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05 September 2010 @ 02:22 am
Cat biting?  
My parents have six cats- a mom who we took in, and the litter she turned out to be carrying. They've lived with us their entire lives (a year and a half) and most of them are the sweetest-natured animals you could ever see. They've never been abused, or given any reason to dislike or distrust people. Basically, there's no reason that I can see for them to lash out.

Some of them will bite while playing, but one goes further than that. He'll bite without provocation- often when he's being patted. And I don't think it's an attempt to make the attention stop, because he'll frequently jump up next to you, meow for attention, and then bite when you extend a hand to pat him. And while his siblings never bite hard- they don't do more than nip- he chomps down, and you have to shake to get him off. Sometimes he grabs you with his paws while biting, sometimes he doesn't. Scolding, saying "NO," tapping him gently on the head- nothing seems to deter him. If we withdraw attention, he just waits until we start patting again and bites. Is there any way to stop him from behaving like this? Or anything that might be causing it?

x-posted to practicalcats
(Deleted comment)
vix: paw in the Bowl Cam from Puppy Bowl 2006vix on September 5th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks for these tips -- I have a cat that's a biter as well and I will have to give this a try!
infobitsinfobits on September 5th, 2010 07:33 pm (UTC)
You might
aim for the sound of a kitten screeching - sort of speaking in his own language!

If this is a sudden change in behavior, a trip to the vet is warranted. Perhaps there is an ear or dental infection, or enlarged lymph nodes causing pain on touch.

Watch for opportunities to praise him for doing it right - if he walks up calmly and doesn't attack, you might give him a little treat (then leave him alone, wanting more). If he lets you give him a little pat, praise him, then again, leave him alone, wanting more. There are some cats with hyperesthesia where 1 pat is enough and 2 is excrutiatingly too much - your vet may be able to diagnose this.

If you observe the ears going back, the skin twitching, &/or the tail lashing, he is too worked up to touch, so leave him alone.