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My Feelings are Hurt!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I adopted Timber 10 months ago - she was a stray and lived in the shelter for two years before she came to live with my husband and me.

She seems to have adapted pretty well. She follows me around all of the time. She loves to be petted (more about that later). She sleeps on the bed with us.


But every so often, she bites and scrathes me - for no reason. The other day I laid down to take a nap and she bite me on my forearm, which was laying up next to the pillow. I put my arm under a throw on the bed and a couple of minutes later she attacked my face - scratching me under one eye.

I hissed at her and she got off the bed. My feelings were really hurt. I don't know why she did this - I wasn't touching her. I had just ended a petting session that she seems to love. I want to think that she was telling me to "keep petting", but it was so vicious and swift.

I think she must have been abused on the street, and living in a shelter for two years may have starved her for affection. But right now, I'm very nervous around her - especially when she gets really close to me.

Any advice?

Anyone else every experience this?

Thanks.
post #2 of 13
"I had just ended a petting session that she seems to love" . Cats will often turn on us or other cats after a petting or grooming session, and it's thought that they've been overstimulated by it, causing their wildness to emerge.. so just don't prolong the sessions and don't wiggle any part of yourself under blankets, etc., which is a huge trigger for them to pounce at.
post #3 of 13
My Joji and Skinny do it once in a while after a cuddling/petting session. I don't think they mean to hurt us.
post #4 of 13
I think you are misunderstanding her. Kitties play very rough with each other, and she is just playing too rough with you. You did the right thing to hiss to stop her.

Do you have some long feather dancer toys? Then if she wants to keep playing or get rough after a petting session, she can attack and kill the feathers.

She is not hurting you out of any anger at you, she is just trying to initiate (inappropriate) play.

Poor baby to spend 2 years in a shelter. Thank you for giving her a forever home!
post #5 of 13
Welcome to TCS!!!!! Please do not let your kitty's behavior upset you! When a cat is weaned from it's mother- the mother kitty will push the kitty away and withhold affection many times.As a result, kitties are not use to recieving soo much affection and do not know how to react when their owners are constantly petting them and loving them- so for a while they usually react nicely to that- but then they will suddenly bite or scratch out of a confusion- because them being petted is not instenctive or a normal thing for them so they do not know how to react after a while. As a result the kitty, even if it has been around humans its entire life, will occassionally bite or scratch if it suddenly becomes uncomfortable from all of the attention. Let your kitty know this is not acceptable behavior by keeping a small water bottle with you- if it tries to nip or scratch at you- spray it on the bottom with the water- that way the kitty will associate the spray bottle with scratching or biting and reduce it's bad behavior. I also suggest you read "Cats for Dummies"- (It is very helpfull and it has a great reference section on body language,etc!!!) and several other books on body language and behavior. If you can understand your cats body lanugage, you will get along much better and know when it does and does not want affection. Good luck!!! PM me if there's anything i can help you with or if you just need help navigating the forums!
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
This is my first cat and I am stunned at how attached to her I have gotten. She was very stand-offish when first brought home but has become very affectionate. I get head butted all of the time and she makes biscuits every night before she lays down next to me.

But there are signs of fear - I usually take my walking shoes off at the door but yesterday I had them on in the house and she kept her distance from me - always watching my feet. I take that as an indication that she was probably kicked at some point in her life.

But this morning she snapped at my husband (who approaches her very slowly) and I've noticed more of this strange behavior - now after 10 months and good adaptation. She has a vet appointment in two months and I'll make sure she gets checked over carefully.

For the moment, I am giving her space. If she comes to me, I give her a couple of pets, a kiss on the head (with her mouth out of range!!) and move aside if she's looking to settle down on the couch.

Question: do former outdoor cats (strays) go through periods when they long to be outside again (kind of like having PMS?) We have a deck/patio and she goes out there and has lately taken to sitting up on the top of the deck (I don't let her do that when I catch her!) It's feels almost as if she want to leave us and take up in her old life. Do old habits die hard?
post #7 of 13
I think that cats like to lay out in the sun!! My girls love to check things out, and nose around. If she likes to lay out on your deck,, I'd put a window seat/sill up for her, and let her look out the window, and look at birds and other things. More then likely she doesn't want her old life, she just is instincively watching and soaking up the atmosphere, and SUN...

As for the biting and scratching,, my girls came from a shelter too. Angel isn't as skittish as Chestnut can be. She has these little points where she she'll scratch at me, or try to bite me too.. and I've noticed just to hiss at her, or ignore her. I bought claws for there front paws, and it's does wanders,, they also know when they hurt me, I say Owww, and they stop trying to bat at me, or bite me. They don't mean to hurt you,, in fact my cats get overly upset after I say owww, they look at me, and run away and watch from the corner of the room as if I hurt there feelings!!!

I know the feeling, I love my girls soo much!!! My husband who has said on numerous occasions, he hates Cats.. IS sooo in love with our girls.... He's a big ol softie!!

Heather
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timber's Mom View Post
This is my first cat and I am stunned at how attached to her I have gotten. She was very stand-offish when first brought home but has become very affectionate. I get head butted all of the time and she makes biscuits every night before she lays down next to me.

But there are signs of fear - I usually take my walking shoes off at the door but yesterday I had them on in the house and she kept her distance from me - always watching my feet. I take that as an indication that she was probably kicked at some point in her life.

But this morning she snapped at my husband (who approaches her very slowly) and I've noticed more of this strange behavior - now after 10 months and good adaptation. She has a vet appointment in two months and I'll make sure she gets checked over carefully.

For the moment, I am giving her space. If she comes to me, I give her a couple of pets, a kiss on the head (with her mouth out of range!!) and move aside if she's looking to settle down on the couch.

Question: do former outdoor cats (strays) go through periods when they long to be outside again (kind of like having PMS?) We have a deck/patio and she goes out there and has lately taken to sitting up on the top of the deck (I don't let her do that when I catch her!) It's feels almost as if she want to leave us and take up in her old life. Do old habits die hard?
I would not assume she had been kicked. It certainly is possible, but it is also true that cats don't like change. My Festus was born at my house, and has lived her all her life. Yet sometimes, she gets spooked in the kitchen by a chair out of place. She will crouch low, as if checking things out. But she appears afraid, as if being sure she can get away. Your kitty may have simply been reacting to your feet looking very different.

I don't think she is dreaming of her cold hungry days outside. I'm sure she is happy to be warm and fed, and loved.
post #9 of 13
My Little Bit is a former feral. When I first took him in he did not know how to interact with other catrs or humans. He seemed to like to be pet, but like your cat he would attack me when I stopped. He got me pretty good a few times and his strikes on my face did make me a little concerned whether it was a good idea to bring him in or not.

I learned to watch the signs for when he was going from a sweet guy to a fierce attacker and gave him plenty of room, (and a few time-outs), as we adjusted to one another.

He moved in to our house in sate April and he is now one of the biggest cuddle-bugs I could ever imagine.

Not only did he have to learn about interacting with others, he also had to learn what toys are and what playing is.

The ferals and long time strays, (to me), are like oversized kittens waiting to live their life and enjoy it. They spent their lives surviving and not knowing about the good and fun things. They just need a little time to learn and someone to help them along.
post #10 of 13
My cat only lets me pet her for a minute before she starts biting and growling. How can this be overstimulating? She is a good cat she sleeps on my pillow as soon as I lay down in bed. She wont touch me unless I pet her. I don't understand why she is so mean.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Tru said that Little Bit had to learn a lot - including what toys are and what they're for.

Our Timber is only now getting into playing. I heard all about cats playing and it didn't happen for months. Now she plays with her lazer light; and has created running games around the TV, up the stairs and back down. She's still not into feathers or other toys...but I'm hoping. Trust me, she has plenty just waiting to be discovered.

These past two days she's been terrific again - but I am leary and will continue to give her space.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Jackie,

I am certianly not an expert, but I guess you'll have to give your cat all the space she needs. When Timber came to our house, we just watched (and hoped) for several weeks. It took a really really long time for her to get close to (first) me, and only recently (and haltingly) to my husband.

Admire from a distance. I also sing to Timber all of the time (not well, I might add) and she's gotten to recognize the songs that I've made up and now wags her tail when I sing. You might try that.

Good luck.
post #13 of 13
Aw that's so cute she wags her tail when you sing! I am definately up for all options. Thanks for the advice.
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