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How to stop my cat being so vicious?

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by evamoree, Jul 15, 2017.


  1. evamoree

    evamoree PetForums Junior

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    So we've had my cat for around 8 years now, and he's always been a vicious cat. As a kitten he loved to bite and play with his toys and attack, and as a cat this hasn't changed.

    He did get over the biting but will still do it occasionally, and he did so today. I was literally just standing and he jumped down from the fridge and bit my leg. Not enough to break the skin thankfully (I moved away quite quickly and I guess he wasn't wanting to bite hard).

    However, he scratches a lot and when he scratches the wounds can take months to disappear even if they aren't that bad.

    I've tried playing with him but he is almost always disinterested unless we use his laser (which keeps breaking and is hard to see most the time- any recommendations for better ones on Amazon UK?). We've tried bells but they just annoy him, haven't tried catnip, tried the dangling toys most commonly but he's very rarely interested- only when he's truly playful.

    I do play with him when he shows he's playful, but that doesn't stop his random attacks that seem to have no pattern. He can be purring and then 5 minutes later attack me.

    It seems strange since he's been becoming more clingy- he'll sit next to me for as long as I sit downstairs, he now likes to be stroked (or I just figured out where he likes to be stroked- right around and under his left ear). Though with that said, I've been making more of an effort to understand cat behaviour by watching videos and how to seem more friendly to him etc.

    He's a outside cat that is an only cat and is left alone for quite some hours when we have to work, and it's always been like this.

    Any ideas on what to do?
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi @evamoree. :)

    Yes, I recall you posted before about your cat attacking you, and I gave you lots of advice as to possible reasons why he might be doing it and what you could do to prevent it happening. I don't want to repeat that same advice over again in this thread, so here is a link to your previous thread :

    https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads/i-swear-my-cat-is-bipolar.447620/

    Could you read my previous answer again and tell me what things you've tried please? Which things helped and which things were of no help. Then we can take it from there.

    As I mentioned before he may bite you when he wants you to feed him. Do you feed him 4 times a day?

    Thanks :)
     
    #2 chillminx, Jul 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2017
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  3. evamoree

    evamoree PetForums Junior

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    Ah yeah I tried the toys but they make very little difference unless he's truly playful. And after he attacked me I tried to play with him with his stick thing that has fishes on and he was completely uninterested :(

    Oh and also I did buy him his own toys finally :) he broke one within a week though :(

    We feed him 5 times a day- once when we wake up, once at 3pm, once at 7.30pm, once at 9pm and once at 10.30pm. He gets half a pouch of wet food at the first and second feeds as they have the biggest gaps (along with some dry food).

    He's become especially insistent on being fed early now. I've tried to convince my mother to change his feeding times (I'm 17 and live at home so she's in charge) but she refuses despite having reasons to change the feeding times.

    Here's the video of when he attacked me (I was recording him being cute and rubbing his head against the corner of the fridge):

    Also I've added a picture of him here as you asked for last time :)
     

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  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Aww, he's a very handsome cat isn't he? :) .

    The video is helpful. To me it looked like he nipped your leg rather than actually had his teeth right in you. He was rubbing around you before that, obviously asking for food I would say. He looked friendly but anxious for his food. He nipped you to tell you to hurry up with his meal. Some cats do nip their owners as a way of making their wishes known. It is not caused by aggression, more by frustration at not having their wishes understood.

    Can you tell me what time he gets his first meal of the day? It is at say 6 am or 7 am that is a long time to go from then to 3 pm before he is fed again, 8 or 9 hours in fact. And that's too long.

    I understand your mother is in charge, but can you explain her reasons for not wanting to feed him earlier when it is evident that is what he needs? We must feed our cats at times when they want to eat most. We can't expect them to behave like human beings. Please can you explain politely to your mother that different rules apply to cats than the rules that apply to humans especially when it comes to feeding times.

    Cats are animals who are by their nature most active at dawn and dusk. (This is known as "crepuscular"). So cats therefore need feeding in the mornings from around dawn then again at around 10 am. Then a break during the day is OK, to around 5 pm, then fed again at say 5 pm, 8 pm, and 11 pm.

    Note: cats do break toys if the toys are flimsy. Toys that need supervision should not be left with the cat to play with on their own.
     
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  5. evamoree

    evamoree PetForums Junior

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    Yeah it was just a nip because it didn't break the skin and he didn't seem playful at all afterwards.

    He normally gets fed around 6am/ half 6am (I don't know because I'm never normally awake at that time, but I am assuming around that time as my mum wakes up early).

    The problem with the gap is that there is not much we can do about it. We can leave him his food timer thing but the time before last time he broke into it, and then last time he knocked the battery out of it and therefore didn't get fed at all for over half a day (7pm- 10am). During the day we're at work/school/college so it's problematic.

    I'll try again with my mum but I don't think she will change her mind (she's narcissistic and always right). However, if she doesn't then I'll try and go to the vets next time with her and mention it because she will listen to them.

    Also I don't leave my cat alone with his toys since they require someone to move them around to engage him in playing. These toys were ones bought from the pet store (though I will admit, they were on sale but didn't look flimsy when I bought it). He only broke it that time cause I was trynna get it off him when he was biting on the string, so the fish fell off :(

    And yes he is rather handsome! He used to have a cat girlfriend at our old house :'D I especially love it when he shows his eyes because they are just <3
     
  6. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    I don't think he was being playful when he nipped your leg. But he was not being vicious. He was seriously trying to get your attention because he wanted food, and he got a bit impatient. He nipped you to tell you to hurry up! You could say he is being a cheeky boy, but he is not being mean! LOL ;)

    If he broke into the feeder then it was because he was hungry. You need to set it to open earlier. e.g. if he is fed his breakfast at 6 am, then his next meal in his feeder could be 9 am. Maybe another meal at midday.

    Are you feeding him enough to fill him at each meal? Do you know the weight of food he is fed every meal (e.g. 100 gram packet)?. Do you know how much he weighs himself?
     
  7. evamoree

    evamoree PetForums Junior

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    Sorry for the late reply- didn't get a notification on email :(

    The vets won't make up their mind whether he's being fed too much or too less. He used to be what we called "fat cat" because before he was put on a diet, that's what he was.

    He liked to eat plants and frogs at the old house :/ I don't know if that contributes towards him being more hungry. He hadn't eaten any frogs for the past year up until two days ago (someone tell me how he finds them XD).

    And yeah definitely cheeky! He's taught me a lesson: to make sure he is never fed even one minute late :D I will try and talk to my mum again about changing his feeding times.

    I don't know if it's normal, but recently he's been sleeping on the stairs? He used to sleep in his bed or in my sisters room but now he's obsessed with sleeping on the stairs during the day. And he doesn't go outside as much as he used to.

    The stairs aren't even that comfortable, they're old and thin, so I don't get why he likes them so much. He never used to sleep on them in the old house, and they were practically the same (though instead he used to sleep underneath the drying rack thing!).

    Is this all just because I'm home all the time now? He's been purring when he's being stroked and rubs himself against me which is completely unlike him (he used to hate being stroked but now he seems to enjoy it?).

    I've added a picture of what he's like right now because I'm right next to him. His snoring is so quiet and so cuteee.
     

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  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Awww, lovely photo :) I have always had cats who loved to sleep at the top of the stairs, or even half way down the stairs. I am sure it's because it appeals to their instinctive need to sleep up high. It is something they've inherited from their wild ancestors who would probably have slept in trees to keep themselves safe from predators.

    I have found some cats 'soften up' as they get to their middle years (which your boy is, if he is around 8 ). They seem more relaxed around humans and happier to be stroked and fussed. Maybe this is what is happening to yours. :)

    I have had cats who caught frogs, but never any who ate them. I think your cat is quite unusual in that respect! :D . There are some species of frog in tropical climates which are poisonous to cats if eaten, but hopefully none of the frogs in your country are poisonous to cats.
     
  9. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Based on that video he looks very thin and undernourished. I recommend you feed him more, and better quality food.
     
  10. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    My old girl used to nip to tell me that she wanted something, usually if she thought I was ignoring her. She wouldn't break the skin - she had very good bite inhibition but she would do a quick nip like your boy or grab and hold on exerting g enough pressure for it to hurt but not enough to injure me. If i still ignored her she would gradually increase the pressure whilst staring into my face. I got the message :D

    My really cuddle boy has always been very gentle and left the bossing of humans to his sister, the bites one. When she died he had to learn how to say he was hungry. He does this by getting extra cuddly. Of course the stupid human didn't realise this was a food request so had to be more forcibly told with a well placed claw inserted into her shin.

    If I pull away and if I did so when my other cat bit me I would get scratched so I have learnt not to pull away.

    Your boy is asking you for something and trying to get you to understand. Sometimes getting forceful works ;)

    I would try again with the feeder idea. You can get more robust ones that are inexpensive.Some cats prefer small meals but often. They are snackers rather than liking big meals.

    Your cat should have a waist when you look down from above and a tuck up from the ribs to his waist. It can be hard to see with fur so stroke him and feel to check. His ribs should just be able to be felt under the skin and you shouldn't be able to feel his spine or bones of his hips easily. Search google for cat body condition score for pictures and more information.

    If he likes to eat but is getting enough then perhaps try some puzzle type feeders. You can get balls into which you can place treats or dry kibble from places like pets at home. The idea is they bat the toy about and food will drop through the hole occasionally.

    You can also make some activity feeders. Get some empty toilet rolls and tape them against each other to make a pyramid (see picture). You can place some card on one of the open ends on one end so they are only open at one end to make it harder. Place treats or kibble into the tubes so he has to fish for the treats with his paw.Place the treats right by the open edge to start with so he gets the idea. You can also hid treats in an empty cardboard box by scrunching up newspaper or tissue into balls and placing some in the base of the box along with some food.

    Whilst dry food isn't recommended as the main source of a cats food, if your cat can eat it a few bits of kibble in these puzzle feeders is fine. You can also use little bits of chicken or prawn too.

    Perhaps giving him extra food but in puzzle toys for the longer gaps will keep him occupied and ability his hunger.


    http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/5-diy-cat-toys-made-from-empty-tp-rolls
     
  11. evamoree

    evamoree PetForums Junior

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    Aha I don't know if he eats them as I'm not around when that happens (thankfully) but he definitely kills them. We only managed to save one and pretty sure that one died.

    In the old house Alfie used to sleep on a cabinet thing (in the new one it's a chair- but don't worry it's a big one so he's all safe and fine and most certainly wouldn't fall off) so I guess that's why he likes to sleep on the stairs if they like to be on high places :)

    And yeah he must have definitely been softening up as its completely unlike him, and with the extra laziness too! Part of me hopes he becomes a house cat because we live right near a busy road and just the other day we saw a dead cat in the road :( but I mostly hope he doesn't, because he needs all the exercise he can get!

    Talking about the busy road, he hasn't been answering the calls for him and isn't in the house (and normally would be back at this time which is 10pm) I know he'll probably be back safe, but there's always that worry. Even tried shaking his food but nothing. Guess it's gonna be a long night for me until he comes in :'D (I wait for him to come back in the house so that I know he's safe before I go to sleep).
     
  12. evamoree

    evamoree PetForums Junior

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    He has this special food for his age range :) and we just changed his dry food to a more filling one.

    I think he's alright in terms of weight- the vets actually told us to feed him less when we last saw them. The picture I've added is what he looks like when he's laid out :) that's why I'm not too worried.
     

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  13. evamoree

    evamoree PetForums Junior

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    Hmm good idea! I did consider something similar before but not something that would work with a cat (only with a hamster) so couldn't do it with him (a hunt for food but obviously it would be a bit too easy for him and he'd butt in halfway through hiding them).

    I feel like he'd actually be more interested in the feeder toy rather than his normal toys because with his normal toys he seems to feel like there's little incentive for him to play (he won't play unless he's in a playful mood, and even then he gets fed up after a while).

    He has a bit of a belly at the bottom but a bit skinnier around the top of his fur. I looked at the first image and I feel like he's in between sketches 5 and 7, definitely not the first two sketches.

    Oh and for whoever mentioned about catnip, I sadly found out he doesn't like it :( or maybe it wasn't on here that someone said? Either way he doesn't like it and just rather ignores it :'D
     
  14. evamoree

    evamoree PetForums Junior

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  15. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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  16. evamoree

    evamoree PetForums Junior

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    Little bit of an update: I bought him the food dispenser ball toy thing today at the pet store. Going to wait until he's hungry to see how he reacts. He's such a fussy cat to buy toys for so I don't know how he will react, even with food in it. He's not been interested in most cat toys that we have bought him in the past :(

    Today he started meowing almost two hours early o_O

    He's been getting more active recently but will still hang inside for a while sleeping. I think the reason why he goes outside more now is because everybody is in the house and he can't sleep :D when its just me and him or me and him and my sister he will stay inside quite happily.

    *Update*

    This is the one I got him: https://www.amazon.co.uk/KONG-Treat-Ball-Cat-Toy/dp/B00CTLGQHO

    He didn't really seem interested in it when I tried it with him (maybe because it was his normal food time) and it's quite big and let's food out easy. Might have to try another one.
     

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    #16 evamoree, Jul 29, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2017
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