My cat bites the hand that feeds her...

by S
(Nashville, TN)

We got our cat from the Humane society about 4 months ago. She is about a year and a half old. Lately, she has taken to sitting on top of me each morning when my alarm clock goes off. If I don't immediately get up to feed her (she grazes all day, so she is never fully out of food or water anyway), she pounces and bites my hands and arms. It's a miserable way to start the day and I don't know how to get her to change. Any advice?

Answer by Kate
this is a learned behaviour, she has obviously got her way with you in the past when she has done this, so now she has learnt that this is what she must do to get you to get up.

Unfortunately the only way to stop her is to either prevent her getting into your room in the morning or (as I did with my cat) be persistent in your refusal to do what she wants. So when she does this, you pick her up (making no sound as sound is seen as a positive response) and put her on the floor. Do this over and over again everytime. eventually she will will realise that the behaviour no longer gets the response she wants and should stop but this can take some time as learned behaviours can be a very difficult thing to turn around but it is possible with persistence.

One thing you could try if she continually keeps climbing on the bed after you put her down is to blow once hard in her face, this is a non violent painless method I use with my cat, she hates me doing it and she walk away immediately. It may be worth trying with your cat.

Best wishes KAte

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