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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I posted here many months ago about our stray male cat, Mooch, whom we've been caring for as an outdoor cat. Well, he's been around for about a year and he's really warmed up to us. He's made himself a permanent home on our back deck, with his little cat house and food/water dishes.

He used to randomly attack us every now and then if we got our hands too close to his face. We suspected he smelled our indoor cats. However, eventually he stopped attacking us and we were able to pet his face without any fear of him lashing out. It had been at least two months since he last attacked me, but he suddenly decided to lash out at me a couple days ago! Twice!

I had just finished petting him and I went over to the railing of the deck and stood there. I had my back turned to him, I was a good distance away, I wasn't moving or acknowledging him...then out of nowhere I felt two very sharp sets of claws sink into the back of my legs!!! By the time I even turned around he was running off into the woods. Later on in the day, I went outside to feed him again and he did the same thing again to the back of my legs!!! The claw punctures really hurt, bled, and one them has developed a dark bruise around it---so these definitely weren't playful attacks and they were the worst he's ever afflicted on any of us.

What's the deal here? Why would he attack me for no reason like that, when I wasn't even anywhere near him?
post #2 of 4
I am wondering is he is neutered or not. Intact males can be quite aggressive. I would think it was misdirected aggression. There could be other cats lurking around antagonizing him.
post #3 of 4
My feral boy cat does this every morning when I feed him. He has not bitten my legs that hard to where he has punctured me or left wounds, but he has bitten me to the point where there are pin marks from his teeth.

My suggestion is that you wear paddock boots around him and also spray your boots with the bitter apple spray you can buy on the internet. Just look up "bitter apple for cats" and you will find it. Then if he wants to give you a love bite, he will not enjoy it and he will stop.

Seriously though, I am pretty sure he is showing affection- believe it or not. He regards you as a buddy and a daddy. He is sparring with you. He wants food. He is interacting. He just has no idea how hard he is biting you.
post #4 of 4
Also, when you were talking about getting too close to his face- cats cannot see all that well close up. And some see worse than others. It is very likely he is freaked out by your hand that close. I agree the smell has a lot to do with it too, and if he gets used to your smell, it may be ok with him for you to have your hand near his face. But some cats never get entirely comfortable with it, since reflexively some of them simply cannot see what it is swooping near their faces.
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