Cat Bites when I'm on the phone

by Katy
(Ames, IA)

We have an approximately 2 year old neutered male cat, indoor only, who get s lots of love, attention, and has plenty of stimulation (window perches, lots of toys, a bird feeder outside one window, etc). He is noramlly a cuddly, friendly cat, but as soon as I get on the phone, he goes into attack mode. Last night, he bit me so badly that I have four punctures and a large bruise. I am 15 weeks pregnant, and was very concerned, so I went to the Dr. immediately. He also exhibits this behavior when he wants to play, but to a much lesser degree then when I or my husband is on the phone. In fact, this is the worst bite he has ever inflicted. We've been trying to break him of the behavior with a squirt bottle and exclusion (sticking him in a room by himself when he does this and ignoring him) but it doen't seem to be working. He'll be contrite for a few hours to a day, but the behavior keeps coming back. As much as we love him, I won't be able to keep him if we can't stop this behavior. I don't want any more bites while pregnant, and I certainly don't want him pulling this crap with the baby! Any advise as to why he does this, and how I can break the habit, would be much appreciated!

Answer by Kate
Well this is a learned behavior your cat has adopted over a long period of time and unfortunately this means that it will be difficult to break. I bet when he does this you bshout at him or make a loud noise of some sort and this is exactly what he is after. this noise ie shout, scream etc is seem as a positive reaction by the cat and so he has got what he wants, whereas silience and either being removed from the situations quickly or for you to move away from the situation immediately in silence will be seem over a long period of time as a negative response. He will then associate with him being patted and spoken to when he is behaving himself and with a negative reponse when he bites. I know it is difficult to remain quiet during these situations but it is essential to providing a negative response to your cat. See my page about aggressive behavior here on my site for more info.
It may take some time but it is important to remember that your cat is not being bad he is simply seeking a reaction that he interprets as a positive one. Good Luck :)

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