|Purred: Thu Apr 3, '08 1:27pm PST |
|First: Declawing can increase aggressive/defensive behavior, and especially BITING. Please see www.declawing.com for more info on the potential consequences which cannot be known ahead of time. To save furniture, you need large, sturdy scratching surfaces in high traffic areas of your home.
As for the aggression toward you: Get him checked out by the vet. Sick or injured animals can be very aggressive. Once a health issue is ruled out, keep in mind: most cats do not respond to "discipline" the way dogs do. If they know you are trying to punish them, the behavior will continue. Thankfully, your cat is affectionate toward you and wants your attention. When he is being lovey and sweet, give some type of food treat (and maybe pick up a book on clicker training). When he bites or attacks, say "Ow!" very loudly EVERY TIME, and then WALK AWAY FROM HIM. I know this worked for a cat named Boris who posts on catster pretty frequently. At this point, your cat does not understand that his behavior must have boundaries. Since he enjoys socializing with you, he will figure out that the good behavior gets him what he wants while the bad behavior gets him ignored.
Since he has such social anxiety, you might want to just shut him in a room by himself when company is coming over. I have a cat who tries to sneak up on new people to check them out without them knowing it, he tries to dig in purses, and will practically try to stand in the food if we have a dinner party. If he does not listen the first time I shoo him away, he goes upstairs to the room where we keep the litter boxes. End of story. After a few minutes, he is let out. If he continues, he goes back to the room. Although we have the occasional repeat behavior, he figures out that he has to be polite if he wants to have free roam in the house.
The other thing I would recommend would be to use a laser pointer or some other toy and exercise this cat every day. Get him to run until he lies down and pants lightly at least once a day to burn off some of that energy.
If you can find a behaviorist who can show you some more specific techniques, definitely look into that.
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