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Old 01-12-2010, 12:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What Does this Behaviour Mean?

Hi All,

My first post here so I hope I have the correct forum for it. I have a beatiful long haired black cat that is generally timid and very affectionate. She will, however, do the following behaviour over and over. When I enter the room that serves as my office she will come up to me stretch out her front legs while digging her claws into the carpet, then stretch forward to elongate her rear legs. She will then come up to me to get some petting and then she will flop down on her side in front of me and wait. I have always figured this meant she expected further affection so I rub the top of her head a little and behind her neck. She seems to like this for a brief period and then tries to swat my hand. When I withdraw my hand she gets up into a sitting position puts her ears back. If my hands are showing she will attempt to jump up and get them with her claws. Sometimes she will attack my shoes also. If I leave the room or am out of sight for more than five minutes she acts as though nothing has happened. I am left with the impression that I failed to do the proper thing when she flops down. I mean she acts just like she is offended. Anyone have any ideas on this? Thanks.

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Old 01-12-2010, 02:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Does this Behaviour Mean?

Originally Posted by GrantArt
she will flop down on her side in front of me and wait
In my world this is known as The Franklin Flop, named after my little pal Franklin who is expert at this particualr maneuver After weeks of observation, Franny too is a world class Flopper! As to the other behavior you describe, it sounds like she wants to play! Do you have interactive toys, like mice on a string? 15-30 minutes once or twice a day does them a world of good. They are predators and they appreciate an outlet for their predatory instincts
At weddings, my Aunts would poke me in the ribs and cackle "You're next!". They stopped when I started doing the same to them at funerals. Dave Barry
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Old 01-12-2010, 02:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Does this Behaviour Mean?

My Teddy RARELY ever grabs my hand with his front feet, never swats. The only time he will grab my hand is when I rub his stomach and chest with my hand. This would always trigger him to grab my hand with his front feet (with claws) and then he would try to give me a love bite. I have stopped encouraging this behavior by only briefly patting his belly and chest. He usually gets like this when he is in a playful, frisky mood. I think she wants to be played with. It also seems like she sees your hands as being toys and she isn't being agressive but playful. You will want to stop making your hands kitty playthings and stop wrestling with her or letting he claw at or bite human appendages.
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Old 01-12-2010, 03:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Does this Behaviour Mean?

I would guess it means one of two things.

One would be that she's getting overstimulated by the petting, which can happen sometimes. The solution to that is to stop petting them for a while until they calm down again.

The other would be, as already mentioned, she doesn't actually want to be petted... she wants to WRESTLE! You don't want to wrestle with your cat with your hands, but you could break out other toys and play with her.

My cat Misty frequently grabs my hand and starts rabbit-kicking and biting (never breaks the skin) when I'm rubbing her tummy. I'm not sure if it means she's tired of tummy rubs or it means she thinks we're wrestling (I suspect the latter) but either way I figure the solution is to stop and let her calm down.
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Does this Behaviour Mean?

oh, this is simple, my lil gal does this all the time when she feels Ive ignored her when she wants to play. Her final resort is to act as cute as possible to lure me over to cuddle her tummy (cuddling and playfighting aren't that far off after all) and when I do, she rushes over to her favorite pouncing spot on the bed expecting/demanding a game. If I still dont play, she may attack my leg or something (no claws), because if I was to react as she expects, as a kitten, I'd start chasing her for that. She's only trying to provoke you into a game, first politely then more physically. I wouldnt let her use the hands as toys though, they should be for cuddling and toy mice etc for biting and kicking. If she learns that the hands are sometimes ok to bite, she wont understand that sometimes they're not.

Edit: I find a better way to show you wont play is to yawn very visibly. My gal seems to get that the chances of a game are slim if Im tired. I dont know if Im imagining that it works but it seems feasible that thats body language she could understand.
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Old 01-14-2010, 11:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Does this Behaviour Mean?

Most of the time it isn't recommended that you use your hands to wrestle around with your cats. I have found that if the cat can control their claws/teeth, there is no harm in it. I play with my own cats this way, and they like to latch on, bite gently, and rabbit kick my arm while I roll them around
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Old 01-15-2010, 02:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: What Does this Behaviour Mean?

This all sounds very familiar -- the stretch when you're approaching, followed by plops and playing. As a matter of fact, some of my work friends who are cat people decided we needed to come up with a name for this behavior. The three names were Ploperella (kitty Molly), Plopperazzi (kitty Sam), and Circle Plops (my Murphy, who circles then plops, circles, then plops).

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