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Aggressive cat

rosiesmom
November 17th, 2010, 02:37 PM
Rosie was adopted from the Humane Society as a two month old kitten. She is now two years old, almost three. My problem is that she bites me. She'll be curled up on me, and a second later, with no warning, bite my arm. She bites quite hard, I have to pry her jaw open to get her off. She breaks the skin and draws blood every time. Occasionally, when she bites I can pry her off, move her to a window and distract her by asking her where are the birds, (then she's fine- a couple of minutes and its like the attack never happened) but sometimes she'll just run after me and attack my leg. She has often jumped at my face, once I had to get my husband to pull her off me, leaving me bleeding and bruised. I am quite upset by this, I hate being nervous of my pet. For now, she's not allowed on my lap, this confuses her and upsets me, but the marks on my arm are still fresh from the last attack. Most of the time she is a playful affectionate cat. Any advice? The Humane Society advised Feliway. Anyone else used it with success? Thanks!

sugarcatmom
November 17th, 2010, 04:39 PM
Yikes, that sounds pretty serious. Has she had a check-up at the vets recently?

14+kitties
November 17th, 2010, 04:52 PM
Along with a vet appt has she got some large stuffed toys she can do this to when she gets into the zone? If you can always have a toy handy and try to get her to transfer her aggression to it instead of you.....
Has she got a playmate? Do you play with toys with her? Not with your hands; with a wand type toy. Has she got a kitty condo she can utilize? All of these are important for a happy, tired kitty. Have you got a room where she can be put by herself for a while after these episodes so she can relax and de-stress?
Feliway is successful for some. There are also pills for some situations. IMO it is much better to get to the reason she is doing this than pilling her however.

rosiesmom
November 17th, 2010, 05:45 PM
Thanks for the replies! Rosie is due for her check-up, but we have mentioned this to the vet before... they wondered if she was getting overstimulated. A valid point, as this does happen if you pet her lots. But these attacks are absolutely unprovoked. When she bites, I remove her from my arm, talking to her in a calm voice, then place her in the window, asking her "where's the birds?" She'll look out the window then, and forget that she wants to bite.
I will bring it up to her vet at her check-up.
I've always had male cats before, females are a mystery to me.
She's a typical girl, moody! :)

sugarcatmom
November 17th, 2010, 08:20 PM
they wondered if she was getting overstimulated. A valid point, as this does happen if you pet her lots.

Ah-ha. Does indeed sound like this is an overstimulation issue. Not uncommon in cats. The key for you is to try to read Rosie's body language and stop petting her before it gets to be too much for her. The signs may be extremely subtle, like an ear flick or some extra tail twitches. There's some good advice at these links:

http://www.catsinternational.org/articles/aggression_to_people/whn_prrs_become_bites.html
http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/aggression.html
http://www.perfectpaws.com/agg.html

Feliway may help if she has anxiety that contributes to her aggressive behaviour and it certainly wouldn't hurt to try it, but it's not a cure-all for these situations. Your best bet is still going to be trying to figure out what her triggers are and work around them. Keep a log book of the time and circumstances of the incidents, you might start to see a pattern.

I have a feral kitty that used to severely attack my hands if I moved her food dishes or blankets. It was quite an exercise in self-control to remain totally calm with blood running down my arms, but that's what I found worked best to relax her. I just talked soothingly and told her what I was doing, all the while moving slowly and deliberately. Getting mad would have just increased her anxiety of the whole situation, so I'm glad that you're also doing the same sort of thing. Now she's the sweetest little love-bug, and I haven't been bitten in months. So there's hope for you and Rosie too!! Good luck. :fingerscr