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Bad Kitty!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi there! I'm new to these message boards and this site but I have a question. I have a male cat and he's about 1 1/2 years old. He's generally a good cat except for the fact that he scratches the carpets and my stereo speakers, but he has started to display aggressive behaviour to people. He's becoming well known for nipping at people and biting sometimes. He did this a few times when he was younger but I assumed that was from fear as well as the fact that he was a kitten. He is not neutered, but somehow I don't think that would help him any because it wasn't something he started doing when he reached maturity or "went into heat". I'm finding him hard to deal with and I certainly don't want to get rid of him. I'm also considering getting a second cat but I am putting it off because I don't want him to get worse because of a new kitten, or hurt the new kitten or teach the new kitten his behaviours!
HELP! Does this sound familiar to anyone or does anyone have any ideas of how to address this behaviour? I've tried spending more time with him, I've tried playing with him, I've tried new toys and catnip, I've tried so many things i have no more ideas!
post #2 of 13
Well, I'm not very experienced with unneutered male cat behavior since mine have always been neutered young, but I think the first step is getting him fixed. Unneutered male cats can become aggressive over time. It's just part of being an intact male cat. I'm sure you'll get more advice here, but I would be willing to bet that all advice would first be to get him neutered, especially if you're planning on getting another cat.
post #3 of 13
Is there a reason why he is not neutered? Are you breeding him? Dawn is right, unneutered male cats do become more aggressive over time. I would get him fixed as soon as possible. I am sure you would see a big change in him.

Good luck.
post #4 of 13
Definately get him neutered. His aggression and territorial behavior will increase as more and more testosterone goes into his system. And...DO NOT get a new cat until he is neutered. He will likely attack the new cat who he will view as encroaching on his territory. Even after he is neutered you will need to wait about a month to adopt a new cat because it takes a while for testosterone to clear out of the body.
post #5 of 13
Hi Bastetca,

Welcome to the best information cat site on the web!!!

"What they said". Get him neutered.

Then prepare to be a little patient while the hormonal behavior gets out of his system. I just learned all this myself and can testify to the effectiveness.

Good luck and welcome to another obvious cat lover (or you wouldn't be trying to solve your furbaby's problem).
post #6 of 13
I agree that your cat should be nuetered as well. I am thinking too that he will start to spray around your home in time and that is a smell that is nearly impossible to get rid of. I think he will calm down a lot if he is fixed.
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the feedback. I haven't had him neutered yet because I have bred him before and may breed him again (he's a Norwegian Forest Cat), and he's always indoors so he won't be getting at the cat next door. What's really strange as well is that although he has reached his maturity ( as his kittens and my vet attest to)he has never actually gone into heat or sprayed anything. My vet said it's pretty uncommon, that although a cat can reproduce that his hormones aren't at normal levels for an adult male. He's like a kitten in an adult body!
I may try getting him neutered and hopefully that will help. I've had other suggestions that perhaps he is angry with me for the time I am at work and that another kitty may ease the aggression as well. What do you think?
post #8 of 13
I really dont know except for what was said above. If you get another cat before he is nuetered he might fight with it and I think if there is another male around he would definitely start to spray. If you bring in a female you of course will have babies. If you want to have another and not get him fixed maybe you should get a female of the same breed. Good luck.
post #9 of 13
Welcome! U need to buy sticky paws (double sided tape-should be found at petstores), stick these on the couches and places u don't want cats to use their claws on and spray citrus on these areas also because cats doesn't like oranges.
This is only a few of many great suggestions that some members of this forum have shared with each other.
Another suggestion about ur cat's aggressiveness, have u tried squirting him whenever he'd bite or do something that's not acceptable?
I do that with my older cat Sunni- she has a thing for plants and I had to squirt her everytime she would start tasting my plants. It worked- she won't go near them now. Most cats HATE water being squirted at them.

Adopting another cat- I dunno about that. I thin I would want to focus on resolving issues first before adding another cat. Sometimes when another cat is added, new issues will come up. Something to think about..
Good luck!
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Yep, I've tried the water bottle approach and he didn't really seem to care too much. I had forgotten about the citrus spray though. I'm going to give that a try! And I'm going to hold off on the new kitty until I get this one under control. I'm also going to phone the Humane Society today and see about getting him fixed!
post #11 of 13
Hi, you were talking about his hormonal levels being to low for his age. Well Norwegian forest cats are special in that it takes them a longer time to reach maturity than other cats. It can take up to 5 years before he is fully grown(20 to 35 pounds) and fully mature hormonally. That's probably why he isn't spraying yet and is beginning to become a little nippy and territorial it will only get worse with time as he truly begins to mature.

P.S. Sounds like your vet needs to check into the characteristics of different cat breeds.

Hope this helps. Oh, yeah I forgot Wegies are suppose to like water. In the wild they fish for their food.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
that makes perfect sense. I was kind of wondering about that because I had a Wegie when I was younger who did some of the same things but I don't know too much about his behaviour because I was too young to really remember.
5 years, huh? He looks so ridiculous right now! He is very tall and very long with great big ears and paws but he's very scrawny! I was hoping he'd fill out this year! Oh well, he's still adorable!
post #13 of 13
I don't know about Norwegian Forest Cats, but I have had a large number of cats spayed or neutered that roam our streets. For what it is worth -- a regular housecat mixture usually fully matures in the second year, but does not achieve full growth for some months after that. I neuter them at 9 months unless they show a tendency to mount everything in sight (males, females, grown cats, kittens, etc.) or display possible testosterone-driven behavior like bitting other cats, picking fights all the time...

Before I assume this last cue to neutering, I check that the male is not suffering from blocked kidneys or gut (crystals in the urine, blockage from furballs, internal abnormalities -- any one of which would give pain and discomfort, which, in turn, brings on bad temper and aggressiveness...), spinal injuries, a recent wound that is "hidden" beneath the fur (they usually show up when they get infected and some part of the cat starts to suddenly swell), a near-death experience from a dog or stone-throwing kids, or simple human problems like arthritis, sprains, etc.

Once that is out of the way, I would proceed to neutering.

Cats do punish owners for things that really annoy them. One minute they are loving and the next, they remember that they are angry and will lash out. However, his biting may be exaggerated love bites -- displays of the deepest affection -- a sign that you turn him on. Sometimes you can train the cat out of this behavior. You can be very still when he bites down, gently stroke him around the head, ears, throat, etc. without trying to extricate the part of you that is being bitten (this takes fortitude and patience). If he is also using claws, gently stroking between the pads of the offending feet will usually make him relax his hold. After he is completely relaxed, you can use your other hand (if the first one is in his teeth) to stroke his cheeks and along the edges of his mouth until his jaw relaxes. Then VERY carefully you can withdraw your hand or, if he is latched onto your ankle or arm, you can gradually and gently place a hand between his mouth/claws and that part of you, still talking soothingly all the while.

If this seems to work, it is probably less testosterone and more behavioral -- at least for now. If he persists in the behavior, try picking him up firmly and quickly by the nap of the neck and depositing him into the nearest room with a door you can close on him. I call this quiet time, and usually say, simultaneously with my action "OK, let's have some quiet tme." The words "quiet time" are notorious with my cats, and the longer they live with me, the quicker they react -- very often by stopping whatever they are doing that is offensive, and then they become coy and even embarrassed with themselves and apologetic.

Everyone has to work out their own patterns of control according to the needs and personality of their individual cats. So you have to find the path to your own cat's psychological make-up.

If you want to continue breeding your cat for a while, try some of these other methods. If you get a second cat, I'm with the advice to get him a Norwegian Forest female and be sure they can't escape you house. Otherwise you will have a lot of mixed kittens as well as purebred, and most kennel or cat registries will not issue papers to any litter where there are also mixed-blood offspring. If you are not seriously in the business of breeding, then neuter your male when you have had enough of letting him breed. I have successful had the total termperament of males as old as 6 or 7 years changed within a few months of neutering. It does help, even when the full male behavior patterns are very well ingrained.

Testosterone is the villain, in cats as well as in humans! A little ensures the species, but an abundance fuels violence and even irrationality.
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