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my cat attacks me unprovoked :(

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
a little over a year ago my friend found an abandoned kitten at her workplace. She told me about the kitten and that if nobody took him he was destined to be sent to a shelter. So of course i said i would take him, i named him Jack, as in Capt jack sparrow (he was found at a pirate restraunt); jack for short. When he was young he did the playful biting and scratching but i would say stop and he would. and when he did play he never broke skin or even leave marks.

So i took him to get his shots and he was also neutered. As months passed he started to randomly attack me and my parents. playful at first but as time went on he became more and more aggressive and the biting and attacking became more serious. He was still young so i figured he was still learning not to bite so i went through what i knew to stop the biting. first if he attacked me i would yell ouch!! or i would grab the neared object and distract him, or grab a pillow and push him out of the room and close the door. i also tried the light water bottle But none of these worked.

Keep in mind these attacks are not provoked. He is perfectly fine for awhile and he'll come to me and i'll pick him up and pet him and when he wants down i'll let him down. he wont attack or bite. but maybe hours later i'll go to the living room for a drink and walk back and he'll come at me out of no where and jump up to my thy and *bite* me as well as scratch me. and this is no play bite. he bites and breaks skin. he does not bite me as much, but he attacks my mom repeatedly. and my mom will yell ouch! and throw something to distract and he'll just run back up to her and try and bite her again. Its as if he is bi-polar or something. I'm really at my limit on what i can do, i dont want to give him up i love him very much but i cant have him biting and attacking my family, i'm afraid to have people come over because of his random aggression.

on a random note, my cat also recently decided to eat 2 pennies so he was taken to the vet and had his operation he was fine afterword and had a clean bill of health. he was aggressive before and after. also,from what the doctors said he was a perfect angel to them. is it that he just does not like us? would be happier somewhere else?

I wanted to ask if anyone had any suggestions on reasons why this is happening and what can be done to change his behavoir. I have looked into feliaway (sp?) and might try that with my next paycheck. But what ireally want to know is if there is something that am i maybe unconciously doing to provoke these attacks or if there is something bothering him that i dont know about. please help!!!
post #2 of 11
How much do you play with him? It sounds to me like you have a bored kitty on your hands.

Cats rarely get "aggressive" towards people and if they are in fight mode you'll really know with lots of warning growls and hissing etc.

It sounds like you're dealing with play aggression gone out of hand. You're doing the right thing by yelling ouch and trying to distract the cat but you probably need to play lots more with him and use timeouts.

I.e after he's bitten put him in a room somewhere to let him calm down (or leave the room yourself and close the door) anyway human legs are some of the most exciting things in the world for bored indoor cats. The legs move irregularely like prey and if there's not much else going on they'll start stalking and hunting the legs which is not good.

Here's an article about play agression: http://www.thecatsite.com/Behavior/2...ggression.html
http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/aggression2.html
post #3 of 11
Good advice & links given. I know its hard to do but you need to persist. Show mom what to do also. I've been through this with my kitten especially when she was a baby. She would always attack our ankles as we walked through the house. At 11 mths she doesn't do it very much at all now.
post #4 of 11
We have a cat like that named Spici. We will just walk right by her and she'll try and attack us - sometimes its play & sometimes its aggression. With her you can tell the difference...

Immediately after she does that, we do a sound she doesn't like and then don't give her eye contact. We do a "ch" sound and then walk away. That works for our cats at least. We let her know that kind of behavior is not tolerated. Then we leave her alone for a little while to calm down.

Your cat might be a little bored or he might just need some disipline. Try whatever you can! You will find something that works for your cat...Good Luck!
post #5 of 11
I agree with Siggav. If he's 'appearing out of nowhere' and attacking your ankles, he is almost certainly trying to initiate play. Cats (especially younger cats) play with each other in this way, however rough it may seem to your poor ankles! Play is all about practising hunting skills.

I have been through this with Radar, he would find somewhere to hide so that he could ambush me as I walked past, I have gone through many occassions of shuffling along the corridor with a cat wrapped around my ankle!

My Radar is a very overexcitable, energetic, and playful cat - and all the interactive play we could offer wasn't going to satisfy him. He now has a little 'step-brother' as a playmate and they expend all that energy chasing each other around, and the occurrence of me playing the part of wildebeest to his lion has reduced considerably
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
thank you so much for your replies i will try to play with him more often and hopefully this helps him. i didnt think he was bored but i guess it makes alot of sense. we are all busy people wtih school and work but i will now make a point to spend more time playing with him.
post #7 of 11
Get a laser pointer and let him chase the dot!! This is working wonders with my Tiny, who has the same problem (except he doesn't break the skin when he pounces, thank goodness). And you can carry the pointer with you, so you can distract him when he's in the mood to pounce on something. So far, the pointer is the only toy that's gotten him running after it, instead of waiting for me to come near so he can pounce it, as he does with other toys--this is good because running tires him out!

Also, when he pounces, I've been hissing at him and/or scruffing him... Basically, grab the loose skin at the back of his neck, and hold him still for a few seconds. This is what momcats do to kittens and is generally calming. He has stopped attacking so much now that I'm doing this instead of just getting him off me. But NEVER pick a grown cat up by his scruff--this is painful for them! I'm not sure whether that method would work for you, since your cat's habit is much more established than my cat's; but it could be worth a try. His impulse when the scruff is held is to calm down... I have had to put another hand on the cat's hindquarters, as well, and hold him in a lying-down position for a count of five. Naturally he hates being held still but he knows that's what happens when he pounces on me... So now he tends to run up to me, pounce at the air, then dart back guiltily... I'm not sure whether this unorthodox strategy would work for another cat, but it seems to work for mine. If you try it, be prepared to hate it every bit as much as the cat does!...
post #8 of 11
Scruffing doesn't work on all cats though. I had a problem where Nikita was sometimes attacking my feet and I tried to scruff her then but after doing it successfully once she was in on it and got angry and immediately lashed on my hand if it looked like I was going to scruff her.

What worked for me was to give her a timeout. Close her off in the hallway for maybe 5-10minutes. Then let her back in and continue playing with toys with her. If she went for my foot again it was the hallway again. Although getting her there could be a bit of a bother sometimes. She caught quickly on that the funtime was over if she went for my feet.

She still does it occasionally but that's only if I've not been playing enough with her (she's a very active cat and needs around 2 hours of playtime every day)
post #9 of 11
Heh. Yeah, some cats are smart like that. Tiny... not so much. Love him anyway!

Obviously if it doesn't work, don't do it

Prevention is always the best cure anyway. Getting Tiny to take out some of his energy on his toys is a lot better than having to hold onto the poor critter.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neko_Alchemist View Post
a little over a year ago my friend found an abandoned kitten at her workplace. She told me about the kitten and that if nobody took him he was destined to be sent to a shelter. So of course i said i would take him, i named him Jack, as in Capt jack sparrow (he was found at a pirate restraunt); jack for short. When he was young he did the playful biting and scratching but i would say stop and he would. and when he did play he never broke skin or even leave marks.

So i took him to get his shots and he was also neutered. As months passed he started to randomly attack me and my parents. playful at first but as time went on he became more and more aggressive and the biting and attacking became more serious. He was still young so i figured he was still learning not to bite so i went through what i knew to stop the biting. first if he attacked me i would yell ouch!! or i would grab the neared object and distract him, or grab a pillow and push him out of the room and close the door. i also tried the light water bottle But none of these worked.

Keep in mind these attacks are not provoked. He is perfectly fine for awhile and he'll come to me and i'll pick him up and pet him and when he wants down i'll let him down. he wont attack or bite. but maybe hours later i'll go to the living room for a drink and walk back and he'll come at me out of no where and jump up to my thy and *bite* me as well as scratch me. and this is no play bite. he bites and breaks skin. he does not bite me as much, but he attacks my mom repeatedly. and my mom will yell ouch! and throw something to distract and he'll just run back up to her and try and bite her again. Its as if he is bi-polar or something. I'm really at my limit on what i can do, i dont want to give him up i love him very much but i cant have him biting and attacking my family, i'm afraid to have people come over because of his random aggression.

on a random note, my cat also recently decided to eat 2 pennies so he was taken to the vet and had his operation he was fine afterword and had a clean bill of health. he was aggressive before and after. also,from what the doctors said he was a perfect angel to them. is it that he just does not like us? would be happier somewhere else?

I wanted to ask if anyone had any suggestions on reasons why this is happening and what can be done to change his behavoir. I have looked into feliaway (sp?) and might try that with my next paycheck. But what ireally want to know is if there is something that am i maybe unconciously doing to provoke these attacks or if there is something bothering him that i dont know about. please help!!!
wow...we have been looking for a while now with no luck on finding a situation like ours. all the other sites just say u play to hard or egg it on but we don't. our cat attacks, scratches and bites our hands and feet all the time for no reason. even when we sleep.[quote][/ i read in your post u thought maybe bi polar, we thought maybe she was retarded or something.QUOTE] the part about your post that clinched it was about the pennies, she will try and eat a number of different things, pennies being one of them. she absolutely loves playing with rubber bands and her fav. is cue tips. have u had any luck figuring out how to calm the cat down? not very often can we pet or hold her without her biting or scratching us. not playlike either. draws blood often. people come over and think she is just playing and i have to get serious and tell them not even to touch the cat or they leave with deep bloody scratches up and down there arms. sometimes them not touching her isn't even enough and she attackes them anyways. She seems comfortable here. she is always laying flat on her back, legs spread wide open (very cute) , sometimes shes just lying there and sometimes she's messing with something near her. she attackes my wife more while we are awake and she gets me good mostly when i'm sleeping. we just don't know what to do, if we take her back to the pound we are sure they will end up putting her down. wish there was just a pill to make her normal or something. please respond, we are relieved to have found a similar situation.
post #11 of 11
My first recommendation is to get a second cat or kitten.

That makes ALL the difference in the world. Last time I saw a kitten like you are both describing was when my friend adopted one by himself. Human play just doesn't cut it most of the time. It takes a lot of work to keep them busy and happy when they don't have a playmate.

The shelter I work at will not allow anyone to adopt a kitten alone, they always have to be going to a home with other cats or adopted with a second cat. This is for the sanity and happiness of the cat. Unlike dogs who can peacefully wait for you in their crate, cats will have a hard time being alone by themselves while you are at work. (mind you this is not always the case but most of the time I've found it to be true)

The best thing my friend ever did for her cat was put it with another cat. He totally changed his personality. He was happy, well adjusted and a joy to play with. You AND your cat will be a million times more happy with a second cat.

Some people would balk at getting a second cat but a second cat is hardly more trouble than one.

These kittens are NOT retarded and they are NOT bipolar. They are simply being bored kittens who play too hard!
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