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Discussion Starter #1
... well, actually, i am not sure what kitty thinks. Which is why i am posting here.

Our cat likes to hang out on the desk whenever somebody is using the computer. He hovers, he snuggles the person using the computer, he demands petting. It is all very cute. Usually it is my husband who is subject to this, as i use my laptop from the comfort of an armchair, while he works at the desk.

Lately, the cat has started doing something new while hovering at the computer. He has been gently grabbing at my husband's clothes with his teeth -- usually in the shoulder or arm area (the part of my husband which is closest to the cat). It is like he is trying to pick my husband up, and carry him around like he is a kitty toy. Its not biting -- just grabbing hold with his teeth.

It is really cute, but kind of odd. Has anybody seen this behaviour before? What the heck does it mean? We can't figure it out...
 

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Some cats, especially Oriental breeds, display a behaviour called pica where they chew or eat wool and other fabrics. So that could be what your kitty's doing. On the other hand, some cats, like mine, will just try to eat anything...
 

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So it's just your husband he does this to? What does your husband do? Is there any behavior that your husband uses in this situation that is different from someone else?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey, thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate the input that you have given me thus far. I have comments in response to your suggestions:

1) Spike is not an oriental breed, and his behaviour is not chewing or eating the fabric, but rather trying to physically grab my husband and move him.

2) Spike actually does this to me as well, when i'm sitting at the computer -- it is only that my husband spends more time there than i do that he is subject to this behaviour! (I use my laptop from the comfort of an arm chair when i can watch and giggle at the cat's behaviour)

Any other insight would be appreciated! :D
 

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Well now that you say its not just your husband, it sounds like your kitty just wants your attention. Sometimes it seems like pets don't understand why we stare at a screen instead of playing with them. :) I wouldn't worry about your cat being weird -- he's not. He sounds like a normal, well cared for, affectionate kitty who just wants your attention. If he's used to playing with his toys this way to get them to move, this could be the exact same thing he's doing to you and your husband.
 

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Well it sounds like your kitty just wants to play. It doesn't sound like anything serious or anything to worry about. My cats don't do that but then again they love to play right before we go to bed. :p
 

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A few of my cats used to lay on the keyboard whenever I logged on the internet. It got to be a major problem, so I got a water squirter, and that solved the situation. Now, there are those who want to sit in my lap when I am on the keyboard and especially when I watch TV, which I always welcome. :)
 

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The computer screen is an amazing magnet fo alot of cats, mainly because they can see how focused we are on something so close, I believe. By getting in between our eyes and the source of our hypnotic trance, they know they're bound to get some attention!
I don't believe Pica is the culprit here, or any other kind of obsessive compulsive disorder. Your cat is just looking for attention, I think, and when not given it in the "normal" ways, he goes that one step further, which is the nibbling. It's important not to play into this, however cute at this point it might seem, because ultimately by giving him attention while he's performing the action, we're unconsciously rewarding it, and over time it will only get worse.
I'm personally not a huge fan of squirt bottles. Of course, if that's the only option...but first, I like the "session over" approach, which is to say, just stand up and let the cat fall off your lap. Sure it's a bit of a pain at first, but over a bit of time, he'll get the cue that performing that action gets him *no* attention. Not positive, not negative. Nothing. Along with that, I don't think you need to correct him at that time, either by saying anything like "no!" I think just letting him know by taking it to that extreme, he's no longer welcome should help.

Hope that helps some!
Jackson
 
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