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Ouch! My cat's just battered me. Why? & how can I stop it happening again?

(9 Posts)
BuckminsterFullerene Mon 29-Aug-11 22:26:25

I let the cat in earlier, she was being unusually affectionate - wandering between me & DH wanting to be stroked (you know, pushing her head in your face/hand etc. like they do).

After a while, I was sitting on the floor trying to get my computer to work (it wouldn't) with half an eye on the tv. I give her a bit of a stroke, rub her ears, and turn my attention back to the computer.

The next thing I know she's launched herself at my head: claws to temples and teeth going for my nose. She didn't bite, and because I turned my head just as she jumped it felt like I'd been punched in the face. No real damage, but a massive shock.

She's done similar before, usually only once or twice a year. Like a funny five minutes when she's had enough attention. She usually gives a 'wide-eyes' warning, but of course this time I didn't notice.

She's done it to 5-month-old DS before too (not as violently, and in response to little grabby hands).

WHY would she do it? I mean, approach me, demand attention, and then launch a surprise attack? And what can I DO about it? I've just kicked her out the back door for now (the only 'consequence' I could think of that was remotely ok, in hindsight that's probably what she wanted).

For info: we moved house a year ago, and previous to that had moved house every year (we've had her since 2007). We won't be moving from here for some time, but it's that time of year I suppose. As I've said, we've got a new(ish) baby. I've been off work (with a noisy grabby stinky thing) for 5 months, and therefore might have disturbed her quiet daytimes. She's never been the most affectionate cat - happy to say hello, have a quick head rub, likes to sit in the same room as you, not into cuddles. She has a concrete mealtime routine. No cat-flap, but a litter tray and is let in/out on request. She's spayed, wormed, de-flead and fully vaccinated, etc.

Any ideas? Anyone else have a nutjob cat which does the same?

Mumleigh Mon 29-Aug-11 22:33:35

yes I have a Burmese who does this on a daily basis. It usually means play with me or feed me. Mainly it's a request for play. We have a variety of rabbit sized soft toys for him to fight with to try to distract him. When he does it I have found that blocking him with a large cushion does the job - I now only have to show him the cushion when he gets that wide eyed , ears pinned back look and he leaves the room!

BuckminsterFullerene Mon 29-Aug-11 22:33:47

She's back. I have to let her in she's my pfb. DH will grumble.

BuckminsterFullerene Mon 29-Aug-11 22:34:42

A play request? that didn't even cross my mind.

Thanks, I'll get her toys out. I suppose she has been a little bit neglected.

Mumleigh Mon 29-Aug-11 22:36:36

PS we have been advised to get Feliway to calm him down but having used it to try to cure a previous cat who kept peeing everywhere I'm not convinced that it's that good ( and it's very expensive)

Mumleigh Mon 29-Aug-11 22:39:35

Good Luck! Mine is my baby too and even though the breed are known for being bonkers I'm picking up a new kitten on Thursday in the hope that they can amuse each other and not attack me!

BuckminsterFullerene Mon 29-Aug-11 22:43:02

oh, just thought, we've run out of pouches so she's had biscuits for tea which I'm pretty sure are just cat smarties, so I suppose it could be a bit of hyperactivity & peckishness.

Hopefully this is just a one-off and not a long-term behavioural change. I'm back to work this week so she'll get her quiet time & routine back.

Thanks for your help Mumleigh, I was a bit freaked out there! which is embarrassing, since I've got a degree in zoology and like to think of myself as a bit of a cat whisperer

SparklyCloud Tue 06-Sep-11 02:26:27

I reckon this is displacement activity when things become a bit much. Emotions building up and no outlet. Personally i adore cats like this with a bit of a split personality. Have a friend who fosters and she has several like this. One asks for cuddles then without warning will leap from your arms through the air like a ninja. Another will be purring and rubbing against your hand. Next its like a mad boxer hitting out and then sinking its teeth in your hand.Its funny after but not at the time.

yesbutnobut Tue 06-Sep-11 17:51:42

One of my cats does this too (though not to my head thank goodness!). Usually it's when I've been stroking or tickling him and it is as if he can't take it any more and turns it into play fighting. It is the way he 'plays' with my other cat who is his litter mate, so I take it as him seeing me as a special buddy who is up for a bit of rough and tumble. When the claws get going I usually try to stop him though!!

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