biting cat

kellyklump

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i have a cat who lives outdoors and sleeps indoors. when i am outside he is very friendly and will rub against me and bring his head to my hand. he follows me on walks and if i sit he will jump onto my lap. i never forcibly pick him up or pet him when he doesn’t initiate it.

but if i spend more than fifteen minutes or so with him in my lap or next to me, he will bite me. and not like a light gentle bite. he will aggressively bite my hand or arm until he draws blood/breaks skin or i pull away. if i don’t react at all he will scratch and bite my arm or hand and then move on to the other one. it is very painful. if i put him down he will jump back up to me to bite me. he also tends to bite me when i am watching a show or on my phone.

i have asked why he does this in another forum and somebody mentioned it might be overstimulation. i need advice on how to stop this behavior. he is soon moving into my house as an indoor cat and i am afraid he will bite my younger brother. because he is an outdoor cat, i don’t think he lacks any stimulation and i’m also pretty sure he doesn’t bite me because he feels trapped. i also don’t think these are love bites. please help!
 

catsknowme

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Time for detective work :headscratch: Does the cat have any physical issues such as fleas, ticks, ear mites or sore spots? Overstimulation can have medical causes. It could be a case of Feline hyperesthesia or old injury. Since kitty seems to have a time limit, try shorter petting sessions or give lap time without petting - cats & horses feel bonding just by being in the presence of their loved ones.
 
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kellyklump

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Time for detective work :headscratch: Does the cat have any physical issues such as fleas, ticks, ear mites or sore spots? Overstimulation can have medical causes. It could be a case of Feline hyperesthesia or old injury. Since kitty seems to have a time limit, try shorter petting sessions or give lap time without petting - cats & horses feel bonding just by being in the presence of their loved ones.
he has been treated for fleas and ticks before but the medication just wore off. i have seen a tick or two on him but just taken them out. i will take him to the vet for another treatment as soon as his carrier arrives. no ear mites or sore spots that i know of. he has had an injury once but the vet treated that and it healed well. im not sure that it is feline hyperesthesia because he seems to enjoy being stroked on his back, but this is the first time that ive heard of it so i will moniter that more closely.

time limits dont seem to work. if i get up he will follow me around until i go inside. if we are in the same room and i sit down, he will jump onto my lap. if i stop petting him, he will rub his face all over my chest and hands until i do pet him. that is part of my confusion; right up until him biting me, he seems to want pets.

thank you so much for your reply! i had no idea that ticks/fleas could have that type of influence and will just make a makeshift carrier for him and treat him earlier!
 

furmonster mom

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How old is this cat? Has he been neutered?
Maybe get a stuffed toy that you can redirect his aggression to. I had a cat who loved to attack a stuffed seal I had hanging around. Anytime she went after my hand, I’d redirect to the seal. There are also “bunny kicker” toys sold in most pet stores for this kind of activity.
 

Margot Lane

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Along w/ fleas, I think probably in this transition he is going through some sea changes. Overstimulation is definitely a possibility. Age can be a factor…how old is he? Is he neutered? There might be some things to be defensive about in the wild he finds hard to ‘switch off’ being indoors, so, it might just take time, making him feel comfy just w/ conversation. My cat when young was a VERY bitey barn cat, and the runt—- it took time to convince him that the love would always be a consistent thing in his life; after many years of this he turned to pudding. In the short term, you might want some thick gloves.
 

catsknowme

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Will your cat substitute play for affection? Often it is boredom and super active play can help provide a diversion. I like to attach a teaser toy such as Da Bird to the end of a fishing poll and engage in play that includes mad dashes across the room and high leaps into the air. You can also try training by teaching "circles", "high 5s" or "tailwhips". Your brother might enjoy the play and the tricks, too.
 
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kellyklump

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How old is this cat? Has he been neutered?
Maybe get a stuffed toy that you can redirect his aggression to. I had a cat who loved to attack a stuffed seal I had hanging around. Anytime she went after my hand, I’d redirect to the seal. There are also “bunny kicker” toys sold in most pet stores for this kind of activity.
Along w/ fleas, I think probably in this transition he is going through some sea changes. Overstimulation is definitely a possibility. Age can be a factor…how old is he? Is he neutered? There might be some things to be defensive about in the wild he finds hard to ‘switch off’ being indoors, so, it might just take time, making him feel comfy just w/ conversation. My cat when young was a VERY bitey barn cat, and the runt—- it took time to convince him that the love would always be a consistent thing in his life; after many years of this he turned to pudding. In the short term, you might want some thick gloves.
he is about 2 years old i believe. and not neutered yet. have made the appoinment tho!
 
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kellyklump

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Will your cat substitute play for affection? Often it is boredom and super active play can help provide a diversion. I like to attach a teaser toy such as Da Bird to the end of a fishing poll and engage in play that includes mad dashes across the room and high leaps into the air. You can also try training by teaching "circles", "high 5s" or "tailwhips". Your brother might enjoy the play and the tricks, too.
i have gotten him various toys but he does not like playing with me at all. i have seen him chase/ kill/ eat mice in front of me and run after leaves blowing in the wind, but he will not chase any feather wands, lasers, or fake mice. he doesnt even chase after leaves i wave. when i do that stuff, he looks confused as if he does not know what i am doing or what he is supposed to do. i am getting a flopping fish to see if an object moving on its own will entice him.
 

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Ah! Not neutered- that explains the machismo. Glad that you made the appointment. It can take awhile for the hormones to adjust; I have had adult males who, shortly after neutering, became hypersexualized and went after the spayed females in their colonies so I pay extra for a hormone shot that has seemed to help although not every feral rescuer has seen a benefit.
 
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kellyklump

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Ferals and barn cats often don't understand toys. How does he respond to a branch with leaves? It's hard when they don't recognize toys.
he turns to look at it but loses interest very quickly.
 
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kellyklump

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thank you guys so much for all of your help! i really appreciate it!
 

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The only thing I would add to the great advise here is after you hiss or loud ow put yourself on the other side of a door for a few minutes.

If he hasn't been playful with other cats he may not understand that he's hurting you. Cats learn to play with soft bites and claws in. In cat to cat interaction it's common for cuddle time to turn into play wrestle and fight.

Neutering probably won't solve the problem but will make him more willing to learn.
 
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