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May 20th 06, 04:15 PM
I adopted a tiny, cute 1.5 y.o. female from SPCA and have struggled
with her for almost 3 years. On a dime, she will turn and bite or
scratch me. I had a friend over for brunch the other day and she drew
blood! Any suggestions? She is a very nervous cat.
Tx

CatNipped
May 20th 06, 04:25 PM
> wrote in message
oups.com...
>I adopted a tiny, cute 1.5 y.o. female from SPCA and have struggled
> with her for almost 3 years. On a dime, she will turn and bite or
> scratch me. I had a friend over for brunch the other day and she drew
> blood! Any suggestions? She is a very nervous cat.
> Tx

Was she declawed?

--

Hugs,

CatNipped

See all my masters at: http://www.PossiblePlaces.com/CatNipped/

May 20th 06, 05:19 PM
No, she has her claws. I am hesitant about declawing her b/c my vet
says that sometimes makes them bite more. And she already put my on
antibiotics when she bit me. I've never had a cat like this, all the
rest have been calm and affectionate.

Catlover Medway via CatKB.com
May 20th 06, 05:24 PM
CatNipped raises an interesting point, because aggression has been associated
with declawed cats. I know this is a long-standing problem, but I would have
her thoroughly checked by a vet to rule out anything medical.

Here are a couple of links:

http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/aggression.html
http://www.fabcats.org/nervous-aggression.html


wrote:
>I adopted a tiny, cute 1.5 y.o. female from SPCA and have struggled
>with her for almost 3 years. On a dime, she will turn and bite or
>scratch me. I had a friend over for brunch the other day and she drew
>blood! Any suggestions? She is a very nervous cat.
>Tx

--
Message posted via CatKB.com
http://www.catkb.com/Uwe/Forums.aspx/cat-health/200605/1

May 20th 06, 06:24 PM
Thanks for the links - helpful. She's more of a jittery cat than a
nervous cat and I think that her "aggression" may not be true
aggression. Since she spent so much time at the SPCA, most of the time
playing with other cats and kittens, I think that she never really
learned proper "human manners" and just plays rough. However, how do I
teach her that I'm not a cat! If she bites or claws me, I put her down
and ignore her, but sometimes she will jump at my leg.

CatNipped
May 20th 06, 06:33 PM
> wrote in message
oups.com...
> No, she has her claws. I am hesitant about declawing her b/c my vet
> says that sometimes makes them bite more. And she already put my on
> antibiotics when she bit me. I've never had a cat like this, all the
> rest have been calm and affectionate.

Your vet is right, that's why I asked.

First you have to figure out why she's biting. Is she becoming too
stimulated by play or petting? [Be sure you play with her *only* with toys
and not with your hands.] If it's from too much petting you'll have to
learn to watch for the signs she's getting enough *before* she bites. Look
for twitching tail, ears laid slightly back, back twitching, very low
pitched growling or grumbling, or increased respiration. Once you start to
see those signs stop petting her immediately and set her down to let her
calm down [and BTW, don't ever pick her up when she doesn't want to be
picked up - let her come to you]. It's always better to leave her wanting
more petting than to over-stimulate her into biting and having that become a
behavioral problem.

What you'll have to do next is start behavioral modification when she does
bite you. First, as soon as she gets too rough with you give a high-pitched
"MEW" - this is a kitten's signal to another kitten that they've gotten too
rough - it should make her immediately stop her agression. Next, and this
is the hardest thing to do - going against your every instinct, don't pull
your hand back when she bites down on it - shove it slightly forward
instead. This not only contradicts a prey's behavior in nature and throws
her a surprise, it will make her gag her mouth open enough for you to
withdraw your hand more easily with less damage to yourself (everything in a
cat's mouth, teeth, tongue, and its structure, is designed to pull things
inward that are struggling to get outward). Next, after the bite, give her
time-out in another room with no distractions.

Having a cat whose a biter (I was ignorant and had her declawed before I
even knew what that entailed), I would advise you to keep current on your
tetanus shots.

--

Hugs,

CatNipped

See all my masters at: http://www.PossiblePlaces.com/CatNipped/

jmc
May 20th 06, 07:59 PM
Suddenly, without warning, exclaimed (5/20/2006
1:24 PM):
> Thanks for the links - helpful. She's more of a jittery cat than a
> nervous cat and I think that her "aggression" may not be true
> aggression. Since she spent so much time at the SPCA, most of the time
> playing with other cats and kittens, I think that she never really
> learned proper "human manners" and just plays rough. However, how do I
> teach her that I'm not a cat! If she bites or claws me, I put her down
> and ignore her, but sometimes she will jump at my leg.
>

You've mentioned that she was "tiny" when you adopted her. How old was
she? Kittens that are adopted out too early often have socialization
issues... 5 weeks is too young. I know, when I was young and ignorant I
adopted a kitten at 5 weeks, she had problems - she was more of a biter
than Meep is (adopted at 12 weeks), and she was also a "knead and drool"
cat, even as an adult. I learned later this is a common problem in cats
taken from their mothers too soon. She was very poorly socialized and
simply could not interact with other cats.

CatNipped gives some excellent advice in dealing with her biting. I
used a very similar method when teaching Meep not to bite, though she
was never as bad as your cat sounds. Interestingly enough, she made an
interesting leap of logic: biting is not allowed, but licking is. For
a while, when she'd want to bite me, she'd make a motion like she was
going to, but instead would start licking me furiously!

jmc