My 3-year-old cat attacks me without provocation (out of the blue)! How do I stop this aggressive behavior?
She's done this before, but it seems to be more and more often. Usually she takes me by surprise when I'm sitting at the computer. She launches herself at me, scratches my arm, bites, and draws blood. I've tried grabbing her by the scruff of the neck, ignoring her afterward, spraying her with water, and playing with her every night to get her aggression out (and wear her out). Nothing seems to help.
You can see more about her at her page and there's even a diary entry describing this behavior:
She was a stray before we got her at about 5 months old and may have been feral. I'm thinking maybe misplaced aggression toward our dog has something to do with it. We've had him for about two years now. She was wary of him at first and avoided him even though he's friendly toward cats (he's a guide dog), but seems to be getting more used to him. She even touched noses with him. Any advice is appreciated!
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I'll leave the cat behavioral question to other Catsters. My advice is that you should thoroughly cleanse and sterilize any wounds she gives you, and that even relatively deep bites should be seen by an ER doctor. Cats have nasty bacteria in their mouths, and bites are puncture wounds that can get seriously infected.
Chibi answered on 12/2/09. Helpful? / 0
Kiki sees you as another littermate instead of as the mama cat. I doubt seriously if this is misplaced aggression toward the dog. I have a dog who is decidedly unfriendly to my cats most of the time and none of them has ever attacked me. When you think she is about to launch herself at you, shake a can of pennies at her and yell "NO!". You can also take her by the back of the neck and hiss at her as a mama cat would, but don't lift her off her feet by the scruff of her neck. In addition, if this happens only when you are in a room on the computer, close the door to shut her out if possible. You can also put her in a "time out" room by herself for a few minutes when she does this.
Izadore (Izzie) answered on 12/2/09. Helpful? / 1
Hi, after reading the diary my cat does the same thing when I'm on the computer. Like you assume or read her she's wondering what your doing. She wants to play more. You start playing then think she's done, and she might to, but then right after you go do your own thing. She's not ready for the fun to end. It's hard when we work all day to actually spend the time.
Maybe tonight try picking her up and walking to the computer. allow her to sit w/ you and watch what your hands are doing. Spray bottles are not usually the best tool to train. They more or less aggravate the situation. My Little Foot hates it but I've found trial and error it's ineffective for her. Maybe your feral is like mine:) I also found that a stuffed toy about her size works great when she's in an "aggressive playful" mood and I'm not. I say NO loud and hand her the toy. She rolls around beats it up and then calms down. Maybe that trick could work for you. Close a door or separate her is very effective also.
Little Foot Edge Walker answered on 12/3/09. Helpful? / 1
Definitely rub your wounds with rubbing alcohol! Very important!! My Mama has a light woman body spray that smells like bananas to me. I hate banana smell. Most cats hate it also. She sprays a little on her bare ankles and on her computer chair. I stay away from those areas.
Also, going along with it my Mama says a serious confirming "NO!!" every time I want to play serious. I know the word "no" all too well.
Hope this helps!
Platelicker ♥ DB#69 answered on 6/3/10. Helpful? / 0
Immediately STOP playing with the kitten with your bare hands. ALWAYS have a toy when playing with her. ALWAYS.
Pay attention to her cues. Ears go back? STOP interaction with her IMMEDIATELY. Tail starts switching back & forth?? STOP interaction with her IMMEDIATELY.
NO TEASING. No allowing others to tease or hand play.
If she continues to bite or attack, tap her firmly on the nose and say NO, then turn your back on her & ignore her. Do this CONSISTENTLY.
If she continues to bite/attack, tap her as above then put her in safe time out (a dark bathroom or any small dark room) for five minutes.
As a feral she needs to learn manners & you must be the mama cat. Be kind but FIRM. And remember NO HAND PLAY. If she is attacking you as you walk, carry ping pong balls & toss them for her as you walk. Distract distract distract.
This advice comes from life-long living with cats PLUS 10 years as a Feline Vet Tech.
♥Oliver Winston Parsons answered on 6/3/10. Helpful? / 0
I strongly disagree with previous advice that you should tap her on the nose or use any other physical punishments. This will destroy any trust between you and ruin your relationship. Treat you cat with kindness at all times and you will in time get kindness back. When you are playing be gentle and when the game starts to get too boisterous, stop. Allow your cat to play under her own initiative and make sure you are not simply teasing and provoking her.
I suspect that your kitty gets excited during the game and when you go on the computer she has not calmed down yet. Play more gently, end the game sooner and try to calm her down afterwards by gently stroking her head.
Tondo answered on 6/10/10. Helpful? / 1
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my cat does the same thing and the best thing that has achually helped us was to get her a male playmate. we made sure to get a extremely docile male that you can do anything to . this kind of evens her out also when we are sleeping she will come up and bite us what weve done this last year was scruff her and his the same as the other catsters have suggested. also stop all ruff play with her . this is only confusing her when you play ruff and then scold her . um is there anyone who is ruff with her before my bfs ma and bf moved out the cat was much meaner. we later found out the bf was abusing her by being too ruff with her as a kitten... good luck