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Discussion Starter #1
I have been reading about ways to stop a playful kitten from biting...... ha ha!! I have been dealing with Max for over a year - he is almost 2 in human years and weighs 16 lbs. Squirting with the water bottle only gives me time to get away from him!! He will sometimes get into the hunting pose, but most of the time he will just run up and bite (hard) the tops of your feet or ankles. He leaves these scars on my feet. He does not nibble - he draws blood!! I try to always wear sneakers, but at night I don't and thats when he's most hyper.
He has several toys, and sometimes I play with him with strings, balls and other toys. He gets loving & attention but I think that he wants attention all of the time. When he starts the biting mode - I have always harshly said STOP and I will not pay any attention to him until he stops.
I have found one thing that I do is to put him out on our screened in porch where he can have a hour or so to calm down, but other than that I have never been able to stop this behavior. He will do this to company also.
This cat was a dumpster kitten that my son found and took him to our vet as he was injured a little bit. He had Max for approx. 6 months and because he was wild, nearly ripped his apartment apart, he couldn't keep him!! Ha Ha - So my husband & I gave Max a home. We started him out in a huge oversized garage, and we spent hours with him everyday - he has been slowly brought into the house for a couple of hours visits each day - declawed and now rules the entire house. With a lot of time spent together, Max has grown into a wonderful friend!!He follows me everywhere. We are very fond of him - Except the biting!! Any ideas :?:
 

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I don't have an answer for you but I can relate. My cat does the same thing when I'm finished playing and he is not. Fortunately my cat is a gentle biter and has never drawn blood. He does calm down rather quickly and doesn't persist for long. I would imagine that this is more of a problem with single cat owners because cats with cat companions can chase each other around to exercise their hunting instincts. I would be curious to know what others think as well.
 

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I did some research on this for you. When I saw that you had declawed your cat, I felt certain there was a connection. I found this article in Consumer Affairs.com This is only one paragraph from this story:

Annie Bruce of www.goodcatswearblack.com writes: (3/8/03):
I have written the American Veterinary Medical Association many times about the property destruction and cat bites that people suffer when owning declawed cats. The AVMA should cease declawing or tendonectomizing of all cats because these cats are dangerous for people to own and it is abuse of cats. As a cat owner consultant, I have logged hundreds of calls and found that declawed cat owners have an increased risk of: litter box maintenance; lost floorboards, drywall, carpet, sofas, beds and security deposits because of urine damage; getting bit; chewing damage; and having to give up the cat (giving cat away, abandoning cat or having him euthanized.)
_____________________________________

This is the concensus of many behavioral experts. It sounds as if Max is a feral cat. (I use the present tense because, although feral cats can be socialized, they are still feral) The socializing of a feral cat requires much patience over a long period of time, but it happens. However, Max might never recover from the declawing. It's possible he's in constant pain. I would consult a behaviorist. I'm so sorry Max and you have this problem. I know you wanted the best for him. :(
 

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The article is quite interesting, but not a fact for every cat as Max is not the first declawed cat that I've had and I have never had the behavior described in the article with any other cats.??? I don't think that is a connection at all. Max had this behavoir worst before he was declawed and less after he was declawed. Of course time took care of most of his wild behavior. He was declawed approx. 9 months ago and his behavior in every other behavior has improved over the past year from training and lots of love & attention. Max was extremely distructive with his claws and now, he hasn't been for a long, long time, and I don't see that coming back. He just likes to bite people on the foot to get them to play with him. I guess in time, we will work through this also. I will figure out a way, squirting water works sometimes. Other than the biting, his behavior is great. He uses the litter box OK, eats well, doesn't jump up on counters or tables very often (while I'm home) he is still playful, likes to be rubbed down several times a day, purrs very loudly, follows me all around the house rubbing up against my legs constantly and when he's not rubbing me, he is rubbing up against my husband legs and he sleeps between us on the bed everynight!
 

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Kudos to you for rescuing Max. I think we will just have to agree to disagree on the subject of declawing. I don't know of any cat association or forum that approves of it--because of the phantom pain and the changes in behavior in many declawed cats. There are exceptions, I'm sure.
 

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sdascher,

I agree with Jeanie about the declawing thing but I'd also like to give you some advice to try since you can't go back in time and give his claws back. You said you say STOP loudly at him and pay no attention to him after he bites? What does he do? Maybe you can lock him in a cage when he is bad? And about your poor feet at night, you should maybe try locking him out of your bedroom when he does it. We have to do this with our kitten because he is a brat. It calms him down because he pretty much goes to sleep instantly when we put him in his cage. I find that the water gun doesn't work because it always takes me a minute or so to find the silly thing so by the time I spray him, he has forgotten what he did wrong.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You may be correct about the declawing, I will never say that I am sure about anything of this nature, but I really don't think that Max's behavior in this case is because he was declawed. He not only would bite all of the time, (like everyday)but he also would claw the heck at any part that he could reach. He was really wild & mean about 9 months ago, he is almost like a different cat now. His behavior has improved greatly. After I say Stop loudly, he stops, pins his ears back for the few minutes and if I don't pay any attention to him he will either try again or go away. He just is starving for attention all of the time. Its not a real big thing, considering how he was & is now, just shocking and painful when you don't expect it. He also doesn't bite every day or even every couple of days. I would say that he will bite hard approx. 3 to 5 times a month. I have one of those large cat carrier cages and Max does like to go inside of it. Its a good idea, I'll try it. Thanks.
 

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I can sympathize with the situations discussed here. (Newbie, so I apologize if I am repeating something said somewher else.)

I was going to post my question separately but it relates to the biting/attacking stuff I've read here. Our cat is front declawed and about 4 1/2 months old. He is going in for his "fix" next week, but he has demonstrated some odd behavior towards our 6 year old daughter. For some reason he finds attacking her legs and head--when she's sitting on the couch, for example--to be great fun. I have tried to tell my daughter to stick up for herself by yelling or moving towards him, but she hasn't caught on yet. My wife and I are relatively safe as is our 8 year old son.

I feel bad thinking that his operation might "help" the sitaution but I am also realistic. If this is just his temperament then we need to decide whether we can have the cat in our house at all, and that is a painful decision. The kids have a cat who is older, and female, at their dad's house who is also declawed and fixed and she never demonstrates the same behavior, according to the kids. It's all cat-to-cat I know, but they don't understand why "our" kitty has to be this way. What was once playful and fun is more now dangerous especially when blood is drawn.

Thanks for reading. :)
 

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My problem was my son sort of "left" this cat with us and we tried to find a home for Max and was unable to do so, nobody wanted him. Max was so destructive - and I mean destructive, that the only way we could keep him was to have him declawed. That was a year ago. I do understand the pros & cons behind this matter as I am an elderly lady and I have had both clawed and declawed cats. Max is the first one that I am responsable for declawing as the choice was to take him to the shelter - or declaw!! He was destroying my house! I think I made the correct choice. Max & I love each other!! Max is missing his front claws, I don't believe that he suffered at all because I paid big time out extra for the morphine patches that he wore on his front paws for awhile. I had to try to keep him down as he was healing as he was running all over the place when I brought him home!! No signs of pain what-so-ever. Not everyone is this lucky though, I have heard horror stories of declawing that makes me sick!! Max is a wonderful cat, he just sometimes bites - he always did and he still does, but a lot less than he use to. He only bites when he wants to play!!
If I couldn't have had this cat declawed, I would not have been able to keep him & I am sure that he would be dead by now along with thousands of other cats out there. If you have patience maybe the kitty will settle down as he/she gets older, say in 2 years! Also, sometimes after the cat is "fixed" they will calm down a little bit. I am a bit surprised that someone out there doesn't chirp in with "fixing" a cat is cruel.........because Max was in pain for a few days with that operation!!!!
 

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I don't think it's at all cruel to have your cat 'fixed' - the operation is a good way of preventing unwanted kittens being born. In effect it saves lives. What is cruel is when cats are left to breed and breed until you have hundreds of starving, diseased stray cats who nobody wants.
As for the biting, you said he bites when he wants to play. My cat does this too. Have you tried just ignoring him completely? He wants a response from you, so when you say 'Stop' that is still a response as you are talking to him. If he realises that biting gets him no response, he might give up.
 

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I did read at another cat website that ignroing a cat--sometimes for a week or two--can cure him/her of biting behavior.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yes - You are correct. I do firmly tell him to stop and I will not pay any attention to him until this mood passes and he really is coming around. Now I can't answer for the little kitty cat that this other guy has.
I do support and I believe that it is being responsible to have your pet "fixed" if you don't intend on breeding so I would never tell someone not to, that's for sure. I was just being a smarty because there is always someone who will disagree with you no matter what!! Isn't it great to live in this wonderful free country??? You could never be this free in other countries that's for sure!!
 

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My apologies if I made you feel bad. That was never my intent. But new owners often look to cat forums for education. That's why I quoted the article. It was kind of you to save Max.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank You Jeanie, that was most kind of you. I don't really feel bad - but Thanks!! I do however feel bad already about having Max declawed and I did make sure that he didn't suffer - I really did - it was the only way that I could have kept the big guy!!
His weight is now at 17lbs.!!! He loves it outside ( don't jump ) he almost stays most of the days in a very large screened in deck/porch ( about a 15'X 20" ) if its not too hot. He likes to chase bugs!! I go out with him a lot, but he won't come in for too long, I guess I'm boring!! Ha Ha!!

:wink:
 

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sdascher,

Did you try locking him in the cage? I think you should try ignoring him and locking him in his cage when he bites. I agree with whoever said he just wants a response from you. I hope it works out. It sounds like time will help as it helped the other things.

About the 4.5 month old. We had a cat that did this exact thing to my brother. He's just a kitten. That's what kittens do. It's their instinct. It is unfair to get rid of the cat for this behavior. Your daughter needs to learn how to act around the cat and needs to learn how to discipline the cat. That's the only way the cat will learn to respect her as her and the cat grow older.
 

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I thought we were doing pretty well with the biting lately. The cat has had his operation and after a week he is somewhat calmer, although he relapsed and attacked my daughter yesterday. The vet said give him two weeks for the hormones to move out of his system. I may not have that long since the cat jumped on the kitchen table today and knocked off some flowers (no vase broken). My wife called to say she is at the end of her rope. Any advice now on table jumping cats? :)
 

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My cats are allowed on tables (since we couldnt keep them off). We feed them on the counters now, and they know that that IS their food, and leaves ours alone.
They have some things for sale at pet stores to help this problem. There is a spray called SSSCat that will give a warning sound and then spray something that the cat hates! Sooner or later, the cat will learn that the sound is a warning and will stay away from it. Kind of like the invisible fence.
You can look into several different options :)
 

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Hi sdasher, my cat Tillie is a moody little minx and can bite while I'm just stroking her just because she gets into a fiesty mood. I've been making sure she plays rough every other day by letting her chase this stuffed mouse on a string and get her so cross that she bites and kicks it (as she does on her back). I think this helps with her aggression. Then if she bites I scream high pitched as in pain (I'm thankful that Tillie has not drawn blood as yet) and then walk away saying nothing and ignore her until she comes to me in a good mood. I've been doing this for the past 4 weeks now and Tillie has improved. Max sounds a lovely boy, I hope things get better.
 
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