Cat won’t stop biting and scratching me and my wife - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-14-2018, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2018
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Hey Everyone!

We have a kitty, named Finn. He is a male tabby. We’ve had him about 6 months (and he is about 8 months old) and he has a serious problem with biting and scratching.

It all started when he was a baby, the family who raised him let the kitty bite and attack their hands. We got him a while after that, and we never play with him in an aggressive way like that.

Ever since we brought him home, he gets really pouncy and will attack us. It used to be little bites and scratches, but it’s been getting harder and harder. It breaks the skin every time and happens multiple times in an evening.

We give him plenty of attention and food, and we play with him consistently every day. We tried a ton of different things, but nothing has helped him to get better. Even distracting him with other toys only helps temporarily. We’ve tried hissing and compressed air, but that also only temporarily helps. It’s like he isn’t understanding that it is hurting us. He is just playing and not being mean, but it really is starting to hurt, and he attacks my wife much more then me. Which isn’t good.

Any suggestions? I know getting a second cat could help, but that isn’t in the budget. We did have an idea to take him to my parents house for a week to learn some lessons from their cat. But I don’t know if that would make a difference. We are all out of ideas and really need some help. Thank you!

Last edited by alphabean11; 03-14-2018 at 09:46 PM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 06:53 AM
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I am so sorry this is happening! I am not an expert and it sounds like you've tried everything, really. But, have you focused on consistency?

If air compression and hissing works at all (you said it does temporarily), I would choose one and use it and then ignore the cat for about 10 minutes to let him know his actions are not welcome. If he will not be ignored (continues attacking), use hiss, then leave the area to a room where he cannot follow or put him in a room alone for a short period of time, just a few minutes.

You don't have to hiss every time, but make it so that when an attack happens, the fun ends. But, make sure fun still happens! However, only with toys and never with hands (not even love nibbles which could escalate).

Make sure your whole family is consistent and working together. Even if it might seem it's not working because he just keeps attacking again and again, be strong, stay consistent, and take note of any progress/response over time. This is a learned behavior he has that he isn't going to unlearn over night. If your methods keep changing up, then to him, your actions probably seem random and unrelated to the way he plays.

Be consistent, give it a full try, even if it become tedious for you and you must do it again and again. I would take actual notes on attack frequency so you have hard data. But don't become disheartened if your cat relapses from time to time.

I hope that is helpful. Again, I am not an expert but what I do know for sure is that if you work at it as a team, it will get better and you will be able to play and coexist with your cat safely and happily again, whether you use this method or a different one. I hope more people can give you more suggestions! Watch some Jackson Galaxy stuff if you need a boost of cat-confidence! Good luck! ^-x-^ Please update us!

Last edited by kittycola; 03-24-2018 at 06:55 AM.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 07:21 AM
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I hope he will settle down in time. 8 months is a terrible age for play-fights and all. Yes, consistency is a key, and good luck with that, for what we might automatically do is not always the best thing, nor the thing we planned on doing.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 01:39 PM
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You received some good advice.....consistency is the key with lots of play with an interactive toy such as "Da Bird" for about 20 min/ per day, and treats for good behavior. Finn is male and at the peak of his adolescent stage, which consists of a lot of pouncing/biting/ and just keep telling yourself it's a phase he's going thro ( remember the adage: "this, too, shall pass"). Finn will grow out of, tho it may take almost another year or when he starts to settle down around 2 yrs. of age. My Fitty is over 2 yrs., and a very active Devon Rex, and just now settling down and not fighting my old Zuba as much, and listening better to my admonitions of "no biting!" If I hear him fighting with Zuba and I walk into the room he will actually stop and run off now where before he would just ignore me. He really doesn't like spending "timeouts" much any more for biting. Lots of patience required with your boy now.....all the best!

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-24-2018, 06:35 PM
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I too have a 'biter' and it was the lack of kitty socialization that caused him to feel it's ok. Is your guy attacking your legs/feet? In less than 6 months Charlie (age 18 mos.) has learned biting my hand is not good. Yelling "ow" and really making a big deal- hurt looks, rubbing self where bit and then Time Out! to another room will help him understand this is unacceptable. As much as some may disagree I also employ scruffing the neck along with the verbal admonition. Some people even use a gentle dunning on the head- this is all stuff mommy cats do.

Like many things feline time & patience will win out. And when he does do well don't forget the treats! Hope this helps.

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