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Violent Attitude

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Sorry I haven't been on in so long guys! I miss everybody and plan on getting back into my regular TCS routing soon!

Zoey has always been fiesty; she has an attitude, sass, spunk, and becomes aggressive sometimes. For example: I'll just be walking through the house and Zoey will start following me around. So I pick her up, and she has 3 reactions. The first is she goes limp and just lays there on my shoulder, purring, enjoying the attention. The second is when she immediately pivots in my arms, screams (she is half Siamese and has an extreme variety of meows, this one is her angry meow) and, with claws out, swats me across the face. Today she scratched me across my lip and chin and drew blood on both scratches. Oh, yeah, and the third is when she'll be in my arms and act happy for about 10 or 15 seconds, then out of nowhere will issue Reaction #2.

This is the only time she becomes violent. In play she does, but, she's 5 months old and of course she is just playing. I let her out about 3 hours every morning to play with the other kittens, so that definitely tones down her rough play inside the house. She is just being sassy, but it kind of hurts when she actually gets me.... I take her by the scruff of her neck, firmly say "NO, Zoey, NO" and drop her to the floor. I don't place her down gently, as if what she just did didn't matter. I drop her about two feet and then she sits there and pouts because I won't pay attention to her for the next 5 minutes or so. But...

This doesn't seem to really help, because she wanted down in the first place and just got what she wanted! If I continue to hold her, it just makes her mad.

It's also possible she has is going into heat? This has been going on ever since she was about 3 or 3.5 months old. I haven't gotten her fixed yet because our vet doesn't spay or neuter until she is 6 months. He has a reason for this, I won't go into the whole story.

Suggestions? Opinions? Reccomendations? All are appreciated! :biggrin:
post #2 of 20
Don't pick her up and hold her like that, give both of you a break. After all, you're 'doing' it to her, and then punishing her afterward, but what did she do after all but protest you're picking her up? It's not like she could tell you not to bother. Why she's nice at first and then turns, who knows, cats are wild, but even that's not her fault.
post #3 of 20
You may just need to learn her personality. Some cats don't like to be picked up.

When you do pick her up you might do it in a way that allows her to immediately get down if she isn't in the mood to be held. Maybe always squat down and first set her on your leg. If she doesn't jump down, maybe she is willing to be held.

I think Larke is right. You need to be careful not to punish her when she really hasn't done anything wrong that she can understand as wrong. You picked her up against her will and she doesn't know any other way to tell you she doesn't like it.
post #4 of 20
I agree with the others, she obviously does not like being held which is not at all unusual. Some cats do and some don't - simple as that.

Your are forcing her to do something she doesn't like and then punishing her when she protests. That's not fair to her and it won't do anything good for your relationship with each other.
post #5 of 20
What they said! My Cassy is violent and she is 2-3 or maybe 4? years old. She definately does not want to be picked up, she is not a 'lap kitty'.

I've gotten a few bites and scratches from her back legs because I just couldn't help myself, I had to pick her up and give her hugs. She does not want to be picked up,
e v e r. Sometimes I will pick her up and then I pay for it!

I respect her personality, I never scold or punish her.
post #6 of 20
My Alley hated to be picked up and held in any way and would always fight to get loose.

That doesn't mean Zoey will never want to be held again. Sometimes they just go through phases
post #7 of 20
My Chloe was like that, but there are times when you have to be able to pick them them up, to put them in a carrier or at the vets.
What I did with Chloe was get her used to it gradually. At first just hold her for a second and just gradually lenthen the time you hold her.
Chloe is still not keen on being picked up , but I can carry her up or down stairs now and pop her in the carrier without her making a fuss.
If you clip her claws it won't hurt so much if she does scratch you.
post #8 of 20
The question no one answered, at 5 month, YES, she can be in heat.
post #9 of 20
I agree with the others mostly except for it doesn't seem like she hates to be picked up because you did say there are times when she seems to enjoy it and relaxes and purrs. Does she act differently right before you pick her up and she has reaction #1 than reactions #2 and #3. I would try to see. She may just be overstimulated. I wouldn't give up on picking her up. Just if you try to pick her up and she protests, I would just put her down quickly and just leave it at that... not give her a chance to scratch or anything.

Also, she can be in heat at 5 months. Is she giving you indications that she is in heat? That may be stressing her if she is.

I see her picture in your signature and she is a cutie.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions everybody!

It's not that she isn't cuddly and doesn't like being held. She often does, and she is a total lap kitty. Sometimes she just does that, and she doesn't give me any warning. The thing is that she is getting violent about it.

I understand how you may be against my 'punishing' her but it seems to be working. Now she yowls as a warning before the scratch, where previously she did both simultaneously. But she DOES like being picked up, sometimes she just gets in these moods, and my 'punishment' is helping her to become less violent about it.

Also, she is giving no other signs that she is in heat, so no. I'm getting her fixed as soon as I can though.
post #11 of 20
Another thing to remember, around that age kittens tend to get a little more independent. Some start wanting to be snuggled or picked up less, play rougher, get into stuff. She's turning into a kitty teen.

Is there another vet that could possibly spay Zoey sooner?
post #12 of 20
hi!
Just thought I'd drop in with my two cents too!
I agree to not put her down with aggression, just be careful you don't get too mad and hurt her, thought it doesn't seem like you are going that far.
Try this: since you can sometimes tell about how long she will let you hold her, put her down before. For example, if she wants to get down after holding her for 30 seconds, praise her and give her a small treat at 15 seconds and put her down. Do that for quite sometime and then try a couple of seconds longer. Praise her, give her a reinforcer, then put her down. Try and shape the amount of time she will tolerate you holding her. That way, you are making the decision when to put her down and she is not making the decision for you by hurting you. Make sure the praises are big and if you give her an edible item, it varies from time to time. Make it extremely pleasurable for her to be held. Don't let it get so far that she is allowed to get what she wants by acting violently. When she crys for you to put her down, you can also use the praise with that. She cry's to put her down, put her down and praise her! Praises can be edibles, strong verbal praise, a pat in her favorite spot, or a quick game with her favorite toy. When she aggresses on you, put her down, speak sternly, and neutrally and ignore her like you have been doing. Hope this helps! Good luck! She is ADORABlE! I bet it's easy to spoil her!
post #13 of 20
Greta acts similarly in that most of the time she does not want to be held and never lasted long without wanting to get away. I stopped picking her up as much but still gave her attention while she was sitting somewhere around the house. After a week or two of avoiding forcing myself on her and picking her up too much Greta will now jump up in my lap when I am in the recliner with and sit with me, something she never used to do willingly.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the suggestions!
bellaluciabaci made me realize what I was doing wrong. I work with horses alot and you teach them by one main principle- punishment and reward. I realized I was only 'punishing' Zoey when she was bad and not rewarding her whenever she was good. *hits head on keyboard* I can be such an idiot!
Now she alot better and about 75% of the time she will be sweet. I can pick her up, and she cries because she will want to play or go outside, but is not as aggressive. She hasn't scratched me in a long time, with the exception of play. Thanks again ya'll! Espcecially you bellaluciabaci!
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KuntryKitty View Post
Thanks for the suggestions everybody!

It's not that she isn't cuddly and doesn't like being held. She often does, and she is a total lap kitty. Sometimes she just does that, and she doesn't give me any warning. The thing is that she is getting violent about it.

I understand how you may be against my 'punishing' her but it seems to be working. Now she yowls as a warning before the scratch, where previously she did both simultaneously. But she DOES like being picked up, sometimes she just gets in these moods, and my 'punishment' is helping her to become less violent about it.

Also, she is giving no other signs that she is in heat, so no. I'm getting her fixed as soon as I can though.
I'm sorry -- I have to agree with the others. If I were her, I would learn to fear being picked up if there is a possibility of being dropped from 2 feet off the ground.

I got my cat used to being picked when he was a kitten. I also ALWAYS set him down gently so he learns that my holding him will not cause him pain or fear. Also, I know when he is "not in the mood" because he will meow loudly in protest. Then I just set him back down. To this day I don't think he loves at but will tolerate it.
post #16 of 20
Hey! Glad I had something you could take with you!!! I am happy to hear that you and Zoey are happy again! I just got my first kitty and he will be 23 weeks tomorrow, I keep an eye on her changing behavior, but she's a ragdoll, so she's pretty much down with everything! I am totally jealous that you work with horses! I rode for 14 years and think they are the most amazing thing on 4 feet [next to my Lucia and my Molly ("ruff, ruff")], or course! I keep waiting for the day that I can once again be near them in that way!
Take care to you and Zoey!


Quote:
Originally Posted by KuntryKitty View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions!
bellaluciabaci made me realize what I was doing wrong. I work with horses alot and you teach them by one main principle- punishment and reward. I realized I was only 'punishing' Zoey when she was bad and not rewarding her whenever she was good. *hits head on keyboard* I can be such an idiot!
Now she alot better and about 75% of the time she will be sweet. I can pick her up, and she cries because she will want to play or go outside, but is not as aggressive. She hasn't scratched me in a long time, with the exception of play. Thanks again ya'll! Espcecially you bellaluciabaci!
post #17 of 20
She sure is a cutie! & She sounds like she is FULL of personality! I have a Siamese Mix too, she isn't FOND of being picked up... but she'll 'tolerate' it - while filling the room with *RrrooWWoooLLLL*'s

& My kitty Horatio has recently become a lap kitty since the introduction of our 3rd kitty. & he has always while you love and pet on him... he will love it, love it, love it... be happy, happy, happy... then out of no where... WHAM! He ATTACKS your hand with TEETH and NAILS!
He stays there... he doesn't take off... his eyes get huge & he watches you like he is a lion & YOU are dinner!... he just ALL of a sudden just goes into kamakaze PLAY MODE and if I go to touch him again... WHAM! LOL!

LOL! Makes me nervous every time I love on him but he's too cute to ever not give him a good pettin

Max... he's a bundle of love... until night time when your feet become his night time snacks...

All kitties have their own quirks and personalities, that we all put up with and LOVE because we are Cat People.

post #18 of 20
Great to hear things are working better for you

Cats on average don't do well with negative reinforcement and punishment. They're not naturally as hierarchical and herd or pack oriented as horses and dogs so the concept of putting up with stuff and submitting to a 'leader' is alien to cats.

Cats do well with positive reinforcement however. I find that when getting cats to do stuff rewarding them when they do good and ignoring when they do bad (ignoring can sometimes mean having to close the cat off in another room if they're too hyped up) works really well.
post #19 of 20
Siggav! Your pictures are great!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Siggav View Post
Great to hear things are working better for you

Cats on average don't do well with negative reinforcement and punishment. They're not naturally as hierarchical and herd or pack oriented as horses and dogs so the concept of putting up with stuff and submitting to a 'leader' is alien to cats.

Cats do well with positive reinforcement however. I find that when getting cats to do stuff rewarding them when they do good and ignoring when they do bad (ignoring can sometimes mean having to close the cat off in another room if they're too hyped up) works really well.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellaluciabaci View Post
Siggav! Your pictures are great!
Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed them!
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