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Help with aggressive kitten

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by KMillie, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. KMillie

    KMillie PetForums Newbie

    Sep 13, 2018
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    My bundle of fur is now six months old and I am really struggling with his aggression. Most of the time he is lovely, giving me cuddles and kisses and then he suddenly attacks me.

    It has been going on since he was around 12 weeks old, and I initially thought it was teething or play aggression, but his attacks are getting increasingly painful with him biting and refusing to let go of my arms and legs. I have tried pushing him away with a kickeroo or cuddly toy, pushing my hand into his mouth when he attacks, standing stilll when he attacks (this is no longer an option due to increased severity) ignoring him and putting him in time out.

    Until today he hadn't attacked for a week but tonight he has launched a series of attacks and I have really struggled to get him off him of me. Last week he launched at my elderly mum and bit her lip, so I really need to stop his aggression. Any suggestions would be welcome.

    He was neutered three weeks ago, which so far has made no difference.
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Nov 22, 2010
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    @KMillie - neutering may not make much of a difference, but if the reduction in his sex hormones is going to have the effect of making him less aggressive with you it's going to need longer than 3 weeks post-neutering. More like 8 weeks minimum. Because that is how long it takes the hormone levels to fall.

    It sounds as though some attacks are due to over stimulation. You say he is being lovely and cuddly, then he suddenly attacks you. This is a classic scenario of an overstimulated cat.

    Cats always show in their body language when they are becoming over-excited. You will need to learn how to read his signals carefully. e,g, the flick of his tail, the position of his ears, whether or not the fur on his back is raised a tiny bit, how dilated his pupils are etc. Any one of those signs (and/or other signs) could indicate he is getting over stimulated. But every cat is different so without me knowing your cat I can't tell you exactly what to watch out for, I can only give you suggestions. You will have to learn to recognise the signals of your own cat and act on them.

    Once you have learnt to interpret the signals you can prevent the attacks happening. e,g. by getting up and walking out of the room. Or if he is on your lap, by gently putting him on the floor. Remember, you should be doing this before he has a chance to attack you, not once he has already attacked. Which is why you need to read the subtle signs he is giving you..

    Jumping at you and biting and refusing to let go of you sounds like a cat who wants to play, feels ignored and is trying to get your attention. How much time do you spend playing interactively with him every day? At the age of 6 mths I have always played with my kittens at least 3 hours a day split into periods of 40 minutes or so.

    I always have kittens in pairs so they can play with each other, but even so I still give them both 3 hrs a day of concentrated play. Your kitten being an only kitten (I assume?) may need more than 3 hrs a day of play with you.

    Toys need to be interesting and varied, not the same ones all the time. Rotate his toys by putting some away out of sight in a cupboard or drawer, and bringing them out again after a month, so he doesn't get bored. Be imaginative and invent new games for him to play with you.

    When you play with him, keep focused on him and the game, don't do it while you are e.g. busy watching TV or using your phone. Cats know when they do not have our full attention.
  3. Treaclesmum

    Treaclesmum PetForums VIP

    Sep 26, 2011
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    I would also add to this great advice by saying you need to get some long wand toys and use them alot more in playing with him, so he is not so close to you when he is feeling overexcited, and can pounce and attack the toy instead.
    chillminx likes this.
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