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Old 12-22-2013, 09:00 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,490 posts, read 3,812,423 times
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Hi all, just looking for some input/advice...

I have my cat for about 7 years now...he is a very friendly male cat (usually). He belonged to my boyfriend's kids for about one year before we got him, and when the moved out of state, we took him in.

Lately (in the past year), I have noticed that when I have company (little kids, like 8 and under), he doesn't seem to enjoy the company at all, he hissed at my boyfriend's niece's one year old and arched his back when she went to pet him....I thought maybe it was a fluke, but today, we had a little boy over and the little boy was petting him and out of no where, he hisses at him.

I find this a bit disturbing because he is a very loving cat, and used to be very friendly to everyone....I am so surprised at his behavior. I figure he might be feeling threatened and there is something about small children he just doesn't like anymore?
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:09 AM
 
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First: any change in behavior should be considered a potential health problem, and kitty should be taken to the vet. Especially in males, a urinalysis to check for urinary tract infection. Pain and illness can make a cat react defensively as you describe. I would have blood work done too.

Secondly, keep visiting children away from him.

It's possible he is just expressing his desire to be left alone by these children. So listen to what he is saying, respect his desires, and either put him in another room, or give him a high perch in the room so he can stay around but feel safe,and tell the kids to leave him alone.

But I would definitely take him for a check up.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:12 AM
 
Location: NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsmom21 View Post
First: any change in behavior should be considered a potential health problem, and kitty should be taken to the vet. Especially in males, a urinalysis to check for urinary tract infection. Pain and illness can make a cat react defensively as you describe. I would have blood work done too.

Secondly, keep visiting children away from him.

It's possible he is just expressing his desire to be left alone by these children. So listen to what he is saying, respect his desires, and either put him in another room, or give him a high perch in the room so he can stay around but feel safe,and tell the kids to leave him alone.

But I would definitely take him for a check up.
I will.....but he acts totally normal all the time, the only time he does this is when kids are around...
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Ocean Shores, WA
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Sounds like the cat has developed a Kid Allergy.

Either keep those kids outside, or lock them in a room by themselves where they won't bother the cat.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jen5276 View Post
I will.....but he acts totally normal all the time, the only time he does this is when kids are around...
Sure. Kids are loud, move quickly, and are unpredictable. A cat who doesn't feel well may feel vulnerable around this and react by hissing to warn them away.

When no kids are around, even if he is ill, it is easier for him to hide it, because he is in his normal safe environment.

Remember that cats hide illness until something happens that they can't any more. If he's sick, he can still hide it from you in normal circumstances, but when he feels threatened his behavior changes.

I'm not saying your boy is definitely ill. But that is the first thing I would check out, if this behavior is new.

If he gets a clean bill of health (also make sure the vet checks for signs of arthritis pain), it may simply be kitty has developed an intolerance for children because of the qualities mentioned above, and children should be kept away from him, or him away from them.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:34 AM
 
Location: NYC
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Thanks.....I am very concerned now...........
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Old 12-24-2013, 03:31 PM
 
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It also could be that the kids smell like something that he does not like very much, thus the reaction.
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
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Heck, the older I get the more active, noisy kids get to me too ! Cats get stressed out and the older they get the more it gets to them. We went to my Son's place for a get together a few months ago and I was petting his one cat for a while. Suddenly she pawed at me and moved toward me as if she was going to bite me, which is totally out of character for her. She had evidently just had too much of people making noise and fussing over her all day, and was letting me know.

The other thing is that some kids are not so great at knowing how to handle pets. I see some videos on line of kids carrying a cat or dog around and the poor thing is being carried like a sack of potatoes. No wonder they hiss and fight back.

Don
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:14 AM
 
Location: southern kansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don1945 View Post
Heck, the older I get the more active, noisy kids get to me too ! Cats get stressed out and the older they get the more it gets to them. We went to my Son's place for a get together a few months ago and I was petting his one cat for a while. Suddenly she pawed at me and moved toward me as if she was going to bite me, which is totally out of character for her. She had evidently just had too much of people making noise and fussing over her all day, and was letting me know.

The other thing is that some kids are not so great at knowing how to handle pets. I see some videos on line of kids carrying a cat or dog around and the poor thing is being carried like a sack of potatoes. No wonder they hiss and fight back.

Don
I totally agree with you. I have seen the same thing, and I wish people would train their children on how to handle cats/kittens, puppies, etc.. That's what happened to my old tomcat Stormy. He was about 12 weeks old when he came to our vets office with his head bent over to one side and unable to move it. He was brought in by a woman with a toddler and another spoiled brat (my wife's words) and said they 'fell on him'. The vet thought he had a broken neck, but turned out it was just a bad sprain and a steroid shot fixed him right up. The woman never came back or called, and had left bogus information, so he was abandoned there. My wife was working there at the time and she and Stormy bonded, so we ended up adopting him. He turned out to be about the best cat anyone could wish for.
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Ft. Myers
15,556 posts, read 9,642,463 times
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When I see those videos people post of their kids manhandling some pet and they think it is cute I feel like reaching through the monitor and choking those parents. Kids need to be taught that small animals are not rag dolls and are living, breathing beings that need tenderness.

Wonderful story about Stormy, so glad his neck wasn't broken and that he finally found a great home. That is what he deserves.

Yesterday when my Son and I went to the pet store to buy our 3 their Christmas toys we stopped and looked at the cats up for adoption there........big mistake because I could take every one home if I could. But there was a nice young guy there who was on his second visit to see one cat in particular that he was thinking of adopting and the cat reached out with his paw when he saw the guy there. I told the guy I think you have found a new buddy, and I sure hope he took him/her home with him. You could tell he was really liking the cat and I think would make a good parent.

Don
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