Cat Growling and Hissing at Whole Family

Our cat problems are with our long haired angora cat (white and grey). She's 1,5 yr old right now. We adopted her when she was a little kitten, 8 weeks old, at the shelter.

Her first year she was such a playful, affectionate and loving cat. Now everything seemes different. She has turned against me, my husband and our son. She bites a lot. And the scariest thing is when we want to pick her up...she hisses and growls the loudest scariest sounds....

When shes laying down by herself and I pet her, she seems to love it but absolutely no contact allowed. Why?

We are just concerned what happened to our beautiful cat and don't know what to do to enjoy our pet again?

Thank you!

Reply from Liz (Editor): I'm sorry you're having these cat problems, it's really distressing to see a cat that was once fine suddenly start to behave in this way.

There could be a few causes of this. Without knowing more details, it's difficult for me to say for sure what could be causing it, but here are possible explanations:

Something has happened that's upset her
Has another pet or new person come into the house? Does she go outdoors, and if so is there a possibility that she's been frightened or mistreated by someone when she's been out? Has she had a bad experience with a small child for example who may have picked her up and hurt her?

If you think this could be the reason, it will take time and a lot of patience to get her to be happy again, and will involve doing things at her pace. This may mean only petting her when she's lying down, not picking her up etc.

This is a definite possibility, as from what you've described, it sounds as though she could be in pain when she's being picked up. The fact that she's OK with being petted when she's not being picked up strengthens this possibility. The pain could be somewhere in her body, or could be due to dental problems; bad teeth in cats can cause a lot of pain and may cause them to show aggression when they're picked up.

Loss of hearing or vision
Either of these can cause a cat to become scared and could cause the problems you describe - the biting and hissing are a defense mechanism.

Over-active thyroid
This can cause cats to become hyperactive and aggressive.

I think a trip to the vet would be the best starting point. That way the illnesses / health problems I've mentioned above can at least be confirmed or ruled out.

Best of luck with solving these cat problems - she's a gorgeous cat and I really hope you can resolve it.

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