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post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have a 5 year old neutered house cat who lunges and bites. He only does this when (I think) he's mad at me for leaving for work or when he feels I'm not paying enough attention to him. Last night he was wanting to sit in my chair with me and I encouraged him to jump up. The next thing I know he had lunged and bit my arm leaving teeth marks. He first started doing this when I left on vacation for five days. I had just returned home and was unpacking in the living room. I was petting him and talking to him and next thing - he jumped at my leg and bit it. He doesn't growl, lay back his ears, or anything like that. He just jumps at me like a snake coiled up and then jumping out to bite. Is his agression his way of trying to tell me he's upset at me? Normally he's a very nice, friendly cat. Also, he loves to eat toilet paper off the roll and he also chews the newspaper ads - not the paper itself, but the crinkley, shiney department store type of ads. What's up with this guy?
post #2 of 8
Welcome to the site Grandma!

I'll move this to Behavior where our experts can give you some suggestions.
post #3 of 8
Welcome to The Cat Site!

My guess is that you brought back some scary smells with you when you returned from your trip. Some cats are super-sensitive to scents, so the stress of having you gone for a few days coupled with the smells you brought back were just too much for your little guy.

I would try one of two things (or both): Go to a health food store and ask for Dr. Bach's Rescue Remedy. This is a mixture of various flowers that have a wonderful calming effect on animals. Mix 4 drops in a couple of teaspoons of canned food twice daily until he returns to his old self.


Go to your local pet store and buy some Feliway. This is a pheromone which mimics the friendly scents that cats leave when they rub their cheeks against things. This pheromone seems to calm cats. You can use either the plug-in dispenser or you can put a little on a cloth and rub your legs with the cloth and hold the cloth under the cat's nose a few times daily.

If neither of these work, I would suggest taking your boy to the vet to make sure he is physically healthy. If there are no physical problems, the vet may put him on valium until he returns to normal.

Good luck!
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks - that information is helpful. However, it was 4 years ago when I took that trip so any smells should be gone - I hope.(I should have made that more clear in my first message.) He's probably only bit me like I mentioned in my first message about 4-5 times during the 5 years I've had him. He doesn't always do it when I leave him (say for a weekend) - that longer trip was just the first instance of it. The last couple of times he acted this agressive have been during the last month or so. He doesn't bite and hang on - he just strikes with his teeth. He seems to be frustrated about something I do - or don't do.
post #5 of 8
Is it possible that he is responding to something outside? We sometimes see redirected or misdirected aggression in cats when they see another cat (or something else) outside. Since they can't attack the other cat, the aggression is misdirected to the closest person. It isn't a deliberate act, but is due to their instincts kicking in and then acting on those instincts (but in the wrong way).

Have you noticed whether there is something in particular going on when he attacks? A certain sound or movement or anything?

Think back to the last attack and describe to us exactly what you and he were doing before, during and after the attack. Perhaps this will help us pin-point things a little better.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
I was sitting in my chair (which he likes to share with me or lay in when I'm gone) watching TV. I wasn't moving or anything. He was at the foot of the chair acting like he does when he wants to sit with me in the chair. I moved my leg so he could jump up and he put his front paws on the chair like he was going to jump up. Next thing I felt him biting (actually hits me with his mouth open, never hangs on with his teeth or anything, but hits so hard he leaves little teeth holes in my arm) me (then he looks at me like "there - take that!" before he runs off because he knows I will yell at him and tell him not to bite.

Aside from these episodes he's a nice and loving cat. Always meets me when I come home, greets me when I get up, and loves attention. He's very smart - he plays fetch with me (like a dog) and retrieves his little toy mice when I throw it. It doesn't take him long to learn new things and is in good health.
post #7 of 8
I have a cat that does this as well. Without warning too. I took Kabota to the vet recently and had a full work-up done on him and they could find nothing wrong. He leaves teeth marks but does not draw blood. I have taken to keeping a rolled up washcloth (taped) near me and put it between me and him when he is next to me. He has decided that this is more attractive to bite than my arm and has taken to attacking that instead. Maybe that will help in this instance?
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I guess I could try that - beats having a scared up arm! Just wish I knew why he does it - maybe he's grying to tell me I'm not paying enough attention to him.
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