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Ladies, I'm ready to lose my mind with our cat! We got her a year ago, she's only a year old so still a kitty. I have tried everything and she will not stop scratching and biting. I've tried spraying her, swatting her on the nose, being overly nice and affectionate to her, etc. She is just a moody little thing. Sometimes she can be so sweet and snuggly, but then out of nowhere she just bites!
Keira is good with her, but even she will tell people "I have a kitty named Layla and she BITES!" Keira will be just trying to pet her and out of nowhere the cat will snap at her. We have had her since she was a baby so she's always been around DD, its not like we put her into a strange environment she isn't used to. We have also never let DD hit, chase, or be mean to her.
I bought these things to cover her claws because I don't believe in declawing, and that works fine for that issue. But they do fall off as their claws shed and I have to reapply them, so sometimes she can still get us!
I'm worried about how she will act when the baby comes and honestly have said that if she doesn't stop biting and scratching by the time September comes around we may have to find another home for her. This breaks my heart, but I don't know what else to try. I just think she may be happier with someone who doesn't have kids in their home anymore and just needs some company.
We have always used the spritz bottle method, kitties don't like getting wet in the face (I guess who does though lol) and it has worked well for us in training them.
My hubby knows the "off switch", the scruff of the neck where their mothers carry them as babies. So when they act up and the spritz bottle isn't close by he uses the "off switch" and they go all soft and pliable lol. And once he lets go they trot away and biting done with.
Good luck, it is always tough training a young kitty.
I have no advice! We had a cat that was a little older (about 5 years) when we brought my oldest DS home. She was fine when he was a baby, but as he tried to start petting her (always supervised and very gently), she would bite and scratch at him.The final straw for us was when DS1 was sitting on the floor (he was about 13months), minding his on business playing with his toys, and the cat ran up out of nowhere bit DS and scratched him right in the face very close to, but thankfully just missing, his eye. We decided that she couldn't be trusted around the kids and we had to find another home for her. It broke our heart, too, but we couldn't have her hurting our kids for no reason at all. We decided she needed a home with adults only, or way older kids.
I hope that you have much better luck than we did, though. We'd love to get another kitten, but we're a little leery about it until all of the kids are a little older. Ideally, I'd like the kids to think of it as "their" cat and also be responsible for the cat's care.
*~*~ Katie; Mommy to 3 fun-loving boys, one sweet little baby girl, and #5 on the way! *~*~
Usually they settle down a bit after a year old, she might get less crazy. Is she fixed? That makes a big difference.
We only had one crazy cat, she would be all cuddly and fine and all of a sudden she would attack Noah's head while she was sleeping with him. The third time it happened I just chucked her out the door. She can go out and go skitzo on the squirrels.
Keira has had friends over to play and I had to lock her in my bedroom because one of the little girls was afraid of her that's how bad it's gotten. She was also very tempermental when some of my family was staying at our house in January. She took to my brother really well and followed him around, but she hated my mom from the minute she walked in the door and none of us could figure out why.
She isn't fixed but I want to get her fixed! I just keep putting it off out of being busy since I will have to drop her off out of town to have it done! Maybe I should schedule it sooner than later!
We've tried all the other tricks you ladies have said, like spraying in the face and the "off button" lol. Thing is, we have been doing all of this for a year now and it just is not getting the point across. She just keeps doing all the stuff we spray her for!
When she's in a good mood she is sweet and cuddly. She's great for catching bugs around the house too lol. She's a cute little tuxedo kitty and I think she was the runt of the litter because she still looks like the size of a kitten and she's just over a year old. But man she is just a little fireball.
Danielle, Wife to Brian, Mommy to Keira & Kynlee
Last edited by momma_d; May 1st, 2012 at 12:24 PM.
I hate to say this because I'm sure this is not even an option for you but... she needs a friend! I'm a firm believer that kittens need another kitten to bite, play, and generally learn what HURTS and what is acceptable when it comes to aggression. We got our kitten Yoshi and had him for about 3 months, and it got so bad that I would cry to my husband and say that Yoshi hated me because he would bite and attack me all the time, and act like a total freak show around the house. I knew eventually we would want another cat so we thought it would be best to introduce them when they are young. That's when we got Daisy, and I swear Yoshi's life was changed! They quickly became best buds and they could get all their aggression and playfulness out on each other rather than humans. Kittens have a hard time learning when they have gone too far unless they have another kitten or cat there to tell them it is too much.
I also want to mention that I don't think you should be spraying her when she bites or scratches. Punishment has probably made her become fearful or more aggressive toward you and she may not even be sure what she is being sprayed for - unless you spray her RIGHT as she is in the act. My advice would be to totally withdraw any attention you are giving her at that moment OR direct her attention to something else she can get her aggression out on - like a rope toy or something of the sort. It may be entirely possible that you just have a short tempered cat who loves affection but can't take very much of it at one time. Look for the warning signs like twitching ears or tail and restlessness. Then maybe you can avoid the scratching/biting before she has any chance to follow through with it.
I feel for you, especially with a baby on the way! Pets can be a total mystery sometimes. I hope you find a resolution so you don't need to give her away.
I would definitely get her spayed sooner than later. It should make a big difference in her behavior. Hormones definitely play a role in behavior as we all know from experience.
I also like the idea of getting her a companion. At a year old, she's still a big kitten and she really does need someone to roll around with. My oldest kitten is 9 months old and when he quickly learned that people are for gently cuddling with and the other cats are for kicking, biting and chasing. They also keep each other in line. Your girl might honestly not realize she's being a jerk despite your corrective behaviors. Another cat can much more easily get the message across.
Growing up both my parents and my grandparents each had a cat that was outwardly aggressive toward children. Patience (named for the irony) was just an "off-limits" entity in our house when I was young. She didn't seek us out to attack, but she would swipe away if we tried to pet her. She was an older cat so it was pretty easy to just avoid her nesting spots. Pat (my grandparents' cat) would literally chase us shrieking around the yard. They adopted a friend for him and he started hunting his feline friend and left us alone. He actually became pretty sweet after that.
Obviously you need to do what's right for you and your family. I've always been a cat person, despite several lessons on respecting their space at an early age. We do a LOT of work with rescue and foster so I always hope to find a solution before an animal loses its home.
Cats only have a tolerance for petting for so long. Eventually it starts to annoy them. Think of someone scratching your back in the same spot for a long period of time. While it feels good at first, eventually it gets annoying.
There are certain signs that can precede biting while your are petting a cat. If it starts wagging it's tail slowly or its ears start to go to it's side, it is usually a sign that the cat is getting annoyed with the petting. Often if these are ignored, the cat will bite.
They do go a little extra nuts around that age and then settle down again. I would trim the sharp tip off her nails with a regular nail clipper. You don't need to take off much just the part that would catch on skin or furniture. It can be tricky to get the hang of. I do my cats every two weeks or so (only front feet). They get used to it. I kinda squat over them so they can't back way and squeeze their paw so the nails come out and just a tiny bit off the tip will save you tears from children and your furniture!!!
I would never flick a nose or use a water bottle on them for that type of behavior because they can become mean. They are usually playing or marking and don't mean to cause pain or damage. DO use a water bottle if they go on a counter top or physically go were they are not welcome.
It is VERY important to teach people (note I didn't just say kids lol) to never play with her with their hand! People often think they are playing by grabbing a kitty and shacking gently like you would a puppy this is not a game as the cat will quickly flip and scratch and bit you, still thinking it is part of the game. ALWAYS use a toy like one of those sticks with a feather on the end. This way the kitty can get out their 'teenage' aggression and it is safe for everyone. YOu can teach people how to interact with kitty. And there is nothing wrong with asking people NOT to pet the kitty or putting the cat away in a room when some people are over. It can be tricky to teach people that cats don't always want tot be pet. The rule is if she doesn't come to you leave her alone. This will also help her relax and not lash out.
__________________ Kelly Mommy to Jack 10, Christopher 7, Kaitlyn 6, and Ryan Thomas (Born Sept. 3, 2012).
Last edited by NYCgirl; May 2nd, 2012 at 05:39 AM.