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Help My Crazy Cat Is Making Me Crazy Too

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm looking for some advice from any/all cat lovers. I apologize for the length of the following. I don't know where to turn.
In May we adopted a feral all black cat, which I believe has at least some oriental/siamese blood in her (based on her looks and personality). She was adopted by me and my husband at 4 weeks old (she was found outside) and we raised her from a kitten, feeding her milk from a syringe until she learned to eat food, use the litter box, etc.
"Bug" is incredibly active. When we first got her I played with her at least twice a day for 20 minutes each time. She became so manic that I decided to cut back on the exercise (she would leap on my back when I was walking, etc.) Now she is even more active, so I'm going back to doing the exercise.
My problem is that she has never been very affectionate except at night on the bed. she bites when picked up and it is very difficult to take her to the vet's. We have always had cats and I have never had such an active and biting/clawing cat. I don't think she's mean, just way too playful and can't learn not to bite. She attacks our friends, attacks anything that moves, and this is pretty much on a full time basis.
We have tried all the usual remedies that are in the cat books. Nothing works and I think she's getting worse.
Does anyone recommend anything for me? We have considered getting her a playmate but fear it may be too late. She is about 8 months old now. Is she past the socialization stage to learn to live with another cat? I don't want to have her drive another cat crazy!
We both work during the day but spend lots of time with her in the morning, evening and weekends. She has tons of toys, places to watch the outdoors, and we've tried the leash--with limited success. HELP!!!! We love her but she's making us mental!
post #2 of 5
Julia, Welcome aboard!

I moved your post to the Behavior Forum. Many of the behavior experts do not visit the Lounge, so you are most likely to get the help you need here.
post #3 of 5
The behaviors you are writing about are behaviors that the momma cat and sibling cats teach a baby cat not to do. Since your wild child was abandoned at such an early age, momma never had a chance to teach her proper cat behavior.

My answer to your question about adopting another cat is a wholehearted YES! Bug is plenty young to accept a new cat and is also young enough that a new cat might provide some needed socialization to her.

If you do adopt a new cat, you will need to be careful to select a cat with the correct temperament (outgoing, patient) and a cat who is a little older than Bug.

Also, you will need to make careful introductions so that they start out on the correct foot. Whatever you do, DON'T just put the new cat in with BUG. A SLOOOOOW introduction will be necessary. If you decide to do this, let us know so we can give advice on the best way to introduce a new cat.

ALSO......please give a description of some of the techniques you have tried with Bug that didn't work. This way we can best figure out new techniques for you to try.
post #4 of 5
My Alex is very nippy, too. He was born to a feral mom and lived without human contact until he was 6 weeks old. He is a very high-strung, nervous cat. Some of his biting is due to his nervousness. If I try to pull away when he bites, he bites harder, so I try to relax so that he lets go enough so that i can take my hand or whatever away. He doesn't seem to hear the word "No" if he's in one of his moods, so I try hissing at him like another cat would. That works a little better, but still not always.

Just a thought: is Bug spayed? If she isn't, that could be a big, big help. Most of my cats calmed down quite a lot after getting fixed.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your responses. Bug was spayed at 6 months. The things we have tried to stop the biting are a squirt gun, saying "no" firmly and ignoring her, and substituting toys when she gets rambunctious. My husband raps her on the nose when she bites, and she now doesn't bite him quite as much. She is also a bit more affectionate with him than she is with me (which makes me mad because I thought the cat would respond poorly to his rapping her on the nose!) Bug jumps up startled when touched at almost all times. A few months ago, she would jump on the bed or sofa and climb on our chest for petting, and would purr and settle down. She rarely does this any more. She also sucks on my ear in the middle of the night. I know I should stop this but I love it when she does it.

I am willing to try another cat, but would really want to make sure that the temperaments would mesh, because I think having fighting cats would be even worse than what we have now. How would I go about finding an appropriate cat and how can I introduce them? I probably wouldn't want to do it until January because we are going on a vacation in December. Will Bug still be young enough to adjust to another cat? She'll be about 8-9 months by then.

Also, are there dietary aids for nervous cats?

We both really love Bug, but she is quite the problem child.
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