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Cats/Bad behaviour of a Maine Coon


QUESTION: I would really appreciate any help you can offer here.
My daughter has a pure bred Maine Coon female, spayed and about five years old. When my daughter was living with some friends of her's, they took this poor cat to the vet and got her front de-clawed. Against her will, I would like to add. Those people said they were afraid the cat would scratch the baby.
Needless to say, she has her own place with another friend now. This poor sweetie has never been a cuddler but lately she is getting more and more aggressive. Her friend has a child, four years old, and he is very sweet and never ever teases or angers her, but he can barely walk by the cat and she will attack him. She has been to the vet but nothing is wrong healthwise. My daughter can barely hold her for anything, like combing or removing matts from her fur. She even has tried rescue remedy on her and there has been no change in the cats behavior so far. She is very sweet when you need to feed her, she rubs on your legs and you might even be able to stroke her some, but as soon as she has been fed, she is back to her old self. She will probably never be a lapcat, which is fine, but I was wondering if you have any suggestions about what else we could try. I would call myself a cat person and never ever have I had so much trouble getting close to a cat. I don't want to try to find another home for her because I know she is very attached to my daughter. I even had her live with us for a few months to see if I could get her to get closer to me, but since I have several cats she didn't even make an effort for this. I did keep them separated of course and had a screen door where they could see and smell each other, hoping this would help. It didn't. She will hiss and fuss at anybody who is in the house for no reason at all. And she attacked the little boy and tried to even bite him just because he was standing too close. He didn't even pay any attention to her. They have tried everything possible and are at their wits end with her. They don't want to give up on this cat but could use some help. Could she be so aggressive because she has been front de-clawed? She has no litter box issues because of this. We really don't know what else we could try with her. We just want her to be a happy family member like my kitties are. Please help if you can. Thank you so much for listening.

ANSWER: Renae,

One problem which sometimes comes up with front declawed cats is that they seem to know one of their primary means of defense has been removed.  So, they compensate! They often become biters.

It sounds as iof she has lost her socialization and tends to play more aggressively. Cats have very, very tough skin and, left to their own, tend to play very roughly and aggressively.  They have to learn to play nice with us softer skinned humans.  Another issue is that at four years of age, the cat perceives the child as unpredictable.  What might be tried is to have the child NOT approach the cat.  If the cat approaches the child, the child can go ahead and gently pet the cat. If the cat is not near the child, the child should stay away. At age four the tempation for the child is to approach the cat. Given the cat's apparent state of mind, this can be a bad thing.

It is probable that, as the child gets older and is perceived as more predictable by the cat, things may calm down.  They will just have to play it by ear!

Please let me know what transpires.

Best regards... Norm.

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QUESTION: Hello, thank you for your answer. Do you think it might help if the cat has a place to get away from all? I was looking around the house and noticed that she has no place to herself where she could not be reached. I am thinking of some shelves that are high enough for her but too high for any humans. Unless this would make it possibly worse?
Any and all answers are greatly appreciated.


Yes, this would be a great idea.  Cats love to walk around the "top" of a room and be able to look down on humans, rather than have to look up all the time.

Shelves are great as are very tall (very, very sturdy) exercise posts. We have rooms where the cat can go around the periphery of the room without ever having to be on the floor.

You can also check out:

Best regards... Norm.


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Norman Auspitz


I can answer most non-veterinary questions about cats. My particular expertise is pedigree cats, breeding and showing. However, I am versed in feline behavior, cat breeds and their characteristics, general feline husbandry, and the like.


I judged for the Canadian Cat Association from 1975 until 1982. I am currently an approved allbreed judge for the Cat Fanciers'' Association (the world''s largets cat registry), and have been judging for them since 1991. I have been breeding pedigreed cats since 1971 and have been exhibiting pedigreed cats in shows since 1970. I obtained my first pedigreed cat in 1970 and have never looked back. In 1971, I obtained my first Abyssinian which has become my primary breed. In addition, I have bred Manx and Persians. Currently, besides the Abyssinians, I am also breeding Maine Coons.

Cat Fanciers'' Association, inc. (CFA) and the Manx, Maine Coon, and Abyssinian breed councils. I am currently Abyssinian breed council secretary.

Cat Fancy Magazine, The Abyssinian Chapter in The Cat Fanciers'' Association Complete Cat Book, and Articles for various editions of The Cat Fanciers'' Association Yearbook

I received a B.S. from Drexel University in 1968, a M.Math from University of Waterloo, in 1970, a Ph.D. from University of Waterloo in 1975, and a MBA from McMaster University in 1980. I received my approved allbreed judging status in the Cat Fanciers'' Association in 1999.

Awards and Honors
We have produced a number of Cat Fanciers'' Association (CFA) National winning Abyssinian and Maine Coons. We have produced a number of Abyssinian and Maine Coon Distinguished Merit females (an award for a top producing cat), including the first Distinguished Merit Abyssinian in the red (sorrel) color. I am the CFA Abyssinian breed council secretary and belong and/or hold office in a number of cat clubs. I am also a member of the CFA Judges Association.

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