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Wits End... Agressive Biting

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have had my cat Lola (female) for about 4 years. She has spent a year away from me but has been back in my care almost 2 years. She has always been a biter. She will give no warning signs (ears, tail etc..) while being petted and will suddenly bite people petting her as if to say “stop†and then run away. The problem is now that she is starting to become more and more aggressive towards me.

For example about 2 weeks ago I was sleeping in my bed and she was sleeping at the foot of it. At about 4am I wake up with an excruciating pain going though my calf. Lola had bitten me!!! This was not a slight nip, there were holes where here fangs went in, two on the top and one on the bottom. It bled, there were 3 bruises that resulted with holes in the center, then white ring and then purple and blue ring!!! It was horrible. I smacked her on the nose for it, but I couldn’t believe it, it was more like a dog bite! Also, she’s started coming up to my face and snapping her teeth at me as if she’s trying to bite me. I will get in bed after a long day at work, close my eyes, and suddenly feel her jump towards my face and snap her teeth shut as if trying to bite me on the face/nose. She will also do this if I’m laying on the couch and relaxing. She scares me to death doing this she just lunges at my face like she’s going to bite my face off….

This can’t be normal and I’m getting really frustrated with this .. Please help!!
post #2 of 12
I think the first thing you should do is to take her to the vet. Whenever we see a change (or escalation) in behavior we must first rule out medical problems before we try to address modifying the behavior. There are several medical conditions that might cause or exacerbate aggressive behavior.

In the meantime, several pieces of information will help us help you. How old is she? Is she spayed? Is she declawed? Are there other cats around?

Please give us a richer picture of your cat and her environment so we can get a clearer idea of what is going on in her life.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for responding -- I will take her to the vet.. no problem there.

She is about 4 years old I got her as a tiny stray kitten. She is spayed and declawed. There are no other cats around. She is on her during the day as I work all day, and some times go out in the evening. I have in the past found that when I when I was at work all day and out in the evening that she has done the thing where she tries to bite my face. I thought it was because she was not getting enough attention. If I was gone all day and all night she was lonely maybe? But its been that way since I got her. Also, she seems to be VERY needy fora cat. I had cats growing up but they were more independant, she seems to be more dog like in the respect she meets me at the door and meows and meows till I pick her up etc. But as for the biting, she's always bitten when being petted, but recently it has started to be as much as i'm lying on the couch and shes looking at me and I don't pick her up she does it. I'm getting to the point i'm afraid to lay down around her and I kept her out of my room last night and might continue to do so, she doesn't like not being with me when I sleep but I don't like her biting me.
post #4 of 12
I also have a needy cat. Max is three years old and he goes through a litle separation anxiety even when I am in the basement doing laundry. You hear the most sorrowful meows. I got a cat anxiety CD and a play it over and over while I am at work. It has soft calming music. This helps out quite a bit. When I come home, he also meows until he has my complete attention. However, I love him so much and would not want him any other way. I don't know what I would do with a cat that just ignored me.

The music might help some with the agression, but I also would get her to a vet.

Max's Mommy
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
I do love her, I just sometimes get a bit overwhelmed with her needy nature. I will try that CD suggestion thanks. I know my mother used to leave the radio on for her cat.. so maybe the music will work. I don't want her ignoring me, I just want a little space so it doesn't seem like I have an infant and I just want her not to bite me.
post #6 of 12
I know you love her. It is frustrating at times when you have a needy kitty. I can't go anywhere in my house without his company. He has to be with me at all times. I can't even pretend to know what you are going through with the biting issue though. It sounds like she gave you a nasty bite. I don't have to deal with biting, just a needy kitty. There are a lot of people at this site who have a lot of insight on behavioral issues. Check back tonight or tomorrow.

Max's Mommy
post #7 of 12
If you would like to increase the time you can pet without being bitten, try the following technique:

1. Get a clock or watch with a second hand. Sit down and pet your cat watching to see how long you can pet without being bitten. Once you have done this a few times, you will have a good idea what her limit is.

Now that you know how long she can tolerate being petted, you are ready for the next step.

2. Lets say she let you pet her for 2 minutes. What you do now is (using your watch to time things) pet her for only 1.5 minutes and then stop even though she is still purring and happy. Do this every time she gets in your lap for several days. (Of course, if she can tolerate 4 minutes, you would stop at 3.5 minutes of petting, etc) Just make sure that you always stop before she becomes upset!

3. Now, after a couple of days of successful petting, you can begin to GRADUALLY add time. Each day, add about 20 - 30 seconds to your petting until she can sit with you and not bite. If she ever does bite, go back to the previous length of successful petting and stay there for a couple more days before adding more time.

This is a bit tedious (especially having to watch the clock), but it really does work!
post #8 of 12
Also, You might want to use Rescue Remedy with her. This is a flower essence that calms animals (including humans). You can get RR at most health food stores. You can put drops of RR in her water or put drops on her food. Rescue remedy works wonders for mellowing most cats!
post #9 of 12
I do want to gently address one other issue. We find cats who are declawed often turn into biters. Because they no longer have their claws, they learn to express frustration through biting. This is not true for many declawed cats, but we do see many more problems with biting in declawed cats.

With this in mind, you might want to help her redirect her frustration in more appropriate ways. For example, always keep a furry mouse or little fluffy ball or stuffed animal with you and when you see her staring at you with "that look" toss her the toy so she can attack it rather than you.

Also, do not make eye contact with her. Many cats interpret this as aggression and will attack in response.

I am sure there will be many more suggestions, but I truly hope that you do take her to the vet for a check up. When you go, make sure you describe the problem behavior so the vet will know what to look for.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have an appointment for her at the vet on monday. . Hoping that goes well.. I will get her some more toys as well.

thanks for the suggestions.
post #11 of 12
On the declaw issue, it could very well be that as she is growing, she is experiencing pain in the joints that were cut from her feet. Often times, declawed cats develop problems such as this and spinal problems, because complete removal of their toes causes them to have to relocate their balance and walk differently than nature intended them to. It is a structural change in their anatomy and when it causes them pain, their reflex is to bite out at anything near them out of frustration. I would ask the vet to examine for injury on her paws in question. Also just to let you know, as she grows older, she will be afflicted with arthritis that can be very debilitating. I am not yelling at you, I am simply explaining the facts of what sometimes happens after a declaw, even years after it is performed.

I hope they find the source of her pain.
post #12 of 12
Oh, I do hope you can get your kitty to stop biting as much! I would shout in surprise when my kitty (Spike) would suddenly bite me. But I read on this site about the behavior patterns, and have purposely not letting out a yell, when he does this. Also, if I happen to notice he isn't purring anymore, I will stop and re-direct his attention to a Pompom toy he LOVES! That seems to help too. Since I read the VERY helpful articles, he has been SOOOOO much better--and I thank the other posters who gave me good advice and also encouraged me to check out the info on this website here. You all are the BEST! I hope things start going more smoothly for you and your little kitty!
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