cat attacks!

by Michelle
(Dayton, Ohio)

I have a male cat about 2 years old. He is currently an indoor cat though he was previously an outdoor cat for about a year. We have no other pets in the apartment. In the last few months Tiger has been playfully biting our hands and wrapping his paws around our ankles when we walk. The 'normal' cat play. But recently in the last few weeks he has graduated to more intense attacks. His eyes will dilate, his ears will go back and he just looks evil. At that point we try to avoid eye contact and shoo him away because we know he will be a step away from attacking. He has lunged at my boyfriends head with both paws outstreached twice, as well as a family friend. I don't really know if this is normal, nor do i know how to fix it. I haven't really found anything online concerning normal house cats that attack their owners head. It is a dangerous situation because he isn't declawed, so he could potentially hurt eyes and who knows what else. If you have any advice it would be great. Because if he keeps this behavior up we may have to get rid of him which i would hate to do because i love him so much! thanks for your help!!

Answer by KAte
you did not mention if he was neutered or
not. If not then this new behavior could be due to frustration and all the hormones running round his body. In which case having him neutered would help the situation.

i am glad to hear he is not de clawed but i understand your concern for injury. if he is neutered then this sounds to me like boredom and also being allowed to play with hands and feet in the past. he hasn't learned that when he bites it hurts us. Thats why it is always recommended that only toys are used in play.

It sounds like you may have to reeducate him regarding this behavior. buy some new toys, things on sticks that he can chase etc
See here for some ideas on cat toys

Also you will need to make sure that you never play with him using your hands or feet again with him. when he looks like he is about to attack, do not shoo him away, but simply walk away from him quickly into another room, do not make any sound or eye contact. this is a negative response and if repeated every time will help him to understand that this behavior is not on. Do the same if he actually starts to bite, move away quickly from him in silence, i have a page which describes this cat discipline method in more detail. here

best wishes Kate

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