MCFH S6E1 - Growling, Hissing, Attacking Visitors, Declawed

My Cat From Hell Season 6, Episode 1
Episode Title: My Boyfriend vs. My Cat

By Beth

Photo: Animal Planet 

Photo: Animal Planet 

Cat: Storm

Female, grey and white colored cat, 10-years old, forced to be declawed by Animal Control

Guardian:

Ashley, college student.

How Bad Is It?

Storm has two strikes against her with Animal Control, and a third means she will have to be put down. Ashley and her boyfriend broke up because of Storm's behavior. Ashley can't have guests over without fearing there will be another attack.

Issues

  • Storm's only reaction to contact with others besides her guardian are growling, hissing, and sometimes even attacking.
  • Ashley was forced to have Storm declawed, which is a traumatic experience for a cat, and can leave them with a lifetime of pain and fear.

Physical Approach

With Storm feeling extremely insecure in her own home, it was important for Ashley to give Storm a place that she felt was her own safe space in the home. With the help of the Jackson's book Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!), Ashley was able to build Storm a "DIY Cat Hammock" which was both easy and inexpensive to make, and Storm absolutely loved it! Ashley was able to test this when she was advised to have a group of friends over to see how Storm would handle it, and was surprised to see her cat relaxing in her very own safe space. 

Ashley was also advised to practice "The Hand Off" technique with a willing friend. This is where Ashley pets a relaxed Storm behind her head, and then the friend joins in and Ashley soon withdraws, and before Storm knows it, someone else is petting her and it's not that bad! It was also advised to have a friend feed Storm, so she begins to recognize positive association with humans other than her guardian. 

Photo: Animal Planet

Photo: Animal Planet

Emotional Approach

Ashley had been fighting for Storm for 10 years and wasn't going to give up on her anytime soon. They appeared to have a strong emotional connection, which is what troubled pets need, especially while trying to recover from past traumatic experiences. We must remember that cats who go through the declaw surgery can suffer psychological and behavioral consequences and develop aggression due to the chronic pain they suffer, so having a committed and understanding guardian can greatly help the pet recover from this experience.

Holistic Approach

Spirit Essences remedies that might be helpful in this type of situation are:

Safe Space for Cats

This remedy is designed to help reassure the cat that his or her territory is safe and protected from intruders from within and without. It helps the cat establish appropriate boundaries and reduces territorial stress which may manifest as aggression, spraying, and other stress-related behaviors. In Storm's case, Safe Space for Cats was the main remedy used and it worked great when Jackson sprayed it in all of the areas that caused her territorial stress and insecurity, which was practically everywhere! Spraying common places where attacks occurred in the household was crucial and helped to make Storm feel that she didn't need to defend these areas. Storm definitely had a huge turnaround after Jackson came to the rescue, and this remedy played a key role in this great change!

Stress Stopper

This remedy is designed to help animals adapt and cope with stressful or unusual situations, such as remodeling, boarding, thunderstorms, having visitors over, or similar situations. It helps the animal feel grounded and protected. Storm clearly needed to feel more protected and may have acted out because that feeling was lacking, and Stress Stopper can help an animal in this type of situation. She also seemed to be stressed and aggressive specifically when visitors came over, so this remedy can help ease that stress during those times.

Every pet is different, and has different needs and healing responses. Some other possible Spirit Essences remedies that may be helpful in this type of situation are:

This remedy is formulated to help heal the physical and psychological wounds that a cat suffers from experiencing a declaw surgery. This remedy is great because it can help no matter how long ago the cat went through a declaw surgery. This remedy may have helped Storm's to recover from this traumatic experience by re-balancing and healing her body and soul.

Trauma-Free

The Trauma-Free remedy helps animals release any emotional "baggage" they may have accumulated after experiencing negative events. Whether they have suffered from neglect, abuse, or in Storm's case, associate humans with negative events, this remedy can help animals release that negativity and begin to live as nature intended them to. This remedy is also great for animals who need treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The trauma that Storm endured from declaw surgery may have been treated with this remedy.

MCFH S6E2 - Cats Attacking Cats, Predator vs. Prey, Terrified Cat

MCFH S6E2 - Cats Attacking Cats, Predator vs. Prey, Terrified Cat

MCFH S6E1 - Meowing at Night, Destructive Scratching, Playing with Poop

MCFH S6E1 - Meowing at Night, Destructive Scratching, Playing with Poop