or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › attacking
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:


post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
We have a cat (who's a little over a year old)who just started an aggressive behavior of attacking us. At first it just seemed like playful pouncing but it has become more serious. Whether it's an arm or a foot, he'll clamp his teeth into the skin while grabbing on with all limbs with his claws digging in tight. The more we try to stop him the more he tries to win at this painful game of his. The only way to stop him is to grab the fur on the back of his neck. This enables his use of teeth and claws. We then put him in a room behind closed doors. Sometimes when we let him out he'll come right back and try again. It seems like attacks me (mom) the most but has also tried with the other members of the family. HELP! We love this cat but we need for this to stop or we may not be able to keep him.
post #2 of 10
Snickers - first of all is he neutered? That can make a difference with aggression. Secondly - get yourself a squirt gun and let him have it when he does this. After a little while, he will get the message and stop! Good luck!
post #3 of 10
If he's neutered, you can watch for triggers for the attacks. Is there a particular place in the house, a sound, a touch etc. If you can pinpoint it to a trigger, you can work with him to desensetise him. It could also just be aggressive play. He is needing some way to get his energy out. In this case, you can try to give him play time during the day or evening. You would want to use the wand toys, so he does not associate the play with your body parts.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
No, he's not neutered. It's been on our list to do but now we'll move it to the top of the list. Thank you. We have tried getting him interested in toys but he prefers our flesh, but will continue to work at that. We had used a squirt bottle a lot when he was a kitten but haven't had to lately. We'll be bringing that out again, too. Thanks for the ideas.
post #5 of 10
Keep working with him and about a month after he's neutered, you should notice a big difference
post #6 of 10
I have a cat too who is attacking me. He is approximately 2 years old and neutered. The last couple of weeks he was been attacking me for no apparent reason. It is getting more frequent. (Once a day at least) It happens if I go and try to pet him or attempt to play with him. I live with my boyfriend and he won't attack him but I'm the mom to him. We have had him since March of this year and he never exhibited anything like this before. This cat has been nothing but very loving in the past. The other other night I just walked past him in the hall and stopped and he immediately lunged at me teeth and claws! I'm actually becoming afraid of him. His appetite and health seem good although we are taking him to the vet to make sure. Any advice out there would be much appreciated.
post #7 of 10
I'm glad you're taking him to the vet. It is unusual for a behavior like this to come out of the blue.

In the meantime, carefully watch for his pre-attack signals. The instant you see a signal that he is going to attack, do something to distract him. Clap very loud, squirt him with water, toss a toy to him, or very quickly grab him by the scruff of the neck and put your other hand under his hind legs and carry him to the bathroom (all of his weight should be on your hand under his legs). GENTLY toss him into the bathroom and keep him in there for no more than five minutes. This will give him time to get the attack out of his system.

Let us know what the vet says.
post #8 of 10
Hello, I have a male cat who is about six months old. When he was just a small kitten he was very lovable. He was very sick soon after I brought him home and almost died. He had to spend two weeks at the vet. When he finally got to come home he had aquired a nasty behavior of biting. He doesn't seem to be doing out of meaness and I have heard him purr when chomping on my hand. I have tried to get him to stop and have no idea what to do. I tried hissing at him and it doesn't work. I am hoping that he will stop when I have him neutered later this month. I feel more confident in this thinking now that I have read some of the other postings.:tounge2:
post #9 of 10
Brewster - let us know how you make out with the kit after he is neutered!
post #10 of 10
Okay, here's my taking on cat aggression. I have been treating several cases in the past couple of months (I now work as a cat therapist) and I'm glad to say with excellent results so far.

The first thing, is that there can be several reasons for cat aggression. This is a behavior problem that I refuse to give advice about over the phone (I do that for minor problems like furniture scratching etc.). Each case is different and I need to see the cat and have a good talk with the owner before I can figure out the reason for the behavior and then decide on the treatment.

One thing that goes for all of these cats is to have a thourogh veterinary check up before trying any behavioral treatment. Sometimes a neurological problem will make a cat aggressive, or a hormonal imbalance. Other times, if the cat is in pain because of some medical problem, he will turn on his owners whenevre they're around.

Once medical problems are out of the way, we need to check why the cat is being aggressive. Most of the times, it's what I call a circle of fear. The cat may have been aggressive once because of some stimulus (seeing or hearing another cat or an animal outside, or visiting the vet can be triggers). The owner's natural reactions is to at least shout at the cat and sometimes even hit him. The cat becomea afraid of the owner and anticipates retaliation in future encounters. He then attacks in advance because he is in fear of the owner. In my experience, any sort of punishment is not only useless, it actually makes things worse. This includes shouting, hitting (even lightly), squirting water or locking the cat away (usually dragging him by the scruf of the neck into exile). The cat only becomes more fearful and will be more liketly to attack next time. The owner is also upset and his body language delivers a message of anger and/or fear which makes the cat even more anxious and prone to attack. It's a vicious circle and things can get bad pretty quickly.

The only way to break it is to understand the situation and make an effort to break the circle. No punishment of any kind, only love! You need to learn your cat's body language and avoid attacks before they happen. If you see the tail twitching when you pet the cat, then say "good kitty" and move your arms away. Avoid direct eye contact and be as unthreatening as you can. Also, use interactive play as a form of therapy. Get a fish rod type of toy and play with your cat for at least 15-20 minutes 2-3 times a day. When the play session is over, give your cat a treat. This helps to break the tension between you and associate your meetings with positive things.

Above all be patient. Yes, bites and scratches can be painful and you want to try and avoid them by learning to read the cat and break contact before the attach occurs. If you're too late, don't panic - if your cat is grabbing you with claws and teeth, entice him with some toy or with your other hand and gently break free. Don't shout! Talk to him gently and lovingly through the whole thing and don't look him directly in the eyes.

Remember the play sessions - they're crucial! And make sure it's a toy that lets you interact without getting your hands near the cat's claws or teeth.

It may take a few weeks, but if we are talking about fear induced aggression, this is very effective. Some cats are so high strung, you may need to consult a vet and use some form of psychiatric drug to calm down the cat and allow the behavioral techniques to work. Your vet will need to prescribe something that relaxes that cat but doesn't make him sleepy.

There are other types of aggression, but this is the most common. The best thing really is to consult a good behaviorist.

You may also want to check out this article:
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › attacking