Cat Tried To Bite When Told To Move

Sajast

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Hi guys!

My 10 year old neutered male tried something TWICE last night that he’s never done before: he tried to bite when I gently but firmly pushed him to move. He’s vocalized his objection in the past, he doesn’t like to move when I tell him to, but the overt aggression is new. Ironically I was telling him to scootch over so I could put a thicker blanket on the bed more for his benefit than mine. No broken skin but I admit it made me quite angry. I only got him to move by clapping loudly by his head. Any ideas on how to prevent this from escalating? I’ve been fortunate that I’ve never ever had to deal with aggressive biting (as opposed to play biting from a kitten).
 

rubysmama

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Since this is uncharacteristic behaviour for him, I'd maybe consider getting a vet checkup, if it continues. He might have something going on that hurts when you touch him.
 

Timmer

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I've had cats all of my life. Sometimes they are just moody and want things their way. It's hard to know what they are thinking but it sounds like once he's settled down that's it for him and doesn't appreciate being asked to move. I wouldn't worry about it, honestly.
 

jtbo

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Each individual has personal space and tolerance of disturbances to that space, it varies individual to individual how much is tolerated.

By clapping next to cat's head, there is chance of hearing loss and very probably cause of pain.

From cat point of view, you were an intruder that wanted to take away good spot (cats don't like change generally), also from cat's point of view intruder caused great pain, could be also temporary hearing loss and which causes confusion and fear.

Such events are scary for cat and can lead to aggression as cat remembers last time.

Previous events of pushing might of been very unpleasant from cat's point of view, their feel for touch is quite sensitive and it can be that by pushing unintended pain has been caused.

Cat can't understand why it was hurt, but cat gets defensive even aggressive when disturbances or causes of pain are repeated.

Also it is possibility that cat has pains which cat is hiding and as cat is pushed to move such can be painful same way as for human that has to get up which causes pain when injured or hurt. This unknown pain to you could then be something similar if you would hit the cat when pushing to move, which again is easily cause of aggression.

So as has been mentioned, VET checkup might be good to figure out if there is some condition which causes pain and makes cat not want to move.

Also it might be helpful to accept that cat is the master, human is the servant, it always will be so, they might tolerate handling, but they do as they find pleasing to themselves.

For example, putting blanket under the cat is challenging, cat can't understand so many steps into future, it is easier to put blanket next to cat and put treat on it, cat will then have chance to adapt to the change and do as cat wants, end result being cat settling on top of blanket.

Realizing how cat's mind operates does help a lot with such situations, but even when knowing how cat's mind works they still tend to do choices that human can't quite understand, so we just have to accept cats being cats.

There are really so many subtle aspects that can trigger defensive reaction in cats, staring to eyes while approaching with object on hand, think about, some big creature lurching over small cat with blanket hanging down, coming closer like a wall that is much bigger than cat itself, who would not get scared?

In their communication body posture has lot of meaning, how approach is made sends message, it is so different from human way of seeing the world, even air you make move is seen by a cat (they can see world around them trough their whiskers as whiskers relay movement of air to sensitive nerves which their brain forms some sort of image), think of snowstorm or gust of wind throwing huge amount of leaves to air, that is sensory overload and poor human only wanted to get close to cat to give cat a petting.

Some smell which we can hardly even pick can be so strong for cats that they start gasping, touching cat means transferring scents, so it could certainly trigger a reaction.

So that is point of this text, cats see world differently, understanding more how they work helps to avoid acts that unintentionally provoke aggression.

There has been so that cat has not understood your intention and you have not understood how cat has seen the situation, it happens all the time, as way cats and humans see world are nothing alike.
 
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