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attack cat

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hello all. I've been visiting the site for a few weeks now and I've decided that I need your advice. Charlie is now 4 months old and he's going through a bit of an aggressive phase. We've tried every adversive we know from spraying him with a water bottle (which doesn't seem to distract him at all) to puting him in "time out" in the bathroom (which is an opportunity for a nap in his opinion). I know he will probably grow out of this but it's getting painful (at least for me since he doesn't bite my fiancee at all!). He is generally at his worst first thing in the morning and right before we go to bed at night.

To give you an example... my fiancee gets up at 7 and I stay in bed until 7:30. Charlie, of course, is up right at 7 with my fiancee. Once he leaves for work Charlie comes back into the bed with me and I am often woken up by him attacking my arm (with all four feet and his teeth !). I try telling him NO! but he just keeps on biting. He will also pounce on my face and use his teeth and claws. Once he has a lock on my arm he is extremely difficult to get off, I often have to call my fiancee for help! The bites and scratches don't usually break the skin, which makes me think he's just trying to play with me.

I am open to any other ideas anyone may have as far as adversives goes, so please throw out your opinions. Also, does anyone have an idea about why he only attacks me and not my fiancee?

Thanks for all your great ideas! Keep up the good work!
post #2 of 14
Charlie may not realise he's hurting you or that his behaviour is unacceptable. One of my cats, Spike, has a hard time recognising the difference between positive and negative attention. Praise and being squirted in the face with a spray bottle mean pretty much the same thing to him. :P One thing that he DOES recognise, however, is the sound of a person in pain. When he had a bit of a biting/clawing problem, I would yelp (loudly!) every time he did it, even if it didn't hurt or there wasn't any danger of him leaving claw-/teeth-marks. Since Spike was only playing he probably thought I was just a big baby who couldn't take a little pain, and he stopped biting and clawing ... he didn't actually WANT to hurt me, it was only in fun. It worked for me; good luck for you!

post #3 of 14
I do the same as Mirinae. Whenever Sidney bites me, I give a loud "Aouuuu!" and she immediately lets go. While it stops the biting that time, unfortunately it does not prevent future attempts to play/bite. With the last kitty (I had her for over 8 years), I was never able to completely stop her biting habits. I have plenty of small scars on my hand and arms.
post #4 of 14
I have tried hissing at my cats when they are biting and causing pain and it seems to stop them in their tracks.
post #5 of 14
I took these pics today when my little one would not quit attacking me!

The little devil can be so sweet one minute, and if I move she goes for the kill!
post #6 of 14
Oliver used to be a real biter, the only thing that really cured him was.....
getting another cat!
Now that he has Emma to roughhouse with he doesn't feel the need to beat the crap out of me anymore!
post #7 of 14
OK. This behaviour has to stop - because as he gets bigger he will really start to hurt you, and not only that but he will think it's ok.

He is just trying to play with you and trust me a lot of that will calm down once he is spayed (you are getting him spayed, I hope?).

The most important thing is to be absolutely 100% firm committed consistent with him. You cannot let him bite you a bit and then tell him to stop - he will be confused. It has to be NO biting, NO claws, NO latching on - EVER. Whenever he tries you need to take your hand/arm etc away from him instantly and give him an alternative to bite or chew on - a toy or something like that. You need to accompany this with a loud `No!' or a clap or something that will startle him out of biting you. When he plays with and bites something else that you give him then praise him. Clicker-training would work very well in this situation and I have a thread on it in `Behaviour' see below link:

The clicker-training thread

The MINUTE he gets near your face it must be time out straight away. This is a definite no-no and he must learn this immediately.

This doesn't mean you can never play with him, it just means that hands and legs and face and skin are off-limits. If you are strict and consistent he will learn very quickly, and as he gets older and mellows out more, and is spayed, things will become very peaceful very quickly!
post #8 of 14
Hello fellow Pegger!

Rigorous play time with interactive toys other than your hands helps too...Keep a cat dancer or a fishing pole toy nearby and redirect the kitten when he goes for you...
post #9 of 14
Ouch..those pics look familiar! Sophie does this to me. I try not to get frustrated, as I believe she will outgrow it. Hissing at her, ignoring her, or redirecting her all work for me...until the next time, at least.
post #10 of 14
Originally Posted by Loveysmummy
Hello fellow Pegger!

Rigorous play time with interactive toys other than your hands helps too...Keep a cat dancer or a fishing pole toy nearby and redirect the kitten when he goes for you...
I just picked up a 'cat dancer' yesterday and Sahara has already ripped it apart, destroying it...along with the 'twirl &whirl' the 'ball chaser' and the 'electric mouse' and the rest of them! She's a ball of never ending energy!
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've tried most of what you've suggested and nothing seems to distract him for long. Hissing at him worked the first couple of times but now he just ignores me! Water doesn't work and neither does clapping at him.

The "time out" is a bit complicated (since we're in a 1 bedroom apartment)... if we put him in the bathroom he either goes to sleep or un-rolls the toilet paper, so it's not really a punishment. If we lock him in the bedroom he plays with whatever he can find (usually something out of the garbage can), so again, not really a punishment. I tried putting him in the linen/towel closet last night and he REALLY didn't like that... it's pretty small and there's nothing to play with! The problem is that the whole time he's "locked up" he screams (yes SCREAMS) and we don't want to cause a problem for the neighbours, and then when I let him out (after about 10 minutes) he is really MAD and then attacks me again! Oh, well I guess we'll just have to keep at it.

He is getting fixed in November (our vet won't do it until he's 6 months old) but I don't know if I can wait that long!! I may have to find another vet/clinic that will do hime earlier (he was 4 months this week).

Don't get the wrong idea with all this complaining, we love the little brat to death and would do anything for him (and boy does he know it)!! And I know he loves us too, but this biting HAS to stop.

Does anyone have any idea why he only attacks me? My fiancee (the converted cat hater) thinks it's because he's trying to dominate me... I think he sees me as his mommy/sibling and is only trying to test his limits/boundaries...

Thanks for all of your ideas and I'll keep you updated!

P.S. Loveysmummy: what part of the Peg are you in?
post #12 of 14
I have the same problem with George and it's my fault and I recognize it. He is now 23 lbs and the strongest cat I have ever had. Your may continue to get worse and he also might calm down after he's neutered.

I did not distract him as a "child" by making him play with toys instead of me. He was extremely spoiled because I raised him by hand and therefore he had no "Mama" cat to put him in his place when he got too rough. He will chase me sometimes (shame on me for running) and I have to yell for hubby. All hubby has to do is yell his name and he backs off. I think he is 100% BRAT, and like your Charlie, he is my baby and rules the roost and rules me. There is a book George and I won called Outwitting Cats. It has some excellent advice (we won it on this site because he got the "NO NO BAD KITTY" award) . I have not practiced the steps given in the book because have been lazy. Here is a link to it : You really might check it out. It addresses a lot of other cat behavior issues and is just a nice book to have around.
post #13 of 14
Awesome captiva! I love books and just ordered one from the site you posted! I hoping for a miracle! My little brat is chasing and starting fights as I write this! I had to laugh when I read your post...'brat' also chases me around jumping at my legs like a little spider...and I usually have to walk backwards when she's like that so I can see an oncoming ambush! LOL!
post #14 of 14
My Mums boyfriends kitten is like this, he's such a brat! He was deprived of oxygen at birth methinks!
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