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Cat being vicious - please help

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by lil_miss, Jun 21, 2010.


  1. lil_miss

    lil_miss PetForums Newbie

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    I have a 4yr old brindle tortoiseshell female, no specific breed, was spayed aged 6months when we got her.
    She is (99%) of the time, extremely lovable and affectionate, comes when we whistle and obviously loves us. However, over the past 6 months we've noticed a disturbing change in her behaviour. At night, when we go to bed, she has starting attacking me by leaping from the floor onto my head on the pillow. I'm not sure when the first time was, but the worst was on Feb 16th when she scratched the soft part of my eyelid, just under the brow and when I looked in the mirror my face was covered in blood and I couldn't open my eye the next day as it was too swollen. Then for a while, nothing. And now, she has tried to do the same 2 out of the last 3 nights. On the one night that she didn't I woke up to find her cuddled up to me under the quilt - such a contrast.
    I don't know why she is doing this - we haven't moved house, changed jobs or got any other pets. I know she has started going next door into our elderly neighbour's house and that they give her ham and treats but we don't give her anything like that (a few felix chicken lickins when we remember but that's it). My husband says if she hurts me again like she did in February he will have her put down as I could have lost the sight in that eye had her claw been off to one side. We both love her to bits but are at a loss of what to do. Does anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    I think to mention having her put down is drastic!! Unfortunately cats can sometimes manage to catch you in the wrong place with their claws - it's just something they do. It's happened to me several times now, just keep up to date with your tetnus injections (as everyone should anyway) & I'm sure you'll be fine .
    When you say she is attacking you what is the exact sequence to this? Is she displaying any aggression? Are you sure she's not just playing?
    What sort of play do you engage in with her? How is her 'normal' behaviour? Does she seem happy?
    Maybe take her to the vets for a check up aswell just to be sure
     
  3. lil_miss

    lil_miss PetForums Newbie

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    When this happens she is sat next to the bed at the pillow end, then I get in the bed. A few seconds later she literally lands on my head and I have to almost throw her off me, I'm scared of hurting her but it's self-defence. She knows how to jump onto the pillow gently without landing on my head (and no I don't sleep at the edge of the bed). I'm not sure she's not playing tbh, but it's not the kind of play I want to encourage. With it being in the dark it's hard to say. She definitely gets aggressive as soon as I start to fight her off me...!

    She seems perfectly happy, and at the weekend she gets to sleep on the bed as much as she wants as we don't throw her out unless we go out. She's not overly playful anymore - there are plenty of felt mice and ping pong balls around the house but she doesn't play often. She does like to chase flies in the house and garden.
     
  4. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    My cats do something similar to me in the mornings when they want feeding, Basil jumps over me but finishes the move with a swift kick to my head with his back feet! In his mind this wakes me up so it works as it gets my attention!
    It does sound as if your cat is playing but if you don't want to encourage this in the bedroom then shut her out. She may wail a bit but I'm sure she'll get used to it.
    At 4 ys old she should still be quite lively & play. My cats don't always play with things that are left lying around for them so it may be a good idea to have regular play sessions with you & your cat. This will give her your attention & help her use up some excess energy. It's just a matter of finding what she likes; mine go mad when I get the laser pen out & spend ages chasing the red dot. Another good toy is called Da Bird, it was reccommended by others on here & my two love it.
    Maybe she's better at weekends as she gets more of your attention than she does in the week.
     
  5. lil_miss

    lil_miss PetForums Newbie

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    I will trying playing with her more, although with the weather so nice it's hard to keep her indoors!
    She likes ropes and ping pong balls as we have wooden floors so they bounce and make a nice noise. Will try some new things though
     
  6. lestroischats

    lestroischats PetForums Member

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    My cat likes jumping from the headboard onto our heads. I think she just think it's fun. She likes to do it to wake us up if she's annoyed that we're asleep at 5am when we should obviously be awake and playing bed monster with her. She gets chucked off / shouted at / walloped if there are claws out, otherwise we usually just sigh and leave her to it. You can always take her to the vets for a check-up in case it's some kind of physiological / behavioural change, but otherwise I'd think about keeping her claws super short and shutting her out at night.
     
  7. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Same with mine - they've been doing it for years so they're not going to stop now. I just put up with it ... they rule the roost in our house!

    PS. Your cats are absolutely beautiful!
     
  8. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    A lot of kittens are fascinated by eyelids - the lashes flutter, making it an interesting thing to watch and paw.

    Lestroischats and cleo38 have given you some great advice - cut her claws and perhaps shut her out at night.
     
  9. lil_miss

    lil_miss PetForums Newbie

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    I will try cutting her claws and playing with her more, shutting her out isn't really solving the problem only preventing it and I'd rather modify her behaviour than punish her permanently. Obviously if the above don't work then I will shut her out.
     
  10. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Be VERY careful if you do trim her claws, some tips are on here .... How to Trim your Cat’s Claws

    Aslo, have you got her a scratch post? This may help with her claws as well.
     
  11. lil_miss

    lil_miss PetForums Newbie

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    I will be!
    She has 2 scratch posts (bedroom & living room) also tends to use our garden shed and a tree in our back garden too!
     
  12. Mikey_B

    Mikey_B PetForums Newbie

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  13. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    TBH I think they are a dreadful idea. Cats love to scratch, they do it for a variety of reasons & this denies them the ability to do it. I'd rather have a happy cat & a few scratches on me(& my furniture, & my clothes, & my wallpaper ....!!!:D) than use these
     
  14. lil_miss

    lil_miss PetForums Newbie

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    Yes I've never had a problem with her scratching the furniture, she uses her scratching posts regularly. I will buy lots of new toys this weekend and see if it helps. It's difficult to know though as it's not overly regular or anything
     
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