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biting needs to be nipped in the butt!!

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Ivy1, Aug 22, 2013.


  1. Ivy1

    Ivy1 PetForums Newbie

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    i resuced a full grown cat "Ivy" for the spca last week. She has a gorgeous personality, until you do something she doesn't like, like brushing her, she bites me and scratches me, i have tried to do it with treats and in small doses and i reassure her as much as i can. sometimes she's perfect and other times she's a DIVA! i brush her a couple of times a day only about 5 minutes at a time so she gets use to me doing it. I have only been in her company for a week so we are in the process of getting use to each other still. as you can see she's long haired girl and knots are starting to form under her armpits. i have taken her outside just on short bursts but she protests to being brought back in and once again bites me and spits at me, she apoligizes afterwards and comes running for reassurance, which i give her, i'm just worried if i let her outside she may not come back! i tried putting her on a lead but she wouldn't move with it on. she is microchipped and fixed, its just too soon in my mind to let her come and go as she sees fit. i'm planning to get a collar with her address on it but i'm just scared she will be picked up and kept as she is just gorgeous. She's also bonding so well with my other little girl Lilly. i am really happy with her progress but i see she's a DIVA in the making :wink:
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi Ivy, a long-haired cat who bites and scratches when being groomed is nothing unusual I'm afraid. I used to have a rescued long-haired female who was a total nightmare to groom. My present long-haired boy is fine sometimes, other times not, and he will bite or scratch to show when he wants to be left alone.

    Your cat may well have a past history of being hurt when she is groomed. Particularly if she has developed a lot of matts in her coat, and someone has tried to drag a comb through them (not saying you are doing that though:)).

    There are various things you can do to help matters improve, but be prepared to be very patient as it will probably be a long slow process getting her to accept the brush and comb.

    Firstly equip yourself with the right tools. My longhair cat very much prefers me using a Zoom Groom brush on him, as this massages the skin as well as removing loose fur. Then I use a detangler comb to take out loose fur that has been left after brushing, as well as combing the parts that can quickly develop tangles and matts, such as the breeches and above, under the tail, as well as *armpits* and tummy. I spend about 5 minutes every day, and this keeps his fur perfect.

    Then equip yourself with various treats, such as Thrive, Dreamies, etc, to try out until you find your cat's favourite treat. Always have these handy when you groom and feed them one at a time to your cat, so she feels she has to work for them a bit.

    Groom the cat on a table, as it is easier for the groomer. You can buy folding grooming tables, but I always use the kitchen table, covered in a large non- slip mat, and then the table top is wiped down thoroughly afterwards.

    For the moment, until your cat is more confident, I would wear leather gardening gloves when you groom her, as these will at least protect you from scratches.

    However, wearing protective gardening gloves should not encourage you to feel you can go ahead and groom even when your cat is complaining loudly and attacking you, because if you do over-ride her, you will never gain her confidence, and grooming will always be a huge battle.

    What you need to do is pick a time when she seems relaxed, but is not asleep. Just before you feed her might be a good time, or I find just before bedtime is good. Lift her on to the table and start by giving her 2 treats. Then gently brush her with the Zoom Groom, along her back. Stop as soon as she objects and give her another treat. Continue brushing her back and head for a few more minutes if she permits this, If she doesn't then stop. Stop anyway after a few minutes and leave the grooming until next day.

    Next day you do the same thing, but try and continue for longer. Stop immediately she complains and give a treat. If she immediately complains when you start again, then stop grooming and leave til next day.

    Hopefully with gradual exposure and gentle handling, and the Zoom Groom brush (which most cats like), you will slowly be able to increase the time you groom, and as time goes on you will be able to progress to grooming the tummy etc.

    Knots under the armpits etc are best cut out with a pair of rounded end safety scissors like these:

    Face and Paw Scissors (2360): Amazon.co.uk: Pet Supplies

    You may need someone to hold the cat for you whilst you do this.

    Some knots you may be able to tweeze out with your fingers, if the cat will let you.

    Alternatively you could consider paying a professional cat groomer to groom your cat twice a week. Tho it could work out expensive longterm.

    As for going out -- it is far too early if you have only had her a week. She needs to be kept indoors for 4 weeks so she bonds with you and makes your home her home. Personally I would not take her out at all (not even on a harness and leash) for the 4 weeks, as it is likely to make her want her freedom. If she stays indoors and you play with her lots, she should be fine.

    If you are worried she may get stolen I would not let her out to free roam (even in 4 weeks time). You would be safer having your garden cat proofed, so she cannot get out of the garden and no cats can get in. Or else building a run off the house for her.

    Here is a useful sticky giving details.advice as to how to do it:

    http://www.petforums.co.uk/cat-chat/211361-cat-runs-cat-proofed-gardens.html

    You could also consider training her on a cat harness and leash whilst she is indoors, so later on she could go in the garden with you. I would not taker her out of the garden tho in case she got spooked by a dog, or passing traffic. The safest form of harness is the one like a little jacket, fastened with velcro.(*see below) Please don't use a strap-type harness as they are far too easy for the cat to wriggle out of (as I know to my cost:()

    Here is an example of a *safe cat harness:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kerbl-Harne...F8&qid=1377180084&sr=8-1&keywords=cat+harness
     
    Toby Tyler and spid like this.
  3. Ivy1

    Ivy1 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi there Chillminx, thanks so much for the informative reply, i will have a look around for the zoom groom brush, hope we have them here in New Zealand. I feel much better about keeping Ivy inside now, thanks to you :thumbup: Ivy has already become so precious to both me and my other little girl Lilly ( cat ), so losing her is just not an option as far as that goes. Also what a great idea with the gloves, just as a temporary measure so my hands can heal lol they have had a beating to say the least! i only brush her about 5 minutes at a time just so she knows i'm not going to hurt her. I havn't given her treats but i will from now on. Thanks again for your help, much appreciate it :thumbup:
     
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Are you able to order from Amazon.com in NZ? I think they do international shipping.

    Amazon.com: KONG ZoomGroom, Cat Grooming Brush: Pet Supplies

    Also, I meant to say if you are cutting out any knots e.g. in the armpits, be cautious of going too close to the skin. It is easily done:(
    Better to cut the knot off a little distance away from the skin, and then tease the rest of it out with your fingers, to be on the safe side. :)
     
  5. Ivy1

    Ivy1 PetForums Newbie

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    thanks yes i have been cutting the knots out" through the knot it's self" although not an easy task lol she never stay's still long enough! She is so gorgeous! ;-) oh and yes i think i probably order the brush through amazon, thank you so much for your help, i really do appreicate it, so does Ivy ;-)
     
  6. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    I'd love to see a photo of Ivy:)
     
  7. Ivy1

    Ivy1 PetForums Newbie

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    i hope the pics have turned out! she's my gal! hehe
     

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  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Great photo! What a gorgeous fluffy girl she is:001_wub::001_wub: I love long haired black cats!:)
     
  9. Ivy1

    Ivy1 PetForums Newbie

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    yeah she is just gorgeous! worth all the high materniance lol shes a DIVA in the making. this pic was taken not long after i brought her home hehe thinking she owned the place already!:cool:
     

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