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Rescued cat - biting

kathi
November 22nd, 2004, 07:16 PM
Need some advice. Have had a cat hanging around my house for most of the year. Very friendly, sits on my windowsill, wants in the house. My daughter and I decided to bring him in, de-claw and fix. He's about 2 years old, not afraid of being inside. Very vocal, we have him in a cage, since he can't use regular litter while his paws heal. We have other cats, they hiss at him, he ignores them pretty much. So he wants to be petted, but while purring and getting attention he gives a little bite. Only he's a big cat with powerful jaws. He's not being mean, but how do I teach him not to do this behavior? Can he unlearn it? When he gives you a love bite it breaks the skin.

Thanks for any advice.

Kathi

louie's mum
November 22nd, 2004, 07:19 PM
maybe he's trying to get even for the paws.
just a thought.
poor baby.
:rolleyes:

sujean
November 22nd, 2004, 07:27 PM
:( declaw? why?

anyhoo, sebastian used to do that but when he did i used to give him a stern no and i would send him away.

i was told that although they want to be pet, there was something i was doing that he didn't like so he nipped me to let me know. i also heard it had something to do with static shock :rolleyes:

whatever the reason, the cats now tap their nose at me with mouth one half open to let me know they don't like it or they go away.

if you watch cats groom, we will sometimes see them nip at each other-to say stop or not there. i think it is a smiliar behavior.

Writing4Fun
November 22nd, 2004, 07:45 PM
My cat does that all the time. It's like he's freakin' bi-polar. One second, he's all purring and love, licking my hand. Next second, he's turned into demon spawn, ears flat back, claws in my arm, chewing on my hand. That's when he gets an "Ouch!" and off my lap - nasty little bugger. :evil: Why do they do it? Who knows what's going on in a cat's mind (except a cat, of course ;) )? Can you train them not to do it? Probably, if your cat is normal. If he's anything like mine, though, he'd rather be the one doing the training. :p

Karin
November 22nd, 2004, 08:20 PM
If he bites too hard you need to tell him "no bite", or what ever works for you and walk away. No more play until he plays nice.

Most cats do offer a love nip when feeling bliss...but they should never bite as hard to break the skin or leave a mark.

It is a cat's way of showing extreme affection if they give a light little nip....

I take it as a compliment, as long as it's not too hard!

Lucky Rescue
November 22nd, 2004, 08:55 PM
Some cats get very overstimulated by petting, and to release that energy that builds up, they bite. You need to stop petting him BEFORE he bites.

Keep the petting sessions very short and if you see any sign of overstimulation - rippling back, flattened ears, or lashing tail - stop.

This cat has been neutered and declawed :( so he needs a lot of time and patience to get over such trauma and pain.

Writing4Fun
November 22nd, 2004, 08:57 PM
OK, so who knows what's going on in a cat's mind? Why, the 5,000 post LuckyRescue, that's who! :D

krdahmer
November 23rd, 2004, 01:36 AM
Ya when I took my Buddy in he was a lot like that. He even bit me right up the nose once! (Man that one was a bleeder- watering eyes and all!) It just took some time for us to get used to each other and learn to read the signs. Like he knows that if I nod at him, its okay to come and sit on me, and when he is done getting pets he just jumps down and curls up near me. I am also very very careful not to talk loudly or make sudden movements or be at all aggressive when I handle him. I heard that he had some pretty bad homes before this one, so I am as gentle and loving as I can be. The more settled in and at home he becomes the less he wants to fight... and both me and the girls are relieved at that! ;)

chico2
November 23rd, 2004, 09:14 AM
This cat is probably very uncomfortable,maybe even in pain after de-clawing :evil: the deed is already done,soooo :sad:
My Rocky,used to give me "love-nudges"but he would never bite down,he was always very gentle,but of course if a cat opens his mouth,you'll be concerned...We got him out of that habit,by a firm NO and putting him down on the floor,no more petting.
Somehow he understood and he's never done it again :thumbs up
Most cats I've had,will hop down when they've had enough petting...

kathi
November 23rd, 2004, 09:26 PM
Thanks for all your replies. I think I'm leary of this cat because I haven't raised him from a kitten. I really don't know his personality and by de-clawing he now has to be indoors. I don't believe in leaving cats outside, in our neighborhood that's been a problem, we have a feral cat colony. In fact, 2 of my 14 cats are feral. I let them do their thing and we get along fine. I'm hoping he works out, we'll see in a few weeks when I let him explore the house.

chico2
November 23rd, 2004, 11:21 PM
Kathi,I am just a little concerned why you had him de-clawed so fast,what if he does not work out,are you going to let him out with the feral cats???
Is he a feral??? You should have gotten to know him,before you did the terrible deed :sad: He was de-clawed and neutered,he has a lot to cope with,add that to being in a cage....no wonder he bites!
Please do not let him out to fight other cats...he'll loose :sad:

CyberKitten
November 24th, 2004, 12:43 AM
Can I ask why you declawed him? (and declawed cats often turn to biters) but was was the reason? Have you read about declawing? (It takes even the most mild mannered cats weeks to get over that and some never do, their personalities changed forever!)

SarahLynn123
November 24th, 2004, 06:15 PM
I had this exact problem with my rescue and am relieved to know this is almost normal. Im not sure that this applies to you but I found with my cat that his fur was so matted that it was painful for him to be pet so I took him in and got him shaved (he is an indoor cat) and they bathed him aswell. It solved about 90% of our problems. He will still occasionally suddenly turn around and hold my hand down with his claws and bite me when hes done being pet, but its obvious when that will happen. He will give me "stop or Ill bite you look" with his huge eyes (his pupils will totally dialate) and Ill stop. Its fine unless hes playful, but thats a whole other story.

kathi
November 26th, 2004, 05:49 PM
No, he is not a feral cat. I have two of those and I give them their space and they give me mine. My daughter and I were involved with a cat shelter and we took most of our cats in when they were unadoptable. Or we bottle fed kittens without mothers and got so attached they stayed. I have no intention of letting this cat back outside - ever. I'll try to adopt him out through my vet, if that doesn't work, I'll keep him. He seems to get along with the others so far, although he is confined to my living room till he heals. Very friendly, a real talker. Now that I know that he purrs and bites, I avoid his teeth. This cat sat in my window outside for months, meowing. My daughter and I decided we couldn't let him spend the winter outside. I have an igloo on my porch, but he wouldn't use it. He spends the day on the window seat, watching the neighborhood.

badger
November 26th, 2004, 06:08 PM
Lucky boy, watching the world go by. I have a feeling as he settles down and makes a place for himself in the pack (you, your daughter and the two other cats) he will be fine. Be very gentle around him, at the same time letting him know that certain kinds of behaviour are not OK and you are the alpha. My cats are quite responsive to NO and they hate to be ignored, which is what I do when they p*ss me off. I find that cats who have spent time outside (feral or not) have a different way of operating than cats raised 'by hand'. They live in their own little universe and it takes time to blend that in with your own. Also his paws will be painful for awhile, depending on the method used for declawing (my vet uses a laser and swears it doesn't hurt). Are you giving him medication for that?

CyberKitten
November 26th, 2004, 07:03 PM
He'll probably be fine. (except for the declawing)

You wrote: "My daughter and I were involved with a cat shelter and we took most of our cats in when they were unadoptable."

No shelter I know promotes or advocates declawing - and as you may know, it is banned in all but Canada and the US. but we will wise up soon too I am sure. Many declawed cats will become biters since they have been so mutilated they have little eslse as a defense.

And many kittens think biting is a regular playtime fun and they just need to be taught not to do it. My kitten will try to bite on occasion but she does not get attention when she does it and is learning it is NOT a good thing.

FYI: This is a typical part of a contract when you "adopt" a kitten from a rescue or reputable breeder -

We have a NO DECLAW policy for all our cats and kittens. Declawing is extremely painful, healing requires several weeks to months, and in many cases a catís feet will remain sore for life. Cats need their claws for daily grooming and for proper exercise of muscles by stretching and scratching. In addition, claws help a cat jump and retain their balance. Trimming a kittenís claws is simple. We trim the babiesí claws on a regular basis and they soon learn to accept this procedure as routine. They have grown up with various scratching posts and climbing toys and have been taught to use them instead of our furniture although you will have to show them what you expect in your home. These cats are smart and want to please their owners. For more information go to: www.declawing.com and http://declaw.lisaviolet.com/

chico2
November 26th, 2004, 08:43 PM
Kathi,it seems you have your heart in the right place and did a good thing for this cat,I hate to harp on de-clawing,but I hope you will not do it to another cat again.Cats,as you should know by now,are trainable...and can learn not too scratch furniture.My husband built this cat-tree,since store-bought once are so very expensive and my three cats use it all the time.

louie's mum
November 26th, 2004, 11:22 PM
hey chico. i spent the better part of one evening looking for plans (actually will be a combination of a bunch i think) for a cat tree that would fit into my small livingroom. i have 2 high casement windows that louie would love to get at and i figured this would be a great project specially after seeing the price of these things. :eek:
hopefully he'll use the bottom 'pad' to scratch and have a perch at the top to lounge on and some fun stuff in between.
he's a horizontal scratcher and only goes for my area rugs :rolleyes: . not interested in scratching post. i tied a toy on elastic to it and he bats that thing around, attacks the post, hugs it, tugs it and gets some good exercise that way. i've tried cat nip (which he LOVES), tried treats, got down on the ground to 'show' him but he thinks i'm playing and goes after my hands (gently but always the 'hunter'). still goes back to the area rug. oh well, at least he's not interested in my sofas.
i will never declaw him or any other cat. i was totally ignorant to the procedure pretty well before the internet's popularity. looking back at my old cat, i now realize why she wasn't the same after and for that i will always be sorry. :sad:

chico2
November 27th, 2004, 08:59 AM
Louis mom,It's actually really easy to build,all you need is minimal carpentry skills and some leftover scrap-wood and carpeting.The only thing we bought was sisal-rope,which they love to scratch on...
The center part is a long 4'x4' piece of board,then 4 shelves...mind you,we've been through a couple of sets of sofas over the years until we bought leather,my cats do not scratch leather..
This cat-tree is not exactly attractive so mine is in the computer-room..I have an old house,with wide window-sills the favourite places for my guys..
I also take my cats outside every day,rain or shine or now snow coming and they love scratching on the trees.
As for declawing,I can think of nothing more cruel to do to an animal you love and most people will see the light...having furry animals in your house,means you will never have a spot-less home,things will be damaged..but they are just things and our furry friends are sooo worth it :love:

louie's mum
November 27th, 2004, 11:20 AM
Louis mom,It's actually really easy to build,all you need is minimal carpentry skills and some leftover scrap-wood and carpeting.The only thing we bought was sisal-rope,which they love to scratch on...
The center part is a long 4'x4' piece of board,then 4 shelves...mind you,we've been through a couple of sets of sofas over the years until we bought leather,my cats do not scratch leather..
This cat-tree is not exactly attractive so mine is in the computer-room..I have an old house,with wide window-sills the favourite places for my guys..
I also take my cats outside every day,rain or shine or now snow coming and they love scratching on the trees.
As for declawing,I can think of nothing more cruel to do to an animal you love and most people will see the light...having furry animals in your house,means you will never have a spot-less home,things will be damaged..but they are just things and our furry friends are sooo worth it :love:
thanks chico2. i just was saying to my sister he's so worth it and if i lose a couple of rugs oh well :)
i'm hoping to put together something that won't look attrocious (sp) in my living room (in my mind it's beauuuuutiful, stunning actually lol) i'm sure my first couple of attempts will end up in the basement which is fine since he perches himself on the 2" window sills down there now and he can't be very comfy. perhaps i'll try to incorporate a heavy tree branch for the basement see if he likes the natural effect. i saw the sisal rope at home depot and it's not that outragous price wise.
if anything turns out i'll post the pics. may take a while. i seem to have a lot of these projects in my head - getting off the sofa is the first one ;)
have a great day.