biting cat

sdkitty

O.G.
Jan 16, 2006
22,548
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San Diego
We love our kitty. He is full of fun and energy at the age of 14. But he has always been unpredictible and not one you can handle ....unless it's on his terms. Taking him to the vet is a nightmare. He is one who will occasionally bite and scratch w/o provocation. My DH is his favorite person and also his favorite target for this behavior. Noche will sit and cuddle with him but not with me. For me, he comes when called....because I'm the food source.
Last night was the second attack of the week. DH was petting him while he sat on his lap. He suddenly clutched and bit, leaving about 6 wounds on DH's hand. We always forgive him. Our only option for a 14 yr old cat with aggressive behavior would be euthanasia. I can't see taking him to the vet as they can't even handle him and this behavior isn't really new. But I hope it's not going go keep occurring more frequently.

I've been keeping him in more lately during the day because of cold weather. Maybe I'll start letting him out in the morning so he can use more energy.
Anyone else have a cat like this?
 

Querencia

Member
Feb 25, 2011
90
0
I had a feral cat.. He'd been clipped by a car then attacked by another animal while injured. Options were euthanasia or take him in. He was a fear/pain and aggression biter.. I have one cat who is very reactive and pretty sensitive. We've had a few bad encounters. I've met a few others..... Usually the reasons I see a cat bite are aggression, over stimulation, or fear/pain. Going to take a wild guess and say your cat's biting from overstimulation. It's my experience that the counter intuitive best thing to do is STOP moving. The more you move the more it triggers a response. I've gotten use to Chloe and how she is. I can tell from her body language when she's about to snap. It can be fairly subtle. An ear flick, a tail twitch, her skin twitches. As soon as that happens she's about at her threshhold.. Since I've been around her since she was tiny I started with her when she was smaller, less capable of injuring me. And she was younger and I found it easier to get her use to different things...
She's much, much better now.. a lover and a snuggler but I don't always trust her unfortunately.
That's a lot of typing to say it's not that unusual to have a cat behave like that. Watching very closely for any signs that their behavior is about to change can be helpful to prevent the flip outs from happening.. Working on desensitization helped for us.. establishing new patterns. I tended to push her boundaries but stop before she went over her threshhold. and ended things on my positive terms.... Those are the things that mostly helped us....
 

poopsie

How Sentimental
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Jan 14, 2009
12,547
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Where the wild things are
Yes.

He has gotten a bit better as he has aged but he is still capable of lashing out for no reason (that I can tell, anyway)
I have just learned to be uber cautious around him at all times. He was never really a 'pet' per se, just one of those who showed up and stayed. So I have no idea what he went though before arriving here.
I would never kill him for it though. I just leave him be and let him live his grumpy cat life.
 

sdkitty

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Jan 16, 2006
22,548
20,551
San Diego
thanks for the advice
I haven't been the victim for quite a while. I think partly because I'm more cautious in the way I approach him. DH lets his guard down (understandably) when he is being all cuddly with him. Maybe he needs to either not allow him on his lap or not touch him when he's there.

I had a feral cat.. He'd been clipped by a car then attacked by another animal while injured. Options were euthanasia or take him in. He was a fear/pain and aggression biter.. I have one cat who is very reactive and pretty sensitive. We've had a few bad encounters. I've met a few others..... Usually the reasons I see a cat bite are aggression, over stimulation, or fear/pain. Going to take a wild guess and say your cat's biting from overstimulation. It's my experience that the counter intuitive best thing to do is STOP moving. The more you move the more it triggers a response. I've gotten use to Chloe and how she is. I can tell from her body language when she's about to snap. It can be fairly subtle. An ear flick, a tail twitch, her skin twitches. As soon as that happens she's about at her threshhold.. Since I've been around her since she was tiny I started with her when she was smaller, less capable of injuring me. And she was younger and I found it easier to get her use to different things...
She's much, much better now.. a lover and a snuggler but I don't always trust her unfortunately.
That's a lot of typing to say it's not that unusual to have a cat behave like that. Watching very closely for any signs that their behavior is about to change can be helpful to prevent the flip outs from happening.. Working on desensitization helped for us.. establishing new patterns. I tended to push her boundaries but stop before she went over her threshhold. and ended things on my positive terms.... Those are the things that mostly helped us....
 

sdkitty

O.G.
Jan 16, 2006
22,548
20,551
San Diego
thanks Poopsie
We also don't know what our kitty went through before we got him. He was a shelter cat about a year old. :smile:
Yes.

He has gotten a bit better as he has aged but he is still capable of lashing out for no reason (that I can tell, anyway)
I have just learned to be uber cautious around him at all times. He was never really a 'pet' per se, just one of those who showed up and stayed. So I have no idea what he went though before arriving here.
I would never kill him for it though. I just leave him be and let him live his grumpy cat life.
 

Querencia

Member
Feb 25, 2011
90
0
With a cat like that I wouldn't let them on my lap when I'm not paying attention... Jack the cat I could probably play airplane with while blaring club music and he might flick an ear at me and wait til he could stomp off and refind his dignity.. Mumu our busted up feral was the kind of cat you had to be -aware- of when you interacted with him.. I feel for you..

I have a ferret that wasn't treated very nicely before she came here. The kind of not nicely where she's missing toes.. She's also had a few seizures and we can't find the cause, she has crazy behavior before and afterwards which is pretty typical. She is insanely aggressive. She'll leap up to bite bare skin if I'm wearing a skirt, lash around to bite my arms.. I'd hoped she'd settle down but she just hasn't in all these years... She use to seem to be in a constant state of terror and would scream frequently. A ferret scream is a very very bad sound that you shouldn't hear regularly but she'd shriek in terror constantly. Her level of terror decreased. Her aggression not so much. I figure she's happy with the other ferrets, she likes her treats and toys. She's curious about people now and doesn't immediately flee from us anymore. I figure she can live out her life here. She doesn't get as much out time as the other ferrets because we have to be on guard. And she doesn't have as much free roam space.. But she goes about her ferrety life and yeah, she's strangely not like a pet, more like a very loony and hostile short and dependent room mate ;)

anyway, some animals are just like that I figure. I'm glad your kitty has you. I use to think it was my personal mission to transform all my animals into happy and docile love sponges... They just have their own personalities though I figure.. I make sure there's nothing physical causing the behavior problem.. Treat what's treatable. Let them have space (and wear combat boots around my ferret)

You might try calling around for a vet that's use to dealing with aggressive animals.. Some clinics have a much higher tolerance and ability handle fractious animals properly and safely and kindly... A go over to make sure nothing's wrong is pretty standard advice for a behavior change, though it doesn't sound like this is a change, just your guys personality.

Long and rambling, it's frustrating to deal with, glad he has a home with someone that cares about him.
 

ILuvShopping

★☆★★☆★★☆★
Jun 4, 2007
23,822
3
Iowa
dotcom was like this. he would be the sweetest cat on earth and then want to bite your hand off in an instant. i just learned to be very cautious around him and i kinda new the signs of when he might 'attack'. and he wouldnt just nip you, he would clamp down HARD.
i couldn't take him to the vet because he would become extreme psycho kitty there. when he got sick i was able to find a vet that did home visits and even then he wasn't too happy.

he could cuddle with me all the time but i knew if i did something he didn't like he wouldnt hesitate to chomp at me. he was also not allowed near my face. there were a couple times he got me on my face.

dotcom was almost 10 years when he passed and ever since he was little he was like this but never ever ever would i have given thought to putting him to sleep because of it.
 

ILuvShopping

★☆★★☆★★☆★
Jun 4, 2007
23,822
3
Iowa
i kinda attribute dotcom's aggressiveness to when he was a kitten and i probably played with him a little too aggressively. i knew him since he was born (born at the vet clinic my mom worked at from a stray that was brought in). as a kitten the rough housing was cute when the bites didn't hurt. not so much when he was an adult lol
 

sdkitty

O.G.
Jan 16, 2006
22,548
20,551
San Diego
You're very kind to put up with that ferret.
Maybe if DH just lets Noche sit on his lap and doesn't pet him....
Maybe for him X number of gentle strockes is over-stimulation

With a cat like that I wouldn't let them on my lap when I'm not paying attention... Jack the cat I could probably play airplane with while blaring club music and he might flick an ear at me and wait til he could stomp off and refind his dignity.. Mumu our busted up feral was the kind of cat you had to be -aware- of when you interacted with him.. I feel for you..

I have a ferret that wasn't treated very nicely before she came here. The kind of not nicely where she's missing toes.. She's also had a few seizures and we can't find the cause, she has crazy behavior before and afterwards which is pretty typical. She is insanely aggressive. She'll leap up to bite bare skin if I'm wearing a skirt, lash around to bite my arms.. I'd hoped she'd settle down but she just hasn't in all these years... She use to seem to be in a constant state of terror and would scream frequently. A ferret scream is a very very bad sound that you shouldn't hear regularly but she'd shriek in terror constantly. Her level of terror decreased. Her aggression not so much. I figure she's happy with the other ferrets, she likes her treats and toys. She's curious about people now and doesn't immediately flee from us anymore. I figure she can live out her life here. She doesn't get as much out time as the other ferrets because we have to be on guard. And she doesn't have as much free roam space.. But she goes about her ferrety life and yeah, she's strangely not like a pet, more like a very loony and hostile short and dependent room mate ;)

anyway, some animals are just like that I figure. I'm glad your kitty has you. I use to think it was my personal mission to transform all my animals into happy and docile love sponges... They just have their own personalities though I figure.. I make sure there's nothing physical causing the behavior problem.. Treat what's treatable. Let them have space (and wear combat boots around my ferret)

You might try calling around for a vet that's use to dealing with aggressive animals.. Some clinics have a much higher tolerance and ability handle fractious animals properly and safely and kindly... A go over to make sure nothing's wrong is pretty standard advice for a behavior change, though it doesn't sound like this is a change, just your guys personality.

Long and rambling, it's frustrating to deal with, glad he has a home with someone that cares about him.
 

sdkitty

O.G.
Jan 16, 2006
22,548
20,551
San Diego
glad to know others have this problem
I don't think we could ever actually bring him to them shelter but when DH gets attacked, he gets very upset. Last night he was saying "let him out....put him outside" I ignored that
This morning he is on the way to forgiving the little demon

dotcom was like this. he would be the sweetest cat on earth and then want to bite your hand off in an instant. i just learned to be very cautious around him and i kinda new the signs of when he might 'attack'. and he wouldnt just nip you, he would clamp down HARD.
i couldn't take him to the vet because he would become extreme psycho kitty there. when he got sick i was able to find a vet that did home visits and even then he wasn't too happy.

he could cuddle with me all the time but i knew if i did something he didn't like he wouldnt hesitate to chomp at me. he was also not allowed near my face. there were a couple times he got me on my face.

dotcom was almost 10 years when he passed and ever since he was little he was like this but never ever ever would i have given thought to putting him to sleep because of it.
 

clevercat

catwoman
Sep 29, 2008
13,345
4,465
Where the heart is
Murphy is like this. I was warned at the centre where I adopted him that he was aggresive - and he proved them right on his first morning with me when he bit me so badly I had a yellow and purple bruise for the next week or so... I think he had a very tough time with his first owners, who were horrible to him. I am very cautious around him - he's been with me for two and a half years now and I have learned to read the, 'I am about to bite' signs - although as he grows up and feels more safe and secure, the biting doesn't happen as often. I would never ever consider euthanasia for something like this.
 

ILuvShopping

★☆★★☆★★☆★
Jun 4, 2007
23,822
3
Iowa
glad to know others have this problem
I don't think we could ever actually bring him to them shelter but when DH gets attacked, he gets very upset. Last night he was saying "let him out....put him outside" I ignored that
This morning he is on the way to forgiving the little demon
my dad was like that too around dotcom. he would get SO upset when dotcom would nip at him. and then he'd try to egg him on. i would always tell him to leave dotcom alone and that he needed to be careful around him but my dad wouldn't listen! so i didn't feel bad when my dad got bit lol
the one thing you can.not.do is reach for something by going in front of dot com's face or by going over his head. you were guarenteed to be bitten by him if you did that. he liked his personal space lol
 

sdkitty

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Jan 16, 2006
22,548
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San Diego
Is that Murphy in your Avatar? He is adorable. I had to sign a behavior waiver at the shelter when I took Noche home. He's just so cute though.

Murphy is like this. I was warned at the centre where I adopted him that he was aggresive - and he proved them right on his first morning with me when he bit me so badly I had a yellow and purple bruise for the next week or so... I think he had a very tough time with his first owners, who were horrible to him. I am very cautious around him - he's been with me for two and a half years now and I have learned to read the, 'I am about to bite' signs - although as he grows up an
d feels more safe and secure, the biting doesn't happen as often. I would never ever consider euthanasia for something like this.
 

bnjj

Jovi Junkie
O.G.
Apr 20, 2007
10,215
14
Bon Jovi Blvd.
Often a cat just wants to be near you but not be petted. If I'm annoying my boy kitty he will put his teeth on my hand ever so lightly. This tells me to stop petting him.
 

sdkitty

O.G.
Jan 16, 2006
22,548
20,551
San Diego
I have one like that too.....very different kind of kitty

Often a cat just wants to be near you but not be petted. If I'm annoying my boy kitty he will put his teeth on my hand ever so lightly. This tells me to stop petting him.