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My cat bit me and my husband, now fuming and a bit scared of cat!!!

(68 Posts)
Italiangreyhound Sat 30-May-15 01:17:39

We got a new cat last month, from a rescue centre. he is a 6 year old neutered male short haired domestic cat. He was very loving and nice when we got him.

He has been with us about 7 weeks and all was going well.

He is a big eater and seems to meow for food A LOT.

We have just come back from two nights (just over two days) away and a very cat friendly nice lady (who has been here almost once a week for the last 7 weeks) was looking after our cat for us.

When we arrived back tonight at about 11.00 the cat was in and waiting for us, looking through the door. I went straight in, gave him a pouch of food (100g) and there was water and dry food out and obviously he had had wet food too as dirty cat dishes so I know she has been in twice a day feeding him. She had texted to say he was happy to see her.

He was very meowing and so I petted him a lot and talked to him.

Then I walked into the hall and he ran after me and put his teeth around the back of my calf. He did not draw blood but I would definitely call it a bit, rather than a nip. With in one or two minutes he had run up to DH who had bare feet and bitten his foot and drawn blood. I was so angry and a bit scared. I didn't know what to do. I was told never to hit or smack cats so I did not but I was scared so I didn't want to be in the same room with him.

He continued to meow so I Gave him some Dreamies and then after a few more minutes a 50g pouch of food. He is nor furled up on the sofa like nothing has happened. I am fuming and very upset. I can't take him back to the rescue centre because I feel it is not fair and the kids will be so upset but I am worried he will bite one of the kids (aged 10 and 4). I am not sure if he was hungry or angry we went away or what. I feel really sad now because I just never expected him to turn nasty on us and I feel I can't trust him now. This probably sounds like an overreaction but I am juts not sure what to think. I can't walk around my house scared of the cat!

AlpacaMyBags Sat 30-May-15 01:19:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HellKitty Sat 30-May-15 01:21:47

Don't ever hit an animal.

Our cats sometimes - twice a year maybe - nip us. It's when they're really happy. Your cat probably missed you and was made up over his pouches and Dreamies again.

Italiangreyhound Sat 30-May-15 01:22:00

I actually shut the kid's bedroom doors so he would not go in and bite them. He was looking at me a bit crazy too. But now is curled (nor furled) up on the sofa as if nothing has happened.

Could this be a blip?

We go away about once a month for a weekend in the summer, from May to September (or at least we will this year) so can we expect this whenever we go away??

Thanks so much.

Italiangreyhound Sat 30-May-15 01:42:08

AlpacaMyBags I have known him nip at me or the kids when we are petting him, so I am wary not to over-pet him or get him too excited, but this was different. He actually chased me.

HellKitty I would never want to hit an animal but I was scared he would do it again. He was acting rather weird and I just have no idea why. He only got a 100g pouch before he bit me, I gave him the second smaller pouch and Dreamies afterwards because I was worried he was going to do it again. I ahd a cat for two years before this and as a child for about 8 years and it was only my mums old cat who was utterly crazy who ever did this type of thing.

How can you show a cat you are not happy with his behaviour. I am talking to him like he is one of the kids but of course he doesn't understand!

butterflyballs Sat 30-May-15 02:13:37

My boy cat swipes me on the leg if I try to leave the kitchen and he wants food! He's been known to hook a paw round my ankle and catch me with his claws if I don't go straight back and feed him. He's otherwise fine unless I try to give him tablets.

I would think your cat was either demanding more food or was happy to see you unless he was hissing and growling. Or he was annoyed that you left him. Cats don't generally attack like that.

CarriesBucketOfBlood Sat 30-May-15 02:30:49

This Buzzfeed article featured a similar question to yours. To me, the answer given suggests that your cat had just really missed you and was treating you as a plaything.

RubbishMantra Sat 30-May-15 06:29:38

MCat used to be a prolific biter. It was usually first thing in the morning, when he'd be overcome with excitement that we'd woken up, so agree with Carrie. Except the one time, when he launched himself at my completely still knee. There was murder in his eyes! And cats bite each other when mating, so it could easily have been affection. confused

Giving him a reward (food and dreamies) straight after biting you probably not such a good idea. That's rewarding bad behaviour. You're right about the not hitting though. You mustn't ever do that, under any circumstances. Ever.

Has he got plenty of toys, and interactive playtime? Cats need to fulfill their prey-drive. Mine calmed down a lot when I got him a Flying Frenzy.

Not trying to minimise, but a cat doesn't have the same strength as a dog. So I understand you're pissed off with your little furry bloke, but no need to be scared of him.

Hurr1cane Sat 30-May-15 06:33:29

If he didn't draw blood it was a nip. If he really went for you, you'd know about it. I once took in 4 feral kittens and they were tiny, smaller than my hand, but they drew a LOT of blood!

I had a cat in who had kittens once, got her while pregnant, and my friend came round with her dog, cat and kittens were upstairs so I said it would be ok if she came into the living room with the dog, the cat sensed it and flew downstairs and attacked the dog, when I tried to stop her she went for me, again? A LOT of blood.

He was probably just playing because he was so happy

Hurr1cane Sat 30-May-15 06:38:52

I do also have an old male biter, but he doesn't bite now really, he used to turn and give me a bite when he was happy, but he is a ragdoll so super huge, I used to put him on the floor and ignore him each time. He got the hint. They aren't stupid cats.

googoodolly Sat 30-May-15 06:59:11

If he went for you, you'd know about it! Cats bite to show affection sometimes and to play - my male cat loves to bite his toys and will play-bite my hand or fingers if I play with him - it's not aggressive behaviour, it's just play. I'm glad you didn't hit him, that's really horrible.

I would say he was happy to see you after being left on his own for a week, and was trying to play with you when you walked off - he just wanted some attention. Having someone come in to feed him twice a day isn't the same as being around his family.

clayspaniel Sat 30-May-15 07:04:11

Our cat hisses and lightly bites sometimes if it is around mealtimes. I think it is just the sheer tension of anticipating her food. Afterwards she goes back to being as lovely as ever. I think claws are more scary. She has lashed out when touched while looking out of the window at another cat in the garden. Hope you can soon feel more relaxed around your cat.

patienceisvirtuous Sat 30-May-15 07:19:21

Don't ever hit your cat. Ever. He won't associate it with his actions at all, you'll just frighten him - which is cruel.
My cat used to be an ankle biter. Sometimes she would draw blood. They're just playing.
You'd know if it was an attack believe me.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 30-May-15 08:03:46

Cats bite for a whole variety of reasons, but this one as there was no blood sounds like an attention grabbing bite.
He is a young, active cat left with just someone popping in twice a day and has almost certainly been lonely and is looking for some attention. Next time it maybe worth having a cat sitter who spends some time interacting with him as well as feeding him or using a cattery.
A truly vicious bite ( I have an aggressive cat who bites on a reasonably regular basis) will involve paws with claws out from front legs around your limb bring teeth down hard breaking skin and back paws with claws out brought out up and kicking hard on your limb. There will be multiple wounds and blood.
A fear bite will involve a single very hard bite and you will have four puncture marks and then the cat will run off.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 30-May-15 08:07:13

I have to disagree with alpaca cats are predators very much fight animals rather than prey flight animals. All their anatomy, eye position shape, field of vision, body design and teeth design is of a fight animal.
As domestic animal they have learnt to mostly suppress the full kill around humans though not as well as dogs. They will often 'hunt' their owners around the house.
Cats are currently not totally fully domesticated though we are at a transition phase in their developmental evolution and some are more domesticated than others. Lincoln University is currently doing extensive research on this.

SunshineAndShadows Sat 30-May-15 08:14:59

Cats will display frustrated predatory aggression if unstimulated, as they have an evolutionary need to display hunting -type behaviours.

Think about it from his perspective - he's been left alone with little social interaction for several days and then suddenly you're home which is exciting and he needs stimulation/play and the only thing available to unleash his frustration on is your moving feet.

Cats NEED to display predatory/prey behaviour, so regular play sessions if he's indoors are necessary to 'burn off' any frustration.

You say he howls for food a lot - it's worth considering that he's actually yowling for interaction/attention and you're assuming he wants food.

For his mental and physical health try and spend time each day in a play session with him. You'll find that his behaviour will very likely improve with the additional stimulation

code Sat 30-May-15 08:24:39

I agree- you need to play with this cat- channel his energy/hunting behaviour in a positive direction. Flying frenzy is great for this, you can get lots of attachments. Mine are still young and have each other to chase and play fight with but a young indoors cat needs to get this from his humans. Obv he cannot play fight you without injury so get him a wand toy (I sit on the sofa with my feet out of the way!). Mine also like kickerooos and puzzle toys. You can hide his treats / dry food in toilet rolls and place them around the house for him to seek out. His behaviour is pretty normal, mine often get the stare on and I get outta the way when I see it. If he nips punish by walking away from him or place him out of the room. He'll soon get the message.

cozietoesie Sat 30-May-15 08:51:52

It sounds to me as if he really, really likes you and he was so excited to have you back that it all just boiled up inside him and he had to seek attention by bad behaviour. (You were going away when he ran after you and put his teeth in?)

Even Seniorboy, that most gentlemanly of cats, is given to trying it on a little to get even more attention in bed at night - although for him these days that means placing a paw on my neck which I don't like when I'm dozing off (and he knows it) but doesn't actually breach House Rule 3 (No Biting in Bed) so he reckons it's worth a try.

If he was actually attacking you, By Golly you'd know it - you'd likely still be trying to staunch the blood flow! What he did sounds like an excitement and attention seeking ploy and now it should be OK as you're back home and things are 'normal' again.

Do you know his history? If this was the first time you've gone away on him, he may have feared that he would be abandoned and been quite overcome when you returned. I think it quite likely that his behaviour will improve a lot on future times away as he becomes more secure.

fenneltea Sat 30-May-15 10:08:16

I have one cat that was also a rescue who is now elderly, but he will bite hard when he is hungry, or if the food is the wrong flavour He is my only overweight cat blush

He has always done this and quite aggressively, he has never been overly affectionate, but he is much less inclined to bite now he is older and likes the occasional fuss.

If yours is an affectionate cat normally then I expect it is more a case of him missing you and being bored while you were away as others have said. Good luck!

Walnutpie Sat 30-May-15 10:28:04

Your cat really was relieved you were home. He put his teeth on you as an act of passion and ownership, wanting more of you, wanting you to stay close.

Don't be afraid of him, just give him more love. He has bonded with you strongly and didn't enjoy your absence.

He doesn't know you don't have fur. He thinks he can 'Teeth' you and you'll be fine.

Italiangreyhound Sat 30-May-15 10:30:41

Thanks, butterflyballs how do stop your cat (or do you just put up with cat) swiping you on the leg if you try to leave the kitchen?

Thanks CarriesBucketOfBlood that link is very good.

Thanks * RubbishMantra*, I didn't give the food and dreamies straight after he bit me and DH, but it was after the incident so maybe not a good idea. I was worried he was hungry and didn't want to be bitten again! I was pissed off, still am, actually I am just very upset because I feel I can't trust him any more!

Hurr1cane he drew blood on my husband, does that count? Sorry that you had that nasty experience. Well, whatever he reason he is doing it for I don't want that behaviour so I need to work out how to stop it. He certainly did not seem happy. He looked rather crazy (as much as my ability to see if a cat is crazy or not!). How big was the rag doll? Did he attach the rag doll instead of you? So I just need to put him away from me when it happens, will that maybe stop it?

googoodolly I did not hit him nor did I want to hit him, I am just trying to work out how to stop him doing it. He was not left on his own for a week. It was two night and just over two days and he had someone going in to feed him, who also stayed for a while (I think) and did some work from my house (well, that's what she planned to do). But we are planning on leaving him for a week in the summer so now I am very worried because I don't want more of this 'pleased to see me!!'

Thanks clayspaniel this has really upset me. I do not feel relaxed around him at all. this morning he bit/nipped my dd and so I have ha to tell the kids to stay away from him. Which is sad.

patienceisvirtuous did you just put up with having your angles bitten or did you find a way to stop the cat doing that, please?

Lonecatwithkitten there was blood when he bit my dh. He is 6, (actually probably more like 7 as I think he was 6 when he came to the rescue centre almost year ago) does that still count as young? Thanks for the information on different kinds of bites, it definitely was not a fear bite, on his part, and it was certainly not an attack. I would not say he was active, our old two year old cat was very active and out all the time in at night, despite our efforts to keep him in! He did sleep a lot in the day. But this one sleeps a fair bit too but without the going out so much. Although he is free to go out.

Lonecatwithkitten thank you that is very interesting. Just been to the zoo and saw tiger, lion and Linzx and they sleep for about 70 or 80 percent of the time so can totally see that they are related to our domestic cat who spends a lot of time sleeping.

Thanks SunshineAndShadows it was not several days, we left on Wednesday lunchtime and came back Friday night. He has access to the outdoors etc so he was not cooped up. The lady who was coming in to feed him is an experienced cat person and I am sure she did make a fuss of him. It''s so sad that his way of getting attention from us (if it is this_ has pretty much guaranteed that none of us want to go near him. What a crap situation!

You say he howls for food a lot - it's worth considering that he's actually yowling for interaction/attention and you're assuming he wants food. It could be that but I kind of feel it is food because he goes to the food cupboard and tries to get into it! He always has dry food but is not that keen on it so it is the wet food he loves.

When he first came we went out and bought a whole lot of cat toys which he showed little or no interest in. The only thing he likes/loves/is obsessed by is the fish on a string that is filled with cat nip. Interesting as the old cat didn't like cat nip at all!

code he is not an indoors cat, he has a cat flap which is open from the time we get up until it gets dark and he can go outside if ever he wants, during the day, he is not mad about outside (if I try to take him out he doesn't like it) but he does go outside of his own choice through the cat flap or the door when it is open. Re If he nips punish by walking away from him or place him out of the room. He'll soon get the message. Thanks Code that is great advice I will do that.

cozietoesie thank you, it's very flattering he likes us but I just wish he had a different way of showing it as this has made me feel very wary of going near him. I know compared to all of you guys who have been bitten, scratched and attacked by your furry lovlies I must sound like a total wimp! and I am! He does put a paw on me when I am at the computer, to try and get my attention ad seems very loving most of the time which is why this behaviour has made me so upset, it is out of character but we have only had him 7 weeks so I guess we are still getting to know each other!

Re and now it should be OK as you're back home and things are 'normal' again. Well yes, but we are going away one weekend a month this summer. So I hope he will get used to this. I could ask my friend to come round with her kids and watch some TV and pet the cat for longer. I am not sure a cattery is the answer, they are expensive and the vet said some cats don't like them anyway, (he was housed at a cattery when in RSPCA care for almost a year before he came to us, so I think that would make him feel he had been abandoned!). But we cannot avoid our summer one week holiday and our occasional weekends away because of the cat! Our hols are almost always to see family and friends who live far away. Can't avoid the wider family for the cat!

What does everyone else do when they go away or go on holidays, please?

Re Do you know his history? If this was the first time you've gone away on him, he may have feared that he would be abandoned and been quite overcome when you returned. I think it quite likely that his behaviour will improve a lot on future times away as he becomes more secure. He came from a family with lots of pets who could not look after him! He was taken into RSPCA care and was there for almost a year before we brought him home.

Thanks all and please do not worry I am not going to hit the cat, i just was not sure how to register that I did not like him doing it. What would the mother cat do? Bite him? (Calm down - I am not going to do that either!!) wink

Thanks all.

AnitaManeater Sat 30-May-15 10:33:19

I have a ginger tom that will chase you down the hall and clamp on the back of your leg. It makes you jump but believe me, if he wanted to hurt you, you would know about it! it's just over excitement. The same cat jumps from the floor into my arms and sucks my neck - rank. He must love me as there is another rabbit leg on the driveway this morning.

Italiangreyhound Sat 30-May-15 10:51:22

fenneltea very sorry to hear about your biting cat. Thank you.

Walnutpie Re Your cat really was relieved you were home. He put his teeth on you as an act of passion and ownership, wanting more of you, wanting you to stay close. I love the fact you are all so sure my cat likes me. Sadly, it is not a great way of getting humans to like you back. If there are any cat whisperers out there could you pass the word along the feline world, please?

I am being loving to cat, talking to him and petting him but when he gets near my legs I am being wary and moving away. Humans are animals too, and the instinct to protect ones self is very strong!

You all seem very hardy compared to me, maybe I should pass him on to a more hardy human. That's a joke! wink

Italiangreyhound Sat 30-May-15 10:55:42

Thank you AnitaManeater.

Just spoke to the vet who is calling me back.

She did say that a cat bite is like an injection with poison, that their mouths are full of bacteria. So everyone who says they are being bitten should be careful, if the skin is broken, look out for swelling etc. I am sure you do all know that. I have told my dh but maybe because he is a man he is not too bothered.

One friend was bitten by a cat who got into his house (not his cat) through his cat flap. Got into the house through the cat flap, not bitten through the cat flap! The bite got infected and because he told that story we got a chipped cat flap so not other cat could get in.

Love and thanks to all.

GiraffesAndButterflies Sat 30-May-15 11:02:01

I had a rescue cat growing up who could never be relied on not to bite/scratch. One thing which was pointed out to me was that cats have fur and they don't realise that we don't. So a bite/scratch from a cat may easily have a much more severe impact than they actually intended.

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