Dog Bite | Animal Behavior Expert Witness For Attorneys

Richard H. Polsky, PhD, CDBC
Los Angeles, California

“Bringing the science of animal behavior to attorneys”


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Attack cat in California

Q. My 8 y.o cat is named Lexington and he is demonstrating extreme aggression towards people. I have had him since he was a kitten and this behavior began at a young age and has been becoming progressively worse through the years. There is no rhyme or reason as to why and when he attacks. People have ended up in the hospital and are afraid to come to my home due to his behavior. He can be the most lovable cat at times however he is an absolute monster when he lashes out. Since I spend most time with him, I am able to detect when he will attack while being pet or is in predatory mode however there are still cases when he catches me off guard with an evil sneak attack. This cat is truly my best friend and I need to find a way to remedy this situation. I am at my whits end and in need of dire help. Please let me know if there is anything you can do.

A.  If the habit strength  it has become sufficiently strong because many repetitions of the aggressive display have occurred,  then it probably will be very  difficult to rectify the situation 100%. You may be able to lessen the problem with behavior modification procedures.   Consult with a competent animal behaviorist.  However, even with behavioral intervention, if you decide to keep your cat in your home it could be risky.  Cat bites to people can  to become easily infected, and I have had cases in which cat bite victims became seriously ill, sustained permanent nerve damage, and often required hospitalization.   Unfortunately, many cat  owners remain ignorant of just how dangerous a cat bite can be, potentially much more dangerous than dog bites.