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Oliver has had a major "attack/biting" problem since day 1. He leaps with all his strength onto humans thighs and arms and just chomps! We yell at him, push him away, walk away our selves (if he doesn't already have as cornered), shut him in the basement. Nothing has ever helped though. Here is a picture of his most recent attack to my sisters arm....



That was all done by one huge leap of his mouth to her arm.

He is the only cat in the house. If he had a playmate do you think he'd leave us alone? This isn't a feasible option for me though because I can not get another cat. Do we not have enough things to entertain him? I have a few toys for him and that's it. I'm currently looking for a kitty condo off E-Bay. I think he'dd enjoy playing on that.

Any useful tips to make him stop biting would be so useful and greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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yikes i never knew cat bites could be so bad! i've never had cats that have done that before (my current cat playfully bites) so I would say using a squirt bottle to fend him off, using a loud noise every time he bites, giving him a time out... other than that is he good? I don't know that I could keep a cat like that if he is injuring other people.
 

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I think it would just make the problem worse to add another kitten right now.

The vet assistant told me to grab my cat by the neck and shake him when he bites me and show my dominance. When he bites me hard (to hurt, not just play biting) I shake him, hold his neck so he's looking up at me, and place my body over his to show him that I'm the dominant one; if he stops biting and starts licking or being nice, I immediately start talking to him in a happy, soothing voice and petting him.

The first night we had an all-out war on my bed, with him getting extremely angry at me and doing his best to bite and scratch and hurt me as I did this. After about 30 minutes/1 hour of war, he calmed down and seemed to understand what was happening......I'd allowed him dominance over me because I didn't want to be "mean", and that was changing. He started licking instead and I'd pet and coo, and when he started to bite again it only took me grabbing the scruff of his neck and saying "No!" until he calmed down again. Kind of testing me, I think.

Within 24 hours of starting this kind of dominance-reclaiming, the biting behaviour had dropped off dramatically; wheras before I could hardly touch my cat, now I can play with him and cuddle him with only the occasional nip and play-bite. Since that first night, there have only been a handful of times that I've had to do the grab/shake/dominate posture, and never for very long before he stops trying to hurt me. Those occasional reminders seem to work.

However, I don't know if this kind of technique would work with all cats. It worked with mine, but I'd tried many other, more passive/gentle ways of trying to change his behaviour before I did this slightly more dramatic and physical kind of action. With my cat, it worked, and he didn't show signs of being upset or angry with me once our one rough altercation was over. I would suggest trying other things (spraying with water, startling him with clapping hands, saying "no!", ignoring him, pushing him away) first before trying what I did. For me, none of those worked, so I had to go to the next level.

Not only was it emotionally draining for both of us to have that one session, I felt like a horrible mommy and cried over it. You might not be as lucky as I am and if you had to keep doing the grab/shake/dominate thing for a few days or weeks at a time, it could be very emotionally draining for you. Things between he and I are better now than they ever were before I tried this, though, and I'm very glad that I acted "mean" for a couple hours in total because now, he'll also let me show affection and I could never get close enough to him before.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice so far. However with Oliver it is so hard to try and grab his neck because he will just ATTACK if you try to retaliate. He gets so viscious that his ears go back and nose out to wear his face is a triangular shape and he looks like an owl. It is frightening.
 

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Yeah, if you decide to do what I did and the cat is that vicious your best bet is to wear a thick-sleeved shirt, jeans, and gardening gloves. I'd say that the reason he attacks is partly because he knows that you will avoid further punishment against him when he does it (out of fear of getting hurt).
 
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