biting and scratching

by Suzie
(Ann Arbor, MI)

two year old Edwin has a problem with biting and scratching me, I am covered with scars as a result. I don't know what to do to keep him from getting into these moods where all he wants to do is draw blood from his mommy. In the past I've tried a squirt bottle but just found out that he loves water. I tried using canned air, the kind used to clean keyboards - never sprayed directly at him just near him enough to scare him a little. Which I'm sure both are not correct ways of handling it so some helpful advice would be greatly appreciated. When he gets into one of his angry type moods I try to find a toy and play with him until he stops, sometimes it works, other times it does not. Help please, no more scars in 2009 please, at least not from him!

Answer by kate
this is a learned behaviour rather than a aggressive one. he just doesn't realise that he is playing too rough. usually a mother cat teaches her kittens the difference between play and hunting etc.

There is only one way to beak this habit and it does take persistence and time on your part. It is all about discipline but not discipline as we know it but how a cat understands it ie positive and negative reactions.

Please see my web page about this here

It will give you the technique to use when he bites etc.

best wishes and a Happy Christmas

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cat biter

by genevieve

I have a female cat, she 2 years old. When I first got her my ex would keep bugging her playing with his big hands, and she'd retaliate, sort of out of control by biting hard and hissing, she does the same now, no one can touch her bum or belly without her hissing, tapping really hard and sometimes bite to draw blood. She generally very nice, not very cuddly but her biting is a real problem cause she is bored all the time and I would love to get another cat, but Im scared if a new cat tries anything she might kill it by biting to hard..Also, when she sees dogs she hides , hisses and tries to attack if they get near...I want to know what's the matter with her, what's that behavior, is it stress from veterinarians, or trauma from my ex's big hands when she didnt want him to play with her, some type of disease?... can I ever even get another cat?

Answer by KAte
basically she has learnt that she can play with hands and has not learnt that biting hard is a no no. this is why it is always recommend that you always use a toy to play with rather than with hands.

The trouble is it can take some time to break the learned behaviour. But it is worth the effort. You have to use the negative positive method described here on my page

I would wait for a while before you get another cat. give the re training some time before you consider getting another cat. then when you do make sure you introduce them slowly as described here

I'm sure her behaviour can be modified over time.

best wishes Kate

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Answer by Kate
Well it could be in play, biting is part of the hunting play game cats will often do together. usually thogh it does not result in injury.

If the bite is more aggressive then it could be a territory issue and the cat could be demonstrating his status in the family. In which case again the bite should not be too bad.

I have a web page about aggressive cats here which you may find of interest.

best wishes Kate

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Cat bitting objects

by Miranda

My "middle aged" cat (not old but not a kitten) bits on hard objects such as laundry basket edges, and purse handles etc. I am wondering what causes this distructive behavior? It is very annoying to find teeth marks on my cell phone charger also! What causes this habbit!

Answer by Kate
well your cat could be suffering from a condition known as pica. this is a very unusual disorder where cats eat and chew on non food items. Little is known about it and there is no cure I am afraid. I have written a little bit about this issue on my web page here for further information

best wishes kate

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