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 :)

Comments for Cat Bites when I'm on the phone

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Yep, it's gotta be the phone speaker
by: Anonymous

I feel like the "response" comment really missed the mark but my cat absolutely FREAKS OUT when I play music on my phone. Just like the other comments mentioned, she butts her head against my phone with increasing strength and then resorts to literally biting my wrist over and over until I turn it off. It's bizarre because she could definitely just walk away from the noise (I mean we have a whole house...) but instead she would rather be LITERALLY as close to the sound as she could possibly be. I can't seem to find any professional or scientific information on this topic so it's really just a mystery to me why she reacts this way... hmm.

Cat biting when on phone
by: Anonymous

My cat also does this she will literally attack me and bite I'm pretty sure it's the frequency.... she also attacks me if I'm watching a video or playing music on my phone so now I just go to another room

Cats biting and cell phones
by: Anonymous

Same with two of my cats. It is definitely speaker on cell phone. I would not use around cat.

Cat bites while I'm on phone
by: Jane

I've decided that she bites only when I'm on speaker phone.

Same!
by: Anonymous

My neutered male cat also becomes very strange when I’m watching a video, using the speakerphone, or especially listening to the scanner on my cellphone. He used to go after the dog, but now he jumps on me and kneads uncontrollably. It has to hurt his ears.

BITING CAT
by: Anonymous

new rescue cat, 3 yrs old....bites when she hears voices on other end of phone. ALSO when I whistle (Which I love to do) and when MUSIC is on tv or sterio. WHAT TO DO? So weird..

easy solution
by: Anonymous

My cat does this when I am on the phone as well. Some have postulated that the phone emits a high pitched noise that they hate. I don't know though because she also does it when I am video conferencing. I just put her in another room when I talk on the phone or over video. That solves the problem.

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