Opinions On Using A Spray Bottle or Water Pistol On A Cat?
My cat is almost a year old. He's fully grown. I've tried everything. He won't listen, and now he's biting people. I've tried everything short of squirting him with water -- and I mean a single squirt. I'm not looking to scar him for life. I've yelled at him, shook pennies, tried distracting him, you name it, I've tried it. Nothing works, and he's getting worse. He's not afraid of anything or anyone. I love him to death, but at this point I fear that if I don't get him under control now, it's going to be impossible to control him in the future. He actually jumps up, latches on, and bites the shit out of people. I have never given in and played rough with him. I picked him up and put him down each time he ran up and attacked me. It happened over 30 times. I soon got up, and that's what ended it. When I got him, he was a three months old. He didn't bite at all.
Cat people, your thoughts, PLEASE!!! I'm desperate!
It's absolutely normal to use a spray bottle with water to spray a cat whenever it's doing something bad. It's not going to hurt them, just irritate them and lets them know to stop what they're doing.
Don't be such a wuss. A little water will not scare your vicious attack cat (if it even works).
I hate cats that bite aggressively. Is your cat neutered?
Don't do it. It will only make the cat afraid of you. I had a similar problem with biting. I noticed she would always bite me when I was walking somewhere and she was behind me. So I always made sure that I kept my eye on her whenever I was walking around. And whenever it looked like she was starting to stalk me, I would look directly at her and say, "No." Then I would keep my eye on her until she gave or until I got to where I was going. Eventually she figured it out, and now she rarely does it.
DON'T spray your cat. They understand tone, just say "No." loudly when he does it. Or ask a vet what you can do.
You should have started squirting him when he first misbehaved, since kittens learn much better than adults. But he's still young & it's never too late to start discouraging bad behavior. Water won't hurt him & he's got to learn that there are some things you just won't accept -- be consistent & squirt him every time he bites.
It might help if he had another cat to play rough with, rather than taking those instincts out on people. Preferably a bigger, tougher cat who could beat him at his own game.
Good luck, OP.
Can't help you with a brand name, but I know there are plug-in air-freshener type things for cats that emit calming cat phermones into the air.
A co-worker had a similar problem with an aggressive cat and she swears by it.
If not, maybe you could make sure there's a lot of catnip toys around. Stoners are rarely aggressive.
Punch it on the mouth. If that doesn't work, kick it hard enough so it flies into the next room.
When I was a kid, I tried water with my "bad" cat, but I think it just confused him and he just got used o the water. What finally worked for me and my current cat was to just say a firm "NO" and totally remove him --I will lock him in my computer room (where his food and litter box are) for an hour or so. He wants to be with people, but this teaches him that any "bad" behavior puts him in solitary. I haven't had to put him in time out for a while now. A lot of people think cats can't be trained and they don't want to be around people, but I don't think that's true.
Google "My Cat From Hell" and watch as many episodes as you can. Many of the cat owners on this show have the same problem and Jackson Galaxy has worked miracles with aggressive cats.
I used to squirt my cat with a water pistol when he misbehaved. He ended up getting used to it and sort of liked it and would drink the water as if I was giving him a refreshing drink
Darling, your cat is mentally ill. Normal cats do not behave in this manner. You'll laugh, but you can get medication from your vet. A slight sedative. Cat will still be insane, but it will be too relaxed to attack the shit out of everyone in its path.
Seconding r11's suggestion. The guy really knows cats.
I've been told to snap a rolled up newspaper in front of them. I don't know. I use a deeper voice to try and get mine to behave. I've also dumped a glass of water on him when he isn't getting the message.
Is there anything that calms your cat down? Like when he's brushed or cuddled or played with?
If so, I recommend doing whatever it is, a lot more often. The aggressive biting could just be his bratty attempt at getting your attention.
Kinda like human teenagers who act up - they just want a hug.
The pheromone diffuser is named Feliway. It's effective in making a cat comfortable in new surroundings. For aggressiveness, I think that Calming Collar is a better choice.
I agree with r17. He's mad at you for ignoring him. Pet him. He wants to be the centre of your universe.
Don't bother with the diffuser unless you live in your car. Get the feliway collar or even cheaper, make your own out of Quiet Moments spray for cats and a jaunty bandana. Don't spray your cat with water.
Scaring a cat doesn't make it not do something. You just end up with a frightened, confused pet, which is where it sounds like your at already. You sound like you need more help than you can get from people here. See the link for the Web site for the guy who does the TV show 'My Cat From Hell'. He's the 'cat whisperer' pretty much. Try sending them an email telling them what you've told us, and maybe they can offer some advice. Your vet also may (or may not) be a good place to get help. Ask people you know with cats if your vet isn't good with cats. I'm amazed at the number of uncaring, harsh vets I've met. But I've also met some really awesome ones who really love and understand cats. Don't expect a cat to be a dog. If you have friends over a lot your cat isn't going to come out to greet them and be happy to see them like a dog would. It just depends on the cat. Some cats love being held and others can't stand it and will never learn to like it. They may be the sweetest most loving animal in other ways, but they're never going to want to be picked up. It's just how it is. Your friends or roommates or whoever have to understand how to interact with a cat too. Are they playing too rough with the cat, treating like a dog? Do they have an unrealistic expectation about how much the cat is going to want to interact with them? I've had friends who were otherwise decent people who hated cats and would pick fights with them on purpose only to act like the victim when they got bit or scratched, claiming that they had only been trying to play. Good luck, OP. I wish you and your kitty the best!
Yes, he's neutered. I've screamed at him like a nut purposely, trying to get the message across. Nothing. If he could laugh, he would. It makes no difference. When I say "bite," I actually mean "attack." It's that serious.
BTW, he will not let me brush him. I've had to put up with him biting me, trying to do it. He's short-haired, so I only do it every three to four weeks, as I don't want to drive him nuts. He looks good, but I want him groomed. He can't get everywhere. I'm very gentle too. There's playing, and then there's violent attacking. When he wants to be affectionate, he is. I understand aggressive play, but this is out of hand. I also have a cat tree and a million toys, so it's not like I have him sitting around with nothing to play with.
I'd rather he bite me than other people. I had the exterminator at the house, and he actually followed him, and got in front of him the entire time. This was a man that he never met before. It's cute that he's gusty, but again, I can't get him under some sort of control when he's over the line.
I'll keep you posted. He's at his worse at nighttime now. I'm thinking of putting up a gate to keep him from getting to the second floor during the night, and attacking us anytime we use the bathroom. He used to sleep through the night with no problem. It's become a game at 3AM now. I'll try playing with him even longer before bedtime, seeing if I can wear him out a bit.
I'll keep you posted with my boring life...
I've used squirt guns & spray bottles to train many cats over 50 some years. It doesn't hurt them & I've never had one act scared or avoid me -- they just don't like getting wet (except for R12's thirsty cat).
When a cat realizes that doing some particular thing causes it to get wet, it usually stops doing that thing. For example, they walk around puddles instead of through them because they don't like wet paws & they've learned from experience that puddles are wet.
I always start by saying "NO!" & "STOP!" in a firm tone, which does work with some cats on some things. If it doesn't, I resort to the water -- often, the cat learns to stop the bad activity when I just reach for the squirt gun or spray bottle.
Better safe than sorry with any pet - cat, dog, whatever - when you have workers and people you aren't familiar with in your home. For everyone's safety and happiness, it's best to put the animal in a bedroom or something and shut the door. Especially an exterminator. Usually they tell both people and animals to leave the residence when the exterminator is spraying, I thought. Regardless what service the worker is there for though, even if you know your pet and you have a sweet pet you think would never do anything, you don't know the person coming into your place. They might be afraid of animals and act weird, thereby creating the very attack they're afraid of.
OP, you're adorable.
Now SPRAY the fucker! Why are some people so afraid of doing this? Sometimes it's the last resort (apart from giving the cat away or euthanizing it), and like R23 said, usually just reaching for the spray bottle is enough to discourage the cat from acting out.
Does it matter? Who owns such filthy animals as cats anyways? They shit and piss all over everything...and then bite you if they don't want to be pet! Fuck 'em; and y'all shouldn't want cats, anyways!
I hope you have good liability insurance.
r27, no YOU!
Have you considered putting him in a cat harness 24/7?
It'd probably help you get him off when he does attack, anyway.
You can even attach a leash and let him drag around (but ONLY when you're home and could rescue him at a moment's notice if he got caught on something).
You really should see a vet for this, it's unusual for a loving pet to be so violent unless something is wrong with him. He could be sick or in pain and acting out.
Or is he just getting too worked up in playing? If so, stop all rough/exciting play the second he starts getting too excited. You may even need to put him in another room for a brief timeout, if he can't control himself.
Cat attacks are scary and very painful. Plus, their claws and mouths are filthy (no matter how clean you keep your house and the litterbox) and can easily cause unpleasant infections.
Cats are not filthy you dumb mutherfucker. Maybe your animals shit and piss on everything, but my cat is fucking clean. You could eat off him, sonofabitch.
Oh, also, there's nothing at all wrong with using a spray bottle or water pistol on a cat.
Don't get him soaking wet, of course, but just a quick shpritz will be enough to startle and annoy him into stopping his attack.
My cat didn't respond to the water bottle. Very bad habit of jumping on the desk and laptop. Spilling things, pounding on the key board, general pain in the ass.
An air horn did the trick. Started out with a few blasts and eventually all I have to do is pick it up, maybe give a tender squeak and she's cured for a week then she will make an attempt see the horn and back off. Lately there's no problem.
That fucker hurts her ears, she hates that sound. The other cat barely notices it.
R30, my cat and my home are both kept very clean, and yet when she claws me (she's a crabby old bitch), I need to use Polysporin for a week to prevent the scratches from getting infected.
If I don't, the skin gets red and itchy and hot which, duh, means infection.
I'm not saying cats will give you flesh-eating disease or MRSA, but they're not 100% spotless, either.
Cats have special bacteria i their mouths sort of like a komodo dragon. You can lose limbs from infected minor bites. Ask a health care friend, cat bites are gross.
I once sprayed my cat in the nostril with my Water Pik on the 10 setting. It was an accident.
OP, here's a trick I learned from my dear old dad *RIP*:
When he (the cat, not your dad) bites, grab him, cradle him in your arms belly up, and yell "Bite nice!"
The first few times they will try to kick you or bite your finger.
Hold him firmly against your chest, repeat your command, and start singing. Don't be melodic. I use The Clash. My dad whistled off-key. Same same.
I use the can of keyboard cleaner. Makes a sound like a cat hissing. I've 'cured' cats of bad behavior quickly with this.
You'll be shooting water cannons while he's angrily leaving cat grenades for you around the house.
Take him to the vet and get him checked out. Maybe the vet could prescribe something, although it is a bitch getting cats to take pills.
I agree with R20 that the Feliway diffuser is useless. I don't know about the collar; maybe that's worth a try.
I adopted a cat five years ago. He was probably much worse than your cat is. He was about a year old and a neighbor had found him as a stray. She had him vetted and he was healthy but she couldn't keep him (I soon found out why). I took him in and since I already had two cats I kept him in a spare bedroom for a "getting to know you" period.
This cat quickly revealed himself to be absolutely psycho. When I came in to feed him, he would attack me. If I let him out to roam the house, he would attack me or anyone else who was in the house. He went out of his way to attack people - he'd actually run down two flights of stairs to latch on to your legs or feet. My male cat was terrified of him. The only one in the house who wasn't scared of him was my female cat - she would not give up any ground to him and would growl at him and back him into a corner.
I used spray bottles on him which helped a bit to fend off the attacks, but wasn't a long term solution. I ended up giving him back to the person I'd adopted him from. OP, I hope your cat is not like my former "cat from hell"!
I recommend you pick up a copy of "Starting from Scratch: How To Correct Behavior Problems in Your Adult Cat" by Pam Johnson-Bennett.
[quote] For example, they walk around puddles instead of through them because they don't like wet paws & they've learned from experience that puddles are wet.
Except some cats won't get with the program. I had a cat that liked to sit [italic]in[/italic] puddles. I have no idea why. He was just weird.
[quote]I recommend you pick up a copy of "Starting from Scratch: How To Correct Behavior Problems in Your Adult Cat" by Pam Johnson-Bennett.
And then what? Hit him with it?
Chase him around the house with a vacuum.
G/R/Umpy? That you?
He's a teenager. He'll grow out of it. Just say NO!
R46 = Nancy Reagan
Forget the spray gun. Use a regular gun with a few bullets.
Perhaps he has rabies?
ONE year is not adult, OP, it's adolescent. Give it something to bite, like a toy. Man up and wait. He'll grow out of all of this in another 18 mos.
Dear OP, did someone spray YOU with a water bottle? Are you constantly jumping up on people and latching on? Pets usually take on the personality of their owners so you may want to change your behavior and your pet will follow suit. For now, give him some good old fashion attention - he sounds starved for it.
I never did anything mean like that to my cats to discipline them. All I did was pick them up and set them on the floor if they jumped up on the table, or clap and say "Hey" if they do anything naughty. They behave badly when you don't give them enough positive attention. If you let them lay on or near you while you read or watch TV and pet them every day, they act normal.
My cat from hell is on Netflix now....
A year is way too long to waste, especially when you're infested with AIDS. Just take him to the pound and trade him in on a new model. Or just rock him down into a lake, then take a can of tuna and go into an alley. Instant new cat.
And don't give me that poor cat shit. I'm sure the cat would rather be dead than risking the cat AIDS with an AIDS boy.
R35 are you Ralph Wiggum?
I had a cat that would get overexcited and bite viciously. Random stuff would set her off - petting, sometimes she would just leap on me and bite for no reason. The vet said to try some calming stuff you can put in her water. I tried it on and off, but it was a pain in the ass and eventually I gave up. I have no idea if it worked, since she would do it intermittently anyway.
I ended up with scars all over my hands. She also bit guests who would sit on the corner of her chair, or would approach her anywhere. She finally died recently, and she's a big reason I'm never having a cat again. Tired of being bitten and having carpets pissed on, spending a fortune on special food and meds, all for a few minutes of hugging time in the evening. I'd rather watch tv and not have to get out of bed to bandage bites late at night, because she suddenly bit my arm for no reason. I had to have the cat's teeth cleaned every six months, because bad bites would swell up the whole back of my hand and require antibiotics to bring the swelling down. I finally got to the point where no cat was worth that. Good on you for trying though.
Other people swear by Rescue Remedy, you could try that. It's a natural blend of herbs. There's a cat version and a human version.
R56, it's not surprising that you feel the way you do after the horrible experience you've had.
But your cat was an aberration & that kind of behavior is not the norm. I've had at least 20 pet cats & must have known over 100 more without ever encountering anything like what you describe, even from feral cats.
You probably would never be comfortable living with a cat now, but please don't give up on pets altogether. Maybe a nice bearded dragon -- they live in terrariums & tend to be docile -- & just look at that great smile!
I only use a spray bottle when two of them are having a tussle. A squirt into the fray with a loud reprimand usually does the trick.
Can you put something bitter or sour into the spray bottle? Will that give an errant cat a better idea on what you're trying to get him to do? Lemon juice, tonic water, cranberry juice? I'm not a pet person, and I'd never be mean to a cat or dog, but jeez, is it really worth all the trouble, just to have a pet?
As they get older, they get much more mellow. My bite marks cleared up as soon as my little terror went into his dotage. I wish I could work the magic of that Cat Whisperer guy. He's pretty amazing.
Anywhere, here he is talking about how to get a cat to stop what he calls "play aggression."