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My cat attacked me!

Sophia123
July 11th, 2005, 09:08 AM
Baylee is a 3 year old calico and the sweetest cat you will ever meet. She is very gentle with our puppy and pretty much lets him play with her as long as he wants Ė when sheís had enough she just walks away. We clip her nails and she doesnít mind one bit, she just sits there and sometimes falls asleep. She doesnít mind the vet; she just sits on the counter purring during her examination. So you can see she is pretty calm (most of the time).

When she was a kitten she was crazy though. She would attack my arm by wrapping all her legs around it and bite as hard as she could! We tried everything to stop this behavior (spraying her with water, shaking a can of pennies, etc) and it seemed to work. For a little over a year now she hasnít tried to bite me and she never uses her claws, so I thought her aggressive behavior was just kitten stuff.

Then, yesterday she was lying on her back and I was petting her belly when I noticed a little cut on her lip. I wanted to see what it was so I held her down and tried to examine her lip. She tried to resist a little but not too much. After I took a look at it, I released her and sat back down on the couch. Then she pounced at me and sunk her teeth as hard as she could into my arm! I screamed and it scared her a little and she let go, but then she bit again! Harder! My arm was bleeding and so I tried to get up and she had a crazy look in her eyes! She wanted to come after me again! I didnít know what to do and so I took the blanket off the couch and threw it over her and carried her in the bathroom and locked her in. I left her there for about 20 minutes and when she came out she was normal again.

My husband and I are planning on having kids soon and I am so scared that she will do this to a baby!
When she was biting me I had to pry her off my arm, if she was biting a kid they would have never gotten her off - and that really scares me.
My arm is now swollen and I have 6 teeth punctures on my arm.

Why would she do this? What can I do to make sure it doesnít happen again?
I think I am going to take her to the vet and see what they say, but any advice anyone has for me would be very much appreciated.
I adore my cat and the thought of having to find another home for her when we have kids devastates me, but this is what everyone is telling me.
Has anyone had this happen?

chico2
July 11th, 2005, 09:48 AM
Before anything,you have to go to the doctor,catbites can cause a very serious infection.I know from experience after two visits to emerg and a lenghty treatment by a wound specialist.
If Lucky was still around she could explain it better than me...
In my case,Rocky attacked me,on 2 occasions,after seeing a strange cat outside from the window,it's called something like reversed aggression.
With your cat,her wound is probably sore and she attacked you thinking you would touch it again,but who knows what goes on in their little minds :D
It might never happen again,but you can discuss it with the vet..it's not a totally uncommon thing.My vet put Rocky on meds for anxiety,but I discontinued it,since he is not a nervy cat,but sweet and gentle,instead I do my best to avoid him seeing any threat from the outside.
It's always safer for you to let a vet deal with any injury the cat might have,it's not the same with all cats,but it's always better to be cautious.
I don't think it will happen again,after the doctor saw my bleeding wounds,he said to get rid of the cat...but I love Rocky and the thought never entered my mind.

happycats
July 11th, 2005, 10:12 AM
I, like Chico, have a cat (Jay, 9 years old) who attacks the first thing he sees when he see's a strange cat outside!! usually it's another one of my cats, but he has turned on me and my husband (before we knew what was going on).

Jay is a wonderfull, loving, afectionate cat, who is never aggressive (until he see's a strange cat) So we have worked with him for 9 years!! He still does it, but we can usually stop him from attacking anyone, by talking calmly to him, ( we say " it's okay Jay, it's okay Jay" in a calm gentle voice) we also arm ourselves with pillows, to scare him if he goes to attack anyone.

We have 1 child, who is 4 now, and he has never attacked my son, we have also told my son never to go near him when he starts, (Jay lets out very loud screaming sounds, when he first see's a cat) so at least there is a warning!
the thought of getting rid of my cat, when we decided to have a child, never crossed my mind.

Sophia123
July 11th, 2005, 10:36 AM
Thanks for the advice. I think I will go get my arm checked tonight because it is quite swollen and tender.

I will also take her to the vet to talk about it.
I do feel that teaching kids how to behave with a pet is just as important as training the pet how to behave with kids. So many people I know let their kids terrorize the family pet and then once the pet reacts, they blame the animal which seems completely unfair to me. I definitely plan on teaching my kids how to play properly with the animals. Iím sure I am stressing over nothing I just donít want to be too naÔve about this so I am trying to prepare early!

chico2
July 11th, 2005, 02:01 PM
Sophia,please take care of your arm...the infection can spread and end up being very dangerous.
I have a 2 inch long scar on my leg,a deep dent..the infection was so rapid,the wound after cleaning was almost to the bone and had to heal naturally,no stiches on catbites....Good Luck with the kitty!!and like Happy Cats said,there usually is a warning..in Rockys case,his tail start whipping and then an awful scream......so far so good,we don't have many strays in this neighborhood.

happycats
July 11th, 2005, 02:16 PM
and like Happy Cats said,there usually is a warning..in Rockys case,his tail start whipping and then an awful scream......so far so good,we don't have many strays in this neighborhood.

OMG Chico, I swear our cats must be twins!! Jays tail also starts whipping, he also puffs up, and a scream (I can't describe it, it's so loud and scary, almost like a baby screaming, but worse, like a scary movie scream) It scares the heck out of me every time!! The worst is when it happens when I am sleeping, that scream makes me jump right out of bed!!

chico2
July 11th, 2005, 05:43 PM
Well,with Rocky it's mostly if the windows are open and he spots a cat,I guess he can smell it as well as see it.s
Seeing we've had scorching temps,the a/c is on and windows closed.
The last time this happened was last fall and I am hoping it won't happen again :fingerscr
I have an older house,with doors to every room,so I usually close the door quickly on Rocky if I see a cat outside.....and then I go out and shoo it away and Rocky is fine...oh well,what can we do,we love the little tigers :D

Sophia123
July 13th, 2005, 12:53 PM
I went to the doctor's yesterday to get my arm checked and it is infected. He said it's not too bad though, normally he says the infection is a lot worse and can travel up the entire arm! I am lucky I went when I did! I am now on antibiotics and it seems to be getting better already.

Unfortunately, with Baylee there didn't seem to be any signs...no screaming or funny tail movements or anything. She actually seemed really calm and normal. Hopefully it doesn't happen again but if it does I will check to see if she lets out a warning sign.

Thanks again for your help!

chico2
July 13th, 2005, 05:18 PM
Sophia,I am happy to hear that..
In my experience with cats,females might be a little more unpredictable,but both sexes will react badly if they are in any kind of discomfort.

happycats
July 13th, 2005, 05:22 PM
Keep alot of throw pillows around!! I use them to distract, and I do hit with them if need be. (I doesn't hurt the cat, just scares them)

valerinah13
September 20th, 2009, 04:19 PM
Hello,

my name is Valerie and my kitten Frosty is going on 11 months.
She is so pretty, and I love her so much, she cuddles with me every night for hours...
She's great except she attacks me too... and any new people who come in.
If a new person tries to pet her she hisses and runs away, if they try to pick her up she tries to scratch or bite them. I tried the water spraying, loud noises, everything... nothing really scares her.
Randomly,I am unable to pet her, if I try to go pet her she backs up her head and looks at me with so much hate... I have to walk away, if not she grasps my arm with both paws and bites. Sometimes, I'll just be sitting there minding my own business and she does that, the minute I see her head and ears go back her tail moving fast and her eyes have that look, i know she will attack.
I don't know what to do with her anymore, it's not constant like you guys' cats do, nothing seems to trigger it. I don't want to get rid of her, I just wish she was always as nice as she is when she cuddles with me at night...

Please any advice would help. I even thought about getting her declawed but I don't even know if it will help? (I don't want posts about how cruel declawing is because honestly, its cruel what she is doing to me with all the love I give to her... I rather get real information on if she will change her behavior if I do get it done)

Thank you

chico2
September 20th, 2009, 04:37 PM
Valerinah,declawing her will not make her calmer,on the contrary:sad:
I am assuming she is spayed,has gone for a check-up at the vet,if not,please take her and explain your problem.
Also,learn her body-language and don't pick her up,most cats(not all)don't like to be carried or to feel confined.
This original post was from 2005,you should start your own and you'll see more answers.

lUvMyLaB<3
September 20th, 2009, 06:22 PM
I see too this is an old thread, but just want to respond, I TOTALY agree with Chico, declawing will quite likely make the aggression worse, I don't think what your cat is doing is cruel, in human logic perhaps, but your cat is not using human logic, she is a cat, and has a reason for acting this way.

you said this:

If a new person tries to pet her she hisses and runs away, if they try to pick her up she tries to scratch or bite them. I tried the water spraying, loud noises, everything... nothing really scares her.

She seems to be scared of new people, if she warns them and tries to run away, you should not be shocked that she scratches or bites, she warned you, and that is her defense, she is not comfortable with new people, so she should not be forced, calmly, gradualy, and positively try and get her used to new people. Punishing her, lound noises, ect, will only increase the negative association she has with these situations, and in turn make it much worse.

I wish you luck with Kitty, it could be part of her personality, and something you have to respect, if you try to just love on her and keep all situations positive and calm and loving she may feel less of a need to defend herself, just has to be done on her terms, she is a cat.. Good luck, I hope you both figure out a way to move on happily!

Frenchy
September 20th, 2009, 06:32 PM
I had a calico just like this. Missy .... would only come to me when she felt like it. I would pet her when she came to me , but never picked her up as she didn't like it. Otherwise , I would leave her alone. I would also tell people to ignore her and to leave her alone. It took her 8 years to climb up to the couch and sit beside me !

IMO , some cats are just like that. Later on , she got worse , after speaking with my vet , we tried calming pills , valiums for cats , but just to give it to her would make her worse so I stopped. Maybe you could try feliway ? Calming diffuser for cats.

clm
September 20th, 2009, 06:53 PM
Your cat is also still very much a kitten, so chances are she's just playing very roughly. Try diverting her attention with a feather toy on a pole or another type of toy that you can get her running around with.
Declawing like everyone said, is not the answer.

clm

Melei'sMom
September 20th, 2009, 06:53 PM
I realize this is an old thread and I am not a cat expert like some people on this forum but I think everyone missed an important bit of info about the attack on th OP

Then, yesterday she was lying on her back and I was petting her belly when I noticed a little cut on her lip. I wanted to see what it was so I held her down and tried to examine her lip. She tried to resist a little but not too much. After I took a look at it, I released her and sat back down on the couch.

She had a cat on it's back and forced it to stay there when it didn't want to and then touched an injury...I would have bit her too! Even I know you don't do that to a cat!!

Love4himies
September 20th, 2009, 07:02 PM
Sounds like Snowball. He didn't need to see another kitty to go into attack mode. It could be the middle of the night when we were sound asleep. I have many scars from his attacks. I did learn to read the signs before his attack and would stare him down and push him down to the floor by pushing him down on his shoulders. Didn't hurt him, but did stop the attack. I was the only one who could pick him up.

As he aged, it did decrease, but I warned all people not to touch him or corner him to the day he passed on. So do as your kitty wishes, tell people not to touch her, she doesn't like it and will let you know. I limited my patting to a few pats and didn't force any attention on him. He would come to me if he wanted some. I only picked him up if I absolutely had to and rarely when he was outside. He would wear a harness and leash that I would be able to guide him back into the house when it was time. Snowball, as I think your kitty is, is a one human cat and that is OK. Let her be happy being that way.

Snowball is and will always be, by far, my favourite cat, he was as close to a soulmate that you could get in a pet. He slept by my side every single night and was the first to notice if I was upset and offer comfort. He would wait at a front window for me to come home from work and run to the door to greet me. I could not understand how such a loving cat could also attack :shrug:. I would do anything to bring him back and still miss him so much even though he has been gone since 2005.

Declawing won't help at all and may make it worse.

ownedbycats
September 20th, 2009, 09:07 PM
You said she looked like she "hated" you when she attacked. Did she have her ears back, and do a kind of sideways sidle approach just before she attacked? I have two male cats who are only slightly older than your girl, and this approach and then attack is the way they start a game of wrestle and race. (They are doing it now as I type). It sounds like she is treataing you like another cat, and she doesn;t realize thaat you don't haave a fur coat to protect you the way another cat would.
Please think very carefully before having her declawed. Declawing is a major surgery, and involves removing not just the claw but the entire first knuckle to the joint. If anything goes wrong, and a nerve is injured, she could be in pain for the rest of her life. If you don't believe me Google declawing and look at teh sites that pop up, especially the SPCA's.

pattymac
September 21st, 2009, 01:27 AM
Ya don't declaw, my Nino, who has been declawed on all 4 feet, not my doing!! Sometimes he bites, not hard but that's his only defense and the poor boy can't even give himself a proper scratching. He's got no traction on floors either. Sometimes with a young kitty, it's just excess energy, get her some toys, the wand ones are great, you can get a real good chase and jump game going and your hands stay safe. Even my Bobee who's 9 now still likes a good game of paper ball soccer and will sometimes beat up one of the dog's stuffees.

catlover2
September 22nd, 2009, 11:41 PM
I'm wondering if your cat was feral or really received proper socialization as a young kitten?

What I mean by proper socialization is having a kitten picked up, handled, cuddled (when it is 3-12 wks. old), turned on its back, held down even if squirmy, do everything to it a vet would do in an examination (check ears, open its mouth), carry it around like a child would. I used to breed and show cats. It was especially important a prospective show kitten was handled and used to the way a judge would handle it so that it wouldn't freak out or object to be handled in a certain way and when held aloft as judges like to do. More often most kittens are just played with, with toys and really don't get the amount of handling and socialization before 12 weeks that they should by meeting and being picked up and handled by lots of different people coming to the house, by children. Many kittens really are just left to play with their littermates and don't get a proper socialization.

Calicos can be very assertive and self-confident and bossy and want to the be alpha cat in a household. If they've never been used to a lot of handling as kittens, their assertivenss may be expressed in an attack mode. IMHO had Baylee been used to being put on her back and restrained as a kitten, this likely would not have happened. She would have regarded your action as a normal thing.

As to what to do to prevent this happening again? I doubt at her age she can be retrained, so I think you may have to consider seriously of rehoming her. If she were my cat, I wouldn't want to take the chance with a baby or toddler.