Ouchm the pain.... - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 12:15 AM Thread Starter
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Ouchm the pain....

First and foremost let me appologize in adavance, I know this forum must get many threads about bitting and I've seen some of them but in my particular situation I want advice that helps me based on my cat and her personality.

She's a Jeckyl and Hyde...she can be the sweetest baby there is-- cuddling, making cakes, purring, waiting for me at the door, etc- but at certain moments during the day she gets in these moods... I know she wants to play and that she has this feline hunt instinc....I try to let her be in touch with such instinc when she plays with her favorite toy ( 'da bird.' )

But, every single morning when I'm getting ready I feed her and right after that she gets into her attack mode and lets just say that my calves and feet have permanent scars. The pain can be unbearable at moments and is a testament of how much I love my pretty baby that I've delt with it for more than 3 years. I mean it, every single morning she makes me bleed and a handful of times she even makes me cry in both pain and desperation.
It's not the first time that I write for help about this situation I've tried so far.

-Locking her in my room
-Water spray bottle
-Harsh No's
-Loud noice of can with coins
-Shoving my hand gently into her mouth.
-Hiding underneath a blanket until she gets over her mood.

These tactics don't really help me that much. I only have one extra room in my small NYC apartment, and I have to go back and forth between rooms while getting ready. if I forget something it is very unpractical to try and keep kitty in the room. As soon as I go in the room with her she attacks.

The water spray bottle just makes her angrier and wires her to attack me more, she sees it as a challenge.

Noices that scare her also just challenge her more, but if she really is in the mood for attacking me- which she is all mornings- she will no matter what.

The shoving of the hand--it works for a second, but then she gets a hold of my hand with her claws and keeps scratching me. Also, she usually bites my calves while I'm standing up, so it's very hard to use that technique.

The last tactic is the only thing that really works, but you can imagine how practical it is to hide underneath a blanket for minutes at a time at a moment when every minute caunts for me to be on time. Also, if the blanket is not imediatly in my sight, she still manages to get me pretty hard, I have many scars to prove it.

Then there is the guest. Everytime someone comes to visit she is very cute and friendly at first. First thing she would rub herself against your legs and meow very cutelly, as soon as the guest falls for her kitty charm, she'll go ahead and bite, by the complains I get it's a hard bite.

This is very hard for me because I'm always defending her when people tell me she's a bad and aggresive kitty, because I know she can be so sweet, but then they see my bleeding arms and legs and it's testamnet of how she even attacks me. It makes me very sad when people speak badly of my baby.

SO *sight* there has to be a way for her to understand that bitting is just not right, and neither is attacking people, guest or no guest. I am so desperate now that I'm thinking about hiring a professional animal behaviorist to use some serious conditioning, because there has to be a way for her to understand. Still, Iím a little short of money at the moment, but what do you guys think.

What do you knowlegeable people suggest I do? please I appreciate any comment. I'm sure Darcy my kitty apprecites it as well since she wants to be liked by everyone she comes into contact with. I know she just wants to play, but she needs to learn how to play correctly.

Thank you so much, I donít know who else to turn to for help.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 12:35 AM
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Location: Monroe, GA
Posts: 12,689
Re: Ouchm the pain....

She sounds like a frustrated kitty. I think she needs more stimulation; mental, visual and physical to give her something to think about, occupy her time and wear her out. Could you check out getting more toys for her? Cat-trees that will put her up high and with the ability to see *something* out a window? Even 'thinking-toys' or maybe I mean 'interactive'...where she has to *work* to get a treat out of it.

Check out this article about over-stimulation. I am not sure if this is what is going on with your kitty, but at the very least, it could give you some insight into the psychology of cats.
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... aggression

I know your place is small...do you think you could try introducing another young cat for her to have a wrestle-buddy and someone to occupy her time and help wear her out? It would take some careful selecting and introductions to find the right kitty...but getting a companion for her may help the situation. Be aware, too, though...it may not help at all and could make it worse. This is why if you consider this I would work closely with a shelter to help them assist you in choosing a cat they think may make a good match for your kitty.
Good luck, I can only imagine how frustrating this is for you and her...
heidi =^..^=

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 08-30-2009, 04:03 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Guntersville, Alabama, USA
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Re: Ouchm the pain....

Your startle reaction is, unfortunately, a 'prey' reaction that is reinforcing your cat's overenthusiastic hunting play. Is this has gone on for a few years she has developed this into a learned instinct; a habit that's going to be hard for you to break. In effect she is trained in doing this by your reaction.
I would suggest doing something that forces her to think about what she is doing. Maybe putting some kind of protection around your calf and ankle that will deflect her claws and teeth. If she is suddenly attacking a hard surface, instead of "meat", it will make her engage the problem-solving part of her little kitty brain instead of acting on pure instinct.
This will give you a chance to redirect her attention to some kind of more acceptable play.
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