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About four years ago, my elderly parents adopted a beautiful long haired male tabby from Petsmart. He is now about six years old. His name is Toby.

He is extremely intelligent, and loves being around people, but unfortunately, my 86 year old mom has dozens of bite and scratch marks because when he wants her attention in the middle of the night, he bites and scratches her arms, legs or shoulders.

She must wear long pants since he will bite and scratch her ankles while she walk when he wants attention.


If you try to pet him when he is sleeping or relaxing, he will immediately try to bite and scratch you since he does not want to be bothered.

He allows temporary pets and hugs, but only when he is anticipating food. He knows how to open the shades in the morning when he wants my mom and dad to wake up.

My mom puts up with him because my 87 year old dad has dementia, and this cat is the love of his life. My dad is also the cat's favorite. My dad is very very slow, and needs help getting up. He uses a walker. Toby meows every morning to tell my dad to hurry up. Once my dad sits down, he lets my dad pet him, and then he lets us pet him while he waits for food.

The problem is that in the very near future, my mom will no longer be able to care for my dad, and assisted living will soon be a likely reality.

This raises the question. What happens to Toby?

No one will likely put up with his bites and scratches the way my folks do. They will be upset with us, and bring him to a shelter.

I could take him,but I live in a small apartment and I am gone most of the time. Toby would be unhappy.

I certainly cannot give him to one of my 100 neighbors due to the biting and scratching.

Does anyone know of any "cat whisperers" in Southern California that might be able to relinquish him of these behaviors?

Toby's well being depends on it.
 

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I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma with Toby....at 6 yrs. old his biting is likely an ingrained behavior that may be hard to break. The first thing is to not allow Toby to be in your mom's bedroom when she is trying to sleep. He should be put in another room with his litter box for the night. Don't pet Toby if he's sleeping or relaxing, and only pet him when he wants it.... such as, waiting for his food. Don't give him any reason to bite. Toby doesn't seem to be a nasty cat, that is unpredictable and will bite if you just walk by him like some cats do. As to what will happen to Toby in the future? Perhaps when that time comes, Toby will have changed and be more companionable. Generally speaking, cats do tend to mellow out as they age. I hope that will happen with Toby. Good luck, and all the best!
 
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