Aggressive Behavior - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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Aggressive Behavior

Hello,

I'm from Portland, OR, 25 year old male living with my FiancÚ and my twin brother. We brought home a 3.5 month old neutered, male, tiger striped, mackerel tabby cat named Kramer about a month ago from a non-profit rescue shelter. We absolutely love him - he's great, however he exhibits aggressive and overly frisky behavior that can be disturbing at times.

What's odd is that he is a very needy and loving cat for much of the day. He loves to cuddle and sleep with us. He will spend hours of the day nestled on your lap or just following you around the house watching what you're doing. We love it - this is exactly what we wanted in a cat. He is very sensitive and loving and will lick you like a dog when he purrs. However, for the other portions of the day he is extremely frisky and into everything. His eyes become extremely dilated as well. He becomes very aggressive with his toys and other inanimate objects around the house too. When he is in this mood, he often exhibits fear of us when we walk into a room by hiding or raising his back in a defensive/irritated posture. He does not attack or bite me if I attempt to touch him which is good though. However this aggression can put a damper on things when we hangout with him because he will occasionally see my hands or feet as play objects. The biting and scratching of us has subsided due to me punishing him through the water sprayer or picking him up by the back of the neck and sternly telling him "No!". We consider our hands or feet off limits for play. It can be distracting or just plain annoying if I'm trying to go to bed and he's literally bouncing off the walls as well. It's as if he's on cocaine sometimes, I swear.

I guess my overlying concern is that he exhibits two radically different personalities: One is extremely loving and cuddly, and the other is wild, frisky, and even a little scary sometimes I have to admit. He also has an insane fascination with the outdoors and can be found gazing out the windows for long periods of time (we've never let him outside and want him to remain and indoor cat). He's getting bigger by the day and I'm becoming concerned that this behavior as well as the bites and scratches could become a more serious problem. His overly frisky, scared behavior has also become more frequent and concerning as well.

Any ideas on calming my kitty-cat?

-Art
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 02:22 PM
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Re: Aggressive Behavior

I think he's just exhibiting typical cat behaviour. Dante does the exact same thing...even the scary things. He'll arch his back, step side ways and has his tail all puffy when we're just walking around. The aggressive behaviour that you see if what he'd be doing when playing with other young cats. I would think they'll grow out of it and mellow a bit...and that's all I can offer.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 02:35 PM
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Re: Aggressive Behavior

To be honest, it sounds like very normal kitten behavior to me. Kittens can be totally wild at times, dashing head long around the house, attacking everything and anything in their path.

When he bites your hand or arm, don't pull your hand away, you can do more damage that way because he holds on tighter. Instead push back at him, it will startle him and he won't like it. Make loud noises, I often make believe I'm crying when a cat bites me. They'll associate that noise specifically with the biting behavior and know that it means to stop biting. If you don't want to cry, pick a word specifically for correcting biting, just one word that you don't use for any other behavior. "No" is too often used for multiple things, if you use no for biting and for 'don't eat my sandwich' and for don't scratch there, it will confuse him. So pick a specific single word for correcting a specific behavior. Also, lifting him by his scruff can injure him, he's too heavy for that now.

When he gets crazy, distract him with toys. Interactive play is the best way to control his crazies and wear him out. Da Bird and laser pointers are the best toys imo. The best part is you can still be lazy but exercise him with a laser pointer. A good play session and a snack just before bed should poop him out for quite a while.

Gazing out the windows is perfectly normal behavior for a cat as well, there's sooooo much interesting stuff to see. Putting a bird feeder where he can see it and a window perch will keep him occupied for hours.

I also believe his actions when raising his back and looking scared are all just part of his play. I've seen kittens arch up and 'dance' across the room trying to look fierce while they're playing. It's pretty hysterical.

He'll out grow most of this behavior, the only thing you really need to correct is the biting. And when he becomes a couch potato, you'll be missing the little monster behavior.

Hope this helps. Welcome to Cat Forum...we need pictures of the little monster!


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 03:01 PM
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Re: Aggressive Behavior

Yup, it's perfectly normal for a cat to suddenly go nuts for no apparent reason. Some people around here call it "rocketbutt mode." Sometimes you see it referred to as the "crazies."

He's not really trying to hurt you or anything else, he's just super-duper-hyper. When my cats get like that they tear all around the apartment chasing each other, and they wrestle, but no one ever gets hurt.

I'd take doodlebug's suggestions of giving him toys when he's in crazy mode, and in how to teach him that you're not interesting in wrestling with him the way another cat would. He will calm down eventually, but even adult cats still go all rocket-butt from time to time!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Aggressive Behavior

Thank you all for your posts. It's been very helpful and has made me less concerned.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 05:23 PM
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Re: Aggressive Behavior

Kramer does look like a handful! Possibly lives up to his namesake i.e Kosmo Kramer?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-03-2009, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Aggressive Behavior

Haha, yes, he certainly lives up to his name! We thought it matched his style very nicely. Thanks again.
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