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Considering rehoming cat

(86 Posts)
ScattySuze Tue 07-Mar-17 02:11:01

This is very upsetting as we got him as a kitten 4 years ago
We also have an elderly cat who doesn't go out or socialise much but is very loving and if stroked will sit and purr and so on
The boy cat has always been very dominant, regularly attempting to attack the older cat if she comes downstairs.
Luckily as he likes to spend most of his time during the day outside she is able to roam but of an evening once he is in she goes upstairs only coming out for food which we then place upstairs for her
He had a few cat fights outdoors too with other boy cats although has come off worse in a few of them so I'm not sure who initiated it but I would hazard a guess it's him
In the past month he has also bitten me whilst I've been stroking him, it's almost like he's got a split personality disorder as will come to me to be stroked, purring away happily but then will grab my arm with both paws and bite really hard
It's not playful biting, he pulls the arm in and then attacks
It was a struggle to get him off this evening and now I'm very worried in case he does this to either of the children ( aged 4 and 6 )
We rehomed him last year with a friend with no children ( for 1 month ) after he did this to my husband but he never settled and pined for us and actually got lost trying to find our house
He has never shown any aggression to the kids but equally doesn't tend to go to them to be stroked so I'm panicking it's only a matter of time
I'm at a loss of why he does this

TheClaws Tue 07-Mar-17 02:26:42

He feels the house is his territory (not your other cat's), and he loves his family so much he would struggle to get home to them. I would say he does feel uncertain about your love and affection for him though, after he was rehomed for a while. That's what you need to work on: making him feel secure. Don't feel you need to get rid of him as he would have trouble trusting anyone again.

ScattySuze Tue 07-Mar-17 02:32:06

But I don't know why he feels like that when the other cat was here years before him!
He's never sprayed to mark his territory, just attacks.
With two young children, after seeing the completely unprovoked attack on my husband causing bleeding just for being stroked, I didn't feel we had a choice.
But we put it down to him feeling caged in as at the time we were being forced to keep him in after he attacked the neighbours cat badly landing him in the vet for a horrible bite wound
Unfortunately that cat got run over so ours was allowed out again so he's free as much as he wants yet still attacked me tonight whilst I was stroking him

Toddlerteaplease Tue 07-Mar-17 02:35:05

Try some feliway or pet remedy to see if it calms him and improves relations with your other cat. Some cats do bite or scratch when they've had enough fussing. It's just them. He is happy enough that he came back when you tried to rehome him before. But as a PP said. He probably feels insecure. What you've written doesn't seem good enough grounds to get rid of him IMO. Cat's tend to be very gentle with young children.

ScattySuze Tue 07-Mar-17 02:47:14

We've been using that on and off for years but no improvement
He was biting before he was rehomed so I can't see how he felt insecure - he had never been left even for us to go on holiday or anything up until that point
He hadn't had enough petting, we never hold him to pet him.
He had jumped up on the sofa nudging me purring so I stoked him and all of a sudden he grabbed my arm pulled it into him and bit!

Oliversmumsarmy Tue 07-Mar-17 03:28:16

has he been castrated.

TheClaws Tue 07-Mar-17 03:39:14

So how many times has he attacked you or your husband?

And it doesn't matter if your other cat was there before him. In his eyes, he has claimed her territory, or at least part of it. That's what cats do and need to do in order to feel safe and secure. The other thing they need is affection. You say you don't hold him to pet him? Does he ever sit on you or with you? Where were you stroking when he bit you? Most cats have 'no-go zones' where they just don't like being touched - and they'll let you know it.

Eatingcheeseontoast Tue 07-Mar-17 04:09:51

Cats biting v aggressively when they've had enough petting is quite common,

Our cat does it and it's frightening. If you google there are techniques. It does sound like he might be happier in a house as an only cat though.

Smurfy23 Tue 07-Mar-17 05:44:14

Has he been castrated? If not that might help with his dominance and aggression.

I remember reading somewhere that biting when being stroked could be affection- cats not really knowing how to show you how much they love you. Could be a load of BS but it might explain his behaviours a bit.

At 4 years old hes still very young and it could just be boisterous energy that he has. We used to have a cat like that when we were growing up and whenever she got a bit carried away we had a water spray we would use to get her to back off. Just a couple of sprays and she would stop. Ultimately though she grew out of it and calmed right down.

putputput Tue 07-Mar-17 06:04:59

Can you teach your children that they must not stroke that cat?
Your cat isn't attacking unprovoked, he's wanting the stroking to stop.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Tue 07-Mar-17 06:32:25

We have a bitey cat too - so I completely understand your dilemma. As far as we can understand, our cat is perfectly secure but has status aggression issues: he is the alpha cat and tries to dominate everyone. The biting when he wants us to stop petting him is coupled with biting when he's told off for something (eg if he's gone onto kitchen surfaces) but has never been unprovoked (ie he's never launched himself at us out of nowhere) and while we don't have another cat he has a running territorial battle with the neighbours' cats.

How we are handling it is by being really observant of his body language and avoiding triggering the behaviour if we can. For example, we never pet him absent mindedly, we watch him very very carefully and as soon as he tenses, or his ears flick or his tail switches, we stop and move away. We never approach him for strokes, we wait till he comes to us. If he needs to stop doing something, we persuade rather than forcibly remove (he's very food motivated so Dreamies normally work.) If he tries to bite, we say No firmly but calmly, remove ourselves and walk away and ignore him rather than shout, and give him a kicker toy to beat up instead. It's difficult (especially the calm reaction to biting - it bloody hurts!) but the only alternative would be to rehome, and I feel with his history he'd be hard to rehome, so we're persevering for now. I would be wary of squirting him with water as I think he'd regard that as aggression toward him and react accordingly.

It's interesting that you've had your boy since a kitten, as we'd assumed ours developed his bad manners on the street as he's a rescue. I do completely understand why you're worried about him biting your DC although like yours, our BiteyCat has never bitten our DC only DH and me, but they've learned to be wary of him and limit themselves to accepting head bumps and chatting to him, avoiding handling him.

Magstermay Tue 07-Mar-17 06:33:41

No one on here knows the circumstances in your house and your cats territory exactly so can only speculate.

I would recommend consulting a qualified pet behaviourist from here to come to your house for a visit. They can help you understand where the biting is coming from.

lavenderandrose Tue 07-Mar-17 06:34:41

Can't you just keep the children away from him?

We had a famously grumpy cat when I was a child and it was drummed into me that I could stroke the black cat but not the tabby. (Tabby cat was a stunning looking cat but I swear my parents picked up a Scottish wildcat by mistake from the shelter!)

Neverm1nd Tue 07-Mar-17 06:50:04

I've got many cats. One of mine is a three legged old bruiser we got last year from the rescue centre. He HAS to bite you if you touch him. He's like a little snapping turtle biting the air trying to get a grip. However....he's also desperate for affection and the only way to do that is swoop him up, hold his one front leg so he can't remove your eyes and give him big cuddles. He'll relax, purr and love it. As soon as he's put back down he'll hop around wildly gnashing his teeth trying to get a grip on any skin he can find. He's a tosser but we love him. Seems to just be a terrible habit with him rather than him hating us....

ScattySuze Tue 07-Mar-17 07:02:56

Good morning,
Just to clarify he wants the petting, we don't seek him out, he comes over nudging us, purring and loving the stroking until all of a sudden he attacks
He did used to do the same to our legs as we are going up the stairs when we were keeping him in but that's better now he's allowed back out again
I feel sorry for my elderly cat who can't go downstairs and lives now under our wardrobe in fear and I don't see why I should have to tell children to stay away from a pet who lives in their home!
It's just odd that everyone older cat included was here before him yet he thinks he is the boss
Even with next doors cat before he died, our cat would go into his garden to attack him which the vet said is most uncommon.
He also would go into the house next door to attack if she had left a window / door open

OrangeSquashTallGlass Tue 07-Mar-17 07:02:59

I heard that biting you during a cuddle is because they become over stimulated and can't control it. It sucks though, I agree.

Could you just not stroke him? Or only stroke him in short bursts? The DC can still play with him - maybe get something dangly on a stick for him to attack.

Agree with PP that a feliway could help destress both cats.

ScattySuze Tue 07-Mar-17 07:08:51

I don't think it's being over stimulated
The same way he pulls us in to attack is exactly the same way he attacks the older cat
I think it's just aggression and wanting to show who is boss
Which i wouldn't mind but I am very worried for the children now

ScattySuze Tue 07-Mar-17 07:09:09

Fellaway is being used

TamzinGrey Tue 07-Mar-17 07:09:46

Has he been neutered ?

Flev Tue 07-Mar-17 07:12:45

Has he been neutered?

SquatBetty Tue 07-Mar-17 07:19:07

Has he been neutered?

TheClaws Tue 07-Mar-17 07:51:42

Are you actually here for advice OP? You are getting lots of great advice, most from personal experience, but you seem to be just dismissing it all?

ScattySuze Tue 07-Mar-17 11:08:59

I did reply but it must not have gone through
I'm not dismissing it, some replies just aren't relevant
We aren't stroking him when he doesn't want to be stroked, we never seek him out, only pet him when he comes to us and purrs and nudges.
No he doesn't sit on a lap, but beside us.
We don't lift him as doing that also led my husband to be attacked
He was neutered at 12 months
I just know I'm going to feel so guilty and sad when my elderly cat passes away and she has spent the last few years of her life trapped in a bedroom under a wardrobe as she's too scared to go anywhere else in case she's attacked
There don't seem to be any " no go " zones, it can he the head / back / belly; anywhere

Eatingcheeseontoast Tue 07-Mar-17 11:26:12

I don't think it's fair on either cat to be trying to have them share - it's not working and I would think old cat gets priority here as she would be v hard to rehome.

Our cat, as I said upthread, attacks people - sometimes when he's stressed but just because he's not a particularly nice cat. And also he gets over stimulated when being stroked - we recognise the signs and try and move away.

Wando1986 Tue 07-Mar-17 11:31:54

YNBU OP. No matter what anyone else says. If you feel the cat shouldn't stay then he shouldn't stay. No good for either of you. He might be better off in a single cat household.

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