Cat Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, my Yoshi is a handful, I can deal with that lol But I recently found out Im allergic to him. On top of that, he likes to play fight with ME and others; biting and scratching me, my sister, and sometimes even babies. I send him to the room when he does that. I tried all techniques to get this to stop, but in the end, someone suggested that should get another slightly older cat to help teach him that kind of behavior is wrong, which I cannot do. (i got him early, when he was 7wks, big mistake!)

But the effect that the biting and scratching has had on me is that, my arms and legs are very hideous, they're scarred. And I think once he's bitten or scratched me, the allergies make me itch, and I scratch the scars, making them worse. It's to the point where I scratch in my sleep :S (not very pretty in the morning)

But I really love my Yoshi ! Im trying benadryl .. which I've just started taking, and Im not sure if that will help any itching yet. But my mother says I shouldn't pet him, or cuddle him, because she doesn't do that and he never bites or scratches her at all. So should I just take meds and refrain from touching him at all, or just give him to someone else?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
422 Posts
Well to stop biting while playing I'd think this would work for cats(it's a dog training thing): If he bites or gets too rough, give a sharp 'Ouch!' and walk away.

I know how it can be with scratches, I'm horrible with picking at them! Maybe try washing them really good and putting a band-aid on to stop you from scratching. If you scratch in your sleep, maybe put oven mits or mittens on so you can claw them up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,243 Posts
If you have allergies, then you need to go to the doctor to get a daily allergy med. Usually they will give you some kind of nasal spray like nasonex or flonase. In addition, you need to get in the habit of washing your hands anytime you have just touched the cat or anytime you need to touch your face in general. Vacuum your house at least 1x a week & keep your kitty out of your bedroom to cut down on allergies.

As for Yoshi, you can pet your cat, but you have to learn what the cat's limit is. If he is play-fighting, then you need to teach him what is appropriate to fight with & what isn't. Only use toys that don't allow him to come into contact with your hands (lasers, string, wand toys). If he bites you, scold him & then give him a toy to bite. He doesn't know that it hurts you when he bites because he's never had another cat do that to him (I too adopted a kitten early & went through the same issues). Cats bite & scratch in general, but it is up to you to teach him the appropriate materials/ways he can do it. Teaching through substitution usually works much better than ignoring or punishment.

Please try really hard to teach your cat appropriate behaviors before it is too late. If you do give him up, please find a good home or no-kill shelter because a pound/kill shelter will probably euthanize him for his biting behaviors. And if you do give him up, I recommend against trading for another cat because other cats can certainly have the same issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,243 Posts
Oh, and I forgot to mention getting some cortisone cream & antibacterial ointment for your scratches to help with the itching & healing.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,379 Posts
From your initial post, it seems like Yoshi is now a little less than 6 months old...is that right? So you have a cat, that for the last 4 months has been biting and scratching but now he's getting big and really starting to inflict some damage. You need to teach him what is acceptable behavior and what isn't. Sending him to another room won't do it, by the time he gets there he's already forgotten what he did.

The first and foremost thing to do is to clip his nails on a regular basis. If his nails are blunt, they don't do nearly as much damage. You might even want to consider Soft Paws nail caps.

Second...it sounds as if you've been engaging in playing with him with your hands and arms. If so, you really need to stop it. Because he was separated from his litter/mom so early he really has no idea of the damage he can inflict. As someone mentioned above, when he attacks your hand a loud forceful ouch will help get the message across. Also...do not pull your hand away...that's when the damage is done. Instead (and I know it hurts) push your hand towards his mouth. It will startle him, he won't like it and he'll let go. Then remove your hand/arm from his reach. Don't engage with him for a few minutes, then go get an interactive toy (Da Bird or similar) and play with him for a while. He's just looking for attention but doesn't know the proper way to ask for it.

If he does get to you (this isn't going to work overnight, it may take several weeks of everyone in the house working with him the same way), make sure to wash the scratches right away and put some Benadryl cream on them.

Also keep in mind that he's 6 months old...a very rambunctious time in a cats life. Part of this is just his age and he'll grow out of a good portion of it. Also, he may still be teething, which would another reason he likes to bite, it helps relieve the soreness. If he hasn't been neutered, then it needs to be done immediately. It will help calm him down in addition to all the other benefits (lack of desire to go wandering and contributing to overpopulation, eliminate risk of testicular cancer etc.). Work with him consistently, redirecting his aggression towards toys.

You can't "just give him to someone else"..no one else will want a cat that bites and scratches. Besides, you allowed his behavior to develop this way....It's up to you to work with him and correct the situation. If you don't know the proper way to deal with these behaviors, you'll just make the same mistakes with the next kitten and the next...

Since it doesn't sound like anyone in your house is very cat savvy, I recommend that you read a few behavior books. One of my favorites is Think Like a Cat by Pam Johnson Bennett. One thing you need to learn is to read cat signals...the signs of overstimulation, when he doesn't want to be cuddled etc. The book I mentioned will help you with that along with other ways a cat thinks...which is very different from us humans.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,808 Posts
Cali was my biter. Kittens do not like being ignored, and Yoshi's behavior will change, but it'll take time.

The book Lisa mentioned is very good, I bought it on her recommendation. You can usually find it on the Internet for a low price.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Im definitely going to try to be more patient with ignoring him once he's bitten me. Patience is one thing I lack, but I'll have to stick to this!

My mom also got more cream to help with the itching and healing, which I keep near me at all times lol

Im definitely starting to consider soft paws, as it would help with him scratching on my couch too!

I don't use my hands to play with him at all, I did in the beginning for a brief period when I first got him, but immediately stopped once I learned I should not, and that stopped a long time ago. He got neutered at about 4 months, I made sure to do it early enough! lol and hoped for a change in his behavior, but he seems the same. I will continue to persistently redirect his attention to his toys.

yoshi has his moments where he likes to be cuddled, and moments where I know that he doesn't, thats when i keep my distance. it's just that he likes to play a lot and sometimes out of nowhere, lunges and leeches onto my arms and legs, sinking his teeth into my skin.


thank you all for the responses! my patience will really be put to the test :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,161 Posts
Also, not sure if anyone has mentioned, but wash your hands immediately after you get scratched. Don't delay at all and wash them very thoroughly. I too am allergic to cat scratches but I find if I get the scratches washed out right away, it can keep them from itching. However if I delay at all, once the itching starts washing won't stop it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
First off I'm not a MD. I am the mother of 2 teenage boys with asthma and fairly severe allergies. WHile I strongly urge you to speak with your doctor - every person is different and a direct application like a nasal spray by rx can help a lot. My boys take flonase, singulair, and zyrtec at night and claritin in the morning.
They have seasonal allergies as well so this is not just for the cats but my point is that there are so many different types of meds that all address different parts of an allergic response and an MD can work to develop a program that can nearly eliminate symptoms.

Some studies indicate that it is prrimarily the proteins in a cat's saliva that cause the allergic response, I have really good results with bathing, sometimes total other times just wiping with a washcloth and warm water.

Taking time to adress things with Yoshi is exactly the right thing to do for both of you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Doodlebug is correct about when damage is done, pulling away from the teeth and claws. Pushing toward the cat is correct and then no further play when that behavior results. Also, some cats grab when touched on the tummy, don't touch there. Touch in places that don't seem to cause grabbing. Been there, done that.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
781 Posts
also suffering from allergies my whole life, netti pot to flush out your nasal areas, have not used flonase or any other RX since I started using one 3 years ago, I sleep better and feel better(no drugs) hydrogenperoxide for a quick flush for any scratches, I give my cats a lound hiss when they get to biting or using the claws(just like their mom would have)carefull trimming is just as good as soft claws, we did use soft claws on one cat we had that was putting holes in the other cats, It helped, seemed to help her break the habit , but was a pain to keep up with..(she would hide her feet from the other cats when we put them on(but this was an adult cat)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
I second bathing your cat! Like a pp said it is usually the protein in the saliva that causes reaction. My fiance is allergic to our himalayan but the only time it *really* bugs him is if I've gone too long between bathes (like now eek).
So bathing your kitty and religious hand washing will help a ton!
Good Luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I got my kittens at 6 weeks and they act the same, I also found that i'm allergic to them too but I'm not giving up I'm doing my best trying to teach them... using every method I've found while googling and here, hoping they learn enough before 12 weeks!...

For itchy scratches I Just use antiseptic alcohol and few seconds later It stops ithcing... also I found Vetriderm is a lotion you can use on them to reduce the alergens... I Don't know if it exists there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
nope :( doesn't exist here, but I found it online but in US dollars it costs $115.
He just might have to start going to the groomers !
I just went to the skin dr, and they told me that Im allergic to the dander
soooo I think that lotion would be a big help but can't get it :(
hopefully this groomer biz will do us both some good
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
Did they do a skin prick allergy test? If they didn't then they may be wrong. With my fiance they did a skin prick for cat hair (there was a separate one for dander) and that was a strong positive...but cat hair can mean that or saliva because of the grooming.
Couple other things I do is I put a sheet on our futon and change it twice a week and I vacuum every day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
well I went to my regular dermatologist and he assumed it was the dander, but I have visited an allergy dr before, and I haven't finished my test, going back to finish and get the final results. So I'll know exactly what Im allergic to once I visit him.

you think an air purifier would do any good if it is the dander?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
121 Posts
I would think so! and a really good furnace filter (for the colder months). Vacuuming with a good filtered vacuum would help as well (hepa or similar).
Good Luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
I would agree with others that you are very likely his only hope. No one wants a cat who has learned to bite and scratch humans. Let's say a shelter gives him a place, he gets adopted out because he's still young and cute, then bites the new owner, new owner returns him, calling him a biter, and then they will almost definitely kill him.

I feel your pain w/ the allergies- I am allergic to my cats (especially my black cat), and I have to vacuum a lot, wash my hands after touching them, I don't let them in the bedroom, wipe them down with damp towels to minimize the dander, and I use the furminator brush on them.

He's still young- very important to get him used to nail clippings and baths. If he won't let you clip his nails, take him into a groomer, vet, or other place to do it. My local pet supply shop does $7 nail clippings every Wednesday.

Never play directly with him, always put a toy between him and you. If he randomly jumps on you and bites or scratches you, cry out loudly in pain and then totally stop playing w/ him, petting him, or giving him any attention.

My black cat likes to jump on my back and lie down when I'm on my knees w/ my upper body resting on the couch (doesn't happen very often, but he pretty consistently jumps up when it happens). I learned that this is not a good thing- a few days ago I was slightly leaning over- I was leaning against the arm of the couch with my palms on the arm rest, slightly hunched over. He saw my slightly inclined back (only like a 20-degree angle!) and jumped up. Of course, since I wasn't leaning all the way over, he had to dig in with all of his claws as hard as he could to hang on. Let me tell you, I SCREAMED as a reaction, because out of the blue, I had 18 needles digging into my back and butt! Several claws broke the skin and caused bleeding and a lot of stinging (since I'm mainly allergic to him), and I have a couple bruises.

The point of this story is that as soon as he heard my blood-curdling scream, he jumped off of me and hid behind the TV. I felt a little bad for scaring him, but now he knows not to do that to Mommy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
maybe I don't scream loudly as I should lol because once he bites, I scream, and he just keeps on holding on! But I've already started to implement some changes today; washing my hands, wiping him down, haven't gotten the furminator brush yet, which Im going to get as soon as I can, he's now sleeping in another room; lately he has started cuddling next to me at night which he used to do when he was a baby, and as much as I like it (lol) It can't happen anymore.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top