We just got this girl in, and her attitude is quite a mess! Her previous owner had her declawed. As a result of the declawing--or maybe before--she has learned to bite and attack people. Because of this, they wanted her euthanized.
We are going to try our best to rehabilitate her. We do not expect this to be quick or easy. We are keeping her in a cat cage for her and our safety right now, and hope she can have the run of a room soon.
She cannot be an outside cat, or at least not an outside barn cat in this condition. She will take time to unlearn her bad habits. Right now, we hope she is learning that we don't hate her, we aren't going to hurt her, people aren't all that bad.
She is a beautiful brown tabby, shorthair, spayed and vaccinated. She uses the litter box meticulously and keeps herself very clean. She has lovely green eyes.
Please note that we absolutely do NOT recommend declawing under any circumstances. We do not allow our kittens/cats to go to homes that will declaw. Do your own research on the procedure, and most people quickly understand why. The process can cause chronic pain in some cats, and we are hoping that is not the case with Louise. If your furniture is that important to you, please either don't get a cat or do a lot of homework on redirecting cats away from furnishings and onto appropriate toys/scratching posts.
Updates will be posted here.
We have put Louise's adoption on a longterm hold while we try to get to the bottom of her aggression. After suspecting she is in pain from the declawing procedure (we do not know where it was done or who did it), we consulted with our veterinarian and she is now on pain medication. We also have some other ideas we're working on, to help our unhappy girl out as best we can.
A couple of days ago, we began to suspect there was something else going on with this gal. She would sleep very soundly, and, once realizing a person was there, would immediately become aggressive. Growling, yowling, swatting and trying to grab people through the cage, trying to leap on people from inside the cage. We did NOT reprimand her in any way, shape or form for these actions. We simply tried to ignore them. The pain meds did not seem to be making much difference. So my next idea was a test--and we think our girl may be deaf! This opens up a whole new way of working with her and seeing what we can do
After a week of trying to ignore her attacks, we're seeing a crack in the armor! Louise has now asked for (!!!!!!) --and received--some gentle scritches on her head. She can't handle it for long, and tries to bite if you've overstayed your welcome with your hands on her. But this is HUGE progress for our girl. We're eager to keep it up and hope she continues to get better. We have also begun some tricks and techniques to communicate with her--flicking the lights on and off when we enter the room, for example. We can only hope she's eager to work with us and the aggression will lessen as we become more able to communicate with each other.
Louise has been holding steady. There have been no huge breakthroughs, but on the other hand, she is much calmer than she was even last month. Her progress is going very slowly, but she certainly is learning and we'll take it!