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any devon rex owners out there?

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by jenw6, Nov 8, 2012.


  1. jenw6

    jenw6 PetForums Newbie

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    hi, just wondering if there are any other devon rex members i could get some advice from? we adopted a 1year old boy on 6th nov and so far he is settling in ok, apart from the odd scrap with our current girl! but he bites us quite hard and we can't tell if he is playing? we researched the breed and heard about devon rex giving "cupid bites" but he twists his head at the same time and breaks skin, not to the extent where we bleed but it still hurts! is this normal or is he still adjusting? our current cat is 6month old russian blue cross and i have no previous cat experience so it's all a bit new to me! any other devon rex lovers on the forum id accept any advice or knowledge :)
     
  2. seraphinious

    seraphinious PetForums Member

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    I have two and they are awesome! Very friendly, super social and affectionate, lil inquisitive monkeys. Zeus follows me everywhere and Bo loves to ride on shoulders, both play shotgun over lap/chest and neck (aka cat scarf) space.

    Zeus gives love bites, but never hard and has never broken skin. If he nips a little too hard I use: a quick deep "NO" as he's bitting, followed by...
    - blow in his face
    or
    - pick him up put him down
    followed immediately by ignoring him for a few minutes. I used the same tactics when he decided he'd like to play with hands or feet and it worked for him. Still get the occasional very soft gripping of a finger but that's it.

    I really don't think this is a Devon Rex "trait" especially if he's breaking skin. To be honest though, we can't really tell you why he's biting without more info. He may be poorly socialized, he might just be confused at all the changes and uncertain, things might have moved too quickly or he could be a nervous cat because of something in his history.

    As you've only had him a couple of days I would ask the prior owner about him and with just 2 days in, if he has free access to the house and everyone in it, it might all be a bit too much.

    If the owner doesn't shed any light I'd consider going back to basics (setting up a safe room for him and him alone for a week and gradualy re-introducing him to the house but making sure the safe room is still his and his alone). This is typical introduction behaviour for any cat (especialy if there are already cats in the house), however the one thing you do need to know though is that DRexs don't usually do well on their own, so I'd take some time off with him if possible (and make the room one you can spend a lot of time in so he bonds to you) untill you're happy he's well adjusted.

    FYI our two were cautious for the first hour, but busily exploring, after that they loved us. However we were very careful not to chase them and only interact with them when they came to us. We only kept them in 1 room for 3 days or so (this was the lounge as its the room we spend most time in), but we only have a small flat, plus they would have had some comfort from coming as a pair. Now they'd happily let us do pretty much anything to them, but we got them from an awesome breeder who socialised them very well before they got to us.

    If you have no luck with the above some of the questions below might help pin point what's going on.

    • Is he neutred? If he isn't, get it done asap, will make him less nuts, less likely to spray/escape/get an std
    • Has he had a full vet check that you've initiated? I love to believe the best in people I really do, but it's always best to double check for yourself rather than take someone else's word he's in tip top health. He might be a bit poorly or in pain (cats hide their pain) causing him to lash out when it's triggered (i.e. upset tum, gets picked up, youch, bite that bad hand that squished my poorly tum). Most vets will do a free introductory health check.
    • What is the person who gets bitten doing at the time? He may be feeling threatened / spooked or just not trust you yet. If you're approaching him, stop, just let him approach you.
    • Is it the same people/parts of the body? Maybe his prior owner taught him to play with hands (bad owner). Try the above steps to help educate him it's not ok.
    • Is it after a particular event/in the same location? Maybe he's being protective over his foods or toys? Or perhaps if he's up high he wants some alone time and doesn't know how to tell you no thanks I don't want a fuss now.
    • What's he up to? Is he purring, what's the position of the ears and what is the tail doing? Thrashing tail = bad. Ears turned back or twitching back = he's either afraid or p'd off depending on the angle.

    Devon's have fantastic personalities and I'm sure you'll get to the bottom of it with some patience.

    Also............... PICTURE PLEASE :D

    P.S. If you ask a mod to move it to the behavior forum, you might get some more help :)
     
  3. gkovacs

    gkovacs PetForums Junior

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    Hiya, I am the other Devon Rex slave. My babies are just over 5 months old, they do give playful nibbles but never broken skin. I think seraphinious has given you some excellent tips and things to consider. I don't think it is a Devon thing tho more likely other factors. Do you know what is the history of his 1st year of life and why he has been put up for 'adoption'. Looking forward to seeing a photo, what is his name?

    Glad to have another Devon Rex member, we are a small group! :)
     
  4. seraphinious

    seraphinious PetForums Member

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    We are special :D
     
  5. jenw6

    jenw6 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you so much for the replies, what a lot of useful information! His previous owners called him Dougal and Louie but we have named him Sid as in "Sid Vicious" ;) he suits the name too we reckon! He doesn't respond to any of the names so we think it's ok to change it. He is a very affectionate boy, gives head rubs all the time and always comes to see us if we move from room to room. I love the noises he makes too, I'm besotted already!

    I know a bit about his history, he was rehomed the first time because they decided they didn't want to breed from him and bought a different male to replace him, poor wee Sid. Second owner we adopted him from was having trouble with her landlord allowing cats due to wild pheasants etc even though he is an indoor cat? I was a bit unsure of this but oh well he is mine now :D and here to stay! His previous companion was a great dane who he adored and played with so I think the rough play may be down to that? I know his previous owner never corrected his bites and said it was affection so she didn't mind but her hands were all scratched and mauled looking!! I will certainly try these tips and hopefully see some progress, luckily I am starting a new job so I'm off til 14th to help him settle in. If he comes to me that's great and I will give him cuddles but if he doesn't come to me I don't chase after him to pick him up etc so that will be building trust I think. He spends a lot of time by himself exploring the flat but I think that's cos it's new and he is so inquisitive by nature.

    In answer to your bullet points seraphinious, yes he is neutered and I have taken him to my vet and he had a full vet health check yesterday. Perfectly healthy wee boy apart from he is overweight (far too many treats at previous owners!) he needs to lose half a kilo then see how that is and maybe drop a bit more. He almost looks like a pea-head with his cute wee pixie head and big belly hahahah. He "bites" me and my boyfriend equally when we play with him, he will play with whatever toy we are using then lunge at our hands and bite and twist then back to the toy. If we stroke him when he jumps up onto sofa to see us he purrs and heat-butts then gives a bite and it is very sore. As I said, no bleeding but the skin is broken in places or we have big teeth shaped dents in our wrists! He doesn't run away after or anything so we do think he maybe hasn't been taught boundaries of what is too hard and what is acceptable? When feeding him we can put our hands in the bowl and stroke him and he doesn't bat an eyelid, the bites only occur occasionally when we carry him or stroke him after he has come to us, or during play. His ears have never been back since we have had him, he has not hissed or growled or "swatted" us away with his paw, his tail thrashes a bit but we thought that was what devons do?? Wagging their tails almost, that's at least what the previous owner and many pet forums and websites have told us.

    Think I have covered everything. The bottom line is i love him to bits and can't imagine being without him now! The biting is an inconvenience but with the tips and some perseverence we can hopefully reduce it to acceptable nips instead of bite and twist, ouch! Thanks again for the replies, i will post pics soon promise!!

    Oh! He has just jumped up onto sofa and flumped against me and is now dozing off purring:001_wub::001_wub:
     
  6. seraphinious

    seraphinious PetForums Member

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    They do wag, but it's more like a gentle waving hypnotic sway, if its quick, twitchy or thumpy, that's usually typical cat "me pissed off" :)

    Really glad you're invested and want to work with him.

    And they looooove to eat. :D

    Good luck!
     
  7. gkovacs

    gkovacs PetForums Junior

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    Ah poor baby on his 3rd home in such a short life. At least he is yours to keep now. Mine do the tail wagging particularly Violet. They both are on our shoulders whenever they can. I agree about the appetite they really do seem to eat like dogs i.e eat til it's gone unlike all other cats that I have had that would graze.

    Sid is a cute name but seems a shame that he has never got used to his previous names, mine where looking to their names within a couple of weeks. I am sure with your love and attention he will be chirruping to his name before you know it x
     
  8. rose

    rose PetForums VIP

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    I have a devon rex x siamese and he is so gentle and lovely, nicest cat I have ever had!
     
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