Categories: cat aggression

Wife calls 911 for help as family cat attacks her husband

We can file this one in the “unusual category” although it has happened before on at least two occasions (a waste of police time) so it is not that unusual. A family cat holds a Greenfield couple hostage in their own home and they call the police for help.

Couple call 911

This is the first part of the call to 911….

>> Greenfield police department: This is luke. How may I help you?

>> Hi. This is going to sound like a strange question, but, um…we have a cat and it’s going crazy and it’s attacked my husband and we’re kind of hostage in our house. And we’re just wondering who…..

>> This is your cat?

>> It’s our own cat, yes.

>> So, it’s your own pet?

>> Yes.

>> Give me one second……

The cat attacked the woman’s husband last Friday. They put their cat in a room to calm down. But after they let him/her out, he/she attacked the man again. Police were able to corral the 2-year-old feline and turn him over to animal control. So what about that call?

There have been weirder ones we are told! But it is hard to believe.

Even from that short transcript we can get a feeling for what is wrong: they are punishing their own cat for what they see as bad cat behaviour when their cat “attacked” the husband. We don’t know what the couple think a cat attack is. People have different ideas about this and some have misconceived ideas. Some cat owners misjudge cat behaviour.

Also, punishing cats does not work. It is a form of negative reinforcement training. It’ll backfire and create an anxious and stressed cat. It is the opposite of the accepted positive reinforcement.

We don’t know how this first attack came about but perhaps you can guess. To punish a cat under these circumstances by locking him in a room (for how long? I’ll guess: a day or two) is likely to make a cat aggressive. Certainly emotional. I would assess that this home is too stressful for this cat anyway.

The possible cause is the husband who has inadvertently mistreated the cat due to a lack of knowledge or sensitivity but I am guessing without more information. It is probable that the couple are the authors of their own misfortune and in creating a situation under which it was no longer tenable for them to own a cat.

If that is not the cause, then their cat is possibly ill and the illness has changed his character – made him irritable and aggressive. I just hope and pray that the cat is rehomed and not killed by some insensitive animal control worker.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • It's very rare to hear about a feline attacking it's owners to the extent they call 911. Much more common and a daily event in most cities to have calls about dogs biting , attacking or menacing. But since this story was about a CAT it got blown up.
    Cats and punishment don't mix. Cats require redirection.
    Little Mercy was dumped back at the shelter at 4 months old for being aggressive. We have yet to see a hint of aggression and she's been with us for 7 months. She is in fact sweet and gentle, loving and very well behaved. Scratch post training took less than 3 days. I got her the same day she was turned in so was able to speak to the AC officer and the intake person as well as the keeper in the cat area. The scruffed her to take her out so we could visit. Mercy looked in my eyes and clung to me. They had to pry her off. She's now a happy secure young lady who has no clue she was on death row.

    • You make your point very eloquently ME. And the point that you make is excellent. There is a lot of misunderstanding out there amongst many cat owners and arguably the standard of cat ownership is not high enough in general terms.

  • Yes Michael, you sound correct again. It's so unfortunate, no, unforgivable that having had cats as pets for so long, humans by and large still have little knowledge about them. Reasons for getting a cat are too often they just want low maintenance (don't have to wash and walk them), and if that's the priority, the lazy human isn't going to burn one calorie toward thinking what the cat might want, at all, at any time. Heck, just ignoring your cat when it asks for a pet can hurt them. They are exquisitely sensitive if we bother to notice, and it's the number one, if not the only animal on the planet that should never be punished. You'd think to remember that one thing about that one animal that's around all the time wouldn't be too much to ask.

    • I totally agree with you Albert. Most cat owners are cat caretakers in guardians and decent people it seems to me but not everyone is. Some are just "owners" and they are lazy to boot.

    • Although I don't live in the USA I do understand what you are saying. The south and the Bible belt seem to be areas where there is slightly less regard and respect for animals than in the North.

  • Anyone who can't handle their domesticated cat needs to move aside and rehome.
    Ofcourse, the idiot husband was abusive. Exactly why the cat retaliated.
    For me, it would be... goodbye -sshole hubby and hello kitty.

  • Is that a story from a couple years back? There were so many memes on Twitter on that cat, it left me in stitches LOL.

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