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Old December 7th, 2010, 10:50 PM
KitQ KitQ is offline
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Clingy cat attacks when put down

Hi! I'm a new poster here; I've done my best to do a quick study of the forums, so hopefully I'm posting in the right spot and I'm not doubling up on any other posts...

I have an 'aggression' problem with my new(ish) kitty that I was hoping the veterans here may be able to help with. I've read a lot of stuff on the net about cat aggression, but nothing seems to quite fit this situation.

Full disclosure, I'm a first time pet owner. I got Cliffie, a big, black 4 year old male DSH cat in August. He's a rescue, so unfortunately, other than his medical history, we know nothing for sure about his past (he was perfectly healthy aside from needing a teeth cleaning.) He's a wonderful cat! He's perfect, so sweet, very docile, except for this one worrying behavior.

He attacks me when I try to put him down. As in, if he's happy and on my lap or in my arms, and I need to get up or get him off me, he gets angry and lashes out VERY aggressively. He never, ever does this otherwise.

When we play, when I pat him, even when we're at the vet, or if he's stressed because of a new piece of furniture, he's a claws-in, mouth-closed kitty, until he feels I'm going to abandon him or something?!

It's not like he's getting tired of me petting him - I've never been attacked mid pat. It seems to be only when the patting's about to end, when I need to take him off of me or put him down, and he's not ready for it to end!
One time, he came up to me on his own accord, laid down on my chest, and started purring and head-butting my hand for attention. I let him hang around for a long while and gave him all the chin scratches I could, but my arm was getting tired in the position it was in, so I took a break. And then he drew blood from my chin >.<

King Cliffie did not say the scratches could stop! XD

It's not that I went to get up, move, twitch, or anything, I just stop moving my hand...

Weirdly enough, my boyfriend gets none of this aggression. But he sees it!

The foster mom we got him from only had him for a week, but said she believed he was taken away from his mother too early, because he licked her shirt while kneading her chest, and seemed to have abandonment issues. Since I'm the female of the house, I wonder if he sees me as his mom and is angry I'm 'abandoning' him??

We 'punish' him the way I've read about - saying 'no' loudly and firmly and then ignoring him for a while (Annnd maybe an uncontrollable, unlady-like squeal from me when his face latched to my chin). But it doesn't seem to be getting through!

I've been bit on the chin, and clawed on the lip so far. I've had plenty of close calls with this type of lash out, too. His aim is getting better (always my face!), which is why I'm getting worried. We give him a ton of attention; cuddles, petting, play time. We feed him properly. He's been checked out by a vet.

So I guess all I'm wondering is, does anyone have any creative solutions? Ideas? Thoughts? Or similar situations?

I shouldn't paint him in such a bad light in my first post. He really is a fantastic cat. The vet and the vet techs are in LOVE with him! When he stayed at the vet the afternoon after his teeth cleaning, apparently he made friends with EVERYONE (dogs, cats, people). When they put him under for the cleaning, he was still purring, while under anesthesia! This is how friendly and comfortable he USUALLY is, which is why his angry 'don't leave me' outbursts are so scary. They don't always happen. It's very unpredictable behavior. Nothing in his ears, tail, demeanor, etc. are obvious enough for me to notice them before it happens...
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Old December 7th, 2010, 11:04 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is online now
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Just on my way to bed, but I'm wondering if Cliffie is truly being aggressive or if these are "love bites" with a little too much force behind them. I get those from my cats all the time but they've also learned good bite inhibition from their siblings, so they rarely break skin (and they're still young - 6 months). Could be that Cliffie never learned how hard is too hard. I'd suggest being patient and persistent and hopefully he'll eventually learn to (I know, easier said than done when you're bleeding!).
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Old December 8th, 2010, 12:21 AM
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In the meantime, while you're trying to change his behavior, why not try doing something to blunt his claws? regular clipping keeps them a lot duller, just watch out for the quick. Or you could try the plastic sheaths that glue onto the claws, although they do fall off eventually. It won't help with the biting, but at least you won't be getting scratched.
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Old December 8th, 2010, 08:08 AM
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chico2 chico2 is offline
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My cat Chico,is the most loving,sweet cat,he gives "love-bites"or scratches when we stop petting him.
He does not clamp down hard,but does go through the skin.
The strange thing is,he too only does it to me,not hubby.
I don't see any aggression though and I have seen real aggression in a cat,where I needed hospital-care.

and thank you for rescuing a big black 4yr-old kittyfor some reason most people shun black cats.
I have a black kitty that nobody wanted too,that's my Chico.
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Old December 9th, 2010, 12:59 AM
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Koteburo Koteburo is offline
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Sometimes on your way down when putting a kitty back on the floor they get scared and scratch.
My Mulder (kitten) has got me in the nose, my back (that one was bad) and she uses her claws a lot but I don't think is an aggression problem I can tell when it's been really aggression and many times in cats rough playing can be misinterpreted as aggressive behavior. Have you tried playing with him using a ball? Like a squash ball or a golf ball, throw it around your place and he can seek. I have done it with adult cats and they do respond to playing time in a lot of cases. Or with the light reflected by a mirror or a laser pointer, it could help maybe to give him some ease.
Maybe like SCM said and Chico it could be love bites
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Old December 9th, 2010, 01:25 AM
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TeriM TeriM is offline
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I would also agree with clipping the tips of the claws. It is fairly easy to do and can save you a lot of pain. I would also suggest that you use a technique that is used with dogs and that is to try not to use your hands or arms at all when removing the cat. I would just slowly get up and keep your hands/arms at your side and hopefully the cat will just sort of slide off.

Good luck .
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