Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Biting Cat

sissani
February 10th, 2007, 06:51 PM
I am asking this for my Grandma - her cat has pushed her to the edge and she is seriously considering giving her to me so I can pass her along to a rescue group. The thing is, she bites. Sometimes its play mouthing, but not always. She has gotten bitten on the hands and once or twice the face. She spoke to her vet, and her vet told her to either try the water squirter technique, or to pop upside the head real good. But she darts away too quickly after she bites and my grandma isnt able to do anything but get a bandaid. And considering my grandma's age, its especially not a good thing for her to get bitten and bruised by her cat.

I would know how to deal with this if the pet was a dog, but I just dont know enough about cat psychology/behavior to know what to tell her. Anyone have any advice? or is a rescue group the best thing here?

krdahmer
February 10th, 2007, 11:08 PM
Where did your Grandma get the cat? I know I had some trouble with Buddy when I took him in at first as he had been abused and didn't trust me always. Usually a cat gives signs or 'tells' when they are about to bite or strike out like body posture or putting their ears back. My mothers cat gives a nip when she's had enough petting:cat: . Others just play too rough. Don't hit the cat, that was bad advice. And could cause the cat to trust even less and bite even more! Instead, my vet suggested to try speaking the cat's language and if they are biting or stealing food(thats what mine were doing), you hiss at them. I felt like an ass doing it but it really does work. The first few times they just look at you funny, but eventually they see that you mean business. I would say try the hissing thing because it is even more effective than the water because unless you walk around with the bottle on your hip you'll have trouble getting them to realize what the water was for, hissing can be done immediately right when the cat is doing the unwanted behaviour. Also, biting, if it was not something that the cat has always done can be a sign that it is sick or not feeling well, you may want to make sure it is a behavioural problem.

Shamrock
February 11th, 2007, 01:03 AM
I can understand you and your Grandma's real concern about the cat's biting.
This is always a problem, but particularly serious with an older person, whose skin and tissue may be more delicate.:sad:

A couple of questions on this:
Is the cat a kitten or an adult, and is she spayed? Is the biting behaviour new?
Is it possible the cat is biting from over-stimulation when being patted? Some cats will sometimes inexplicably "turn" and lash out. In these instances, one needs to read the signals for "enough" carefuly, or keep the petting to brief amounts at one time.

I agree with what been suggested here. A vet checkup would be in order to be sure the cat is not in any physical distress, or have any health issues.

The water-squirt might be an option to try. Hitting a cat NEVER helps.. and as mentioned, usually only makes things much worse.

There are many articles offering suggestions for this problem, which is actually quite common. It "is" a very distressing one, but it can be lessened, and over time, usually eliminated.
Here's one link on this:
http://cats.about.com/cs/behavioralissues/a/bite_scrat.htm

Good luck to you.:fingerscr I hope a remedy for this can be found soon, and that your Grandma will be able to enjoy her kitty once again.

sissani
February 11th, 2007, 12:12 PM
I can understand you and your Grandma's real concern about the cat's biting.
This is always a problem, but particularly serious with an older person, whose skin and tissue may be more delicate.:sad:

A couple of questions on this:
Is the cat a kitten or an adult, and is she spayed? Is the biting behaviour new?
Is it possible the cat is biting from over-stimulation when being patted? Some cats will sometimes inexplicably "turn" and lash out. In these instances, one needs to read the signals for "enough" carefuly, or keep the petting to brief amounts at one time.

I agree with what been suggested here. A vet checkup would be in order to be sure the cat is not in any physical distress, or have any health issues.

The water-squirt might be an option to try. Hitting a cat NEVER helps.. and as mentioned, usually only makes things much worse.

There are many articles offering suggestions for this problem, which is actually quite common. It "is" a very distressing one, but it can be lessened, and over time, usually eliminated.
Here's one link on this:
http://cats.about.com/cs/behavioralissues/a/bite_scrat.htm

Good luck to you.:fingerscr I hope a remedy for this can be found soon, and that your Grandma will be able to enjoy her kitty once again.


She's had this cat since she was very little, so she wasnt abused... and she's still relatively young, maybe a little over a year, but this has been a constant problem. The vet checked her out and she is fine. And I believe she is spayed. This behavior has gone on since she got her. She does love the cat but she's come to the end of her rope and if she doesnt stop biting, she's got to go. But my grandma wanted to know if I could find anything out first.