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Troubled by my Psycho

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Cosmo (about 3) is a beautiful cat, and he's very attached to our family. He usually likes to be where we are and will follow one of us (me or my daughter) around the house. When my daughter comes home from school he is all over her with head-butts and rubbing. When we watch TV at night he sits at the end of the bed with us. He's fairly smart, knows his name and comes when you call (if he wants to, LOL). He begs for food at the table and knows our habits. He's well loved and spoiled.

A few things though...

He like to play ALL THE TIME. While we do play with him and he's got a bucket full of toys, we obviously can't play with him at every second of the day. He has a few "stand-alone" toys to play with by himself, but he seems to get bored with those pretty quickly. I don't know HOW to keep in occupied when we just can't play with him.

When he wants attention (to play) he's taken to climbing my walls. Literally. The doorjambs in my hallway are all scratched and gouged from him jumping as high as he can and clawing his way down the wall. Some of the scratches start as high as my head (I'm not kidding)! I tried hanging scarves on the doorjambs and for a while that worked... I left them up for months so he would hopefully "forget" the behavior. He did... but only for a while. He's back to doing it. And of course, I can't catch him in the act (like that would really matter anyway, LOL) because by the time I'm off the bed or out of my chair he's torn across the house as fast as he can.

The last thing that has started to really trouble me is the biting. He's NOT a mush (really, the opposite of my old cat)... he doesn't like to be on laps and he doesn't seek to be petted. While he likes to be near us, it's always at arms length and he basically tolerates us petting him, but only for short periods of time. I can see his signals, USUALLY, and will warn my husband and daughter "he's frisky now, leave him alone"... but sometimes it comes out of no where. He'll be sitting there nice as can be, no sign of aggression or playfulness or even annoyance, and you'll touch him and he bites.

For the most part he doesn't bite hard. Today was really the first day he bit me, on my forearm, where it hurt - though it didn't draw blood. He had come LOOKING for me. Jumped up on my desk and was head-butting me. He sat down on my mouse hand and I gently moved him over. He didn't like that - LOL. His ears were back so I asked him to get down... I was barely moving and not touching him. My arm was on the desk in front of him and he just quickly shot down and bit my arm!

I'm really not sure what to do. If I play with him more he then wants even MORE playtime (not less). His body language isn't always clear or consistent... sometimes tale wagging seems to indicate happiness, sometimes it's aggression, sometimes something else. He doesn't purr often, and when he does it's so quiet you can barely hear it. He's really kind-of a bizarre cat. He certainly loves and trusts us as he's often sprawled out at our feet (just out of reach, LOL) with belly exposed. He's actually chasing his tale right now!

He's frisky and playful like a kitten, but the biting is really what has me most concerned. What is the best way to tell him "no" when it happens? What would the cat whisperer do? LOL - is there such a thing?

ps. He's been to the vet and is perfectly healthy.
post #2 of 5
Have you thought about getting a playmate for your boy? I ask because I was having problems like this with my girl Trinity until Bentley came around. When we got Bentley, I am pretty sure he "taught" her (in kitty speak of course) that biting was not nice because after we got him, she quit most of the "bad" behaviors you talk about. She is also a lot more entertained now (of course at this point, she has three brothers to keep her company).

If another cat is not an option, you could try letting out a high pitched noise (kinda a squeal) whenever he does bite. This is pretty much how another cat would tell him to knock it off.
post #3 of 5
He's trying to tell you he needs a cat tree - a high one (72" at least) with a couple of perches, maybe a 'condo' and sisal scratching posts. He'll leave the walls alone if he has his own 'up' place... a necessary evil for some cats!
post #4 of 5
I would agree with CalicoPrincess 100%. You cat sounds just like mine. When Molly was an only cat he would want to play with us 24/7.. he was also a TERRIBLE biter ~ nothing I tried would stop him. Since Caluga arrived on the scene it is a totally different picture. No more biting AT ALL... I am amazed! The 2 of them play together all the time and at night they both cuddle up with me, hubby and our Frenchie in our bed.
post #5 of 5
If you think your cat would enjoy having a playmate, and you can do it, I'd go with that.

My first cat was alone for 8 hours a day and she was stir crazy by the time we got back. She has been waaay happier with a companion.

Most cats calm down with age.

Also, it wouldn't hurt to have something for your kitty to climb and jump up onto.
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