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Discussion Starter #1
I know there was a post below about aggressive cats, but I really need to explain the whole scenario since my case is different and not about just rough kitten play, or at least I don't think so.

I got my kitten, Cookie, in December. She was an unwanted kitten since the owner of her mother never wanted kittens but didn't bother to spay the cat. So he started to give away the kittens as soon as possible. Unfortunately, this meant I was handed Cookie over much too early. She still needed time with her mother and whatnot. She was eating regular cat food by then. I got cookie about 4 weeks after she was born.

I'd say she's about 6 months old now. My whole family adores her and she's been quite a treat, but she's been having some serious aggression problems. For a while I thought this behavior was just her kitten play since I read online that all kittens go through a rough stage. But her behavior is aggressive and not playful.

She does some of the usual cat things, such as hiding places and striking out her paw at passing people and things. That's expected. But after that she really does attack me. She lunges at my legs and arms biting me. She's not a scratcher, she just delivers swift, hard bites. Hard enough to break skin and make me bleed. She gets very angry with me and confrontational. She pulls her ears back and thumps her tail on the ground. And when she bites me or grabs me she doesn't let go. She's legitimately in a fury trying to harm me. I don't do anything to provoke her, not that I've noticed. These attacks are very random. I'm not aggressive towards her. I've been nothing but gentle with her.

I'm really worried about her. I've taken her to the vet of course to get vaccinated and checked up. She's in fine health. Very soon I'll be taking her to get spayed.

Basically, I just wanted to know if anybody knows what could be causing this and how to change her behavior. I want her to adjust to living with us peacefully and lovingly. I've given her plenty of toys and attention and space when she needs it. I don't know what else to do.
 

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Welcome.
You are correct that she was taken away from her mother too early. Moms and littermates teach kittens about acceptable behavior (keeping claws in and when to back off). So you have to do it. Usually you try to take care of it early on, but you can still do it. Just be prepared that it will take longer.
Cats don't respond well to punishment such as spraying or hitting - not that I think you would do it.
Positive reinforcement for acceptable behavior, ignoring her for bad behavior, hissing at her in warning and learning her visual cues are effective.
And honestly, spaying will help. She is basically a teenager and the hormones are driving her crazy. After spaying, it can take a month for the hormones to wear off.
Others will be chiming in.
 

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Spray her but only when she is in the process or seconds after she has done something bad. I've had the same problems with the cat I currently adopted. Just keep water bottle handy. I also have been tiring out my cat with the laser pointer and sacrificing my plushies for when he goes after me. It's also a thing that comes with age; the kitty will understand that they might be playing to hard and will chill out. I was told the lunging could be also be boredom, so play with Cookie and get her a cat toy that she can wrap her paws around. (Scratching posts w/cat nip is a good deterrence) You can also try Feliway which can be found at most pet stores.
 

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I wonder what would happen if you prepared yourself for these lunges and bites on the arms.....such as covering your lower legs and hands with a very unpleasant tasting creme. Mosquito lotion? or some body lotion that tastes bad....(yes, you might have to try it yourself). Then if she lunges and bites, just walk away without saying or doing anything. Go somewhere and wash the stuff off your hand or arms and then see if she will come to you later....

I'm thinking a taste or two of something awful might deter her from such play. I have to be careful with the female cat i brought in after being abandoned. Tho she was young (less than a year) and is now about 2, she still can be rough or mean but also she enjoys play. I just have to be careful not to get her p'o' by too rough play cause she will use her claws or mouth to warn me. Other than that she has taken to playing with kermit (10 yrs old) more now. Or at least I think it is play.

good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ah, there is a problem that I've actually been really mad about. My mom has gotten very angry at my cat's behavior and occasionally scruffed her. I've confronted my mom about this since I know it just makes Cookie more anxious and defensive and aggressive. I don't like seeing cats getting physically punished like that. But of course Mom's Always Right, so it's been tough to get my mom to understand how serious I am about her not being allowed to treat her that way. :/

I took some initiative and made a whole kitty playhouse out of cardboard today so she has a place to play in and retreat to. I have treats stashed in a drawer for when I see she responds to my actions positively.

I'm hoping she gets better because I really just want to see her happy and comfortable at home.

I think the hissing and yowling ideas I've seen around are pretty funny sounding, but worth a try. These are all things I have to start implementing in her life to see if she adjusts better.

Honestly, I do believe in using the spray bottle. It seems to have a good, quick reaction without having to physically touch her and have her direct her anger at my arms and such. Of course I'm not going to be spraying her every minute, just when she seems to really be getting out of control.
 

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I think whatever route you take, consistency is important. Hopefully your mom will see how well Cookie will start behaving with you and stop being too rough with her. :)

I'd love to see pics of that cat castle! My Io has a cardboard coffeebox she loves and I'm brainstorming ways to spruce it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, the consistency in her 'training' has been lacking since I'm not the only one interacting with her. My mom, dad, and brother do as well.

Haha the cardboard house is a bit rough since I'm not great at crafts, but I'm actually pretty proud of it. It even has 2 whole floors. I took two boxes of the same size stacked together, cut a hole inside so she can move from the lower box to the upper box, and cut windows and a door in it. She has dangling toys and even a small blanket in there. It looks rough but definitely serves its purpose.
 

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I hate to say this but after reading this post & the other about how Cookie is acting anxious & eating her food very fast makes me think that something nasty has or is happening to her to cause these changes

it seem's to me that she is on edge & anxious about something & she is attacking in self defence

you said that you have become aware of your mother scruffing her :( could it be possible that when you are not around the other people in the house could be quite aggressive toward Cookie & maybe have not been feeding her or taking her food away as a punishment !!!!

I really hope I am totally wrong but this is the first thing that came into my head when reading both your posts.

I would not spray her as this could make matters worse especially if she is reacting to aggression toward herself from other's

I would as other's said just ignore her aggression or try to speak calmly & softly to reassure her that she is safe with you & she does not need to be scared & defensive with you

I really hope you get to the bottom of this as Cookie does not sound like a happy baby at the moment xxx good luck x
 

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She did leave her mother much too young and that is probably a contributory factor but you could also find that her ow hormones are now kicking in. If so, she may well calm down in this respect after he has had time to settle again after being spayed.
 

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my boy's were taken away from their mum at 5 week's & we have never had any aggression problems with them toward us or between them & the girl's, but this may be because we had the girl's who may have taken on the role that mum would have in teaching them correct behaviour :)

Meeca was so sweet she used to watch them use the litter tray & then go show them how to cover their business awwwww sorry to go off topic x
 

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I guess it’s a bit late in your case, but I have had really good results with my older female cat acting as a foster mom – I got my Mickey when he was around 4-6 weeks old (so too young as well), and boy did she teach him some manners. Sure he got smacked on the head (so darn cute :D) when he was naughty or got too close or did something roughly, but now he’s the best kitty ever :) She has also worked well as a temporary ‘educator’ for the foster kittens passing through my apartment now and then. Everybody realizes their proper place in our ranks soon enough ;)
 

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Yeah, the consistency in her 'training' has been lacking since I'm not the only one interacting with her. My mom, dad, and brother do as well.

Haha the cardboard house is a bit rough since I'm not great at crafts, but I'm actually pretty proud of it. It even has 2 whole floors. I took two boxes of the same size stacked together, cut a hole inside so she can move from the lower box to the upper box, and cut windows and a door in it. She has dangling toys and even a small blanket in there. It looks rough but definitely serves its purpose.

That cardboard house sounds great! I had built one for my boys and they loved it, right up until they killed it, lol.

The important thing to remember is that you need to react to positive things, and encourage them, not just negative things. If you only react when she's being naughty then she'll never know what to do instead.

So, as an example, when you see her lashing her tail and looking worked up rather than waiting until she launches for you try and grab a toy and throw it so she has something she's allowed to chase, pounce, and bite. Then use a very happy voice to praise her and tell her what a good kitty she is. Since she is getting so overwhelmed I wouldn't pet her when she's like this, but using your voice will work as well.

If you expect this behavior to change you will HAVE to play with her to get that energy out in good ways. Think 2-3 times/day, laser pointer or wand toy until she's panting and won't chase the toy anymore. If you're doing one session/day currently great, but it clearly isn't enough.
When you've reached the right amount of good play you should see her problem behaviors decreasing, that's how you can tell you're giving her enough stimulation.

The most important thing to remember is that she's still a kitten. She's young, and she'll make mistakes. It's your job (and your family's job too!) to teach her and show her what are the good behaviors to do, as well as what isn't allowed.

I'd suggest seeing if your Mum would come and read our responses here, it may be that she doesn't know any other ways of teaching a kitten and we'd be more than happy to give you plenty of other options.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
we're actually getting her spayed tomorrow if everything goes well. c:

I realize people in my house have probably treated her much too roughly, especially my mom who believes it's the right way to discipline a cat. I had a serious talk to her about it. Since Cookie is my cat, I take care of her and all her needs, I have to make my mom see that she has to treat her the way I want her to be treated.

And Cookie doesn't have other cats in the house to learn proper behavior and whatnot so that makes the whole leaving her mother too early problem worse.
 
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