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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2009, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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Cat Biting / Behavior Issues

I have a 1.5 year old male cat - he is fixed and front declawed. I have had him since he was about 10 weeks old and raised him from there. He was a perfect little kitty until a few months ago when he started biting me out of nowhere. It has happened 3 times. The first time I was sitting on the floor and he came up and bit my arm - it bled a LOT and hurt! The second time I moved him from the couch and he jumped back up and bit me- again it bled and hurt. Third time he was sitting next to me being nice and all of a sudden he bit my arm - this time I had a jacket on so it didn't get me as much, but i still had the marks for 2 weeks. He has TRIED to bite me countless other times - he will "stalk" me from afar, and then jump up when I'm not expecting it - usually I can say "NO" in time that he will scurry away. I'm concerned that he bites so HARD and it is not just playful nipping. He just gets this look in his eyes where you would think he had the devil in him!!

I am really afraid that this behavior is going to continue and possibly get worse.

Does anyone have any idea why he started this behavior - and how to get it to stop??? I was thinking of getting another cat, that way he can play with the cat and not me - I'm just afraid there is a deeper aggression issue that he is taking out on me!! Please help!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2009, 08:26 PM
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Re: Cat Biting / Behavior Issues

Personally I wouldn't reccommend another cat right now if you think it may be aggression.. It's probably better to figure out what may be causing the bahaviour.. Have there recently been any changes - anything new/something leaving the house that may be upsetting him?
It may even be worth a vet visit to see if there may be a medical reason for the change in bahaviour.
If he was just being a playful cat, another playful kitty might do him good but if it's aggression, I think he may not be very open to letting another kitty share his territory and if he did bite the other cat so hard, it may cause an infection resulting in vet bills...

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2009, 08:41 PM
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Re: Cat Biting / Behavior Issues

Its common knowledge that cats that are declaw can become bitters.

I ignorantly declawed my cat and he is a bitter when he is threatened or in a stressful situation. They know this is the only way they can defend themselves since they had their claws amputated. I feel remorse daily for doing this to my cat. Im commited to him till the day he dies since Im the one who inflicted this on him.

My second cat I adopted has her claws but my first cat rules the house. So its not an issue with declawed with a cat that has her claws.

I dont think this is an aggression issue. More of understanding what he is reacting the way he does. Was your cat startled? Do you keep petting him when you arent seeing the signs to stop hes had enough. Things like that would help you pick up on why he is bitting. A normal cat would swat you to tell you to stop. Declawed cats bite you to send the same message.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-26-2009, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Cat Biting / Behavior Issues

Thanks for your replies.

To answer some of your questions - there is nothing new or different in the household in the past few months that I can think of. We used to live with a dog who he would play with all the time, but he has been living as the only animal in the house for 8+ months and he just recently started the biting. That is why I thought another cat or animal may do him some good. I also wonder if he learned to bite hard because he used to play with the dog, which he could probably get away with biting pretty hard and he used to play rough with (it was a very tolerant dog- a Boxer).

I had not thought much about how declawing will make a cat more of a biter. It makes a lot of sense. The first time the cat bit me he was not agitated or upset in any way - I was sitting on the floor arranging some cards, and he pounced onto my arm and bit it. I think he saw it as a play toy because it was moving back and forth - though he bit it so hard that it is hard for me to believe it was a play bite.

The second two times he bit me, I think he may have been agitated because of either being pet or touched when he didn't want to be. I don't quite understand why is he is biting so hard though - and more importantly how to get him to STOP biting all together!!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-27-2009, 01:10 AM
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Re: Cat Biting / Behavior Issues

Sometimes, when cats are taken from their mother at a young age, they never learn how to "control" themselves during play. See, when they are kittens they wrestle. They kick, swat, and bite. If one kitten bites too hard, the other kitten will cry out, and most likely quit the game. The first kitten learns that if he doesn't play nice with his siblings, no one is going to play with him at all. I don't think he would learn to do such hard biting with your boxer, for it would still certainly hurt pretty bad. I think the boxer would have let him know, yelping or whining when he bit that hard.

Your cat may have never been taught these restrictions, but don't worry! There are a few things you can do try and fix this. If and when the cat bites you, cry out! Say "Owww!" or something in a high pitched whine, and then walk away. If you were playing with the cat, that's it, game over. If you were petting him, stop. Give him the cold shoulder for a while.

When you are petting the cat they will sometimes get irritated with your petting and decide they have had enough. Most cats walk away, but some cats will bite to give you this message. Pay close attention- has the cat stopped purring suddenly? Do they suddenly look/feel tense? Sometimes they'll start getting an irritated twitch in the tail. The ears may just slightly tilt back. Sometimes the pupils will dilate (get biggger) a little. If you notice the signs, just calmly stop petting the cat and let him know she is free to go (if sitting on your lap). Or maybe you have to leave, if your cat wants the bed/couch to himself.
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