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Scratching and Biting

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Okay, I have a cat who is going to be one years old on the seventeenth of October. Crookshanks, my cat, has a bad habit of biting and scratching my brother and I! She's usually a really good cat. If I'm petting her and she doesn't want to be pet anymore she'll gently nip my hand and I'll stop, but there are times when she just bites and scratches my brother and I out of nowhere! We say no very firmly to her and then we'll walk away and leave her alone, but sometimes she follows us and attacks us nonetheless.

What can I do?
post #2 of 8
Before we can give good suggestions, we need to figure out what type of aggression she is displaying. Is she scratching and biting as a form of play? Or, is she doing this because she is overstimulated (like when you are petting her and she wants you to stop). Or, is it something else.

What is happening right before she attacks? Have you and your brother been playing with her right before an attack, or is there a lot of activity going on, or are there loud noises? (These are just examples....look for anything that happens right before an attack.)

Once you figure out whether the cat is playing or is being aggressive in response to something else, let us know so we can give you some ideas.
post #3 of 8
Another question that needs to be asked is, Is your cat declawed?
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for posting a reply! We had thought about declawing her when she was younger, but we decided against it. I'm thinking perhaps she gets overstimulated and gets back at us for annoying her because we'll be playing with her and suddenly she'll bit and scratch. She isn't biting or scratching playfully all the time. Half the time she is, but the other half she seems to be biting and scratching at us because she's annoyed. There's no loud noises that annoy her. We just try to pet her and play with her when she seems in the mood, but she's extremely unpredictable.(like most cats!)

Could it be her type of cat also? She's a siamese lynx, but I don't know if that means anything. Don't different types of cats have different dispositions?
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I forgot one thing. We don't play with her aggressively at all. We try not to overstimulate her but she seems so sensitive to overstimulation.
post #6 of 8
Marisa, thanks for the extra information. It really does sound like your cat attacks due to being overstimulated. There is a solution for that, but it takes a little work.

The first thing you need to do is to learn her pre-bite signals. I have a cat who gets overstimulated....he always twitches the tip of his tail real fast before he slaps with his paw... Look for anything that can cue you in that an attack is about to happen. Each cat has his/her own pre-attack signal, so you will have to learn your cat's signal. But I guarantee you that she DOES do something to signal an attack. (Watch her tail, ears, and eyes for signals)

Now that you know her signal....the very instant you see the signal, stop whatever you are doing and just ignore her. You can walk away or just sit there, but give her no attention at all.

Wait at least 5 minutes and then play or pet her again. Make sure you stop playing or petting the instant you see her signal so that she never has the opportunity to attack.

What will happen across time is that she will learn to better tolerate the stimulation because she knows you will stop before it becomes too much for her. But....she probably will always be prone to overstimulation, so you will always need to watch for her attack signals.

Good luck!
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
I'll be sure to watch for her signals in the future! thanks so much for your help!
post #8 of 8
That's some good advice you got there. You may also want to read the article on the subject:
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