BiteyCat strikes again

(16 Posts)
TheGirlOnTheLanding Mon 23-May-16 08:23:18

BiteyCat has been with us 4 months now and while not cured of his unfortunate liking for sinking teeth into skin, we thought he was much better. We've been playing with him regularly, distracting him with a kicker toy if he gets that look in his eye, and consistently giving him time-outs if he tries so much as a nibble. He's still not a cuddly cat but seemed to be getting much more relaxed, much calmer, and would even sit beside me on the sofa for short periods without incident,

But it seems he can't help himself. I let him into the bedroom this morning (which we've started to do, and he has seemed to enjoy) and after a very short paddle and purr, he very suddenly grabbed my arm and sunk his teeth into it. No warning, just lightning strike. Somehow or other he has also managed to scratch my nose. None of the damage is deep, but there's blood.

Sigh. He was doing so well but is now in disgrace in the hall while I calm down (it was a shock). At least it wasn't one of the DC but I'm now feeling thoroughly disheartened. It's like an impulse he can't control as soon as he spots bare skin.

cozietoesie Mon 23-May-16 10:52:37

He might have the occasional relapse - look on it as a 'testing of the rules' just to confirm that they're still there. I also don't think it's .....*in*significant that he bit you rather than the DCs. (He would be testing the rules with the 'Top Cat'. smile)

You said that he was generally more relaxed/calmer - all those good things - so it sounds as if you've been doing things right. I'd just keep on with the current approach. Ignoring/limiting the direct physical contact, lots of talking, time-outs etc.

I don't believe it necessarily means that he's completely relapsed. I even had to put my foot down with Seniorboy on something a week or so ago. (He was starting to show signs of not 'minding'.) He was given 20 minutes Exclusion and has been as good as gold - and entirely happy and secure - ever since.

Floralnomad Mon 23-May-16 11:03:13

Is it always you he bites ? My mum has a Ragdoll and he is 15 and has always been a biter - not often but always randomly with no apparent provocation and always my mum . We have always put it down to his kitten hood when he had 2 major bowel resections and was close to death and then had to have cage rest for several weeks . Funnily he's probably the dopier ,softest cat around most of the time and adores my mum - she's the only person he voluntarily sits with but every now and then he just sinks his teeth into her with no warning .

cozietoesie Mon 23-May-16 11:09:50

Seniorboy used to bite my Mum without provocation. (She was his first 'person'.) He didn't try it with me when he came to live with me. grin

TheGirlOnTheLanding Mon 23-May-16 14:16:41

It's usually me, Flora - once or twice DH but never the children, thankfully. He purrs all the while and comes back still purring (and makes a huge fuss of me when he gets out of his time-out) so I still think it's rough misguided play behaviour, not aggression. He basically tried to treat my bare arm like a kicker toy - wrapped all four legs round, hung on with his mouth and started to kick - but I got him off before his legs could do too much damage, and he didn't sink his teeth in deep (I've been bitten by a cat that meant it, once, and I know the difference!) Still, he's a big lad and it hurts and it gives you such a fright.

He's been so much better, I just feel disappointed. I hope it's an isolated testing of the water like you say, Cozie. I just don't like to feel I can't let down my guard with him - lying in bed of a morning with a purry relaxed cat is so lovely and I miss it. (We don't have him in our room at night in case he pounced on us while we're sleeping but he sleeps in his bed right outside our door and let's us know when it's time to let him in to say good morning.)

TheGirlOnTheLanding Mon 23-May-16 14:19:36

He was a stray before we got him from the rescue (un neutered tom stray at that) so we have no idea what his background is but he used to flinch from DH if he stood up or moved his feet quickly so we assume he has had some kicks in the past. But he never bites when he's nervy - just when he seems perfectly happy.

Floralnomad Mon 23-May-16 15:00:33

Very different to ours then as with him it's nothing to do with play ,he will just randomly walk up to / past my mum and sink his teeth into her leg or sit on the arm of the chair and then suddenly just bite her arm - strange animals .

cozietoesie Mon 23-May-16 15:08:40

'No biting in bed' is one of the 3 house rules for cats. (We need it because I'm a terrible fidget in bed.) It sort of translates in Siamese minds into a plain 'No biting'.

Seniorboy actually started to scratch the top hall carpet two months ago - an unauthorised scratching place if ever there was one - and when he heard my '*Hoi*!' and realised the full horror of what he'd attempted, he actually leapt 4 ft into the air in a quick attempt to dissociate himself from the deed.

I'd continue the way you were going. He may have some baggage to get over but it sounds as if he's doing that - after all, look how far he's come? smile

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Mon 23-May-16 15:15:38

our old boy could be bitey...it was quite the revelation from my first two cats

he'd be very kissy, but really did not like to be stroked... we put it down to being badly socialised as a kitten and just had to revise how we touched him....small tickles only for him, chin and ears and occasionally he'd let you stroke him from top to tail, but you could see "the wild" coming over him if you did one or two too many!

He'd do the grab and kick too...and look so sad at his badness once you told him off.

I think you are right about it being misguided rather than calculated., it's just a shame if you are used to much friendlier, more tolerant cats.

cbigs Mon 23-May-16 15:29:44

Aww op . Poor bitey cat . I had a cat like this he would trust you then suddenly change his mind and savage your arm . I adored him though. Do you have a picture of him to share?? X

TheGirlOnTheLanding Mon 23-May-16 18:33:29

Here he is in full bitey kicky mode with one of his (many, many) toys - why is it they always favour the old stuffed sock to the pet shop numbers? And another of him reappearing from next door's garden earlier today. He's a handsome rogue.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Mon 23-May-16 18:40:08

Yes, that's it exactly Ton. He over compensates afterwards but doesn't seem to be able to stop himself. That said, the biting is less frenzied and he calms down more quickly than when he first moved in, so as Cozie says, there has been progress. I need to be patient and observe him better I think.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Mon 23-May-16 18:40:41

Yes, that's it exactly Ton. He over compensates afterwards but doesn't seem to be able to stop himself. That said, the biting is less frenzied and he calms down more quickly than when he first moved in, so as Cozie says, there has been progress. I need to be patient and observe him better I think.

cbigs Mon 23-May-16 18:44:45

He is gorgeous!! He has a goaty ! secretly desparate for a cat with facial hair markings
grin----

Itslikeyoureadmymind Mon 23-May-16 23:13:55

We had this issue with our first boy, he was very purry and pleasant and then he would sink the teeth in. We were out all day and he is an indoor cat. So, after a lot of consideration, we got a second cat. Initially we thought a girl cat would be better, but we fell in love (he licked my hand folks)
Now our first boy is much happier. They play fight, groom each other, ignore each other, but both are very happy, healthy boys.

Long story short; is he bored/lonely, and can you get another cat?

TheGirlOnTheLanding Tue 24-May-16 06:56:55

BiteyCat has free access to outside via his cat flap (although he mainly chooses to spend his days sleeping from what I can tell.) the rescue also said he should be an only pet - not sure what he did to make them specify that but he certainly gives no quarter to the cat next door - he chased her back into her house and sat outside growling at her cat flap one day. So I'm not sure another cat would help (though I'd love another.)

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