This cat has a “history of violence” – or does it?

A cat owner in Oregon, USA says that his Himalayan cat has a history of violence. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is not the cat that is violent or out-of-control as described, but that the cat lives in a home that is unsuitable for a domestic cat. In short, the out of control criticism leveled at this cat could quite possibly better describe the people, the house holders, who look after him/her.

Cat with history of violence
Cat with history of violence?!
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

This is the story. A Himalayan cat weighing 22 pounds, scratches the baby in the home. He has been described as having, “attacked a baby”. I think attacking a baby is different to scratching a baby and it is almost certain that the cat scratched the baby because the baby provoked, in some way, the cat.

The fault here is neither with the baby nor the cat. The fault is clearly with the parents who failed to supervise the interaction between the cat and the baby or failed to separate them when they were not around to supervise. Nearly all cats get along with babies even new babies; they tend to ignore them but that said sensible precautions should be taken and they were not taken in this instance. Therefore blame should be placed upon the cats owners, the parents.

Returning to the story, after the cat scratched the baby, the baby’s father kicked the cat. Then the cat, predictably, became enraged and terrorised the family forcing them to retreat into the bedroom (or was it the bathroom) where the man called police. The cat was screaming we are told. The police arrived and managed to snare the cat and put him into some sort of cage. The cat was left at the home and it is not clear what the intentions of the family are in relation to their cat.

My advice, regarding their intentions, should be to ask some honest and serious questions about their behaviour and how they are managing and caring for their cat and their baby. That should be the focus of their attention rather than their cat and in the meantime I would also advise them to ensure that their cat is re-homed in a suitable home that is calm and which feels safe for the cat. The cat should not be taken to a rescue centre because we know what the outcome will be bearing in mind that the owner will describe his cat as having a history of violence. That is a death sentence.

Update: the family are keeping their cat. They indicate that he’ll be receiving medication, which, personally, I strongly disagree with.

Original story

Cat aggression

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

23 thoughts on “This cat has a “history of violence” – or does it?”

  1. Ruth (Monty's Mom)

    This was discussed on talk radio a couple if days ago and the callers all thought this family is completely insane.

    They need to give the cat his own space, his own territory, so he’s not competing with them or the baby for territory and dominance. They should build something like what Jeff built for Monty. Then the cat can own that high space and look down on them. His aggressive tendencies would vanish. The cats needs aren’t being met. Kicking him only makes it worse. Give him what he needs– his own territory and a way to “own” the room– and he’ll be fine.

    How can people live with a cat and not figure that out? They should watch Jackson Galaxy’s show just once. In almost every episode a cat is helped by being given access to height in a room. I would guess this “violent” cat has no access to high places in any room. I’d bet money on it.

  2. Giving an aggressive animal away to someone else is only pawning off your own problem on someone else and opening yourself up to easily winnable liability lawsuits (winnable on behalf of the recipient of your aggressive animal). Giving away an aggressive animal is never an answer and never solves the real problem — people who allow aggressive animals being bred for household pets.

    If you have to wear boots in your house to accommodate an aggressive pet there’s something seriously wrong. People like that desire being abused and disrespected, even in their own homes — they are mentally and emotionally damaged in the very first place.

    1. The point I made is that we don’t know if the cat is aggressive or is being defensive in a hostile home. I say the cat has demonstrated defensive aggression because this doppy man hit his cat. Why are you assuming the cat is inherently aggressive? That is incorrect and if you are a troll (Woody) don’t respond rudely, please.

    2. No, the boots were necessary in combination with redirection treatments as part of the behaviour therapy program. Those of us who take on temperamental cats or tame feral kittens (i’ve done both) understand the need for personal protection in the early stages of the process. Once the cat learns there is nothing to be gained from attacking legs and its prey drive is redirected, the boots aren’t needed any more. People like this aren’t desirous of being disrespected; modifying a problem behaviour takes time and patience and often needs interim precautions such as gloves or boots.

    3. Gotcha, Woody!
      That’s one of the reasons we like to keep you here, at home, with us – so you don’t troll other websites so much.
      Please don’t breed!

  3. I don’t believe that cats are born with violent tendencies toward humans. They’re made.
    I am with ferals every day and have been for years. I have never been attacked and they have a lot of potential to do harm. I would have to be an idiot to provoke any cat. If I did, I would deserve everything I got.

    1. About 10-15% of cats don’t inherit the right mix of genes for being domesticated. While not actually hostile towards humans, they would react aggressively if bothered by humans.

      1. All the more reason for humans to treat them with respect 😉 Kicking a cat because the cat scratched your child because the child pulled the cat’s tail is not on in my opinion.

  4. I’ve been involved in the rescues of some very temperamental (“nasty” in the words of former owners) Colourpoint Persians and I blame a mix of bad breeding and poor socialisation. They needed specialist homes and behavioural modificaton, in particualr the ones that attacked legs (their new owners had to wear wellies or leather boots in the house).

  5. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    Cats don’t ‘attack’ babies without good reason, no doubt the baby grabbed the cat and he gave it a warning scratch. Kicking the cat was cruel and cowering in the bedroom ‘afraid’ and sending for the police was stupid and over dramatic. I just hope the poor creature is out of that place now because if not his life must be a misery.

    1. I probably have been a bit judgmental (about these people) but I am defending, once again, the cat because the media have been judgmental about the cat. The domestic cat does not do what this cat allegedly did without a good reason.

  6. A long time ago, I thought that I was ready to breed Persian Blue-points. I soon discovered that my male himmie, Yeti, was aggressive towards my Makita, my buddha kitty. I loved them both unconditionally, yet I had to accept the fact that Yeti was genetically predisposed to aggression due to questionable breeding background. It immediately forced me to question my “expertise” and I found him a good home, after having him neutered. I am particular about the retired adults that I allow to adopt any cat. He is the only that I have ever adopted out. That said, I do hope and meditate that these idiots in Oregon? have the wherewithall to find a good home for their cat. Am I mistaken in thinking that you are already working on this? 🙂

    1. aww well tahts prob made that cat the way it is. Its really sad. Hopefully karma will come to those people. Its just really sad that the cat being blamed for this. Hope your doing ok caroline.

      1. Well, when you say, “that’s probably what made…” I’m figuring you mean the adults in the household. 😉 Because, that is “exactly” what I was insinuating, while remaining um, compassionate.

  7. The himmie, you would think, would have immediately bonded with the baby, but given that the baby’s parents never bonded with the cat, nor should they even have a cat, they misinterpreted the overweight, neglected Himalayan’s response. We have no intimate details, as far as I can tell. And who needs them? This is obviously an abused cat, probably their baby will suffer as he/she maturates as well. The parents will soon suffer, as the cat and baby have both done.

  8. This is ridiculous. I cant believe they are blaming the cat. Im sure anyone even cats would react if someone pulled their tail. I hope the cat is ok. Whats wrong with people these days??

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