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Discussion Starter #1
We have had Maya for about 8 days now. She has adjusted well and is a very playful, lovable little kitten.

Yesterday, she started scratching at and biting my wife at random times. Not just running up and doing it, it's hard to describe but I'll try.

Last night not long after my wife arrived home we were laying on the floor and Maya came up to her. (Maya has a habit when playing of stopping playing a bit, then coming up and rubbing against you/head butting/whatever.) They were playing with a string, and Maya stopped as she normally does, walked up to my wife real slow and hit her in the face. It wasn't a full on swat, but she did it once more and seemed poised to do it again until we moved her away from us.

This morning, my wife got up a few minutes earlier than I did to play with the kitten. When I got up, my wife was in the shower with the cat locked out. She seemed upset, so being the amazing husband I am, I asked what was wrong. Here, they were on the floor again this morning and Maya did a similar thing. She walked up all cuddly looking, and bit my wife's face "hard enough" as my wife put it.

She does nothing of the sort to me.

My wife reacts similarly to scratches/bites as I do. Push towards her saying 'Ow!' Give her a second to calm down and try again, if it continues move her away/away from her.

We both feed her, we both clean her litter, I'm clueless.

This is really bugging my wife. She is the one who really wanted a kitten, and Maya seems to be taking to me. Throw this on top of it and it really bothers her.

Any suggestions/ideas?
 

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Are you the one who mostly stays home with Maya, or do you both spend equal time with her? Also, do you both have different styles of playing?

Even though unwanted, it might not be aggressive behavior; maybe it's just kitten curiousity. Kittens are really curious, they want to touch, taste, smell and swat at everything. We tend to interpret things like that personally like "oh, the cat doesn't like me" but I'm not sure that's the case.

It's good that you're teaching her that it's unwanted, though, that way she'll be less likely to do it as an adult when it can really hurt then.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Tonka said:
Are you the one who mostly stays home with Maya, or do you both spend equal time with her? Also, do you both have different styles of playing?
No, I don't stay home with her. We both work and our schedules vary slightly. Some days I leave earlier, other days my wife does. Some days I'm home earlier, other days my wife.

We both play the same as well. No hand wrestling. Mostly a string with a feather toy on the end, or rolling a ball of paper that she just pushes around and pounces on.

It could be normal kitten behavior, I just want to assure my wife that it's nothing against her. Or if it is, to correct it ASAP.

Sidenote: We do both feed her, but when I do it I tend to do it while Maya is at her bowl. So, she sees me doing it. Could that play a role in her preference? I suppose, but I don't see it having the negative effects on the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So, yeah. This stopped for awhile, but has started up again.

And, it's odd. Maya never bites me. The only time she does is if I catch her off guard while she is wrestling with her Super Mario doll that we gave her.

My wife says that she can see it coming. She gets 'that look' in her eyes then will randomly run up and bite my wife. Even if she is petting her and Maya is purring.

She is still absolutely infatuated with Maya, but at time, I can tell that it really upsets her when it happens.

So, how do we break this?
I told her to say ouch and push towards the cat, but (and this may seem like a dumb question) but how to push towards her?
- put your finger in her mouth?
- just move it towards her?
- hard enough to push her back?

The problem seems to be if you push it towards her gently, she is like, "Awesome. Now I don't have to chase it." And will often bite again.

She really is a good kitten, and 100% lovable, but children aren't far off in our future and this really needs to be nipped in the bud. Hopefully it's a kitten thing she'll grow out of.
 

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Hi, do a search and read up on "over-stimulation" and how cats react in various ways to it.
Here is a link to a fabulous article at LittleBigCats:
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... aggression

Your wife already seems to be ahead of the game if she can SEE and ANTICIPATE the reactions of Maya. The best thing for her to do is to stop giving Maya attention *before* she gets that 'wild look' and also to ignore Maya or tell her No! if she does get 'that look' in hopes of heading her off before she can get started.

The problem with pushing towards Maya and Maya thinking: "Awesome. Now I don't have to chase it." is I don't think you are getting the correct response out of Maya, and it is because the action is being performed incorrectly by you or your wife.
Here, let me explain:
Maya gets wild/playful and wants to grab your hand/wrist and wrestle with it, but it hurts you. If you pull away, it feeds into her game of 'oh-the-prey-is-trying-to-escape-I-must-prevent-it!' and she escalates her behavior in trying to restrain you from leaving because she is having fun. If you push your bitten body-part towards her and are only getting the response of Maya trying to attack it further...you need to escalate *your* action. You need to push that body part towards Maya quicker, more aggressively, right into her mouth, making it uncomfortable until she tries to disengage her mouth *herself* AND you want to keep your quickly-pushing action up until you have sort of knock her over or off-balance. You want to change her thought process from one of 'this is great fun!' to the mindset of 'whoops! that thing I'm playing with isn't being subdued and is attacking ME and I better save myself and get out of here!'.
Give her what she wants until she doesn't want it anymore.
She wants to grab you and wrestle? ...you grab her and push her back and back until she is off balance and *wants* to stop the game she initiated because it went from FUN to NONE in *her* mind. You want to make her game no longer FUN for her by putting her on the defensive and not allowing her to remain in the offensive (aggressor) role.

Give the article a read, I think it can help you both understand a bit of cat psychology and give my 'pushing towards the cat' technique a try the next time Maya grabs you. Please let us know how it works...
heidi =^..^=
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think that may be where the difference in her biting comes from.

I'm a bit more forceful with the action, while my wife tends to shy away from being so forceful b/c she still weighs about a whopping 3 pounds.

I'll relay the info. thanks
 

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That's totally what I've been trying with Zaya.. The whole pushing towards her thing. She's always been bitey and I haven't been able to stop it. I've gotten her to stop attacking us when we sleep, but when we're awake she still bites. First I was pushing towards her lightly, and that didn't seem to phase her - she had the same "great, the prey is coming to me" response. Then I started pushing more aggressively, but that just really pisses her off and she goes into full out attack mode. Sometimes she will step away for a second, but flinch her tail and look dead mad, then she just lunges at me. Then, the only recourse I have is to put her in the bathroom until she calms down and stops attacking me. The only way I've been able to deal with her biting is to pull the hand away and distract her with something else (like a toy). At least this way she doesn't get aggressive and crazy and I avoid getting torn up. But I've still been unable to stop her from trying to bite (which she does quite often).

BTW I also notice that she attacks and bites me (playfully, if it doesn't escalate) more often than anyone. She almost never bites my boyfriend. So, I don't know what it is about us girls. Then again, I'm the one that feeds her and spends the most time with her, so maybe she just feels more comfortable around me. I'm also the one that she climbs up on in the morning to chew on the hair and lick the face. :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just yesterday I was talking to my wife on the phone and mid-conversation I hear, "Ouch! You little b****!" Heh. Maya will just surprise her sometimes. It's not even the over-stimulation thing most of the time.

It's funny b/c I usually catch her as she is opening her mouth on the very rare occasion that she does it to me. She also doesn't bite my wife when I'm home and in the same room.

She says that she pushes towards her, and I told her to do it harder. But, as she never does it when I'm around I really don't know.
 
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