Cat bites/attacks - but only in 2 places

Trekkie19

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Hello all,

Just looking for any suggestions - I've had my cat for about a month now. She is just over 1 year, spayed.

She has been great for the most part - there's just one thing - biting/attacking my legs (just playful, but still enough to hurt), just in two random spots.

1. While I am sleeping in bed. I assume here that she is attempting to play, since she will jump up from the foot of my bed and attack. Still hard to respond right away. I have been either covering up my feet under a blanket (too hot of an apartment to get under covers usually) - or I will throw the blankets on top of her.

2. When I am laying back in my recliner, she will hop up and curl up in between my feet. About half the time, she will eventually end up biting/attacking one or both of my legs until I move them or attempt to get off the recliner. I am honestly not sure why she is doing this here - is it playing? Or does she take it as an invasion of her space? I'm also not sure how to best react because it is hard to move laid back in my recliner unless I lower the legs and dump her on the floor.

I am particularly looking for input on the chair, though happy for suggestions on either! Should I just ignore her and see if she will get bored and stop attacking? Keep a toy nearby to distract her? I do try to get her exercise as much as possible, though I work a lot and don't always get a lot in before falling asleep.

Anyhow, thanks in advance!
 

molly92

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Are you ready for cat #2?

Seriously, cats are better at teaching this to each other than we are. She's young enough that another teenager about her age could be good to give her someone to play out that restless energy with, and learn that biting hurts.

In lieu of that, make sure you play with her enough to tire her out before bed. The nearby toy as a distraction is a good idea too. Never, ever use your body parts intentionally to play with her. And, if you can bear it, I have found if you are patient enough and still enough (for weeks if necessary), and do not move a muscle, they will eventually get bored leave you alone. That means suppressing all your instincts, which can be difficult when you're half asleep. Or easier...I found out this works because I am NOT a light sleeper and I accidentally trained myself to sleep through bites to my face because sleep is so important to me. I have a lot of trouble finding an alarm clock that works, but I won that battle with my cat and that feels great. It took a bit of time, but contrary to how it may seem, you can outlast a cat if you're patient enough.

Anyway, if that's not doable, I say keep as still as is feasible and distract during the day, and try to get some good interactive play sessions in with wand toys. Puzzle toys might also be a good idea for an inquisitive cat.

P.S. I'm really hoping your cat has a Star Trek name.
 

ArtNJ

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Cat bites come in different flavors, this sounds like the play biting variety, but even in that category different cats bite harder or softer. Ignoring the cat should work in the bed if you can armor yourself with blankets. In the chair, it is theoretically possible, but ignoring play bites doesn't generally work, because it hurts too much, and just moving around to evade might be seen as playing and reinforce the behavior. So in the chair, try a just loud enough to be slightly startling to the cat "no!" At least one poster here prefers a "hiss!" but the concept is the same. Consistency and repetition over time is needed to prevent recurrences, but if it is going to work, you should see the cat back off when you do it.

P.S. Its not odd that this is happening in only two places. Cats are creatures of habits. I've more often heard of cats that play bite only one person in the house, but biting at one time, place or situation is normal too. You could literally switch to a different chair and possibly kill off that portion of the habit -- cat might, but will not necessarily start biting you in a different chair. Weird but true.
 

susanm9006

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She is playing and it is annoying. You are doing the right thing and she will eventually stop but you could try throwing a few loud hisses in or shutting her out of your room if she won’t stop playing with your legs. Some cats figure out why they are getting banished pretty quickly (my current cat took only ONE time, but she is extremely sensitive) but others may take months.
 
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Trekkie19

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Thank you all for your responses. I suppose I will try a few of these things and stick with the one that seems to get the best response.

Are you ready for cat #2?

Seriously, cats are better at teaching this to each other than we are. She's young enough that another teenager about her age could be good to give her someone to play out that restless energy with, and learn that biting hurts.

....

P.S. I'm really hoping your cat has a Star Trek name.
I really, really wish I could get a cat #2! I think she would like it, and I know I would. Sadly my landlord would disallow it though.

As to Star Trek names, as she is a black cat, I would've went with Isis is some people hadn't ruined that name! :
spock and isis.png
 
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