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My cat bites me (hard)

February 23rd, 2011, 02:18 PM
My 5 year old cat Max has always been slightly aggressive with me. Sometimes he bites at my hands after I pet him and every once in a while he walks up to me while I am on my bed and bites my arm. There are never any warning signs. No swishing tail, no ears back or anything like that.

It usually is not a big deal. It is not pleasent, but I could live with it. Last night was not good. I was just getting into bed and he jumped to get some cuddles and pets. After a few minutes I stopped to sleep and he lunged forward and bit me in the side of the head, hard. Drew blood and there is actual bruising and puncture marks.

I am at a loss of what to do. He doesn't do this to my boyfriend, just me. And I worry because we are planning on starting a family in the next year and I don't know if he would do this with a baby.

Anyone experience this?

February 23rd, 2011, 02:23 PM
I actually do have a cat like this. What is the background of your cat? Does he come from outdoors? A shelter? Was he always yours or your BF's?

February 23rd, 2011, 02:34 PM
He actually has always been ours. We got him at the Humane Society when he was a kitten. As far as I know he was born in a foster, so has never been outside.

He is half siamise, half short-haired if it makes a difference.

BenMax, have you been able to change this behaviour?

February 23rd, 2011, 03:05 PM
Did you or do you allow him to play with your arms/hands during play times? Do you have sufficient toys for him to play with so he is not bored? Do you play with him with them? Does he get enough mental stimulation in a day? Have you considered getting him a playmate? Conversely, does he have a perch where he looks out of the window and sees other cats? Any and/or all of these things can lead to a cat that is overstimulated or bored.
Here are a couple of websites that may give you some insight as to how to deal with your problems.

February 23rd, 2011, 03:18 PM
Max does have toys and we do play with him. We have never played with him with our hands.

He also is able to see outside, but in my area there are no cat outside or hanging around. He also has a doggy sister that he plays with a lot.

I just feel like he just gets riled up. He does his worse at night, when I am in bed, not expecting him. And he doesn't do it to my boyfriend ever.

February 23rd, 2011, 03:51 PM
He is half siamise, half short-haired if it makes a difference.

BenMax, have you been able to change this behaviour?

Ok Siamese...indeed I have 2 of those and my daughter has one. The one she has is also very dicey in her behaviour. My two are ok except very skittish even though they never have been abused and I adopted them from a shelter when they were young.

Siamese are very unique. They are jealous cats. They are the dog of cats they say. One owner.

The cat I speak of is actually a domestic. She was strangled and because of the lack of oxygen she is alittle odd in her behaviour. There was really nothing personally that I could correct as I have just put up with it.

There are great savvy cat people here that may be able to help you.
Keep us updated.

February 23rd, 2011, 04:31 PM
Some cats get over stimulated easily and almost get angry. Snowball was one. I found only giving a few pats was best for him. Like your kitty, he wouldn't do this to my hubby, only to me and my daughter. He would also randomly attack every once in a while with no stimulation, but I could read him and stop it before he attacked.

February 24th, 2011, 01:24 PM
Thanks for the advice. I do and will put up with it. He is my responsibility after all. I just worry about when we start a family...

I guess I will deal wit that when I get there.

February 24th, 2011, 01:44 PM
If he attacks you at night, I would close your door. If you are starting a family it may be a good thing to start this as a 'good habit'. Also, do you give him catnip or cat nip toys? Sometimes this causes issues (as I have seen with one of my siamese - he gets nasty).

Also, do not pick him up. Let him come to you and as L4H says - do not over stimulate with pats and hugs etc.

March 5th, 2011, 06:24 PM
My cat's been doing that since I had to put her on an anti-nausea med, side effect is increased anxiety, I've been able to figure out her triggers but still occasionally she'll make a grab for my hands/arms (so far hasn't gone for the head or face). She's also part siamese/dsh. Her triggers seem to be changes - as long as I go to bed around the same time every night, scoop her litter box every morning, and make sure she eats at every meal time (if she doesn't like the flavour she'll walk away so I have to make sure she's eaten something), she seems to do alright.

At first, unfortunately, I thought you could adjust a cats behaviour the same way you could a dog - show them who's boss. With cats that has the opposite affect, the more aggressive you are with them, the more aggressive they get... and they don't back down. I've found the best thing to do was to walk away, if I was going to bed I'd put her out and shut the door. Sometimes if she's really riled up I put my hands behind my back, get down on my knees, stay facing her and talk calmly - tell her the same stuff I do when she's being an affectionate kitty and within a few seconds she's purring and rubbing up against me like nothing happened. Not sure how that would work if he's willing to go for your head.

In your case you may have to get into the habit of shutting him out at night, and keep the baby in the room with you for the first few months, if he's anything like my cat he'll avoid the baby. Good luck!

March 7th, 2011, 04:35 PM
I'm assuming Max is neutered? If not, he should be done ASAP. I agree with the other posters about getting him in the habit of not coming to bed with you. I think you'll have to watch him very carefully when the baby gets home as he may show jealousy. I hope not, but one shouldn't assume he will be OK. Animals can be unpredictable and sometimes can do things that we don't expect. All the best!

March 20th, 2011, 07:29 PM
It sounds like he's got a bit of petting aggression. My older cat used to have that tendency, too - he'd curl up beside me and be purring away and then just lunge.

I'm not sure if it's the best solution, but I ended up gripping him by the scruff of the neck, saying "No!" firmly and putting him on the floor every time he did it. After about a month or two, he stopped.

If it is an anxiety thing, maybe a Feliway dispenser would help?