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My cat is almost 9 years old, and every morning she jumps up on the counter and goes kinda crazy wanting to be petted. So I stay there and giver her lots of pets and scratches, and if I drop my hand she will try to pull it back to her or head butt my arm. If I pet the top of her head she will swipe at me with her claws out so I try to keep from doing that. But she's really confusing because sometimes she'll swipe at me like that with her claws out even when I don't pet her head, but when I walk away she runs after me along the counter and puts her paw out like she's saying, "Wait! Don't leave!" so I pet her some more and she'll do it again.
But anyway, the reason for my thread is that in the past two days she's started gently biting me while I pet her. Yesterday I pet her in a way she didn't like so she made her "stop!" squeak and grabbed my arm with both paws with her claws out and then she munched on my arm! lol. She gently bit me once, and then kept her mouth there and bit down again! So I yelled at her and walked away. This morning I was petting her again, and at one point when she seemed to be enjoying it, she licked my arm and then did the same thing- two gentle bites like she was chewing on me. But t seems like she was doing it because she liked me this time and not because I was petting her wrong.
So I guess my questions are, why did she just start this behavior now? Why does she give me such mixed signals (like today biting me when it seemed like she was being affectionate but yesterday when she seemed annoyed and grabbed my arm with her claws out)? Is it something I should discourage? It is kind of cute if they're love bites, but like I said I can't tell if they're "love bites" or "warning bites".
 

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Well it is kind of unusual that she's starting this at 9 y.o. when she didn't do it before now? It seems she's become needier than she used to be for some reason (more time away from home?) or maybe you've stopped playing with her with fishing pole type toys, and she's bored and really wants your attention. If you don't want her to put her claws out and use her teeth (which should be discouraged every time), you'll have to reprimand her with a stern "Ow! bad girl!" with your voice, and then ignore her if she bites or scratches. Have some toys or scrunched-up paper balls handy to throw to distract her from biting. Keep her claws trimmed every 3 weeks. Some cats can just do love bites, but if she's escalating into harder bites, then I would discourage any biting at all. When she is being nice nice, give her lots of loving, caressing, "good girl!"s, grooming. If she bites the comb, just do a little at a time, lifting the coat. Cats love the feeling of being fluffled out, even my wavey shorthaired Devons. Grooming is great for bonding with your cat, and she will come to look forward to her grooming sessions. Definitely if she scratches you, don't pet her afterwards but walk away. You don't want to encourage her to do it more by petting her. Be careful and avoid her sensitive areas, such as the top of her head which she shows she doesn't like. A lot of cats have sensitive tummys and will not tolerate much, if any, tummy rubs before they will grab your hand and bite. Hope some of these tips help.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your advice!
I wonder if she's doing it because my parents are away on vacation. My dad is her favorite and she always wants to be picked up and snuggled by him. So maybe since he's been on vacation since Saturday she's not getting as much attention and she's also not getting any snuggle time with Daddy.
 

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Thanks for your advice!
I wonder if she's doing it because my parents are away on vacation. My dad is her favorite and she always wants to be picked up and snuggled by him. So maybe since he's been on vacation since Saturday she's not getting as much attention and she's also not getting any snuggle time with Daddy.
That could do it. My kitties get very needy with me if my dad's away.

If she bites or scratches during a petting session, yell at her. Not excessively but a sharp "No! Bad kitty! Ow!" and walk away. You punish her by ignoring her. This is what cats do to each other if one gets a little too rough.

My girls will groom each other and play but sometimes one gets a bit too aggressive. The other screeches and walks away, then turns her back and grooms herself. The message is clear: "Too rough!"
 

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Certainly sounds like she's missing her daddy.
 

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She is displaying overstimulation behavior. And it probably is because your dad is away. She wants the same cuddling and petting your dad gives and then gets upset when you cannot produce the same feelings in her and she bites you in protest. Kind of like she is say "Hey! You aren't doing it right!"
Go ahead and pet her, maybe even hug her, but if she bites or wrestles with your, tell her "NO" and walk away. She has to learn you will give her attention and try to meet her needs, but you will not take physical mistreatment when her temper gets out of hand. You are negotiating a new relationship with her and she needs to learn to accept you for you and not expect you to reproduce the good feeling that apparently only your Dad can produce for her right now. So act toward her like another cat would when she bites you and tell her NO! and walk away as negative reinforcement toward her behavior.
 
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