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Why does my cat bite me for no reason??

bbziggy

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Mar 3, 2013
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I have 3 feral cats that I spayed and neutered. The two females live outside and are very sweet. They have never bitten me. The male cat who is about 8 now I keep on my screened in porch. I have had him since he was a tiny kitten. He had many health problems as a kitten and was often at the vet.
He will come up to me and rub against me and bump me and I pet him only near his head. He doesn't like to be touched on his body. But sometimes I will just be sitting on the couch and he will jump up and come to me and then for no reason he will bite the crap out of my arm. He draws blood and doesn't let go until I blow on his face. i don't want to put him down but I'm not sure how to deal with him. He has never lived outside so I'm afraid to put him out. Any suggestions?
 

kenny

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Are you sure it's a cat, and not my SO?
 

Gypsy

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Aww. Poor kid.

You need to hire an animal behaviorist to help you. There could be a lot of reasons.

Call your vet and see who they recommend to work with you to ameliorate the situation.
 

telephone89

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I have no idea. But I'd probably stop letting him on the sofa =\
 

monarch64

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Does it go anything like this? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Azt5UXcrBv8

Please provide video of your cat biting you. I cannot make a proper diagnosis unless I see the actual attack. :wink2:

(I had a cat years ago who would attack my feet in the middle of the night. She was ruthless. I finally re-homed that little terrorist.)
 

amc80

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My (just turned 1) baby will do the same thing on occasion- walk up to me and bite me on the arm, and then walk away. Maybe I'll blow on his face next time. I'd like to bite back, but I'd prefer not to get a call from CPS.
 

Amber St. Clare

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My cats only bit when they were kittens and teething. Could he be having dental issues?
 

jordyonbass

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I've got similar issues with both of my male cats. The older one 'Chucky' used to go into a psychotic mood in the early hours of the morning and if your feet were hanging over the bed then they were fair game to him. Both Mrs Jordy and I have woken each other up in the middle of the night after yelling and cursing from getting our feet mauled. Luckily he has all but ceased doing that (or we have learned to sleep with no limbs overhanging the bed).

The younger one Stinker is going through the same sort of thing though as your boy bbziggy, just biting us out of nowhere for no apparent reason (he is neutered as well). I'll be walking past him in the house and he will begin to follow me, the moment I stop he will walk over and just bite me on the shin. I'm trying to figure it out as well...
 

sonnyjane

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My male cat does this. He will come to me, solicit petting, then after 10 minutes or so, he reaches his threshold and SCRATCH, typically to the face. I've researched it quite a bit but there isn't a definite answer. One theory is that male cats breed aggressively (biting the neck of a female for example) and if they get over-stimulated, they tap into that instinct. The fact that your cats were all feral also may have something to do with it. I adopted my cat at 4. He came from a hoarder house, so was likely not socialized properly and also was not neutered until an older age. For that reason he probably has more aggression than a cat fixed early and socialized with people. I've learned to just read the cues... I can NOT look directly into his eyes when he is in that mode and also he snarls his lip up when he is getting upset. When I see that, I push him off me and he goes to the scratching post to let off the steam.
 

Mayk

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My friend had a cat with issues and they put him on an antianexiety drug. It did help.
 

bbziggy

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I didn't realize that so many others had the same problem. He is feral but I have had him since he was about 5or 6 weeks old.He used to try and bury his food when he was tiny. I think wild cats do that. Loved the video monarch64 ! Kenny too funny! Maybe the anti anxiety drug is a good idea Mayk ! Thanks for the other suggestions everyone. Would love to hear more shares on your cat behaviors ! Here is a picture from today's bite and the innocent face haha.

20160202_172652_resized_1.jpg

20150215_132025-1-1.jpg
 

Gypsy

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My Jack is on Prosac. He's a wiggy little ball of anxiety.

It can help them. But it is a 40 dollar a month expense. And I prefer always to try behavioral adjustment before medication.

Also, you can try this: https://www.chewy.com/cat/sentry-hc-good-behavior-pheromone/dp/56473?utm_source=google-product&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=hg&utm_content=Sentry&utm_term=&gclid=Cj0KEQiAxMG1BRDFmu3P3qjwmeMBEiQAEzSDLh6xG3YbOnkDAOwwItUE6Z0c34J4m1leioe_LvbmnikaAu_C8P8HAQ Jack was allergic to it. But while he had it on, it worked like a charm. Just be sure to check under the collar every couple of days for a reaction.
 

sonnyjane

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bbziggy|1454455494|3985869 said:
I didn't realize that so many others had the same problem. He is feral but I have had him since he was about 5or 6 weeks old.He used to try and bury his food when he was tiny. I think wild cats do that. Loved the video monarch64 ! Kenny too funny! Maybe the anti anxiety drug is a good idea Mayk ! Thanks for the other suggestions everyone. Would love to hear more shares on your cat behaviors ! Here is a picture from today's bite and the innocent face haha.
Getting them too early can be nearly as bad as getting them too late. Like puppies, cats need to be raised by other cats (namely mom and siblings) until they are at least 8 weeks old. That's when they learn how to play, how to be aggressive, and how to distinguish between the two. If he never learned how to be a proper cat because you had him since 5 weeks, he didn't get his "manners".

I've now had both extremes. My last cat was found at 3 weeks and I got him at 8 weeks, but he wasn't raised by cats. He still tried to "nurse" my ears and neck until he died at age 11 and was terrified of strangers. . He never weaned properly and still had that reflex. Then now I have my minor aggression issues with this current cat but he is so awesome that I don't mind a swat every now and then. Plus I've only had him a year... I was his THIRD home. I'd have issues too!
 

the_mother_thing

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My cat (male, neutered, indoor/outdoor) is about 10 yrs old, and does this also. He lovingly solicits pets by the gentle hand that feeds him, purrs like he's enjoying the luvin' as if it's the last he'll ever see, then turns his head and bites the shit out of my hand or wrist for no damn reason. :angryfire:

I never suspected it could be caused by any other issue than old(er) age ... and he's a cat, and they clearly don't require rhyme or reason for their antics.
 

bbziggy

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Mar 3, 2013
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I just read the link Gypsy put on about the good behavior collar. I might give that a try. It got pretty good reviews. If it doesn't work I might go the drug route. My husband hates the cat because it bites and when my kids come to visit they are all allergic. Sometimes I wish I wasn't such a softie for animals. It would have surely died if I hadn't taken him to the vet. He had coccidia so bad and horrible round worms. My husband had to do clysis which is putting IV fluid under the cats skin to hydrate it. We did that 2x a day for a while. He was pathetic! This is payback I guess. If I had let nature take its course I wouldn't be dealing with a biting cat!! He used to terrorize our dog before she died too. Still I can't get rid of him. :(
 

VRBeauty

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I've had two cats - both female - who would bite me for no apparent reason when I was petting/scratching them. One of them is Maya, my current kitty. Apparently they can only take so much lovin' in one session, and when I cross the threshold - pow! I've pretty much learned to read the "stop" signals but some times I still miss them, especially at night. So some of the signals are - the ears move back, that slow back and forth tail movement, changes in the purring, a certain tensing.... I rarely trigger attacks in Maya anymore but I do still get the occasional attack (and usually when it happens, I'm aware that I might be pushing kitty's boundaries).

I've never had a cat just jump out and bite me without provocation however.
 

lulu

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Both of my boys do this and though it may be hard to believe I think it's meant to be affectionate.
 

lambskin

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We rescued a very young and skinny barn kitten through a shelter. I think he was taken away from its mom and siblings too early as he never seemed to like social play -as he always like to play bite a lot. He hates to be picked up and only likes to be petted on his head and neck. If over pettted (over stimulated) he will bite. If he wants to play he will get your attention by biting or follow you and then bite. :twisted: He draws blood. I don't blow on his face-I just yell "NOOOOO!!!" and he stops. He was neutered and is 3 years old and is short haired black and white. He is not a lap cat but does like to be in a room with our family. He sleeps on the foot of our bed. Interestingly, he never purrs and rarely meows. I have heard him 'CHIRP' when he is pleased. The biting is a royal pain and since hubby is on blood thinners... :errrr: there is blood everywhere! BTW, I like Jackson Galaxy the Cat Whisperer. You can catch some shows on Youtube-he explains why cats are aggressive,.
 

jordyonbass

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OK so this is pretty relevant right now. Just got home and sat on the couch, Stinker jumps up on the coffee table in front of me. Gave him a good pet and had a conversation with him for a minute or so (he's a very vocal cat). The moment I sat back on the couch he bit me on the knee although just before I sat back there was a ten second moment between petting him and sitting back where I noticed his ears pointed back.

Any ideas why? His dinner time is soon but it's not unusual for him to do that since he's been neutered. I think he just craves the attention and gets cranky when he stops getting it
 

Gypsy

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We have a 1/2 feral girl. We have to watch her body language and her eyes very carefully when we interact with her. Even when she's purring or looks relaxed. If that tail is lashing and or her pupils are large we do not pet her. Cause she will bite.

We we DO do is push her off us or away, not hard, but just make it clear that if she bites the cuddling and petting stop.

And as a result she now feels TERRIBLY about it. You can see it in her eyes and the way she acts. Even though WE don't say it, it's like she's thinking "I'm a bad kitty." And she leaves herself now if she bites and goes to a corner. Like giving herself a time out. It's been 7 years she's gotten to the point that most of the time she's try to most of the time give a 'warning snap' just a quick snap of her teeth to let us know the our next touch will be met with a full bite.


Baby steps. She's a completely different cat now than she was. But we both have many scars from the first 3 years we had her.
 

Gypsy

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jordyonbass|1454476404|3986032 said:
OK so this is pretty relevant right now. Just got home and sat on the couch, Stinker jumps up on the coffee table in front of me. Gave him a good pet and had a conversation with him for a minute or so (he's a very vocal cat). The moment I sat back on the couch he bit me on the knee although just before I sat back there was a ten second moment between petting him and sitting back where I noticed his ears pointed back.

Any ideas why? His dinner time is soon but it's not unusual for him to do that since he's been neutered. I think he just craves the attention and gets cranky when he stops getting it
Do you give him a firm "No." (not yelling just firm) when he does this and push him away?
 

VRBeauty

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lambskin|1454472018|3986015 said:
If over pettted ( stimulated) he will bite.
lambskin - Over-stimulated is exactly what seems to be happening with my cat.

Jordy - We're usually on a couch or bed when Maya bites me, and often she's on my lap. I always dump her to the ground (carefully) when it happens - both because I need to get up to check and wash the bite, and to get her attention. I think she usually gets a "no" as well, but truthfully my focus is usually on taking care of the bite site! It's possible that Stinker is biting to get your attention and not because of over-stimulation, but it would be the first time I've heard of that.
 

jordyonbass

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Gypsy, usually I do but he's developed some kind of attitude lately and will paw at me when I do it. I don't want to give him a hard tap as punishment but seems he isn't listening, will probably have to yell louder next time. I suppose this is what it's like to have teenage kids :lol:

VR, luckily Stinker doesn't bite too hard usually but it's because I catch him as he goes to do it and move away from him quickly. He's gotten me good a couple times and drawn blood but it's not a big bother to me as I do it frequently of my own accord on grinding wheels.
 

Gypsy

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You can try hissing at him. It's what I do to my other cat, Penny. She's not very bright and doesn't get "no", plus she has serious ADD. So when she does something I don't like like get on the counter, I hiss at her. She understands that well enough. Also, for some reason saying "OW!!" loudly works for her. She's young so she plays with her claws out. We've been working with that and "OW" is what worked there.

Another thing I've done with other cats that have tried to bite me is to bite them back. Seriously. One of my cats used to nibble hard. So I started nibbling back, lightly on his ear or paw. He didn't like that at all. So once he figured out the cause and effect, he stopped the nibbling.


That's why I recommended a behaviorist. There are all kinds of behavior modification methods out there, it's just a matter of finding out what works for your kids without causing them harm.

For Jack blowing in his face works very well. Doesn't do a thing for Duncan or Penny.
'
You have to be open to working with the specific cat and that takes trial and error and patience.
 

NOYFB

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jordyonbass|1454480515|3986055 said:
will probably have to yell louder next time. I suppose this is what it's like to have teenage kids :lol:
Yelling at a cat is never appropriate. :nono: All it does is frighten them. They are just being cats, natural predators. If you frighten them by yelling at them, you open the door to all sorts of new behavior problems. Please don't yell at your cat. He/she does not understand and it will makes things worse for you AND kitty.

OP, please check out Jackson Galaxy. He is a cat behaviorist who has a TV show and has helped many humans understand their cat's behavior and how to modify it.
 

missy

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Gypsy|1454481099|3986060 said:
You can try hissing at him. It's what I do to my other cat, Penny. She's not very bright and doesn't get "no", plus she has serious ADD. So when she does something I don't like like get on the counter, I hiss at her. She understands that well enough. Also, for some reason saying "OW!!" loudly works for her. She's young so she plays with her claws out. We've been working with that and "OW" is what worked there.

Another thing I've done with other cats that have tried to bite me is to bite them back. Seriously. One of my cats used to nibble hard. So I started nibbling back, lightly on his ear or paw. He didn't like that at all. So once he figured out the cause and effect, he stopped the nibbling.


That's why I recommended a behaviorist. There are all kinds of behavior modification methods out there, it's just a matter of finding out what works for your kids without causing them harm.

For Jack blowing in his face works very well. Doesn't do a thing for Duncan or Penny.
'
You have to be open to working with the specific cat and that takes trial and error and patience.
Great advice and I also yell Oww loudly when Bobby scratches me or I hiss at him. It works usually. However the truth is he still does scratch us and occasionally draws blood. He is a bit psycho and we call him psycho kitty affectionately but when he causes us to bleed we are not laughing. However we try to watch his signals very carefully and when we pet or play with him I am super cautious. And I never approach near his head. He is scared of that. I think he was abused by someone before we rescued him and that is why he is fearful of us approaching near his head. I think someone used to hit him. :cry: But never mind that. He is safe and happy now and if we sometimes get scratched and bleed it is a small price to pay for his well being and safety.

Bbziggy, please don't even consider putting him down for this. There are ways to manage this and please keep us posted. Thank you for working this issue through and for saving your outdoor cats. (((HUGS))).

Btw, I am not sure these cats are really feral. A truly feral cat won't even come close to anyone not even the person that feeds them. It sounds like you rescuing them saved them from becoming truly feral cats. Thank you for that!

Adding 2 pics of our sweet but slightly psycho Bobby...second pic is from the year we rescued him 2009. First pic is sometime from 2015 I think.

_36310.jpg

bobbyinbasket09.jpg
 

AdaBeta27

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If you wear perfume or some kind of scented body lotion, try going without it. Back in the day when musk perfume was hawt, there was a woman here who was attacked by her cat whenever she wore the musk perfume.

If it can't be that, and you're getting attacked at random: As a deterrent, I'd try wearing some substance with a flavor that will make a cat gag, or something with hot pepper mixed in and then try to bait the cat to bite. I put Benadryl gel on my leg one time and my cat licked it (for some unknown reason) and gagged. Some body lotion like Avon Skin So Soft might not taste too great, either. Instill the thought that biting people might be unpleasant.

But whenever I've had one of my cats get too rough like that, I've either given it a shove into next Sunday, or reached around, grabbed it by the scruff, and given it a little shake, and that has generally been enough to establish who is alpha and make the cat end the attack. I have an Oriental mix cat who is very much a control freak, and he would do things like wake me up in the morning by grazing my eyelid with a claw. I found that dumping him right off the bed worked effectively to let him know that I'm not putting up with it. Some of this behavior is a dominance issue, I believe, and there are some animals that will just intermittently try to push the envelope with you.
 

House Cat

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I had a boy who would always sneak up from behind my back and bite me in the love handle when I was kneeling over in the garden. In my mind, it was totally unprovoked. I'm sure in his mind, it wasn't.

He was partially feral. He had caught a few voles and tree rats in that yard. He and a skunk were pals in that yard. He used to play battle my dog in that yard too. Maybe he felt like he owned the place. I will never know, but that's my best guess.
 

lorrissey

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Is he getting enough mental stimuli and exercise? I play with my cats until they are panting like dogs <-- and it's the same. Just means they got enough play time and are tired. I've never had any biting issues with my cats. They're the loudest motor boating purr cuddlers and aggressively friendly to everyone. I walk them in the stroller or on leash too.
 
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