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Very Bitey Cat

(9 Posts)
drizzledream Sun 07-Apr-13 11:53:24


I posted here a while ago and got some excellent advice about taking in someones cat as they weren't being too kind to her, I now have the cat, she had to have one eye removed 10 days ago (I don't know why, it wasn't clear and I just wanted to get the cat into a nice warm house to recover) the problem now is that she is a very difficult cat to have around.

She's living in my daughters room, my daughter has had to move out due to the problems with her biting and being very needy. There is a fire grate up at the door so my current cat can see in and get used to her but thats not going so well so far as she seems to hate her and hisses every time she walks past the room, I daren't let the new cat out when she's around as she's very small and one eyed and I don't want my cat to beat her up.

The new cat is excessively bitey, I knew this before I got her but thought it was to do with her being mishandled but it seems to just be a default thing she does now, it happens when she's relaxed and having a stroke, comes with no warning and despite the fact we are reacting the same way every time she does it ie saying No in a loud voice and removing ourselves and ignoring the cat, it doesn't seem to be getting any better, in fact she has just biten both of us within the space of an hour with my daughter now being too nervous to have her near her.

I don't think she's stressed, she has feliway being pumped into her room and is very affectionate and purr-y.

So, sorry this is so long, my question is: do you think this will get any better or should I cut my losses and try and get her rehomed?

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 07-Apr-13 12:45:10

Who's going to want a one eyed bitey cat? I think you need to work with her instead.

thecatneuterer Sun 07-Apr-13 15:06:16

I specialise in bitey cats. These are the ones that find it hardest to get homes when they come into rescue centres. Consequently some of them end up with me. Old cats, ill cats, ugly cats and even totally feral cats can generally find someone to give them a chance, but basically-friendly-but-bitey-cats are never wanted.

It's something that always seem to get better over time, but we're talking generally a couple of months at least. How long have you had her?

It also seems to be stress-related and being in a new place and seeing another hostile cat isn't going to help. But that too should get better. After about a month I think you are going to have to allow them to interact. There will almost certainly be a few skirmishes but they should end up either avoiding each other, or tolerating each other or even liking each other. But that will also take a few months.

Does she only bite when you're touching her? Or does she launch at you or your daughter and bite you unprovoked? Also how fierce are the bites? Do they draw blood or are they more like little nips? If she launches random attacks on you then I think you might have no choice but to give her up. If however she only bites when you touch/stroke her then stop stroking her for a while and certainly tell your daughter not to touch her. How old is your daughter by the way?

Many formerly bitey cats can still become a bit bitey when they get overexcited when being stroked, but you can get to recognise to learn the signs and to move your hand away before they bite. I don't really think that telling the cat off in some way helps.

drizzledream Sun 07-Apr-13 15:38:36

I've had her for 10 days, being bitey is one of the reasons the previous owners gave for mistreating her (crap I know!) She has to move out of my daughters bedroom soon as my daughter and I don't sleep well together. My daughter is 5 and doesn't want to be anywhere near her now.

She only bites when we are stroking her and it seems to come out of nowhere, she's crazy affectionate and will come and sit on anyone who sits down and purr and push her face against yours and kind of force you into petting her and then in the middle of it all she strikes! They're not very hard bites, she doesn't draw blood, it's almost like a kitten mouthing you. Having said that it still hurts and my daughter is getting really jittery when she's out. She did launch herself at me once when I was walking away and scratch me but none of it seems aggressive as she just isn't an aggressive cat.

When she moves out of my daughters room she's going to have to take her chances in the main house as the 2 bedrooms are the only rooms that aren't through rooms and my bedroom is reserved for my cat that I've had for 15 years, she's already deeply unhappy about the situation I couldn't bear to kick her out my bed as well.

I really want to do the right thing by this cat she's had a hard life so far and that was before she had her eye removed.

marzipanned Sun 07-Apr-13 16:27:52

Drizzle, my angry boy is a lot like this - very affectionate, a real lap cat, very purry, loves fusses - but will regularly attack out of nowhere. Tbh because we don't have any LOs at home and because he doesn't draw blood I'm okay with it.
He usually licks the area he's bitten afterwards which I take as an apology smile
Our neighbours' LOs come round all the time in summer and they avoid him (he's enormous and has a furious miaow, so possibly quite daunting in appearance!)

Your girl clearly likes affection so, perhaps, when she bites, just gently put her down and walk away from her. (Perhaps that's already what you're doing). Or, when she comes for affection, just give her some light strokes on her head (my boy will never bite when getting his ears or cheeks scratched..) and then let her settle on your lap and maybe snooze a little before stroking her.

Oh, we also give angry boy slippers to attack which he really enjoys. Unlike his brother, he's not a hunter, but I think he still likes to have a good fight now and then - I sometimes think that getting his aggression out on an inaminate object helps.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 07-Apr-13 20:14:16

10 days isn't very long for a traumatised cat, especially after major surgery, it took a relatives cat a year to be friendly when it had had 3 homes in 18 months.

Have you tried only fussing head and shoulders? The back end can be a bit sensitive to cats and they sometimes misinterpret fuss as sexual in the tail end and tummy, get totally confused and go for you.

If she bites, hold very still. It's the pulling away that causes the damage. I use tea tree oil for cart scratches etc, it takes the pain away really quickly and is very cheap in homebargains.

frillyflower Sun 07-Apr-13 20:51:02

Our cat is like this. We rescued her and she had had a rough time as a kitten (pulled about by children, not fed properly).

At first she bit every time she was touched (not really hard but still bites). Now she does it unpredictably. Comes for fussing but you have to be careful! We have had her for 7 years.

We just let her do stuff on her terms and are careful to read the signs and warn visitors not to stroke her. She is very fond of our son and sleeps on his desk or on his bed and lets him pick her up.

I think they are traumatised by bad treatment fora very long time.

One thing that was nice is that when we got our second cat bitey cat was a hissing monster for a week and then just settled down and gets on very well with her. The new cat actually made her a bit calmer.

Good luck. You are very kind to rescue her.

msrisotto Sun 07-Apr-13 20:56:30

She only bites when we are stroking her
Sounds like it could be over stimulation? If I were you, I'd give her space for a long time, let her decide when she trusts you and wants fuss and always cut it short, for her own good! Cats do get bitey when they're over stimulated and simple stroking can do that.

deliasmithy Mon 15-Apr-13 08:17:51

If she bites when you stroke her, dont stroke her!

I let our cats take the lead when they want affection. If I put my hand out and they run up, great, if not I steer clear.
Neither of our cats like being stroked on their backs. Cat no. 1 likes a vigorous head rub. No. 2 likes chin stroking and a tummy rub when lying on the floor.

Cat no. 1 used to be so bitey I have scars from her. She wouldn't just bite, she was trying to kill me! Savlon spray helped me.
Its taken a while but now she gives a half hearted nip once a month when unhappy.

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