Periodically, almost on a daily basis, my cat bites me. Usually, it is when I am trying to go upstairs to my bedroom. She will run up behind me and clamp on to my leg and bite. If I have jeans on, it doesn't really hurt, but if my legs are bare, she leaves teeth marks. She knows I don't want her to do it. She won't do it if I am looking at her, but the minute I turn my back, she pounces.
Except for that, she's a friendly, affectionate cat. What do I do?
Keep a water bottle always at hand with you for a couple of days and spritz her once or twice ONLY (repeat, ONLY) when she attacks you. She'll get the message quickly.
My boyfriend Chris Brown beats me daily.
Except for that, he's a friendly, affectionate cool cat. What do I do?
R2 Chris and Rihanna still on your mind??
OP is she still a kitten? If so, I believe that's normal behavior for someone her age. She's playing with you and doesn't have another feline to do such things with.
OP, is "cat" a code word for your significant other? Why don't you tell us what's really going on.
Your cat senses a spiritual presence in the house and is trying to warn you.
Try the spray bottle idea, Rihanna. Fill with pepper spray. Spritz him once or twice ONLY.
I have a cat that does that. I've come to chalk it up to being just plain bratty behavior. For instance, if he's waiting to be fed and thinks I'm taking too long dishing up his food, he gets mad and attacks my ankles. If he runs into a closet while I have the door open and I remove him before closing the door, he gets mad and attacks my ankles. He's also the only cat I've ever had who wakes me up by burrowing under the covers and attacking my ankles.
He's about a year and a half old now, and seems to be gradually growing out of his bratty aggressive behavior. At the same time, I am doing my best to teach him that I will not tolerate his bratty behavior while not being physically aggressive with him. He's improving, but slowly.
Rihanna likes when she gets beat. She's a weirdo like Zac Efron and his scat fetish
She just want to play, Buy her some toys.
Yep - she's playing. Your legs are moving and are at her eye level, which to her means they're ready to be tackled. She's not trying to hurt you.
Get one of these and play with it for three or four minutes after you get upstairs. The cat will be so anxious for you to get upstairs she will forget to bite you.
Don't spray her. Not a good bonding behavior. Play and patience is the answer.
And pepper is totally not necessary.
Don't you have a toilet, OP?
I have never had a cat that bites me .. and I've had five over the years.
My animals must sense that I am not a skizzed-out psycho.
A few folks like R13 are correct, OP and R8 are scary ignorant. Read a book about cats, I know there have been some written even for you middle-schoolers.
My male cat is 4 and does this when I stop petting him, usually in the mornings when he sees me rushing for work, and he knows I won't be home for around 9 hours. I'll pet him, start moving away and he'll whirl around and give me a light nip as 'punishment'.
He's very affectionate and would like to be carried around all day like a baby.
Agnes Smith: Katie, where's my cat?
Katie the Maid: I don't know... a little while ago, she got in my way and I kicked her down the cellar steps. I could hear her spine hitting on every step.
Agnes Smith: Oh, if you killed her, I'll kill you! I'll stab you to death in your sleep, then I'll tie your body to two wild horses until you're pulled apart.
Katie the Maid: Oh, won't that be terrible, now? There's your cat.
R16, Excuse me, but I am not scary ignorant. I have talked to the vet about it and I have read a fair amount online about cat behavior. but I am at my wits end. I don't use a spray bottle because I've been told that it will only make the cat afraid of me.
Online articles have suggested saying "ouch" whenever she does it, or saying "no". She knows I don't want her to do it. That's why she won't do it when I am looking at her.
She is almost two years old and I have had her for almost a year.
I don't know anyone else who has a cat that bites, but (like R8) I've pretty much chalked this up to her personality. I think it's her way of showing she is the dominant one.
I'm just not sure I want to live with a cat that behaves in this way.
Rather than spray her with water I recommend a gentle puff from an air horn. She'll get the message and you won't have to worry about mildew.
Rhianna, gurl, get yourself a flame thrower and spray that nigger down once or twice.
My cat used to do this a lot, especially if I turned my back to her or go up the stairs, she still does it a bit, but less now - I just make sure I watch her and don't give her a chance to do it.
One of our three cats does this. We've had him for a little over a year (he was a rescue) and he only just started it a couple of months ago. In the morning, when I'm at the computer, he goes under the desk and nips at my legs and feet. It doesn't hurt but it is annoying. It's an attention-getting thing, I guess. If I pet him, he stops nipping.
Our other male cat jumps up on the computer desk and head-butts me to force me to pet him. Between the two of them, they gag up on me.
[quote]he goes under the desk and nips at my legs and feet
My cat does this too, she'll disappear for hours and when I'm zoned out on the internet and not paying attention, she'll claw at my feet suddenly and scare the crap out of me.
R22, that's basically been my strategy. I keep my eyes on her, and I try to get her to go upstairs ahead of me by pointing and saying "go", which she does about 50% of the time.
I guess I just have to learn to live with this behavior since I've pretty much grown attached to her.
My Kitten bites me all the time. He was rescued and now I'm starting to think he is completely wild. I've leraned to love him but he really is a trial...constantly jumping, running, scratching and biting. I almost stole my friends older cat...hoping that the older female might train him to be a good boy.
Next time she does it, kick her like you're kicking a field goal to win the Super Bowl.
That'll teach her.
This is insane. Who the hell wants an animal in the house that injures you or tries to "punish" you. They are not your children as much as you may want to believe they are. And they are certainly not pets that should be around humans. Get rid of them.
She just wants to play. My cat is 13 and still gives me a bite once in a while when she doesn't get her way. Sometime she will give me a nip when we are laying down and I'm paying more attention to the tv than her. Sometimes once she's mad, we will have a play cat fight with each other. This is what cats normally do with each other. Cats consider their humans as other cats, so this is how she would behave with another cat. She's showing her deviant playful side. These are things that cats do, enjoy it.
But if you kick them and break a bone...it's a vet bill and the time to take them to the vet and the trouble of thinking up a story about why your cat has a broken hip. It's simply too much trouble. When mine was tiny, I thought about putting him in a ziploc bag, it would be all over in about half an hour...couldn't do it but seriously considered it.
R25, right - I always make sure she goes up the stairs ahead of me - she's clever and will stop and watch to see if I'll go before her, but she's not clever enough!
R28, I watch My Cat From Hell and there are cat owners on that show whose cats attack them, tear up their houses, etc, but they aren't willing to give them up - it's not that simple.
Mine will do that but only when he's overstimulated and doesn't want to be petted. I don't spray him with a water bottle.
Yet another gay man terrorized by pussy.
I had a cat who did that (Charlie R.I.P.) On rainy days, when he couldn't go outside and hunt, he'd hunt me instead. He'd stalk me and bite me pretty hard on my achilles ankle. He was pretty stealth, so I was too impressed to get mad.
Op, who wears the pants in your family. She's not the boss of you.
Like said, follow her up the stairs or stare the kitty down. When I had a cat and he would annoy me, I would wait until he finished all his cleaning of himself and then I would grab him and give him a big hug and then stare him down like, who's boss now kitty.
Hee, good one R33!
Kittens grow out of the scratchy-bitey phase. If they get frisky, point and shout "NO!" and walk away. Play over til you learn how to act.
Try not to hand-play with cats, using your hand as the toy. Use a real toy (feather toy, something on a string) to play with them.
I learned from an animal show that cats can only see prey when it moves. So they're probably excited by your sudden movements. Get them more play toys that roll and tinkle. I place a bunch at the top of the stairs and by afternoon they have chased all of them down the steps.
A favorite is catnip sprayed on ping pong balls. They go berserk chasing them around.
I also tie feather/ball toys to long strings affixed to doorknobs and chairs, and they can bat away at them when you're too tired or not there.
You are simply unwilling to out-Fuzzy your cat.
Your cat bites? Every time he pulls this shit, pick him up, rub his fur the wrong way, and dance around with him in your arms while singing Ethel Merman songs in falsetto.
There is only room for one crazy and you don't share.
My cat bites my ankles when I'm sitting at the computer. He head butts my hand to be petted and then bites me. I wound up in the hospital with cellulites one time when he bite my foot, so it's no joke getting bitten by a cat.
He's a rescue I found when he was about four weeks old. I think because he was separated from his mother so young accounts for his bad behavior. Even when I tap him on the nose or scold him he bites back. I've grown attached to him but he is not my favorite.
My kitten bites and so what I do is wave my index finger really fast in front of her face and then she stops. It took a couple of tries before it worked. My next step is to train her so that I only have to point my finger near her eyes.
It pisses her off when I do it but it is not cruel and can't possibly harm her at all. I saved her when she was but a few days old because she was somehow dumped at my office of all places.
If my crazy ass tortoiseshell kitten can be trained not to bite then any cat can.
Is this Rumpy Bumpy Umpy again?
If so you cat probably hates you.
Some cats have some annoying habits. They're not perfect. Unless she is sending you to the doctor with her bites, please do not get rid of her...
As some have suggested here, it could be simply she needs more play time. I know it's cute initially but I always advise people to not play with kittens with their hands. It's cute when they bite and grab your hands at 3 months old. It's not quite as cute when they're 3 years old. Always, always avoid teaching a cat any part of your body is for play. Now I know this is not the case for OP but it's just good advice in general. OP, exhaust your cat by using strings, feathers (da bird is a surefire winner) and laser lights. Retrain her to know that playing with toys is a lot more fun than biting your ankles.
Ignore her when she bites you. Do not give her the attention she is seeking. And this may be kooky, but how about wiping some vinegar on your ankles and putting yourself in the situation where she can attack you? Cats generally hate vinegar and one or two taste of it may well teach her to avoid biting you. Cats are very quick to avoid doing things that they don't like or are fearful of. For example, my cats were freaked out by my ironing board which squeaked whenever I extended its legs. That happened about twice and scared my cats silly. I then applied WD40 and it hasn't squeaked in years. Yet, every time I take out the ironing board, my cats make a mad dash under the bed or into another room.
my cat at 7 has never grown out of the biting as play phase, and i'm cool with that. remember, a cat is basically a mobile platform for a bunch of needle sharp weapons; if she wanted to hurt you, she would.
R43, Thanks for the advice. In general, I have trained her out of pretty much all her bad behaviors by simply ignoring them. I suspect the same would work for biting if I could just ignore it. But she surprises me and it hurts. So it is hard not to react in some way.
Noise is actually an interesting suggestion. Even music sends her hiding under the couch. Maybe I could figure out a way to associate a sound with her biting.
R46, my cat will engage in playful, affectionate biting when we are sitting still. It's never more than a gentle tap with her teeth on my hand or wrist. But that is different from the attack bite when I am walking away. She can bite quite hard when she does it on the run. I don't think she is trying to hurt me; I think she is just trying to get my attention (and unfortunately, it works).
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not use pepper spray. I beg of you.
try to cry out in the heat of the moment possessed by a fury that burns from inside
[quote]Maybe I could figure out a way to associate a sound with her biting.
How about a piercing human shriek?
I work with a ten year old cat that does this exact same thing. They will not "grow out of it."
Gee, thanks for the good news. I'm still hoping mine will calm down a little, after he is fixed.
r29 may be on to something. Kittens learn from play-fighting with each other and their mother how to tell the boundaries between just play and hurting or pissing off another animal. You have to find a way to let you cat know when it's hurting and annoying you and that you won't put up with it. The easiest way would probably just be putting the cat out of the room when it's being bitey.
R54 is right. I posted earlier in this thread. I have 3 cats, one of whom I got as a 5 month old kitten. I would let him bite and scratch my arms at first - it was kind of cute - but he grew out of it, probably because I would yell "ow!" and he got the message. He's 7 now and hasn't done that in years. I'm trying to do the same thing with my ankle biting cat who is about 8 years old. Aside from that, he's a great cat, very gentle - he just likes to nibble my legs when I'm on the computer.
Just threaten your kitty with Peru, OP.
The Gastronomic Festival of the Cat happens every September in La Quebrada, Peru, but this year is comes as animal rights activists step up their efforts to change attitudes.
"God created cats!" read one placard. "Murderers!" shouted a chorus of animal-rights activists...
Every September, a statue of Santa Efigenia is paraded to lively music and dancing on the streets of La Quebrada, a farming community south of Lima.
As part of the celebrations, residents set up food stalls and tables for the Gastronomic Festival of the Cat. It is a cat-eating feast that commemorates the time when the early slave settlers survived only - supposedly - by eating cat meat.
Dozens of the creatures are bred especially for the occasion, and then cooked in an array of Peruvian recipes.
There's spicy cat stew, or grilled cat with native huacatay herbs. Crowds of curious festival-goers get a kick out of eating a meat that is said to taste very much like rabbit.
And forget about oysters and rhino horn. In Peru, it is cat meat that is believed to be an aphrodisiac.
But my kitten is a slow learner and we have had some major fights...me yelling at him because he jumped on me and hurt me and then him dancing around and hissing at me. I feel like a nut case, trying to communicate with this cat.
Burlap sack + River = problem solved!
Cats are so fucked up that way....i've seen many cats who just lash out unexpectedly like that...and if you've ever tried recovering from a cat bite, they can be brutal and very hard to heal...always assumed it was the way they were mentally wired. I'd tolerate that just once or twice before kitty ends up as a hood ornament on my neighbor's 1989 Dodge Aspen.
[quote] a cat is basically a mobile platform for a bunch of needle sharp weapons
Yes, all those little needles and unless their mother taught them better, they use them whenever they choose. Anyway, if you don't have a huge amount of patience, I recommend an adult cat over a kitten.
Go on My Cat from Hell
OP, a cat I used to have used to do this to me on the stairs too. (she's deceased). If she went up the stairs first it was okay, but I went ahead of her on the stairs she would jump on my hip and bite/claw me.
I've had a lot of cats but have only lived in two houses with stairs and I've noticed that all the cats liked to go first on the stairs. The others didn't bite me, but they make sure they go first. Maybe it's some cat thing
[quote] What can I do?
I used to call the cat when it was time to go upstairs to bed. I would say, "let's go to bed" and I would wait for her to come over and let her run up the stairs first
I wish I had stairs, maybe he would run and jump on the stairs, instead of my furniture. He's so fast, my eyes can't keep up with him...I really am starting to think he is super natural. I'm hoping that in my next life, I'll get his energy.
[quote] I've had a lot of cats but have only lived in two houses with stairs and I've noticed that all the cats liked to go first on the stairs. The others didn't bite me, but they make sure they go first. Maybe it's some cat thing
Boy, is that true. I grew up in a ranch home with cats and didn't have cats again until 25 years later when I wound up with 4 cats who all found my house and decided to stay.
The cats race me up the stairs. They can be fast asleep in another part of the house, but as soon as I start upstairs, they come running. They sit at the bottom of the stairs until I get halfway up, then they race past me to the top stair.
They don't do this with my partner. They can tell the difference between his footfall and mine on the stairs. My partner always wears shoes -- I only wear socks indoors. When I put on my shoes, the cats get frightened and won't rave me up the stairs.
r43 has it right. All cats need to play, not just kittens. And when the humans act like prey (moving feet, climbing stairs, etc.) they will pounce. All cats have a hunt, kill, eat sleep cycle twice a day. You should play with your cat for a solid 15 minutes in the morning, then feed him. Repeat just before bedtime. Biting will stop.
Also, most cats will bite after too much holding and petting. They are happier sitting near you or on a lap and having their head/face rubbed. The full body pet is sensory overload and they are telling you to knock it off. You'll probably notice the tip of their tails start moving before they start biting. That's your warning that you are being annoying.
Covered in cat hair
Thanks for the tips. I do play with mine, usually twice a day. Perhaps I could be more consistant but he seems to play constantly, except when he's napping.
I've ever seen a cat that doesn't love this toy. The manufacturer also makes similar toys that have feathers instead of a mouse. Don't buy those. The cat will rip the feathers off the wand in no time. But the mouse is pretty hardy. It will lose its ail and eyes, but the cats don't care. They still lve it. They sell replacement mice if you need them, but I've ever needed them.
I bought that toy and he plays with it but doesn't love it.
My cat is still a cat from hell. I am getting him neutered soon and I hope I don't kill him before the day of surgery.
My cat was neutered but he still has his little balls and I'm worried that they might be swollen. I've never had a cat neutered this way before.
He was suppose to stay quiet but he just jumps and runs like nothing happened.
R69, My cat loved that toy for few months, but eventually got tired of it.
OK, I am going to solve your problem, OP. But you must do exactly as I say or you won't get good results.
First, answer a couple questions for me. Do you have any cat trees or scratching posts for your cat? Also, do you actively play with your cat every day?
A few people have hit on part of the solution but you actually need to do a few things to nip this issue in the bud.
First, go to the pet store and purchase Feliway cat pheromones. It's a plug-in diffuser that is full of odorless cat pheromones that will make your cat content and calm. It is not a drug and it is harmless to animals and humans. The Feliway contains the happy pheromones that cats produce in their facial glands and that they leave behind when they rub their faces on something.
Next, buy the cat toy at the link provided. It's called Cat Dancer and there are no substitutes. It's $2 bucks and the dumbest-looking toy in the world. But I swear to you, cats LOVE this toy. It activates and satiates their hunting instincts. Also, get another string toy, like the one linked at R12, so you have a little variety. You must play with your cat daily, at least 10 minutes a day. Ideally, if your cat is a solo cat, do a couple of play sessions each day.
After you play with your cat at the same time every day, feed her immediately. That is regular cat behavior: hunt, kill, eat. Then she will bathe and sleep.
Finally, if you do not have scratching posts or a cat tree, get your cat one. Cats need to climb. Maybe you have some bookshelves that you can arrange in a way where your cat can jump on top. This can stand in for a cat tree.
OP, if you can do these things for your cat,
she will be happier and will not be interested in attacking your legs.
R40, I mean this in the nicest way. Why the FUCK would you tap your cat on the nose?? Do you think he responds to your violence in a positive way?
Listen, people. Cats do NOT learn through physical punishment. If you hit your cat in any way, shape or form, you will end up with a traumatized cat who may misbehave. You are not teaching them anything but fear of you.
R73, Thanks for the advice. I've had the cat now just over a year. I got a cat dancer immediately and she loved it for the first few months, but eventually got bored with it. I tried a variation, but it didn't work.
I play with her daily. On weekends, and on days when I work from home, I play a couple of times a day. She likes playing catch with the lattice rattle balls. I toss them in the air and she jumps up and grabs them with her front paws.
She has two scratching posts, which she only scratches when she wants to be fed because, in my attempts to dissuade her from scratching the furniture, I rewarded her for scratching the post by giving her a treat.
She has the run of the house and jumps up on everything, so there is no shortage of opportunities to climb. There are plenty of shelves and high places where she can go.
In the year that I have had her, she has learned the meaning of "No", which she pays some attention to. She knows I don't want her to bite me and will never do it when I am looking at her. She will always stop what she is doing when I say "No," though she often continues if I turn my back.
The idea of playing with her before feeding her is intriguing. I don't have time in the morning when I have to get to work. I could try it in the evening, though I usually feed her as soon as I get home.
Also, the pheromones sound interesting. Just BTW, she doesn't respond to catnip. I've heard that 20% of cats don't.
I do think you will be pleasantly surprised at the effect Feliway has on your cat. It costs $30 but it's worth it. I've used it for years, first on three cats that did not like each other. I plugged that thing in for the first time and a few minutes later, all three cats were lying belly-up in front of the diffuser. It mellowed them all out and brought peace to our house for the first time in years. When I adopted my new kittens a few months ago, I used it when I realized I had a nervous kitten on my hands. It calmed him and almost all of his bad behavior -- chewing, biting, tearing things apart -- stopped. Plug it in near the stairs where your kitty attacks you. I bet it will stop the attacks.
Your cat views you as her companion and to her you are nothing but a giant cat. She is treating you like she would a cat buddy. Unfortunately humans can't take the kitty claws and teeth. It's hard to stop this behavior. The best you can hope for is funneling her energy into something else or tiring her out. You could try a Kong hunting toy. You can get them at the pet store. It's a special cat toy that you put treats in. The cat has to work the toy to get a treat. Sometimes, this will keep cats very busy. They cost about $8 with the treats.
I would not spritz her with water. If you want to try a deterrent, put some pennies in an empty aluminum can. When she attacks you, shake the can. Don't let her see the can, though.
If I were you, I would start with the Feliway. It may completely solve the problem. Pair it with a Kong toy. Also, try playing with kitty around the time when she would attack your ankles. Then feed her a small meal after the play session to trigger her instinctual bathing and sleeping.
The important thing to remember is young cats require consistency. It will take her a while to learn her appropriate behaviors. It's ok that you have to treat her when she scratches the post. You are creating a strong association between scratching the posts and food. This will pay off in the long run.
I hope one of my suggestions helps you, OP. Good luck.
Get a roll of aluminum foil. Make little balls out of the foil. Throw one at cat whenever she gets that look on her face. Cat will play with ball and forget about hunting your ankles.
My cat is like a pesky two year old. I have a feeling he will never grow out of his naughty ways.
A harmless way to train a cat a little, little being the key word is to use a fly swatter.
Not to hit the cat but to scare it. Cat jumps on something you don't want it on, slap the counter with the fly swatter. Cat nips at your heels, slap in it's direction on your leg.
I have a cat from hell and he has never broken anything in my house. I see him looking at a shelf and assume he is about to leap. I put my hand on him and say no, don't do it and he doesn't.