First time cat owner, cat keeps scratching me :(

julianh65

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Hi, I would appreciate getting your guys advice on this. I recently adopted a cat from a shelter who's a girl and 9 months old (being spayed next week). She's been with me for a couple weeks now and everything has been really great. I work from home so I've got to spend a lot of time with her. She's very playful and not shy at all and likes to come sit on me or my roommates lap while we work/relax.

The only big issue is that me and my roommate keep unexpectedly getting scratched, and it sometimes cuts deep into our skin and makes us bleed. The scratching is quite bad and can come at very unexpected times. The other day for example I was lying in my bed using my laptop while she was sleeping next to me and she got this look about her and then jumped and scratched me leaving several large cuts on my arm. It's gotten to the point where I feel a bit nervous when she sits on my lap or around me for fear that she will unexpectedly scratch/bite me.

I'm not really sure how to fix this. I actively play with her with a wand toy around 4 times a day for 15-20 minutes and feed her in the morning and night. I would really appreciate any advice on this. Below I've attatched a gif of me wearing a glove (sometimes I have to wear gloves near her for fear of getting scratched/bitten) and putting my hand next to her while she lies on my bed and her jumping and scratching my hand.

It's really painful and I don't know if this is just a phase or if there's something I can do to teach her to not scratch. Any advice would really be apprciated!
Note: she has a scratching post and several scratching toys that she likes to scratch too. I've also been trying to cut her nails but its been a slow process because she gets very agitated when I cut them.

gif of her scratching me: Some cute photos of her for your enjoyment:
 

tarasgirl06

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Hi, I would appreciate getting your guys advice on this. I recently adopted a cat from a shelter who's a girl and 9 months old (being spayed next week). She's been with me for a couple weeks now and everything has been really great. I work from home so I've got to spend a lot of time with her. She's very playful and not shy at all and likes to come sit on me or my roommates lap while we work/relax.

The only big issue is that me and my roommate keep unexpectedly getting scratched, and it sometimes cuts deep into our skin and makes us bleed. The scratching is quite bad and can come at very unexpected times. The other day for example I was lying in my bed using my laptop while she was sleeping next to me and she got this look about her and then jumped and scratched me leaving several large cuts on my arm. It's gotten to the point where I feel a bit nervous when she sits on my lap or around me for fear that she will unexpectedly scratch/bite me.

I'm not really sure how to fix this. I actively play with her with a wand toy around 4 times a day for 15-20 minutes and feed her in the morning and night. I would really appreciate any advice on this. Below I've attatched a gif of me wearing a glove (sometimes I have to wear gloves near her for fear of getting scratched/bitten) and putting my hand next to her while she lies on my bed and her jumping and scratching my hand.

It's really painful and I don't know if this is just a phase or if there's something I can do to teach her to not scratch. Any advice would really be apprciated!
Note: she has a scratching post and several scratching toys that she likes to scratch too. I've also been trying to cut her nails but its been a slow process because she gets very agitated when I cut them.

gif of her scratching me: Some cute photos of her for your enjoyment:
Hello julianh65 julianh65 and family and welcome to TCS! She may have a history of being threatened, or just of someone playing rough with her. Experts like cat behaviorist "Cat Daddy" Jackson Galaxy, host of Animal Planet series, "MY CAT FROM HELL" and numerous YouTube videos as well as author of several books, advises never to play with your cat with hands. Your video shows you offering her your hand to sniff, which isn't play and would not normally be a problem, but since she exhibits this behavior, you may not want to offer your hand at all, at least for awhile. She is still a kitten, which means she is playful and energetic. That's natural and wonderful -- your kitten seems very healthy. And you're doing a lot of good things in giving her scratching post, playing with her numerous times a day with a wand toy, and wearing gloves.
As far as her claws are concerned, it's good to get her used to claw clipping. Experts advise to clip one or two claws at a time when your cat is relaxed, and not pushing it, but keeping up the habit. Some cats never tolerate claw clipping, but you're trying to establish a routine, which is great.
When your kitten does bite, NEVER punish her in any way, but saying "OUCH!" or "NO! NO!" and withdrawing from her will in time get the idea across that she's doing something undesirable, and she should stop. Cats are very intelligent. Also, as she grows, and after she is spayed, her hormones will calm down and she may become more relaxed.
 
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julianh65

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Hello julianh65 julianh65 and family and welcome to TCS! She may have a history of being threatened, or just of someone playing rough with her. Experts like cat behaviorist "Cat Daddy" Jackson Galaxy, host of Animal Planet series, "MY CAT FROM HELL" and numerous YouTube videos as well as author of several books, advises never to play with your cat with hands. Your video shows you offering her your hand to sniff, which isn't play and would not normally be a problem, but since she exhibits this behavior, you may not want to offer your hand at all, at least for awhile. She is still a kitten, which means she is playful and energetic. That's natural and wonderful -- your kitten seems very healthy. And you're doing a lot of good things in giving her scratching post, playing with her numerous times a day with a wand toy, and wearing gloves.
As far as her claws are concerned, it's good to get her used to claw clipping. Experts advise to clip one or two claws at a time when your cat is relaxed, and not pushing it, but keeping up the habit. Some cats never tolerate claw clipping, but you're trying to establish a routine, which is great.
When your kitten does bite, NEVER punish her in any way, but saying "OUCH!" or "NO! NO!" and withdrawing from her will in time get the idea across that she's doing something undesirable, and she should stop. Cats are very intelligent. Also, as she grows, and after she is spayed, her hormones will calm down and she may become more relaxed.
Hi Tara, thanks for the advice and encouragement! I will certainly take everything you've said into account and I really appreciate you taking the time to write such a detailed response. I've taken your advice and kind of sneakily cut her nails while she was napping. In regards to your suggestion to say ouch when she does scratch/bite I will certainly take that into account (the "OUCH" may actually be involuntary haha)
 

Neko-chan's mama

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Neko-chan never really responded to OUCH when she was in her bratty teen phase. A loud SSSSS worked for us. Maybe because it sounds similar to a hiss?
 

tarasgirl06

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Right you are, Neko-chan's mama Neko-chan's mama and I'd neglected to mention that! "SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!" does sound like hissing from another cat, and it's probably the most effective way to tell a cat that something you're doing isn't wanted! Suggest you try that next time you need to, julianh65 julianh65 -- you'll probably have succesSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!;)
 

vince

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The usual deterrents don't always work. In the case of my cats, they'll stop only if I give them a loud Bronx cheer! They used to respond by my dropping my big set of house keys on the floor, too. Some have shaken a bottle of change, dropped a shoe, clapped their hands or made some other noise. You probably will have to experiment to find a suitable deterrent.
 

tarasgirl06

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The usual deterrents don't always work. In the case of my cats, they'll stop only if I give them a loud Bronx cheer! They used to respond by my dropping my big set of house keys on the floor, too. Some have shaken a bottle of change, dropped a shoe, clapped their hands or made some other noise. You probably will have to experiment to find a suitable deterrent.
Well, you could record your loud Bronx cheer and imbed it here so @Julian65 can pull it and connect to a motion detector or something?!!:insertevillaugh:
 

LeiLatte

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Get her another kitty friend. Problem solved. :)

I’ve had a lot of cats in my life and honestly they all have their own different behaviors. Most won’t use their claws and bite instead, but some do. But the best thing I’ve found is to have another cat around, even if they don’t like each other very much.

Another thing that has worked to stop them in their tracks is blowing in their face when you don’t want them to do something. It confuses and startles them for a second.
 
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