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Help please with what to do re new rescue cat

(22 Posts)
Jinglebellsarenearlyhere Mon 10-Nov-14 17:40:42

hi. We have had jinglecat for a 2 months. He is approx 3 hrs old stray from a rescue centre. He is very needy - not a problem for us but he bites. He has bitten and drawn blood four time last now on my 10 yr old DD.

We have all been very careful around the cat, done all we should but jinglecat still bites for no reason. Today I was reading the newspaper and boom he bit me on the arm.

If it was just me and DH we would persevere but have to think about DD safety.

We are considering returning him to the centre. This breaks my heart and I feel very responsible.

Do you think I am wrong and if so what would you try?

chockbic Mon 10-Nov-14 17:44:38

Has he been neutered?

Mine bites and I hiss at him, which puts him off. I'm sure it's play behaviour though, not malicious.

You really must make it clear that you don't approve. Maybe put him on the naughty step by locking him in a room, for a while.

acharmofgoldfinches Mon 10-Nov-14 17:55:45

Rescue cats generally can take a long while to settle, and then being a stray/feral is another issue on the top; they are often not socialised and used to humans, so they don't know how to behave...

I would ring the rescue centre and ask their advice.

It would be a shame to have to take him back, but if he's biting as a regular thing (other than when he's frightened for example), and you're going to end up nervous of him then that might be best for all of you.

Jinglebellsarenearlyhere Mon 10-Nov-14 20:06:57

Rescue centre have been a bit usless to be honest. It's the random nature of the biting that is a worry-
If he's agitated or playful or in a bad mood we just ignore him and leave him to it. He's has obviously been someone's cat as he loves people and can be incredibly affectionate and loves to sit / sleep on my neck etc etc. and then suddenly he turns.

If it was just me I would persevere but puncture wounds on dd hand make me feel torn between responsibility to the cat and protecting her from being hurt.

Will definitely do the hissing thing. I haven't thought of 'discipline' as a deterrent.

Jinglebellsarenearlyhere Mon 10-Nov-14 20:07:29

And sorry yes he is neutered.

cozietoesie Mon 10-Nov-14 20:14:20

Are you giving him firm reproofs and time out for bad behaviour? (Seniorboy was given to biting my Mum and she was overly indulgent towards him. He didn't try it with me after the first time.)

catsofa Mon 10-Nov-14 20:30:25

Yes to telling the cat off for biting, a hiss is good as is blowing in their face, which doesn't hurt but they hate. A quick sharp puff, careful not to get your face too close (cat may try to swipe the puff of air!), and obviously don't hold the cat to do this, they will recoil immediately and probably run away. Ignore for a few minutes and then forget all about it.

LaVieBoheme Mon 10-Nov-14 20:34:38

One of my mums cats likes to do this to me. She was mine when I used to live there and then we also got a new rescue not long after her and she got very jealous and would bite me all the time. I just hiss at her which does sometimes end in a hissing match between the two of us but she has mostly stopped now, just the occasionally bite/scratch if I walk past her and look at her funny or something grin

russiandwarf Tue 11-Nov-14 17:46:25

Our oldest cat is 18 months and he used to suddenly fly at me and attack my leg or arm. At first I thought he was playing but then he would hang on like a monkey and do it repeatedly and it hurt. I played with him more and also gave him a decent sized soft toy and he wore himself out kicking him to bits instead of me.
We also had a rescue cat who used to suddenly attack if stroked on the head from behind. I think he had been abused and it reminded him. We tried to avoid stroking his head like that and over time he started to trust us more and it stopped being a problem. 2 months is not that long, give him time to settle in if you can. I hope it works out for you.

russiandwarf Tue 11-Nov-14 17:48:40

oh I also forgot to mention I have watched My Cat From Hell on tv/online for good tips and they work!

Methe Tue 11-Nov-14 17:52:13

My cat was a bit tooth happy but I've almost stopped it by hissing at her. When she miss behaves and also none of us tease her... Dh especially was prone to playing with her and encouraging the teeth and claws.

Honeybear30 Tue 11-Nov-14 17:54:07

I also discipline my cat for biting, she's a rescue to. She often does it through affection but it hurts so she needs to know it's wrong. I just use a sharp 'NO' and a small tap on the nose/bottom. Now she actually goes to bite, realises what she's doing and runs away before I can tell her off. Cats can learn what is acceptable behaviour with perseverance. Hope you get it sorted, it'd be a shame to have to send him back but obviously DD is the priority.

tacal Tue 11-Nov-14 21:51:10

I am going through the exact same thing with my rescue cat. She is 8 months old and we have had her for two weeks. I have a 6 year old ds but thankfully it seems to be me the cat likes to bite. She is very affectionate at times and always wants to be near me but then often seems to attack me for no reason.

catzpyjamas Tue 11-Nov-14 21:57:06

When our 3 yr old male, neutered cat tries to bite or scratch us or furniture he gets scooshed with a plant spray bottle of water. He needs something to rag on so toys are preferable to hands! I really like Kong toys - the kickeroo gives our boy plenty of exercise.

RubbishMantra Wed 12-Nov-14 07:49:53

MCat used to be very needy and bitey. He'd lived alone with DH for a couple of years before, and hadn't got the affection/understanding he needed, being a sensitive little soul. When we woke up in the morning, he would be ecstatic to see us, then suddenly attack legs, like his little cat-head couldn't handle all the emotion.

We got him a little kitten brother in the summer, and it's made so much difference. He's less needy (which I miss a bit if I'm honest) but much less angst and biting as he has a playmate to concentrate on. It's not all fighting,they groom each other and sleep together. smile

Jinglebellsarenearlyhere Wed 12-Nov-14 08:43:52

Thanks all for the advice. We have decided to try for another month or so and use some of the tips here. But if he bites DD again (assuming she hasn't provoked the cat) then he has to go back, which is very sad but I'm scared of DD getting some horrid infection or having permanent damage done to her hands.

sharlxx Wed 12-Nov-14 10:34:33

our rescue cat was the same, she has scarred oh with attacking. it took a while but she is now quite a loving cat, you have to give them time they need to learn to trust you.

PolterGoose Thu 13-Nov-14 20:56:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jinglebellsarenearlyhere Thu 27-Nov-14 06:59:28

Update on jinglecat. He is still with us and so much more settled. The hissing worked a treat and also as soon as he gets twitchy we all back off! He still bites a bit but only me and DH. DH has usually not read the twitchy signs so fair enough but with me it's random, but I don't mind.

Thank you all, without you he would have been returned to the rescue centre and we would not have the privelidge of giving jinglecat a home.

cozietoesie Thu 27-Nov-14 08:17:52

I'm very glad to hear that things have improved and that jinglecat is more settled.

I'm sure that DH will improve further with reading the signs so if you all keep up the good work, jinglecat may improve even further. (And who knows what his history is - there might be a story and a half there.)

Good luck with him for the future.


Honeybear30 Thu 27-Nov-14 09:15:16

Oh that's lovely news smile

ClaudiaNaughton Thu 27-Nov-14 14:55:25

Well done for persevering and thanks for updatesmile

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