Worrisome Behavior - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-28-2009, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 150
Worrisome Behavior

Well, the former stray Darius is pretty much settled in. He and I have a set routine and he is doing great. What I am worried about it a bit of his behavior.

99% of the time, he is a very friendly cat. Playing, purring, rubbing up against people, and cuddling. But the other 1% of the time? He can be quite aggressive. I don't know if it is pent up energy he is releasing. Basically, he'll get bitey. Usually he attacks feet as a person is walking. There isn't much stalking at all. He doesn't use his claws, which is weird. He just occasionally lunges and bites. He has drawn blood before, and as a nursing student, I know cat bites can be quite serious.

I am wondering if this is the behavior that got him tossed on the street. Maybe as a kitten someone thought it was 'cute' that their kitten was nibbling their feet. And that turned into biting. I may see if I can find a cat behaviorist in the Milwaukee area to contact for an appointment if his behavior continues (any idea on how to find one? And what are the usual costs on average?). When I took him in, I made a lifelong commitment to him. I just don't want my housemates to be afraid of him (one says he makes her nervous). This results in him staying cooped up in my room when I am not there because I don't want him to hurt anyone.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-29-2009, 08:29 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Huntington Beach, CA --> London, UK
Posts: 243
Re: Worrisome Behavior

My cat is exactly the same way. Only she doesn't just attack feet, sometimes it's hands too (like when I'm typing on the computer). I think it is part wanting to play/boredom and part frustration at being bored. I actually wondered the same thing - about her getting tossed out because of this behavior. Anyway, I have not been able to eliminate it no matter what I tried - water spraying, scruff holding, time-outs, etc. It seemed to only make it worse. I actually just gave up after a while and decided that I love her anyway, and I'll just not get upset over it and just calmly put her away from me. When she attacks my legs, I just stop, give her a look and say "Zaaayaaa".. in a really disappointed tone and I stand still for a while. I don't know if she is growing out of this behavior now or if she just realized she's not going to get what she wants by ambushing, but she has actually started doing it very rarely now. I think it's just that they are frustrated and want to play. I don't know if there's a way to stop it, but this kind of "ignoring" it has helped in our situation. Good Luck! I totally know how upsetting this kind of thing is..
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