Why cats attack suddenly

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REXBURG – Monday we aired a story about a cat attack in Rexburg that sent two people to the hospital. The story was seen all over the country, and it has a lot of you talking.

When Jackie Ostermiller grabbed her cat while it was reacting to a perceived threat, it jumped at her. Dr. Paul Tew says in an agitated state, cats attack everything non-specifically.

“Often when a cat or a dog attacks, I see especially in cats, there’s a release of epinephrine, or adrenaline hormone. The nervous system reacts in a fight or flight mode,” said Tew.)

In the Ostermiller’s instance, there wasn’t an opportunity for their cat to flee, so… It attacked.

“Suddenly they will turn into a rage, the fangs and the claws come out, the eyes dilate and they go into a fearful rage. And that’s because cats have an easily provoked rage center,” said Paul Tew, with the Upper Valley Vet Clinic.

The damage done to Jackie Ostermiller has many baffled. How could a cat do this much damage? But Dr. Tew says it’s possible for cats to inflict massive damage. Giant fangs give deep puncture wounds, and all four claws work together in a raking motion.

The Ostermiller’s contend that when their cat attacked it was going for the kill. But that may not be the case.

“When they’re out hunting, they are ambushing a prey, and they have to go in for the kill. They’re going to claw and bite and try to bite the neck of the prey. Now when they’re attacking a large person or large animal, they’re not going to be able to kill it, but if they can cause pain or inflict enough damage, they can scare that person or predator away,” said Tew.

Dr. Tew says the best advice is to never try to touch a cat in an agitated state, and isolate cats that have recently given birth. Or even better, spay and neuter your pet.

The Rexburg police department say that they’ve received numerous emails and calls about the possible euthanization of the cat. The cat’s future is still in question. For now it’s finishing 10 days in quarantine.

During the month of May the Upper Valley Vet Clinic is offering a $20 discount off of all spaying and neutering of cats and dogs.


April Escobedo says:

im not going to tdc

April Escobedo says:


April Escobedo says:


Carl Hoffmeister says:

My cat tore up my left leg and hand

Void says:

I don't trust my cat

90rashad says:

lol. The cat's future still in quetion."

Myy100 says:

is that garfield

venomaxus says:

I have cats since I was a baby till now (29 y.o) and both me and my parents NEVER attacked by our cat (either seeing our cats attacked family member). Perhaps one or two times my cats bite me when I was young since I can't read whether the cat annoyed or not, but that didn't even make me bleed a bit (more like a warning I suppose). Dunno, I think whenever cat attack ferociously like this one is because she/he feel scared or the owner abuse her/her excessively

Umatsu Obossa says:

I've owned dozens of cats and I don't think a cat would ever attack THAT relentlessly and viciously (especially not against two people) just because something outside frightened it. I'd guess they were abusing the cat and got what they deserved and made up a lie to cover their asses when they had to go get stitches.

Tirrell25 says:

It took a doc to say this b.s?its common sense the feline family is one of the most unpredictable animals on this planet and even this doc doesnt have all the answers except the obvious.

Natalie Jomarron says:

Cats are great pets but not for idiots. 

itaibh1 says:

If I piss off my cat intentionally she goes tiger on me, but then i stop, and we exchange pleasantries.

Phu Que says:

Leave it to cats to do something this crazy.

Mych13 Railfanning says:

0:43 , why are you filming me

crystalspoone says:

Whatever. The point is what did THEY do to the cat to make it go crazy like that??? No one knows the whole story here… this could be a home of animal abusers … who knows? I hope they didn't euthanize the poor baby and rather give it to a better home where it possibly may not have to deal with its current living situation.

Someguyto says:

A normal cat did all that?

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