Adopted cat seriously biting me

sandellie4April 3, 2012

We adopted a cat more than a year ago and he's biting HARD. Yesterday evening, I was petting him on the couch, with no signs that he was tired of it, he seemed to be enjoying it. Then I got up and went into another room. He followed me, he didn't seem playful or anything, and then he bit me on the ankle. Ow! When I looked at him, he looked up at me, and then deliberately sunk his teeth into my ankle again. I was seriously bleeding, this wasn't a playful bite. It upsets me that he looked up at me and did it AGAIN. I'm afraid of him and I don't know what to do.


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I think it could be one of two things. He was either aroused (is he neutered?) or during your petting, you hit a spot on his body he found very painful (is he arthritic or have dental problems or possible hidden injuries?)

After having said that, I remembered my male cat (both young and neutered) did that as a large kitten until he got another young kitten for a partner and pal. They run each other ragged playing now and he has settled down immensely. He just simply had more energy than he knew what to do with and no outlet.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:39AM
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Another thing that occurs to me --

What do you normally do after he bites you?

Do you pet him some more right away?

If so, he may think that if he bites, he'll get more petting.

If a kitten/cat of mine nips at me or claws, I immediately stop petting, yowl like I'm in pain, leave the room and shut the door.

That strategy works for me.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 6:48PM
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This happened to my mother. Her male cat would turn on her and attacked her legs when she was walking. Nothing she did should have provoked this.

Not sure what advice to give you here. Perhaps be hyper-aware of petting him and don't do it without watching him carefully: watch for the tail twitch, the ears that rotate slightly, and the eyes dart. Don't want you to get hurt and hope you keep him. I know it's difficult.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:25PM
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Be careful of cat bites..I got a bad one once (my fault) trying to hold our cat for medication and within an hour of the bite my hand started to swell. Went to the Dr right away and got meds for cat bacteria. I'm glad I didn't wait any longer...

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:43PM
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Here is just an excellent article on different types of feline aggressive behaviour. I have tripped the triggers of various cats over the years, and I recognise all of these. Maybe you can read through and find something helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cat aggression

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:44PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Most likely, not enough exercise, especially exercise of the right kind. He's playing with you just like he would another cat, stalking and pouncing and biting. Re-direct that aggressive type play. Cats have a prey drive, and playing with them with prey driven type play toys will keep them from playing with you as the prey.

And consider getting him a companion to increase his exercise. They can run and play together, and burn up some of that energy.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 11:45PM
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Thanks for the link! Very useful article.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 4:03PM
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