Author Topic: "Attack of the 'feline ninja'"  (Read 9180 times)

Yvette

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"Attack of the 'feline ninja'"
« on: 14 Dec 2013 08:44AM »
Do any of us *really* know our pets:

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For two years, Sam the cat was nurtured and adored by owner Aydan Ulugun.

She had got him when he was just six weeks old and as well as knowing his every purr, she had come to think of him as her child.

So imagine Miss Ulugun’s distress when she had to resort to defending herself against him – with a vacuum cleaner.

It was all the decorator had to hand when Sam launched a vicious attack on her which led to his doting owner in hospital on a drip.

The 35-year-old had merely walked into her spare bedroom, where Sam spends a lot of time, when he leapt at her, sinking his teeth into her leg and clawing at her skin ‘like a feline ninja’.

Luckily Miss Ulugun’s mother, who lives with her in Walthamstow, east London, was in their three-bedroom home and rushed upstairs to fight off the cat.

The pair barricaded themselves in the room while Sam prowled the landing, and only plucked up courage to emerge half an hour later – armed with a vacuum cleaner. 

Miss Ulugun then spent seven hours in A&E where she was  X-rayed and given antibiotics through a drip, as well as a tetanus injection.

Luckily Miss Ulugun’s mother, who lives with her in Walthamstow, east London, was in their three-bedroom home and rushed upstairs to fight off the cat.

The pair barricaded themselves in the room while Sam prowled the landing, and only plucked up courage to emerge half an hour later – armed with a vacuum cleaner. 

Miss Ulugun then spent seven hours in A&E where she was  X-rayed and given antibiotics through a drip, as well as a tetanus injection.

The wound on her leg is refusing to heal more than a week after the attack and she is waiting to see an orthopaedic consultant to find out if Sam has inflicted any long-term damage.

A shocked Miss Ulugun said Sam had always been as ‘good as gold’ before the attack.

‘I’ve had him since he was six weeks old. I absolutely adore him and give him loads of affection.

'I treated him like he was my kid. But when I walked into the spare room he was looking very odd,’ she said.

‘His hair puffed up and his tail seemed far larger than normal. His facial expression changed and became menacing and he started making strange, aggressive noises, when he is normally quiet.

‘He pounced on me as my back was turned. I was terrified.'

 Miss Ulugun has since taken Sam to the vet to be neutered, which she hopes will help calm him down.

She said: ‘The vet thought it must have been a dog that attacked me. She said it was the worst injury caused by a cat she had ever seen.’

She added: ‘The vet thought  the problem might be territorial or behavioural.’

Miss Ulugun has suffered flashbacks since the attack and has  now decided to give Sam up to Battersea Dogs and Cats home.

‘It’s going to be for his best interests and mine,’ she said.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2523489/Woman-mauled-CAT-fight-vacuum.html

I feel sad that Sam is being rehomed but I can understand that his owner would always be petrified that he would turn on her unexpectedly again.

Dic Penderyn

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Re: "Attack of the 'feline ninja'"
« Reply #1 on: 14 Dec 2013 09:01AM »
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Miss Ulugun has since taken Sam to the vet to be neutered, which she hopes will help calm him down

That'll teach him.

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seegee

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Re: "Attack of the 'feline ninja'"
« Reply #2 on: 14 Dec 2013 10:12AM »
‘His hair puffed up and his tail seemed far larger than normal. His facial expression changed and became menacing and he started making strange, aggressive noises, when he is normally quiet.

That was your signal to back out of the room quickly or prepare to fight, not to turn your back on the animal. :-( 
She probably won't make that mistake with another cat. >erm<

Dic Penderyn

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Re: "Attack of the 'feline ninja'"
« Reply #3 on: 14 Dec 2013 10:26AM »
A cat is not a child it's an animal with the instincts of a predator. It is best not to loose sight of that fact.
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seegee

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Re: "Attack of the 'feline ninja'"
« Reply #4 on: 14 Dec 2013 11:12AM »
Is a two-year-old cat turning into an adult?  I don't know much about a cat's life-cycle. 
If it's becoming adult it might be normal to get more territorial & more aggressive; I know some tomcats can get very aggressive.

You're right Dic, cats are hunters & it's best not to treat them as if they are human children just because they are fairly small & may appear affectionate.  People who keep/ feed cats should stay aware of how cats can behave & not expect them to do what humans want.

KizzyKazaer

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Re: "Attack of the 'feline ninja'"
« Reply #5 on: 14 Dec 2013 11:23AM »
Neutering will help reduce the aggression, but perhaps this is a 'rogue' cat - my parents had one that used to lie in wait for me and scratch my legs, especially when I was walking downstairs (I was three or four at the time).  And it was female, too!  I think they had it put down - not sure if animal rescue facilities were as good in those days as they are now.

We accept that there are rogue dogs, so why not the same for cats?

ATurtle

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Re: "Attack of the 'feline ninja'"
« Reply #6 on: 14 Dec 2013 02:00PM »
Two years is a weird age for a change in temperament.  However as an "intact" male it could be something as simple as a new female in the area that has come into heat.  Neutering may remove the reaction, but not a definite method.  It is also possible that the lady had brushed against a bush or plant that had been sprayed by another male, so this cat was just protecting it's territory.

One attack does not a rogue kitty make!
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Dic Penderyn

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Re: "Attack of the 'feline ninja'"
« Reply #7 on: 14 Dec 2013 02:17PM »
No cat or any other domestic animal would get a second go at proving itself rogue in my household.

As they say once bitten twice shy.
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AndMac

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Re: "Attack of the 'feline ninja'"
« Reply #8 on: 14 Dec 2013 02:44PM »
Any dog that attacked its owner with the same severity as that cat, under the same conditions would have been put down without question, though.

We generally expect dogs to work alongside us, cats expect us to be their servants, and sorry, but it shouldn't work like that! I know that nothing I could ever say will dissuade a cat person though.

I like individual cats when I meet them, but I distrust them as a species in general.

My brother had a lovely rescue moggy that would come to you like a dog for a fuss, but he was also capable of swiping you with his claws when the mood took him, with little warning. My brother's had pedigree cats since, one was wonderful, the latest.... well...!
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starsmurf

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Re: "Attack of the 'feline ninja'"
« Reply #9 on: 14 Dec 2013 06:39PM »
Cases like this, while incredibly rare, are usually caused by displaced aggression.  The fact that this "doting owner" hadn't had her two-year old male neutered strikes me as stupidity.  I hope the poor lady is ok but unless you plan to use a cat for breeding, always neuter before six months old.  The addition of male horomones was probably the difference between the cat swiping at her and the cat attacking her.

The most likely scenario is that the cat had seen another male outisde.  As it is unable to get to the interloper, the cat's feelings of aggression and fear build up and up.  The owner then came into the room and ignored the cat's clear body language.  She may even have reached out to "comfort" him. 

The cat "displaces" the aggression onto its owner, because it is simply too wound up to realise its mistake.  Cats are actually long sighted, they can't see very well under two meters (6 feet).  So all they see is a massive shape come into the room, they think it's their nemesis and launch the attack.

Any dog that attacked its owner with the same severity as that cat, under the same conditions would have been put down without question, though.

We generally expect dogs to work alongside us, cats expect us to be their servants, and sorry, but it shouldn't work like that! I know that nothing I could ever say will dissuade a cat person though.

A dog that attacked its owner with the same level of aggression as that cat€, would've killed its owner.  The dog would also be an equal danger to any visitor or member of the public.

Plus, a dog that bit its owner would not automatically be put down, that's only if it bites someone else.

You expect dogs to be your servants.  What gives you the right to rule over them?  Are you the type who wants others to bow and scrape and do your will? >biggrin<

Dogs are usually friendly to people because they're pack animals.  In a pack, being cast out by the other members leads to death, so dogs do whatever it takes to stay in the pack.  Much of the affection dogs show is not necessarily because they love the person but simply cupboard love.  When people had to leave their dogs behind in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the dogs swiftly became aggressive packs.  In many cases, sadly, the dogs could not be safely returned to their owners. 

Cats are a society of equals, so any affection shown is genuine and a way of saying, "I want you to be in my family, I want us to be friends".  A cat can survive on its own, so there is no demand for it to like you.  Cats also had to survive on their own after Hurricane Katrina, but quickly returned to being loving, affectionate pets when reunited with their owners or rehomed.

Cats don't demand servants, it's the humans who willingly do it.  Where is your evidence for the claim of cats demanding servants?  There's the old joke, because we confuse a cat's natural behaviour with being aloof and superior.

Cats usually request two things, food and access to the outdoors.  It's hardly their fault for wanting fed and to be able to go to the toilet!  How is it any different to a dog whining and begging for food or a walk?  If cats are given free access to food and a cat flap, then they rarely demand from their owners.

When cats cry and rub up against you, they are behaving the same way kittens do with their mothers.  That's hardly demanding "servants".

In fact, cats will reciprocate your efforts.  They notice that you're not very good at hunting, so they bring you dead prey, exactly as they would a kitten just learning to hunt.  They're telling you that they don't want you to have to live on that horrible tinned stuff.

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I like individual cats when I meet them, but I distrust them as a species in general.

My brother had a lovely rescue moggy that would come to you like a dog for a fuss, but he was also capable of swiping you with his claws when the mood took him, with little warning. My brother's had pedigree cats since, one was wonderful, the latest.... well...!

The behaviour you describe is often another case of humans misreading cat body language.

In cats, group members will groom one another.  They see our stroking of them in the same way.  However, the grooming has a particular meaning.  If one cat grooms another but doesn't allow reciprocation or does it for a long time, it is trying to show that it is more dominant.

So you have Fluffy on your lap, purring away, and you're stroking him/her.  You're often doing something else at the same time, like talking or watching TV.  You fail to notice the signs that Fluffy wants you to stop, to continue stroking is a sign that you're trying to dominate him/her.  The tail starts to twitch, the muscles are tensing.  Finally, you reach the point at which Fluffy is having to yell, "STOP!" to make you back off.  In cat language, that's a swipe.

I like individual dogs, but I distrust them as a species.  They are not easy to read, they're fickle and they're constantly demanding.  My family had dogs as well as cats so it's not simply my being unfamiliar with them.

Cats have been shown to be great pets for those with autism and Asperger's syndrome, because they make sense.  It's because they show their emotions and intentions clearly and because they are loyal.  A cat will sit on your lap while a dog will be off leaping all over a visitor.  Like many "aspies", I couldn't cope without my cat.

As my final, winning card: cats purr, dogs don't.  The ancient argument is won! >biggrin<
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Yvette

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Re: "Attack of the 'feline ninja'"
« Reply #10 on: 14 Dec 2013 07:32PM »
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A cat will sit on your lap while a dog will be off leaping all over a visitor.

Ivy and my previous two cats are so friendly that whenever I have visitors they are/were all over them....

I think it is because they are Burmese, who are very friendly and talkative cats.

Ivy has real conversations with me. And I only have to take one look at her face (let alone look at her body language) to know what she is telling me. 

While I use the computer I have to pull a dining chair (with thick cushion) up to the side of the desk as she loves to sit by me if she can't sit on me. 

She is so curious and inquisitive too.  Whenever I go upstairs she follows me and she follows my Care Assistants too, when they go upstairs.  She likes to know everything that goes on. 

sherbs

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Re: "Attack of the 'feline ninja'"
« Reply #11 on: 14 Dec 2013 07:45PM »
Gosh, that must have been very frightening for the lady.

I must admit I would be very scared to keep the cat, or anyone else.  As others have said if a dog had acted that way it would have been put down.

My sister once had a devil of a cat, it would jump and claw at you any chance it got, it got me a few times, and the poor vet, !!

auntieCtheM

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Re: "Attack of the 'feline ninja'"
« Reply #12 on: 14 Dec 2013 07:48PM »
I've had this 'attack' problem with rescued cats.  It can take them up to 6 months to realise that I am not something to attack.  It is all down to their background, poor things.

One I remember was particularly vicious if I accidentally touched her back legs.  I realised quite quickly what the trouble was, which the vet pinpointed.  The cat had kidney problems and was in pain all the time.  So when I touched her painful places the only thing she could do is take a good swipe at me with claws out.  We eventually got that sorted out and she became much more docile.  Meanwhile I had to cope with a lot of deep scratches and bites.

So maybe the OP cat story shows that the cat had something wrong with it.

starsmurf

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Re: "Attack of the 'feline ninja'"
« Reply #13 on: 14 Dec 2013 07:50PM »
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A cat will sit on your lap while a dog will be off leaping all over a visitor.

Ivy and my previous two cats are so friendly that whenever I have visitors they are/were all over them....

I think it is because they are Burmese, who are very friendly and talkative cats.

Ivy has real conversations with me. And I only have to take one look at her face (let alone look at her body language) to know what she is telling me. 

While I use the computer I have to pull a dining chair (with thick cushion) up to the side of the desk as she loves to sit by me if she can't sit on me. 

She is so curious and inquisitive too.  Whenever I go upstairs she follows me and she follows my Care Assistants too, when they go upstairs.  She likes to know everything that goes on. 

I guess I meant that cats are more focused on their owner.

Titan is nervous, probably because he wasn't properly socialised as a kitten.  However, he is also nosy.  My care assistants love the point at which we have to do the paperwork, as Titan will appear and leap onto my lap, lying on his back with me supporting his head, as he's too big for my lap.

The weirdest thing is that he's never attacked my left foot, which has to always be outside the bedcovers.  He seems to know that my foot is painful and does his best to help.  He'll lie beside my leg, resting his head gently on my shin and purr.  The vibrations are gentle but comforting.
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Hurtyback

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Re: "Attack of the 'feline ninja'"
« Reply #14 on: 14 Dec 2013 07:55PM »
Starry, thanks for that explanation, I haven't heard anything so clear and concise before. I have been a 'cat person' all my life but didn't realise the grooming/dominance stuff - it makes a lot of sense, especially of Cleo's behaviour  >biggrin<