An opinionated feline in Edmonton, Canada who lived with a retired cat behaviourist, Greyce provided behavioral advice to cats in need until her death in July 2014. Because her entries are useful even today, the blog remains posted.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Predatory Aggression: Cat Stalks, Pounces, Bites People

Dear Greyce,

I am a 3.5 year old neutered male (shorthaired brown tabby) and have been told that I have a lovely purrsonality – bright and curious. And I’m in good health. For the past 18 months I have become aggressive towards Himself and Himself only. I don’t bother the rest of the family. It’s become a problem.

Knowing you, you will want the details. So here goes.

First – About My Life

Here is my daily routine. I greet Himself in the morning and sometimes ask for a tummy rub. He feeds me a soft food breakfast. I graze on kibble throughout the day.

I explore the house and then watch Himself get read to leave. Herself awakes and pets me. We chat a bit and she gives me a treat. I follow her around while she makes the bed and starts her day.

I like a trickle of water from the bath tub faucet. Then I settle on the back of the chair for a short nap.

Upon awakening, we play and then I follow her around while she does her chores. I run up and down the stairs. And then I settle down on Themselves’ bed for a morning nap.

I can see the birds out the window.

The afternoon routine is much the same.

In the summer, I go with them into the backyard on a 20-foot leash.

I like to be in the kitchen when Herself is making supper. I sit beside the table when they eat.

I have playtime in the evening – love those stairs. Herself and I play with the feather, the cat tent, the cat tunnel and the throw toys. I have two baskets full of toys (wand/feather toys, soft toys and twist ties to chase and run after). And I have two scratching posts, a cat condo and a cat bed. Himself is kind to me but doesn’t’ play much since I’ve become aggressive toward him. And we all spend the evening together.

I like pets from Herself – and a few others. Sometimes from Himself, depending upon how I feel. I’m not a lap cat but I love when Herself carries me on her shoulder.

I don’t get to sleep with them at night because Herself has allergies.

What can I say, Greyce? It’s a good life.

Now For My Problem

I stalk, pounce, swipe and sometime bite Himself. And only him.

I started when I was about two years old, just after being picked up from a 10-day stay at the cat kennel. We’d had visitors just before that, too.

And then ‘it’ started. Himself would be walking and I would chase after him and paw his legs as if to trip him up. Initially he ignored me. Now it can happen if I walk past him or he walks past me. I like to chase him and sometimes bite him in the leg.

Also I go after him when he is sitting on the couch. I stalk him slowly – sometimes from behind so that he doesn’t see me. I jump up from behind and swipe his head with my paw (claws in).

Or sometimes I slowly walk to the side of him, stare, jump up and bite. Either way, it is very entertaining because he jumps up (as if surprised) and lets out a squeal.

The only time Himself feels safe is first thing in the morning, because he feeds me soft food. I am not aggressive in the mornings. And there are many times of the day when I am most loving and happy to be in his company.

What They Have Tried

The vet told him to play with me more, but it didn’t help.

They spray me with a water bottle.

They try distraction: Shaking a jar of coins or throwing a toy in another direction, if they catch it before it happens.

They remove me from the scene of the crime. They lift me to another room for 5 minutes or so. I curl up on a cosy bench. When they come to open the door, I’m very relaxed.

I have a Feliway diffuser (as the vet advised), but it doesn’t make any difference.

Frankly Greyce, this situation is not a problem for me. But it really seems to bother them. And since I do care about them in my own, wonderful way, I would like to help.

So Greyce, what do you advise?



Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chloe the Fussy Cat Shows How to Determine Toy and Play Preferences

Dear Greyce,

 I am a petite, adorable calico with a piercing meow and demanding nature. I like attention. A lot of attention. And I tend to be on the anxious side.

My purrsons decided to go away on holidays. This was my first time as a home-alone cat, for my long-term feline companion left her physical form in December.

You can imagine how I might feel, being left in the dead of winter with only the furnace for company!

But it wasn’t all that bad. I had thrice daily visits (of at least an hour each) from two cat-loving servants whose job it was to attend to my every need. One in particular took it upon herself to entertain me – a bit of a challenge because I’m not really ‘into’ toys.

Somehow, she found things I liked.

I understand she was trained by you.

Could you pass along your entertainment tips? I'm curious.

With thanks,


Thursday, March 3, 2011

No More Urine Spraying! Moby's Update

Dear Greyce,  

When I lasted contacted you (Moby's News - 7/6/10) I had stopped my medications and had started to consistently use my litter box. In other words, I had really turned a corner.

So I thought you might like an update.

I use my litter box faithfully and no longer spray.

Finally I've come to terms with my feline companion, Mick. He has his issues but I stay out of his way and so we 'live and let live'.

I adore my purrsons and they treat me like a king.

So life is good . . . VERY good!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Pee Fest Has Stopped: Smooshie's Update

Dear Greyce,

Just touching base to let you know of my progress (see Smooshie's Pee fest - 2/9/11). Now that the Feliway diffuser and spray are being used as suggested I have consistently used my litter boxes. I'm especially enjoying my second box (downstairs) because a woman really does like choice. And I am getting more play time!