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HELP, serious biting by cat

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My daughter's cat Chester was found abandoned in a pickup truck when he was approx. 3 wks. old. He is now almost 2. He has always bitten her, and not other family members. The vet said when he was a baby that due to other problems he felt that he had mental issues. He told my dght. that Chester had no conscience and that there were too many other cats that needed homes. He also told her that in his opinion Chester would not change. Was he right. My dght. now has 3 kittens about 8 wks. old that she rescued from outdoors. Chester will clean them, and then goes for their throats. He gets ahold of my dght., holds with his claws and bites deep. This is almost an every day occurance. Her arms are all bit and scratched. It takes other family members to pull him off. Water doesn't mean a thing. She carries a throw pillow in the house with her to ward him off. He even attackes when she is sleeping. I'm afraid that she needs to euthanize him as the vet suggested. She can't give him to someone else. Especially if the family has kids. We have a few do not kill shelters in the area but they are only for cats that are adoptable. Please any suggestions will be appreciated. The vet said that he is healthy, except mentally. He's a beautiful black & wht. cat. I'll be waiting for your answers.
post #2 of 10
well i dont think your vet was right in the suggestion to euthanize him. biting is not a good thing, but i really dont think u have to go as far as killing him. my cat bites too, always has. i found him when he was 4 weeks old. from what i understand, cats who were hand raised with no other adult cats or kittens around dont learn the social skills their mother/siblings would have taught them, and never learn how to play properly. siblings teach each other boundaries. kittens raised alone will bite & scratch bc they were never taught the difference between play biting and biting that hurts.

some things that can help is, redirecting his biting to a toy when he starts to bite your daughter. get his attention on the toy and let him attack that. also, dont try to pull away from his biting, that makes him think you are playing, instead, relax your hands and dont move, he will get bored and let go, also, dont encourage his behavior by playing with him using your hands, and when he does attack, dont pet him afterwards just get up and walk away, and ignore him.. the fact is he may not ever stop doing this. my cat still does it all the time and i dont think he will change, but i would never get him PTS bc he bites i love him just the same regardless. i have just learned to deal with his behavior problems.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Believe me, he is loved. This cat is a large male. He gets this look in his eyes and its more than biting. He attacks as if she is prey and will not let go. As I said before he needs to be pulled off and he is strong. Of course she does not want to kill him. But something has to happen here to stop this behavior. He is drawing blood.
post #4 of 10
One thing to keep in mind is that cat bites can be quite a problem if they get infected, so I hope she has a good supply of Polysporin around! I'm curious if he bites only when she tries to handle him in any way (in which case the sad answer is to not try to do it except when necessary, and then wear gloves or wrap him in a towel), or if he initiates the bites all on his own.
post #5 of 10
Originally Posted by deljo View Post
Believe me, he is loved. This cat is a large male. He gets this look in his eyes and its more than biting. He attacks as if she is prey and will not let go. As I said before he needs to be pulled off and he is strong. Of course she does not want to kill him. But something has to happen here to stop this behavior. He is drawing blood.
I'm sorry.. I never meant to imply that he isn't loved.. I just personally don't think the vet should have suggested u put him to sleep. Biting is a serious problem, but there are things that can be done and if done right, it can be helped. But consistancy is key bc if its let go, the problem could get worse... there are a couple good stickys on aggression, check those out. Maybe even giving him a "time out" for 5 mins when he bites might help him get the right idea.

Edit to add... my cat is a 9 mo old 13 lb kitten who gets that look in his eyes and u just know what he is bout to do, also very strong, and he could very welll draw blood if he wants but he never does with his teeth at least.
post #6 of 10
This doesn't sound like a simple biting problem that redirection will help with... The vet may very well be correct that there is something wrong with the cat - an average cat, even if it were an unaltered male should not be that aggressive. (unprovoked attacks = something not right here)

Has the cat had a very thorough vet check? There may be something that regular check missed.
- Kind of reminds me of the post in IMO where a person was mentioned a family dog that had a huge behavior change and became very aggressive. So rule that out just in case.

There are users on here that have chosen medication to control such behavior, hopefully they can add some advice on this subject too.

In the meantime, watch him with the babies. Biting and holding them is a dominate behavior, but if he doesn't know how rough he is being he could kill them.
Read the "he bit me" thread in health & nutrition too.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
This cat had a "spell" when he was about 6 wks. old. He couldn't walk. We immediately took him to the vet. When put on the floor he stumbled into the wall. He was blind and almost unconscious. The vet put him in an incubator, after taking blood and x-rays. Within about 2 hrs. he sprung to life again. The vet said the occurance suggested brain trauma of some sort but he could not identify it. If memory serves me right he started his agressive behavior soon after. To answer a question, my daughter does not need to pet him or pay attention to him. He can walk in the room and just attack. She has been seeing another vet who was going to look into medicating him. I hope it helps. I'll look into the stickys on agression. This cat was hand raised and fed. We do realize his overall behavior will be different since he did not have a mommy cat.
post #8 of 10
It does sound like you're dealing with a neurologically damaged cat, and so normal behavioral measures won't be of much use. I was going to suggest medication... glad to hear you're already trying it. It could be that a drug like Prozac will curb his aggressive behavior.
post #9 of 10
Oh my, how scary...there have been many times, especially before I found TCS, that I just KNEW I couldn't keep my kitty. Her attacks are SO VICIOUS!!

I know "that look"'s frightening to be the recipient of such behavior. I absolutely will NOT be able to keep her if we don't curtail her attacks. They're primarillly directed toward me..and others who have witnessed these attacks are APPALLED at the profound deliberateness and viciousness of them!

I don't know what she experienced before she showed up at my door, so I'm trying to be patient, I do feel much more optimistic since I've found this site. With all the love there is here and all the support, there has got to be a solution.

I know one thing, I've been a "THROWAWAY" all my life and I want to love her with all my heart if it will heal whatever her demons are!

I have had infected bites and am immunosuppressed anyway, so this has to stop. I have cried for hours at the MEANNESS of her attacks and at the pain caused by them!
post #10 of 10
I think you could reduce the damage, anyway. Have you tried handling her with gloves on, and wearing jeans at all times (rather than skirts) so that her teeth can't get through? It might be that she simply does not want to be touched--at all--ever--and though this is hard for a cat owner to take, it may be a possible solution.

Have you had your cat's brain checked, deljo? A tumor could cause aggression like that; so could a head injury. You mentioned his "spell"--certain parts of the cat's brain, when injured, will change his temperament like that. Also have his hormones checked, especially the thyroid.

I would only consider euthanasia if the cat's own quality of life is so low that it's no longer worth it. While there's life, there's hope... Is your vet primarily working with dogs? A dog with similar behavior, because of its larger size, might actually need to be put down; and the vet could simply be treating cats as small, agile dogs.
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