, I honestly think that it might be worth it for you to get a tambourine. It is a strangely effective, non-violent method of discipline.

posted by thereemix at 9:47 PM on March 28, 2018 [7 favorites]

It sounds like your cat doesn't get enough activity/entertainment, and is releasing all that pent-up energy/anxiety on you. I'm assuming you're out of the house all day while he's locked in your bedroom, then you get home for the day and give him attention and snuggles for the evening hours, but then come bedtime he's locked out into the rest of the house. That doesn't sound like a very large window for social interaction/stimulation -- what's the situation like in your bedroom? Does he have a cat tree there, a window with an interesting view of birds & things? Is there no way to give him full range of the house in the day?

I want to second the recommendation to watch as many episodes as you can find of Jackson Galaxy's "My Cat From Hell", he is a font of good information. The thing about cat aggression is that it's generally a symptom of some problem, not the problem itself. If it's not a medical issue (like, say, a toothache or some other pain-related problem), then it's probably anxiety. The ramping up at nighttime could be because he's frustrated at being separated from you, or it could be a territorial issue with whatever's going on around your house at night. If he was an abandoned feral, are there other ferals stalking through the yard and making him feel threatened?

Mostly I leave these cuddle sessions unscathed. He used to suddenly get tired of them and get mildly bitey to express his displeasure, but since I learned how quickly he can go from YES to NO, I am extremely aware of his body language and stop before any warning bites can occur.

Just wanted to note, that rapid shift from cuddle to bite sounds like overstimulation aggression.

My own mother posits that because he lost his family so young, he never learned appropriate limits from his mother and siblings.

Your mother isn't wrong about that - 4 weeks is too young for a kitten to have learned all its social skills such as how to play safely. But you're right that you trying to physically discipline him would backfire. The solution is to get to the root cause of what is getting Junipurr so ramped up and fill that need, so that it never escalates to the point of an attack.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:50 PM on March 28, 2018 [3 favorites]

A metal can with coins will give you the tambourine effect without actually buying a tambourine. My dearly departed kitty *hated* that sound.

I'm also thinking he's acting out because he knows he's about to be separated from you again. How long is he alone during the day? Cats are very social creatures, and need stimulation at similar levels to dogs. Have you considered a second cat for company if you work long hours? Do not hit him. It will not provide the message you want.
posted by frumiousb at 11:01 PM on March 28, 2018 [2 favorites]

Catnip on a fishingpole toy!
posted by DarlingBri at 12:10 AM on March 29, 2018

He's still very young, and will almost certainly outgrow the pounce-play, if you can put up with it for a year or so.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 2:28 AM on March 29, 2018

This is pretty normal teenage kitten behavior. I do cat fostering and this is one of the reasons we recommend anyone adopting a cat under, like, two years get a second one. They go at it with each other, tire one another out, and your life becomes so much easier.

If getting another kitten isn't an option then more play time and trying to react with squeaking is the next best thing. One trick I've used is to get cats to chase things up and down stairs. A laser pointer or a toy on a string dragged up and down the stairs forces them to go up and down the stairs, and it won't take long for you to have a panting, exhausted cat.
posted by schroedinger at 5:25 AM on March 29, 2018

When stormygrey and oh yeah talk about play time, it's supposed to be you interacting with the cat and a toy (feather on a stick, ball+string+stick, feather+string+stick, mouse+string+stick, string+stick, or laser pointer [but only a few minutes before switching to another toy because the it's kind of unsatisfying for kitty]). The play time should be about 15 minutes. It doesn't have to be 15 minutes straight; it can be 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes after work. Most cat owners don't take their pets for walks to burn energy like dog owners do. Our next best option is playing with them. Playing with the cat is one of the ways you form a bond with your junior family member. Leaving out solo play toys are good/necessary for when you're gone/busy at home.

It might take $50-100 dollars before you find 2-3 you+him interacting toys he likes. Just like a kid, you can't leave out all his solo toys all the time either. As carmicha said, you've got to rotate the left out solo toys.

You added a member to your family/household and not a furry lump on the floor. The failure to interact with him on his terms is like you ignoring a human family member. Think back to your childhood and the family member you're close to. The one who interacted with the most (tea time when you're 4, riding bikes when you're 9, homework help when you're 15) is the person you're closest to.

Is your house catified, a Jaxson Galaxy term?
posted by dlwr300 at 6:17 AM on March 29, 2018

You have basically described my cat.

Here is my advice:

For the foot biting I immediately stop moving. If I am not moving, my feet become "dead prey" and gradually become less fun. Occasionally standing still doesn't work, at which point I turn to bribery. His trigger points seem to be when I am getting in or out of the shower so I keep a bag of cat treats in the bathroom cabinet. My cat is clicker trained to sit and high five for a snack, so I shake the bag, encourage him to go through his little routine, and then throw the snack into the hallway.

He still sometimes attacks my sockless feet but as he's grown up (adopted at 8 weeks, now 18 months) this has become much less frequent.

When he comes to me for attention I will give him some petting but he has a pretty short tolerance for this before he becomes an overstimulated alligator. I try to have a game ready. My house kind of looks like a psychotic toddler lives here - balls (foil and paper), stuffed mice, bottle caps, acorns, puzzle balls, things stuffed with catnip just strewn everywhere. By far his favourite game is hide and seek, so it's fairly easy to get his attention by tucking something under the mat in the kitchen, or rolling something under the couch.

He also has a large stuffed monkey that he treats as a punching bag. They have semi regular evening wrestling matches that are pretty epic.

I would also like to join the chorus of people recommending Jackson Galaxy. I have not watched his show so I can't comment on that but his latest book, Total Cat Mojo, was excellent and had lots of great ideas about how to plan play sessions.
posted by janepanic at 6:21 AM on March 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

This exact situation is found in this book, which I've recommended many times before.

It might help if you reframe this to yourself, though. He's not aggressive. If he was truly aggressive/defensive, you wouldn't be asking Metafilter about him pouncing feet, you would be in the hospital with severe wounds. Often behavioural issues will be approached from the human angle and therefore painted with an anthropomorphic (and dangerous) brush - "my cat pees on things out of jealousy", "my cat attacks my boyfriend", and so on. We're much less likely to feel charitably towards people who are doing things out of malice, versus giving the benefit of the doubt.

He's a kitten. He's playing with you, maybe a little too roughly, because he hasn't received several important socialization weeks with mom and siblings. Cats often get aroused at dusk and during the night, as they're natural night predators. He might find some comfort in a routine at bedtime - first you play with him for ten minutes, then you give him a little high value snack, then you brush him a bit, etc. If he bites, yelp, squeal like a kitten does when it's being hurt. Don't ever use hands or arms for play, just toys.

You could also get another cat as company for him. That's one way to teach bite inhibition. Cats can communicate instantly and effectively to each other when bites are too hard, and it does carry forward to humans.

Thank you for not slapping him. And, please, don't use positive punishment like loud rattling noises or water sprays - this is a cat who's already tending towards skittishness, and you don't need to reinforce this fear state.
posted by Nyx at 7:22 AM on March 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

Neither of my cats had any real interest in playing with toys more than half heartedly until I discovered what is clearly the best cat toy ever: a tin foil ball, on a string, tied to a stick. It makes a nice noise along the ground and is shiny. They go crazy chasing it, and it was free!

They also like some large, stuffed fish that contain catnip so they can bite one end and use their back legs to scratch the other.

I do find that if I don't play with them, they need to get their murder-urges out somehow, and in my house that normally takes the form of them chasing each other like nutters, but in your house is maybe leading to him trying to "hunt" you. Evening is definitely when my pair get the zoomies.
posted by stillnocturnal at 8:02 AM on March 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

My cat goes berserk for chestnuts. We have hardwood floors and the chestnuts because they are irregularly shaped skitter all over. Unfortunately, we are in an apartment so we don't let her have them too often for the sake of those living below us.

We use the Go Cat teaser with the buffalo hair mice. It is pretty much the only toy she will really engage with consistently. A favorite thing is to do chase it into our bedroom and do 4 or 5 high speed rips on the top of the bed in full sprint pursuit mode and then I pull it under a folded fleece we keep on the bed as a night time cat trap (to try and keep her off my legs). She loves hunting/chasing things she can't see and will dive under the blanket. Once she stops actively playing we leave her with the toy and she will drag it out to living room meowling loud and proud and if she brings it up on the couch she gets a treat. I hockey tape the ends of the stick because otherwise she chews off the soft plastic parts.

We also use a HP presentation laser pointer. Dedicated cat pointers are in my opinion just too weak and not worth it.

When our cat does something we want to discourage she gets a firm no. If that doesn't seem to work I give her a firm press on the top of her nose, which she doesn't like, with a no.

Mostly though I go with positive reinforcement for doing things I like. We keep tupperwares of treats near where we sit and reward her for calm cuddles or cute silliness. We do zero aggressive play. Hands are not toys..etc.

You must be very careful about reinforcement. You can end up reinforcing behavior you want to discourage. Giving cats treats to shut them up or to distract them from attacking can actually reinforce the behavior and make it more likely...even if it is part of a longer behavior chain (like a high five or licking your nose).
posted by srboisvert at 8:22 AM on March 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

I agree with the other commenters who are saying he's bored and is basically using you as a toy/prey to play with. I agree that lots of vigorous play time and regularly switching up toys will help. The other thing you can do is just break the feedback loop--right now, he knows that if he's bored at night, he can wait you out and eventually you will come out in the hall and he can pounce on you. Can you shut him out of the bathroom when you go in the bathroom at night?
posted by capricorn at 8:38 AM on March 29, 2018

Re: toy costs . . . sometimes string tied around scrunched-up aluminum foil is enough. Worth a shot!
posted by schroedinger at 8:46 AM on March 29, 2018

My cat's almost two years old - so still very young - but he's already calmer compared to how he was a year ago. I want to reiterate how much this is definitely boredom and clumsy play, rather than aggression. Other than squeaking when he hurts you, please don't punish him - all it will do is drive a wedge between you. One thing I haven't seen suggested is throwing things for him to chase after - at that age I found none of us had the energy to run around as much as he could, but throwing a ball the length of our flat gave him a good chance to run and jump. If he doesn't do that after the toys you have, he might need new toys. And one thing I've learned from Jackson Galaxy is the practice of having a vigorous play session right before a meal as a great ritual for getting the cat worn out and calmed down for the night.
posted by Acheman at 9:02 AM on March 29, 2018

I suggest feliway diffusers. they are magic at getting cats to calm down.
posted by evilmonk at 5:35 PM on March 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the helpful suggestions.

I found a laser pointer in the back of the closet that I had forgotten about, thanks to the mentions of it here. I don't know whether it will make him less bitey or not, but he certainly was engaged by it for a solid 10-15 minutes.

I will check out some Jackson Galaxy, never heard of it. I don't have hulu but I will look on the web site.

I'm encouraged by the idea that maybe he will grow out of this. One thing I had wondered that I don't see addressed here is why he has become more bitey just recently. Most people seem to think he's not getting his energy out enough through playing, but the thing is, I am not playing with him less lately. He has tons of toys, yes I rotate them (actually he does a lot of the rotating himself since he carries toys around the house, hides them under furniture, etc). Yes, I play with him interactively. Yes, I throw things for him. I was wondering whether it could be male hormones despite the fact that he was neutered. I read something online that 10% of neuters aren't completely successful.

To clarify, he isn't left in my bedroom during the day. It is one of three bedrooms in my house, which is now his room. He has a large cat tree right by a window. He loves his cat tree and loves watching out the window. He also has purr pads which he loves (including pieces cut to fit some of the platforms of his tree), toys, water, food, litter box (opposite corner). I've cattified the room to the best of my abilities.

He doesn't have any tunnels. I looked for those on amazon a while back and the ones I was seeing were disappointingly short. I will revisit that idea. I'd love to be one of those people who creates elaborate cat walkways, but I don't have the energy for that.

Also to clarify: he gets pouncey in the evening. It's not just when I am walking out in the hall to go to the bathroom. It's a time of day thing. Somewhere around 8 or 8:30 the transition seems to happen. Last night's Bad Pounce happened long before I went to bed, when I just happened to be walking in the hall.

Re: a second cat, I'm not going to intentionally go out and get one. I already feel overwhelmed by life's demands, have health issues, and wouldn't intentionally take on responsibility for another pet right now. If I found another stray (whom I could catch) I would probably feel compelled to care for it, though. I originally tried to find a home for Junipurr, I put a lot of effort into it and only found two takers, neither of whom I was comfortable with. Our area was so kitteny last summer that the local pound waived ALL of their fees trying to get people to adopt their many, many kittens. i REALLY had not planned for a cat. I am allergic. I was in the process of losing my elderly dog, and in the process of moving (I found Junipurr a few days after I moved in to my new house). It was an extra-stressful time when he came mewing into my heart.

Re: scratching posts: There are scratching posts on his cat tree but he doesn't use them despite the fact that I rubbed them with catnip, showed him how to use them by putting his paws on and moving them, etc. His favorite scratching apparatus is a large cardboard box that I haven't recycled because he claimed it.

As far as him being confined to his room when I'm out: this is a firm decision. I am not willing to risk him getting out and possibly being hurt or killed, or my never seeing him again. He is FAST (so very very fast when he wants to be), sneaky, opportunistic, and all it would take is one time that he was faster than my reflexes (or that barriers were breached). Nope.

Also nope on letting him in my room when I am sleeping. As previously stated, he walks all over me. Although I love my catten and he's important, human needs also count and I need my sleep.

I've tried felliway wipes rubbed on his carrier before going to the vet to try to get him to be more calm, and didn't notice a difference in that vert visit. I have not tried the diffuser but if its essentially the same thing just in a different format it probably wouldn't work for him.

Anyway thanks. We are now armed with more Things To Try.
posted by nirblegee at 5:37 PM on March 29, 2018

Also to clarify: he gets pouncey in the evening. It's not just when I am walking out in the hall to go to the bathroom. It's a time of day thing. Somewhere around 8 or 8:30 the transition seems to happen. Last night's Bad Pounce happened long before I went to bed, when I just happened to be walking in the hall.

I wonder if it could be redirected aggression? If the neighborhood's ferals or other critters are getting active around that time of the evening, and he's noticing them and feeling threatened or having his prey drive activated, and then turning it on you because you have the misfortune to move into his eyeline? If you see him getting hyper-focused on whatever's going on outside the doors/windows, that could be a factor. When that's been the case on "My Cat From Hell", Jackson has the owners do things like blocking off the floor-level view from windows/doors, or setting up motion-activated sprinklers or air-blowers outside to deter the invaders.

But the other answer to "why now?" answer is probably just "puberty". Even with the neutering, the path from kitten to adult includes 'teenager' phase, so, this could be something that decreases over time as he mellows out.

I've tried felliway wipes rubbed on his carrier before going to the vet to try to get him to be more calm, and didn't notice a difference in that vert visit. I have not tried the diffuser but if its essentially the same thing just in a different format it probably wouldn't work for him.

A vet visit is a pretty high stress experience, I wouldn't write off Felliway or the other calming-hormone based on that one try, I think your expectations were too high. The diffuser or the collar can help with the overall mood stabilizing, I've had luck with both. The diffuser(s) can be good if you find there's a particular danger zone that you can plug one in nearby to, but the collars are a great constant source and last for 30 days.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:09 PM on March 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

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