Crazy Desexed Male Cat

by Alicia
(Melbourne, Australia)

We got Atticus from a pet store 8 months ago (he was 12 wks old), desexed and vaccinated. For the first few months he displayed normal kitten behavior. Having cats all my life I understand that cats grow out of their 'naughty' phase. However, Atticus' behavior is only getting worse.

He has begun tearing up the carpet, jumping up and scratching down the walls of the doorway, peeing on our bed and in wardrobes, howling and disrespecting basic rules we thought we had established (he is not allowed on the benchtops, behind the TV etc...)

I understand all cats go crazy at night, but Atticus has two completely different personalities which he can switch at will. And is more naughty 90% of the time.

He can such a sweet, cuddly little boy, who we love to play and have fun with. But it never lasts long.

We are at our wits end how to deal with him,and find ourselves fighting and yelling at and about him, which isn't fair :(

Any form of discipline seems pointless and it is obvious that if he continues this way we will have to give him to another home, as we cannot afford to keep up with his destruction.

PLEASE HELP US! We love him too much!!

Reply from Liz (Editor): I'm really sorry you're having these cat problems, you have my sympathy.

Did this behavior literally start out of the blue one day or has he gradually got worse and worse? I'm wondering if something happened to start it off, and if you can figure out what that is then it may be easier to fix it. He's displaying many of the signs of cat stress. The link below takes you to a page which goes through some of the reasons why a cat can get stressed and start behaving badly as a result:

Recognizing the Signs of Cat Stress and Dealing with a Stressed Out Cat

The trigger for cat stress can be something we'd think of as very minor but it can have a profound effect on the cat's behavior.

I think it would be worth your while taking him to the vet, to make sure it's not a physical problem that's causing this behavior. The vet may also prescribe him some medication to calm him down on a temporary basis.

This may seem a strange question, but are you 100% sure he's been neutered? If the pet store wasn't very honest they could have been selling kittens that hadn't had everything done that they were claiming... If he wasn't neutered, a lot of this behavior would be due to un-neutered male cat behavior.

Does he go outdoors? If not is there plenty of stuff in the house to keep him amused and occupied? Cats can sometimes behave badly because they're bored.

Finally, a Feliway diffuser may help to calm his behavior. Feliway is a synthetic copy of a cat pheromone which has a calming effect on many cats. It plugs into the wall like an air freshener. Humans can't smell it but it can really help to calm some cats down. If you do use it, it may take up to 4 weeks before it really takes effect.

Best of luck and I really hope you manage to find a solution.

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