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Unprovoked Cat Biting
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Unprovoked Cat Biting

My cat "Smudge" is a six year old mix breed cat. Over the past six years he has taken to biting. At first it seemed it was just hunting behavior or play, something like that. For example he would hide around a corner, jump out and bite me (fairly hard) and then run away. Was pretty tolerable. More recentley over the last year he has now visciously attacked me several times. On the arms, back, legs and feet. I will be walking across the kitchen floor doing some mundane thing. He will either just be sitting about or wallking beside me seemingly minding his business. Out of no where he will attack me. Scratching and biting many times over and over leaving teeth marks that severely break the skin and bleed. The last time being last night when he attacked my leg leaving bruises and bite marks that bled copiously and even ripped a large hole in my pants! I have scars on all limbs! I am at the end of my rope with this and its all I can do to not kick him out the door. (The love gets me every time....lol) I am actually scared of my cat. It seems ridiculous but it is so painful and really scary! If anyone knows anything about this....anything at all I could greatly use your help and would be super appreciative. I deeply love my cat but refuse to live in fear in my own home. HELP!! Thanks for taking the time...
Tags: cats, biting
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17 Comments Post a Comment
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441382_tn?1329196690
A couple of questions:

Is your cat neutered?

Is he by any chance declawed on the front feet?  I see where you said he scratches you, but cats can do an awful lot of damage with their hind feet when it comes to scratching.  

Ghilly
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Avatar_n_tn
No hes not neutered. Thats my next step lol. I am hoping this will help. I dont wanna just kick him to the curb till I've tried although I cant say there isnt any love lost here. This has happened twice now again since my initlial post. Its getting a little outta control at this point. But on the same token there is an issue with the neutering. Its gonna cost me a couple hundred as he has floating testicles. This requires surgery hence why he is not fixed. Its gonna get done though cause I cant put up with this any longer, Any suggestions for in the meantime? I mean I gotta save up for the surgery.
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh and no hes not declawed. Not a big believer in that. I think any cat should have the right to defend themselves. But no hes not. I have tried the nail covers though. Wasnt impressed with that lol.
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441382_tn?1329196690
I'm extremely glad that you feel the way you do about declawing, I can't stand the thought of them being declawed.  :::shudder:::  I've tried the Soft Paws as well, and my guys kept them on until they fell off on their own about 6 weeks later!  I was so surprised that they went along with it!  LOL  The reason I asked about declawing, however, is that declawing a cat takes away his first line of defense, and often they will start biting to make up for the fact that they can't scratch.

The neutering will help!  I have a cat who was just 11 in January, and when he was a young kitten I only had one other cat, a neutered male.  I had just gotten a divorce, and so I put the neutering off longer than I should have because of the money situation with lawyers and stuff.  When I finally had him neutered he was a little over a year old, and he BIT like a PIRANHA!!!  It took a couple of months after the neutering for the biting to stop, but it takes a while for the hormones to level out after the surgery, so I figure as soon as his body figured out that he no longer had his testicles, he stopped biting.  Now he's the sweetest cat EVER, in fact, he's SO mushy that he's disgusting sometimes!  LOL  I think you'll definitely see a change with neutering.

Ghilly
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441382_tn?1329196690
As far as suggestions as to what you can do in the meantime, I've been thinking about it, and I really can't come up with anything.  You mentioned kicking him to the curb, and no love being lost, if this is really how you feel, you might be better off placing him with a cat rescue group and being honest with them about why you're doing it.  They would probably be able to get the surgery done for less than you would, and they could place him in a home afterward.  If you want to PM me with where you live (just a general idea, I don't need an address), I can give you the names of some rescue groups in your area that might be able to help you.  Let me know.

Ghilly
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Avatar_n_tn
Well I dont think that I want to place him anywhere just yet. There is too much history with him and he is like my other child. I cant give up on him just yet. I am gonna try all that I can before that happens. The only reason I say that there is love lost is that well....it really hurts when he bites and quite frankly I wouldnt put up with it from a person let alone a cat. I have bruises all over the place as we speak lol. Its insane! I agree that the neutering will probably help. Thats my first line of defense. If nothing comes from that then the next step is another visit to the vets and if I cant get anything from that then I shall take it as it comes I guess. Placing him will be the last option when everything else has run out. Thanks for all your help on this though. I just didnt know what else to do. Thought maybe some people had some tricks up thier sleeves....lol. But at least I know that its not a totally unheard of thing. I cant thank you enough!!
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a 1 yr old mix breed cat and he does the same thing. He even attacks me while I'm sleeping. He is neutered though not declawed as I too am against that. I have to tell you though I do have thoughts of doing it when he attacks! would never though. anyways I have tried several things such as getting him new toys and playing w/ him more often to help reduce his enery, changed his food, bought natural herbal solution to help calm him and nothing. he is an indoor cat (is yours?) and sometimes I wonder if he just needs to go out but I have a hard time w/ that because of the street that we live on. also someone else told me that I should get another cat to play w/him. maybe you can try some of these things and maybe they will work for your cat. also if  you find something else that works let me know because I could use some useful advise too. I love my cat though at time I too think about getting rid of him because he is getting out of control. good-luck to you.
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436973_tn?1217950689
Kudos!  on your decision to not declaw your kitty.  Have you tried "softpaws"  nailcaps?  http://www.softpaws.com/
You can get a goomer to apply them if you have trouble doing it yourself.  
Also, cat harnesses are available if you want to take your kitty on supervised outdoor time.  I do with my cat.   It took some patience to get her adjusted to it and she doesn't really leave the immediate area, but she LOOOOOVES just chillin in the sunlight.  It is worth a try.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had my cat since he was a kitten.  He will be 3 years old this summer.  He has always been very playful and a bit of a biter, when it was just he and I living in my apartment.  However, I moved in with my boyfriend about a year after I got my cat and his temperment changed a little and he bit more.  The first time he drew blood was when my parents were watching him while I was away.  My father was bit in the hand trying to get him back in the house after he "escaped" under their watch.  He ended up with a nasty infection and had several doses of antibiotics.  A couple of months later, my boyfriend and I had a HUGE fight and the cat got out.  When my boyfriend tried to get him out from underneath the car my cat bit him and punctured his hand.  He had to let him go so that we could care for his wounds.  We went outside to get him again and he was in a fight with another cat.  My boyfriend waited and then intervened and managed to get a hold of my cat.  He bit and punctured his other hand.  My boyfriend ended up in the hospital for a night with a nasty infection and also had to receive antibiotics.  Shortly after, I moved home with my parents and my cat seemed to mellow a bit.  However, he continued to bite my dad at different times for different reasons - sometimes breaking the skin and sometimes not.  Like I said he bites me at times, but NEVER manages to puncture my skin because I get him to stop, spray him with water and yell loudly NO!!  A couple of days ago, my mother picked up my cat and he bit her arm drawing blood.  A couple of days went by and she ended up in the hospital for two days with an infection.  Now everyone in my family is demanding that I put the cat to sleep before he hurts anyone else.  Although I realize he has had these biting incidents, he is not like that all the time.  I love this cat as if he were my son and I am currently making arrangements to move in with a friend who is willing to take us in under these circumstances.  However, my friend has a dog and another cat and I am worried.  I think I need to discipline my cat more in order to modify his behavior.  I just need the chance to do it.  I am near hysteria at the thought of having him put down or of giving him up to somone who will not understand him and be able to notice when he is about to bite, which I feel I do very well.  The incidents that occured previously were ones where I was not present.  Am I kidding myself in thinking that I can modify his behavior?  This same cat wraps himself around my head at night to sleep, licks my face and makes dough on my chest. I am so attached and in love with this cat but everyone else hates him and is afraid of him.  I'm not quite sure where to turn!!
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874521_tn?1375890587
hi...I'm new 2 this forum...and so glad I found it! cats are my best loves.
just to comment on biting issues....I took in a beautiful himalayan at 1yr old he is now 5..he had been mistreated in former home. I had him fixed and he is a loving playful beautiful guy but he too has a biting issue....and has bitten enough to require IV treatment (for us). like I said he is wonderful in everyother way except the biting ....he has a terrible temper and just seems to snap, it has gotten alot better over the past 4 yrs with alot of love, but it still happens occasionaly....to get to my point I love this guy and will not give up on him and did a diary to see if there is a pattern to his temper and biting and YES there is....he is an indoor cat, only out with me on a leash and he seems to only have temper/biting issues in spring/summer/fall when STRAY CATS come into the yard and spray...my vet said this must be what makes him upset...so last year we tried AMITRIPTILYNE  a medication to help settle him down, I only give him enough to lessen his anxiety and NOT sedate him and this has made a heck of difference....he does NOT bite when he is on the medication.
hope this is of some help to you.
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Avatar_m_tn
I rescued a female cat who will turn 2 next month. We've had her for about 7 months. She was fixed and had been declawed when I rescued her.  She bites me and not my husband. It seems like it's mostly later in the day when I walk down our hall. She'll come running after me and bite.  She always draws blood and then they eventually turn to bruises. I've tried the "NO!" and squirt bottle. It will stop her temporarily (at that moment) but then she'll do it again. At first I thought it was because she was still hungry but she did it after she ate and then I thought she might want to play. When I brought the boa, feather or laser out she played a little. But her main target is always my legs. I'm getting anxious when I walk down the hall not knowing when the next attack is coming. My vet hasn't offered any suggestions. Anyone have any ideas?
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874521_tn?1375890587
hi....I wrote in over 4 yrs ago with the same problem with one of mine, I tried medication for just a short while(see above) but since I 'hate' medicating a cat I didn't use it for long.....I can happily say he did stop all his biting after a year or so. mainly by me using the NO shout when he attacked me. I see you've been unsuccessful with this

here are a few articles on aggression, with limited info.

http://www.pets.ca/cats/articles/aggressive-cats/

http://www.petplace.com/cats/introduction-to-feline-aggression/page1.aspx

I will list some of the other methods I did use such as FELIWAY a plug in product that disperses a calming scent for cats..its avail at Vet clinics and good pet stores also amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/Feliway-Plug-In-Diffuser-bottle-Milliliters/dp/B000WHUOEI/ref=sr_1_4/185-0549630-1508157?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1377261399&sr=1-4&keywords=feliway+spray



also occasionally used RESCUE REMEDY a holistic calming product. this one I mainly only use for Vet visits or car trips...not meant to be used on a permanent basis and be sure you find the alcohol free pet brand!!! this is also avail. at Vet clinics and good pet stores

http://www.iherb.com/search?kw=bach%20original%20flower%20essences%20rescue%20remedy%20pet%20alcohol-free%20formula&okw=rescue%20re&rank=3#p=1

if you are interested in trying other holistic methods I can send you some other suggestions as well.
it appears your cat like my Sami its more of an anger issue, he would also jump at my back legs and bite when he was mad...I only take him outdoors with me and we use a leash, so when he'd be at the door 'asking' for his walk and I was too busy..he'd get mad and jump at me...this has stopped like I said, it took time but by using the loud NO...he did get the meaning of this is not allowed...or maybe he just became a calmer kitty???
don't give up, I will help as much as I can with holistic ideas....:)

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Avatar_m_tn
Maybe it's the name??? My cat is Sammi, too! We tried the Feliway with my daughter's cat and it didn't seem to do anything. I will check all the other links you've provided. I never take her outside and I really can't think of anything she'd be mad about. It seems like she sees me as prey. I've even tried walking down the hall with her boa or feather so she goes after it instead. I don't know if this is something she could outgrow, but meanwhile my legs look like a battleground. I do appreciate all your thoughts. Thank you!
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874521_tn?1375890587
may seem unrelated but can I ask what you are feeding Sammi(coincidence eh!!!)....and how much daily
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Avatar_m_tn
That's another thing I've been trying to figure out. When I got her she was 8.2 lbs. The vet said, ideally, she should be about 9 lbs. She was sick when we brought her home and as soon as she started feeling better she started putting on weight and now the vet says she's what they refer to as a "keeper" because she's put on so much weight...she's now 10.6 lb. I had her on grain free Blue Buffalo indoor and the vet had me cut back to only about 1/4 cup a day because of the weight issue. I did some research and decided to switch to all wet and not sticking to one certain kind since she tolerates them all well. (This was a recommendation of a few sites.) They're all good brands. I feed her about 6 oz. a day and she seems okay with that. I give her 1/2 of a 3 oz. can in the morning and then a 3 oz. can at dinner time.
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874521_tn?1375890587
10.6 lbs is NOT heavy for a 3 y.o. cat.....over 15lbs than you are getting into heavy...
I cannot understand your Vet telling you to cut back, IMO this cat is HUNGRY and no wonder he is taking his frustration out by biting the one that supplies his food...:(
the wet grain free food is an excellent choice and frequent rotating isn't at all a bad idea..
I would definitely start feeding him more. My Sami is 12 lbs(approx) and eats 21/2-3  of the 3oz cans....and from wht I've read that is low (calorie wise) but its all he wants and he is healthy and a good weight.
try feeding closer to 8-9oz...and see if this makes Sammi a happier fellow.

I am just leaving for a bit but tonight or tom. am I will try to find the site that gives the daily recommended calorie intake for cats....:)
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Avatar_m_tn
She's not quite 2 yet.  But she actually does look heavy.  My daughter noticed it too.  I really don't think she's biting because of that.  She had just eaten and had some left in her bowl when she started after me tonight.  From different places I read, and what the vet said, if she's still active and not losing weight you're not under feeding.  She's definitely not losing weight and she's as active as she's ever been.  So I really don't think it's a food issue.  Different cats seem to handle weight differently because my daughter's cat is 12.6 lbs. and very muscular and lean. I do appreciate your ideas!
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