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Old 01-17-2013, 02:11 PM   #21 (permalink)
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One of my fosters was a nasty biter when I got her. I would be petting her and she would seem to be enjoying it, then she would just turn out of the blue and bite hard, not just a nip. She had a hard life before I got her, including possible abuse, and she was emaciated and has scars, though she is not feral.

My teenage son and I started doing what we call the move in, move out approach. When she comes up to us for petting we move in and pet her 3 or 4 times, and then move out while she is still enjoying it. The chest also seemed to be a trigger area for her, as well as the base of her tail, which I thought most cats liked. It has been 5 months now though and in the last two she has seemed like a different cat. We can pet her quite a bit now on her face and all the way down her back, and she sits in our laps.

The best thing seems to have been when we brought home a kitten in November. She adopted him, cleans him, plays with him (she had babies that died when she came into our program) and it seems to have made her a gentler cat all around.

I second the idea of getting her mouth checked out and a general health check as well, but if there aren't any physical issues she may just need time, and in her case it may also have to do with being declawed.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:02 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Some cats aren't going to trust just anyone scratching them certain places, if you know those are trigger areas, avoid them for now. It may take a while for her to be comfortable around you, and you already knew she was a bit of a biter, so you definitely need to give it way more time. Trust is earned. Some cats are never comfortable with people touching certain areas.

Also, a vet visit should be scheduled to make sure she doesn't have any problems (tooth related perhaps?). Blacky has had two or three infections around her chin for whatever reason over the years and needed to go on metacam for a while each time.

Also, while I understand the paranoia of a cat bite, what you went through is very rare. I don't think you could duplicate it if you got a thousand cat bites. Blood poisoning can act fast but if you realise it's happening, know the signs and get some antibiotics from a doctor then you likely won't need to go to the hospital.
I agree Carmel! These older babies always seem to have teeth problems from neglect. I've only adopted two that didn't need one or more of their teeth either extracted or a cleaning (or both!) right away. Hazard of adopting old cats, I guess.
For the cat bite I had, I got bit at 6PM, but 3AM I was in pretty good pain, by 6AM I was being admitted to the hospital and a morphine IV was started. THAT FAST! Worst part was my husband was on deployment and could not come home. I spent a week in the hospital and a month home recuperating and getting my strength back. The bite was deep - he really clamped down on my wrist and that is what probably caused the fast spread....and it wasn't even my cat - I was babysitting a friend's cat. Stranger in her home - that's all it took.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:05 PM   #23 (permalink)
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The best thing seems to have been when we brought home a kitten in November. She adopted him, cleans him, plays with him (she had babies that died when she came into our program) and it seems to have made her a gentler cat all around.

I second the idea of getting her mouth checked out and a general health check as well, but if there aren't any physical issues she may just need time, and in her case it may also have to do with being declawed.
Awww. I love happy endings! She sounds like she needed to be a momma. Cats are such sensitive animals and sometimes we just don't know the pain they've been through until we find them.
Day spa visit is Sunday and vet appt is Tuesday AM. Moving right along...
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:57 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I'm so glad that you had a much more positive experience today. It does appear that it was really just nerves yesterday.

What is the kitty day spa thing about??
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:12 AM   #25 (permalink)
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What is the kitty day spa thing about??
Lacey was matted pretty good around the neck and ear area. The shelter chopped them off and her fur is all weird looking - plus there are still mats under her chest. Being a bit cat-bite paranoid, I'm letting the pet spa get the last of those mats, wash any gook out of her coat, sani-trim, trim her back nails, clean her ears, even out the shelter cut, etc. Once she has been here awhile and has learned to totally trust me I can do some of that, but not now.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:57 AM   #26 (permalink)
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One of my fosters was a nasty biter when I got her. I would be petting her and she would seem to be enjoying it, then she would just turn out of the blue and bite hard, not just a nip. She had a hard life before I got her, including possible abuse, and she was emaciated and has scars, though she is not feral.
I've posted before about Zenobi (RIP) doing this soon after I brought her home. She, too, had been abused and used to run in terror after using her litterbox.

But the biting may have come when I was petting her and reached out with the other hand. She may have thought she was about to be scruffed and beaten -- or some such. I don't have time now to post again how I cured her, but she was a very special cat and learned easily.
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