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.
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?
>> 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.