new cat tried to grab my arm...?

(25 Posts)
Twonewcats Thu 12-Jun-14 18:18:06

Theyve been with us 2 weeks. She has been more nervous than the other. The last few days she has started coming to sit/lie on the settee beside me. Today she came up and was cuddled in beside me, while I stroked her head/cheek. She sort of rolled onto her back and tried to grab my arm but I got away before she managed. It didnt seem to be "aggressive" as such, but her claws were out, and it gave me a fright. There werent any obvious signs that she wanted me to stop (unless rolling on her back WAS the sign?) What does this mean? Is she playing, or just wanting me to stop, or is she pissed off at me? I'm finding trying to adapt to them harder than bringing up 2 DSs!!

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 12-Jun-14 18:21:52

Oh mine does this. It's the "bite their arm and bunny-kick them" game.

Just move away from her if she starts to get a bit over excited, I let mine do it as a kitten & he still does it now.

GemmaTeller Thu 12-Jun-14 18:23:32

Mine does this, and grabs your leg as you walk past if he's in boisterous mood

Twonewcats Thu 12-Jun-14 18:25:36

Why do they do that? Is it just playing?

Singlesuzie Thu 12-Jun-14 18:28:21

My older girl does this and always has done. She rolls on her back for you to tickle her and then attacks your hand.

My kitten doesnt do it.

Not sure why.

I call this the 'Venus cat-trap' - they lure you with the apparent offer of a lovely fluffy tummy to stroke, and then when you do they grab, kick and bite.

Actually some cats are quite happy to have their tummies stroked, but others seem to like the idea at first but then suddenly feel vulnerable and go into defensive mode. When this happens it is often less painful to leave your hand where it is than to snatch it away, and the cat will usually calm down after a moment and let you take your hand away. But as she's shown she is a grab-and-kicker, it is probably safest to stop stroking when she rolls onto her back.

cozietoesie Thu 12-Jun-14 18:29:59

It's a hunting game. Rolling onto their back and grabbing you is preparatory to bringing up the back legs/back claws to gut you. (In the wild!) They need to get their prey in the right position and hold them there.

As Fluffy said, best to back off when she does that - it's a sign of over-stimulation.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 12-Jun-14 18:30:25

I think leg grabbing is play.

cozietoesie Thu 12-Jun-14 18:41:19

Nearly all cat games are to hone or teach their hunting skills. If in doubt, just imagine what they would be doing with the action in the wild - eg dibdabbing the back of heels (which even Seniorboy still does on occasion) is likely related to trying to tap out the legs of fleeing prey to unbalance them and halt their flight/bring them down.

Who'd be a mouse?

I agree that grab&kick is part of hunting practice/play, but it's also part of proper cat-fighting, and when a cat goes straight from very relaxed, cuddly and sleepy to grabbing and kicking I think that can be defensive behaviour rather than play behaviour.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 12-Jun-14 18:53:44

Mine loves a tummy fuss.

Singlesuzie Thu 12-Jun-14 18:54:33

Is that what the back legs thumpy thing is? Trying to gut their prey? My kitten does that with anything and everything.

cozietoesie Thu 12-Jun-14 18:57:13

I'd agree, Gerund. It's a good signal to back off in any case.

cozietoesie Thu 12-Jun-14 18:58:09

He's so adorable, Fluffy.

tabulahrasa Thu 12-Jun-14 18:59:41

Yeah it's either playing or that...I want my belly rubbed but, only exactly so many times and you have to guess how many times that is today or I'll get you...thing some cats do,

WitchWay Thu 12-Jun-14 19:01:59

One of mine grabs my arm & bites its "neck" where the hand joins at the wrist hmm The biting is usually just a gentle placing of teeth against the skin, with no force behind it. Any kicking feet have claws retracted. It's a game grin

The other does this much less often, but when she does, she means it! shock

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 12-Jun-14 19:12:18
cozietoesie Thu 12-Jun-14 19:40:52

Empathy or Murder. I love it.

grin

Rollypoly100 Thu 12-Jun-14 22:12:57

My cat does this usually when he comes in at night. He jumps up on the bed and seems friendly but then suddenly launches himself at me! I have found not making eye contact seems to stop it. It gave me a fright as he doesn't seem to be playing and all claws are out ( but no teeth as he hasn't got any).

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 12-Jun-14 22:33:11

He's not really adorable. He's a hooligan.

Rollypoly100 Thu 12-Jun-14 22:46:51

He's very handsome. My cat has a similar look though he's just a tabby moggie.

splendide Fri 13-Jun-14 08:08:10

Mine does this sometimes. Here she is thinking about it.

cozietoesie Fri 13-Jun-14 08:31:27

Yes - she looks as if she's contemplating something. Like a coiled spring.

My first foster cat was an odd one. She had no problem with me stroking and even kissing her tummy when she was sprawled on her back. But at other times she'd get up on my desk when I was working, sit there staring at me in a rather disconcerting manner, and bite me whenever my hand came too close to her. She had very few teeth though so her bites lacked... bite grin

cozietoesie Fri 13-Jun-14 09:08:03

I don't think I stroke Seniorboy's stomach at all looking over our daily routine. He has some strokes on his back and flanks (along with his daily grooming which he demands at about 20.30 every night) and a bit of heads and ear rubbing - but most of our interactions during the day are vocal. (We do a lot of talking.) That seems to be the way he likes things.

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