Time for a cat behaviorist...

calicosrspecial

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Great on the treats. Just make sure you don;t give too many. I LOVE to hear she loved them. Making that positive association. Great!! You don;t have to do it when you come home. Just anytime when you are relaxed and have some time. And then just sit there on her level and give her a few treats. Just to make that positive association with something she likes and positive emotions.

WOW!! You really went all out for her play session!! Good job. But you don't have to make it to elaborate. All you have to do is really make sure things can get knocked down and break and there aren't any sharp things she could bang into and get hurt. I personally tend to like physical toys rather than laser lights for the reasons you mention (it is something they can "kill"). But if a wand toy etc doesn't work then a laser is fine. Anything to get them "hunting".

The key is always to make the toy act like prey. So think of how a mouse or rabbit or bird would move. Halting movements, bursts of movements, hiding, going around corners to hide, etc.

It is always good to get them to Hunt, capture, kill then repeat. A little down time between is fine. It doesn;t have to be nonstop hunting etc for 20 mins. Cooling down and then going back to stalking/hunting is good. So if she is on her side it could be a for a few reasons. Just feel her out and see her interest. After the play session feed the treats or a meal.

Given the way a wand toy is one has to kind of stand above. BUT that should be ok. Just watch how she is reacting. If she is playing well then it is a non issue. But if she has bad body language or is cautious about play then it could be an issue. But it sounds like this is not an issue with her. Correct? When I can view the videos I will be able to see it if it is a concern.

I don;t typically like free feeding but sometimes it is a must. Try best to keep it to a schedule. Make sure wet food is not out long as it can spoil. Make sure you don't overfeed as well. But we want to have her associate you with something good (food). Which of course you will be doing with treats. So I would like to understand more about how you feed (times and how long the wet food is out and when you think she tends to eat her meals). I do understand you concerns about the feeding times and your schedule but PLEASE do not feel guilty. We want to keep the emotions as positive as possible. We'll work around the time issues so free feeding hard food may be best. We'll figure it out.

Unfortunately I need to see the videos to interpret her better.

I meed to understand why she would put her ears back. That is a sign of a more defensive/aggressive posture. But why? Cats don't typically attack unless threatened. Bad energy, staring, cornering etc can cause that. But typically cats don't want to attack. I'll see it in the video hopefully.

Does she break the skin? If a cat really is scared they will bite and bite hard. Break the skin, going deep. So cats have a control over their biting pressure. A love bite vs a play bite vs an aggressive bite. I deal with ferals and one of the things I do to build trust (after some is built) it to feed pieces of chicken by hand to the feral (DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME ANYONE). And I am amazed at how they know the difference between the chicken and my fingers. And I will let out an "ouch" and they can sense my anguish, pain. My point is it is not their intent to bite me and they know not to bite hard. It amazes me and since I have seen it in many, many cats I believe the cats know what they are doing and show some restraint. Now I have seen fear bites as well where they are biting for survival because of a threat. My point is, cats typically don't want to hurt unless they view an existential threat. The videos should help in seeing what is going on and hopefully I can give some hints as to how to handle this.

So, you actually pick her up when she is biting? You must not fear her too much at that point? Are you scruffing her? Or picking her up under her arms? How does she respond?

Cats are territorial so anytime we take territory away by putting them in a closed room it can cause stress, unease, negativity. Now I understand the need to be able to get things done safely but this can be perceived as negativity and therefore make things worse.

Do these attacks happen right after play or do they happen after she hasn't played for a while? Cats have massive energy so trying to drain some is important (through play), And also giving them things to occupy them without human interaction (likes some toys, cat trees, tunnels, cat shelving (which may be impossible for you), etc.

Yes, we would like to see her body language (tail) more positive. But again, let's see what the video looks like and I can interpret her better.

Don't worry, I think this is solvable.
 
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Kvla

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Keep giving her treats and try to make sure you are not stressed about any of this, she will pick up on it
Enjoy yourself as you figure this out, cut yourself some slack, some situations are difficult with cats
we just wing it! she needs you to enjoy yourself right now, utilize info when you get it, but don't stress about it.
when you build some relationship with her, you can start dealing with the biting,
One thing you can do for now is whenever she bites, say ow really loud this will let her know she is hurting you.
say it in a way that sounds like you're hurt. I would start with this, you have to do it every time or it's like starting over
every time. Your room mate needs to do it too, every time.
Be all good things for the kitty, saying Ow should be ok, it's not like your disciplining her.
someone else might be able to give better info, also if the biting continues there are more things you can do
but just enjoy her and let her enjoy you for awhile. And do the "Ow"!
One time I did this to my Joey and he looked at me like he was surprised that I was hurt.
He has come a long way with his biting.
Thank you! I would do that “ow!” Thing after she bites, but she sees to be urged on when I do. Like it reminds me of a dog with a squeaky toy. When the toy squeaks they just wanna tear it apart more. I can record her reaction towards me saying this but it’s pretty much just her tail thrashing and her looking more “angry” haha
 
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Kvla

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Try these links and let me know if you can view them! I’m not sure how to directly upload videos into my reply like pictures.

Attack: Biting 11/20

Walking: Walking

How many treats would you say is too many treats? I've probably given her about 10 today total. I also am not a big fan of free feeding, I would like to be monitoring her eating more and it's harder to do that when she nibbles on her food throughout the day. She gets 1/4 cup dry and 1.5oz wet morning and night. I'll admit the wet food stays out all 12 hours, sometimes she won't even touch it. She does love her dry food, but won't eat it all at once either. I wake up at various times depending on what time my first class is. Two days a week she gets fed around 7:30am and the rest of the week she gets fed around 10am. I could make a commitment to get out of bed at 7:30am to feed her, but I know playing before eating is good and I usually don't follow that rule in the mornings just because of time. I tried to make it a habit of playing with her for like 15 minutes right after I get out of the shower because even if the time is a little different, maybe the routine of me taking a shower and her playing right after would be "routine enough." At night she typically gets fed around 8pm-9pm. Though that also depends on if I'm home at that time because sometimes I have clubs that run that late, so sometimes it gets pushed back to more like 10:30pm. I really try to play with her before I feed her at night so that way she's out for the night. (My roommate is a light sleeper). Is there a way to train her to eat her entire meal right when I put it down? That would be most convenient for me to just wash her dishes right away once she's done eating instead of waiting for her to finish and not knowing when she might want to eat.

No issues with standing over her with the wand toy. Our play session are usually like that. She's not the type of cat where you can just wave a toy in the air and she'll jump around and catch it. She loves toys with feathers on it, but toys that move like a mouse. (With the laser I pretend to be a bug :biggrin:) I go around corners, up on shelves, over her head, up the walls, into different rooms, using quick or squiggly movements depending on the prey I'm pretending to be! She really seems to like it when I move the wand toy quickly around a corner. She makes this trilling noise and then runs after it. I think she makes that sound when she gets surprised because she'll also do it when I move the wand toy quick over her head. I love the sound! With the laser is the only time I'll really see her get low and stalk like a wild cat. I like to call it her lion pose.

I attached a picture of what a typical bite from her leaves on my skin. it doesn't actively bleed, but its not a faint scratch either. It stings a lot. When she's biting me, I've ignored it so much that I can usually tolerate it until a certain point. It takes maneuvering to get her to be picked up. I have to slowly move in a circle around her, careful not to put my hands above her head because she'll pounce up and grab on. Once I'm behind her completely, or when she's focused on my leg is when I'll pick her up by her armpits and holding her out so she can't bite my nose. (she does that sometimes). She will typically curl up and attack the hand that's supporting her from underneath until I pull her off me and set her back on the ground. I don't scruff her unless it's really bad. (If I set her down next to me, she'll turn around and attack me 100% guaranteed.) I'm not afraid of her until it gets really escalated and I haven't been letting it get to that point because I've been "sucking it up." I deal with the bites she gives me before/while I pick her up, so that her bites don't get harder and harder.

The video attached is her at a pretty good level. She's lunging at my arms, but not ripping into them. When she gets really escalated she doesn't even grab me with her paws, she just lunges, bites hard, and then pulls quick. Kind of like a hard pinch that rips your skin back. I have a really old video of her doing this posted in one of my old posts I think. (Old bite.. escalated)

She seems to attack me whether I play with her or not, but definitely bites less when she's been played with. She tends to come up to me after playing and ask for more a lot, even when we played for an hour and a half. I can't spend 10 hours every night playing with her, but anything less than that she seems unsatisfied with ):
 

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rexinminn

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ur input, that sounds like something she’d like. She loves to play I just don’t have much of a routine with it as I have such a busy schedule haha. I’ll try to play with her everyday again and just be consistent with it even if I’m not seeing many outcomes.
Awesome! I think if you do this, you'll wind up having fun with it. Sheet play is very relaxing as well, and if you can lure kitty into the fun, all the better. The main thing is that YOU are enjoying the process.
 

nycats

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Of course it's a calico.....

I'm joking! 😂

I feel your pain and applaud you for trying hard to mend your relationship. Like others stated, it's probably negative association from past vet/nail stuff. The advice of others regarding food association and play is great! Food is the key to their heart for sure.

I do recommend having a schedule for feeding, as cats like routine. And you don't have to play with her every time prior to meals. And if you're gonna be home late one day, you can always do a timed feeder for that particular meal. Maybe give half in the feeder and give the other half when you get home.

I also recommend transitioning her over to wet only diet, as it is so much better for their health, and unlike dry food, she can't glaze. She will be hungry when you feed her, and you will have a Halo over your head, coming to her with a bowl of food! I know it's hard when the cat is a kibble addict, but with patience, they can be switched over.

Those are my 2 cents. Good luck 😘

Oh, I don't know if anyone suggested, but have you considered getting her a friend?
 
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Kvla

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Of course it's a calico.....

I'm joking! 😂

I feel your pain and applaud you for trying hard to mend your relationship. Like others stated, it's probably negative association from past vet/nail stuff. The advice of others regarding food association and play is great! Food is the key to their heart for sure.

I do recommend having a schedule for feeding, as cats like routine. And you don't have to play with her every time prior to meals. And if you're gonna be home late one day, you can always do a timed feeder for that particular meal. Maybe give half in the feeder and give the other half when you get home.

I also recommend transitioning her over to wet only diet, as it is so much better for their health, and unlike dry food, she can't glaze. She will be hungry when you feed her, and you will have a Halo over your head, coming to her with a bowl of food! I know it's hard when the cat is a kibble addict, but with patience, they can be switched over.

Those are my 2 cents. Good luck 😘

Oh, I don't know if anyone suggested, but have you considered getting her a friend?
I know! Calicos are sassy!!
I do wet and dry because dry food is supposed to be good for their teeth? Like the crunchiness or something? Lol

and yes! I want another cat, but that won’t be possible until May. I’m definitely planning on it though.
 

calicosrspecial

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I can see the videos. They are a bit short ao if it is possible to get a bit more to get more context that could be helpful.

First the easy, video. It was short but even though she doesn't walk with her tail up (and sometimes they don't until they hear a voice or etc) she doesn't look like she lacks confidence. I would like to see more if possible.

One thing. How big is the place you live in?

Biting video - Again it is a bit short but it looks like she is seeing moving things and wants to play with those things. This does not look like a cat that is attacking out of fear or is aggressive or defensive etc. Again, the context is not all there but see seems to be watching moving things (papers, hands, something) and then when you let her sniff the scissors she goes for your arm. I get a sense that she thinks anything that moves is a toy. So we are going to have to work on getting her to know when it is ok to play and when not to. So if you sense that she is starting to "lock on" to something moving distract her in anyway. A stern "no" which she may not listen. Maybe have a ball nearby that you can roll past her or throw so she focuses on that. We need to train her that hands and arms are not play things. We are going to want to keep associating hands with something good. Food. And have those hands not go towards her if she is "locked" on them.

If you notice at about 10 seconds and 20 seconds in on the video she pounces and then backs off. To me it looks like she is seeing paper movement and seeing it as "prey" or a toy and pouncing. This is not aggressive I am going to bite you (because she doesn't bite you there). So I think it is play that has gone wrong. So we need to try to get her to stop focusing on the paper. A stern "no" or some other thing to distract her. Not a fearful "no" or panicked as that could just cause her to get scared and escalate but a stern but strong and confident "no". And let's see what she does.

We have to train her that hands are arms are not play things. I think there are better people out there than me to help on this and hopefully others will join in.

I would try to get a play session in before sitting down and moving papers etc to try to drain some energy. After the play feed. Hopefully that would slow her down and reduce her interest in play. Also, finding that balance to tell her this is not acceptable BUT not to escalate the situation. Cats can respond in different ways so you may have to try different things. And our emotions when we do this are really important. We need to remain calm and confident so the cat doesn't fear about their safety. Anytime a cat senses a change in our emotions they will be more "on guard". It is a survival instinct.

In the videos I don't see that she doesn't like you. They were short videos and I do want to see more with you and her but I think you should be able to bind with her.

In training 10 treats in the short term would be ok but I would probably like to keep it around 5 if possible.

Ideally we would like to feed on a schedule. Even if it would just be in the morning. I think I would try to feed wet food at 7.30 every day. Then I would probably put a small amount of hard food out after she eats that if you are going to be gone all day and late into the night. If you are going to be home at 7pm or so I would try to target that for her second feeding. The wet food goes bad very quickly so I would try to set it up so she is hungry at the time you feed the wet food so she eats it quickly. I probably wouldn't leave much hard food out over the night (sleep time) so she is hungry for the wet food in the morning. And I want to get that positive association of food with her. I think there are other feeding experts so you may want to ask in a separate thread about transitioning a cat from free feeding to a more structured feeding schedule.

Cats like routine and familiarity so having as structured and routine process as possible in place tends to be helpful (though not always possible).

Play doesn't have to happen before every meal. Just do what you can. And of course, play and then a treat of wet food or treats at any time is good. Given your schedule just try to find some ways to fit play in. Play builds confidence and drains energy so it can be helpful (though she is young and full of energy so it is going to be hard to drain a lot of energy).

Also, try to give her some things she can drain energy on her own. Like a ball that she can't get her claws in a fling it and break things. A cat tree she can run up and down on and also look out a window if possible. Maybe arrange things she can run up and then down on (safely). Things to entertain herself when you are gone.

The best way to train her to eat when it is there is to get her to know that food is not available all the time (so no free feeding) and then she will be hungry when the food is available. Of course we don't want to starve her so there is a fine balance.

It sounds like she does really well playing and loves it. GREAT!!! Some cats like bird prey some like ground prey. Sounds like she likes ground prey. You are doing it exactly right. Getting her to stalk it and kill it. Moving it around corners, peaking her interest, etc. Play will build her confidence. After play feed her her meal or treats (sounds like treats given her schedule but maybe the evening meal could work). I do think she almost see everything moving as play (given that video you showed).

SO the fact she isn't really biting deep tells me that she is restraining herself which is a very good sign. She could easy choose to bite deep if she felt threatened etc so the fact she chooses not to tells me she doesn't really want to hurt you. So then the question is what is she telling us? Well, during play it can be an accident or it could be kind of a "love bite". When you are carrying her she is probably telling you "knock it off". So I want you to be VERY careful.

Cats take on our emotions so letting her know it hurts, it is unacceptable, etc could be helpful. BUT we don;t want it to scare her and escalate it. I think I would like to use words to distract or maybe have a ball or something to use as a distraction. I have a feeling the history of the nail caps, vet visits etc caused a negative association with being picked up etc and combine that with her being amped up already and it can go bad. SO I want to really try to figure out how to de-escalate the situation.

Does she do this to your roommate as well? Biting pant legs (moving), etc?

The old bite video - she is locked on something. What were you doing that she was focused on? Also, she was in a corner it looks like so she had no where to really go (escape). I think de-escalating that and trying to move away at a normal, calm confident pace and telling her that it is not acceptable is important. I can't really tell why she is pouncing and retreating but I do know that she doesn't appear to really want to hurt you. She is saying something like "give me space" or something. Again, I don't see all the context so I am guessing but if you can help me understand what was happening that could be helpful.

Interesting. She will have boundless energy so trying to get her to be able to entertain herself could be helpful. And it makes sense in the recent "biting" video that I see a cat wanting to play. I think she is just seeing everything as play. Moving pant legs ("oh wow, let's play"), moving papers (oh wow, let's play wit that"). Etc. No, you can;t play with her forever so we need to find things that she can entertain herself. And especially with her being alone for long parts of the day we need to find toys, places to look out, etc to help her drain some of that energy.

BUT I would not recommend adding another cat at this point. It would take too much time to intro them and I am not sure you would have the time. And we don't know how she would respond to another cat. Calicos can be tricky.

As I always say, Calicos R Special!!!

So I don't see a cat that is "beyond help". I see a cat that exercises restraint, may have way too much energy, has to learn that not everything that moves is a toy or prey. So we can fix this. I don't see this situation as dire as I originally thought it might be. I am very hopeful.

I would like to see more videos and longer context if at all possible.

Please let me know any questions and any clarification on what to do. Some of it is tricky and may need clarification and may also be incomplete. But we'll get there. Hang in there, I actually think your cat is going to be fine in time with the effort and knowledge we have.
 

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From what I read, there is no scientific proof that dry food is good for their teeth. Their teeth are designed for tearing flesh and not chewing. Cats tend not to drink enough water to compensate for eating dehydrated food (in nature, their prey contains quite a bit of moisture), and they can have chronic dehydration and urinary problems down the road.

I personally think adding another cat would be a great idea. Someone I know has a crazy high energy cat, and she went through a few foster-to-adopt trials till she found a cat that fit perfectly with the energy level. Now the two are inseparable!
 
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Kvla

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I can see the videos. They are a bit short ao if it is possible to get a bit more to get more context that could be helpful.

First the easy, video. It was short but even though she doesn't walk with her tail up (and sometimes they don't until they hear a voice or etc) she doesn't look like she lacks confidence. I would like to see more if possible.

One thing. How big is the place you live in?

Biting video - Again it is a bit short but it looks like she is seeing moving things and wants to play with those things. This does not look like a cat that is attacking out of fear or is aggressive or defensive etc. Again, the context is not all there but see seems to be watching moving things (papers, hands, something) and then when you let her sniff the scissors she goes for your arm. I get a sense that she thinks anything that moves is a toy. So we are going to have to work on getting her to know when it is ok to play and when not to. So if you sense that she is starting to "lock on" to something moving distract her in anyway. A stern "no" which she may not listen. Maybe have a ball nearby that you can roll past her or throw so she focuses on that. We need to train her that hands and arms are not play things. We are going to want to keep associating hands with something good. Food. And have those hands not go towards her if she is "locked" on them.

If you notice at about 10 seconds and 20 seconds in on the video she pounces and then backs off. To me it looks like she is seeing paper movement and seeing it as "prey" or a toy and pouncing. This is not aggressive I am going to bite you (because she doesn't bite you there). So I think it is play that has gone wrong. So we need to try to get her to stop focusing on the paper. A stern "no" or some other thing to distract her. Not a fearful "no" or panicked as that could just cause her to get scared and escalate but a stern but strong and confident "no". And let's see what she does.

We have to train her that hands are arms are not play things. I think there are better people out there than me to help on this and hopefully others will join in.

I would try to get a play session in before sitting down and moving papers etc to try to drain some energy. After the play feed. Hopefully that would slow her down and reduce her interest in play. Also, finding that balance to tell her this is not acceptable BUT not to escalate the situation. Cats can respond in different ways so you may have to try different things. And our emotions when we do this are really important. We need to remain calm and confident so the cat doesn't fear about their safety. Anytime a cat senses a change in our emotions they will be more "on guard". It is a survival instinct.

In the videos I don't see that she doesn't like you. They were short videos and I do want to see more with you and her but I think you should be able to bind with her.

In training 10 treats in the short term would be ok but I would probably like to keep it around 5 if possible.

Ideally we would like to feed on a schedule. Even if it would just be in the morning. I think I would try to feed wet food at 7.30 every day. Then I would probably put a small amount of hard food out after she eats that if you are going to be gone all day and late into the night. If you are going to be home at 7pm or so I would try to target that for her second feeding. The wet food goes bad very quickly so I would try to set it up so she is hungry at the time you feed the wet food so she eats it quickly. I probably wouldn't leave much hard food out over the night (sleep time) so she is hungry for the wet food in the morning. And I want to get that positive association of food with her. I think there are other feeding experts so you may want to ask in a separate thread about transitioning a cat from free feeding to a more structured feeding schedule.

Cats like routine and familiarity so having as structured and routine process as possible in place tends to be helpful (though not always possible).

Play doesn't have to happen before every meal. Just do what you can. And of course, play and then a treat of wet food or treats at any time is good. Given your schedule just try to find some ways to fit play in. Play builds confidence and drains energy so it can be helpful (though she is young and full of energy so it is going to be hard to drain a lot of energy).

Also, try to give her some things she can drain energy on her own. Like a ball that she can't get her claws in a fling it and break things. A cat tree she can run up and down on and also look out a window if possible. Maybe arrange things she can run up and then down on (safely). Things to entertain herself when you are gone.

The best way to train her to eat when it is there is to get her to know that food is not available all the time (so no free feeding) and then she will be hungry when the food is available. Of course we don't want to starve her so there is a fine balance.

It sounds like she does really well playing and loves it. GREAT!!! Some cats like bird prey some like ground prey. Sounds like she likes ground prey. You are doing it exactly right. Getting her to stalk it and kill it. Moving it around corners, peaking her interest, etc. Play will build her confidence. After play feed her her meal or treats (sounds like treats given her schedule but maybe the evening meal could work). I do think she almost see everything moving as play (given that video you showed).

SO the fact she isn't really biting deep tells me that she is restraining herself which is a very good sign. She could easy choose to bite deep if she felt threatened etc so the fact she chooses not to tells me she doesn't really want to hurt you. So then the question is what is she telling us? Well, during play it can be an accident or it could be kind of a "love bite". When you are carrying her she is probably telling you "knock it off". So I want you to be VERY careful.

Cats take on our emotions so letting her know it hurts, it is unacceptable, etc could be helpful. BUT we don;t want it to scare her and escalate it. I think I would like to use words to distract or maybe have a ball or something to use as a distraction. I have a feeling the history of the nail caps, vet visits etc caused a negative association with being picked up etc and combine that with her being amped up already and it can go bad. SO I want to really try to figure out how to de-escalate the situation.

Does she do this to your roommate as well? Biting pant legs (moving), etc?

The old bite video - she is locked on something. What were you doing that she was focused on? Also, she was in a corner it looks like so she had no where to really go (escape). I think de-escalating that and trying to move away at a normal, calm confident pace and telling her that it is not acceptable is important. I can't really tell why she is pouncing and retreating but I do know that she doesn't appear to really want to hurt you. She is saying something like "give me space" or something. Again, I don't see all the context so I am guessing but if you can help me understand what was happening that could be helpful.

Interesting. She will have boundless energy so trying to get her to be able to entertain herself could be helpful. And it makes sense in the recent "biting" video that I see a cat wanting to play. I think she is just seeing everything as play. Moving pant legs ("oh wow, let's play"), moving papers (oh wow, let's play wit that"). Etc. No, you can;t play with her forever so we need to find things that she can entertain herself. And especially with her being alone for long parts of the day we need to find toys, places to look out, etc to help her drain some of that energy.

BUT I would not recommend adding another cat at this point. It would take too much time to intro them and I am not sure you would have the time. And we don't know how she would respond to another cat. Calicos can be tricky.

As I always say, Calicos R Special!!!

So I don't see a cat that is "beyond help". I see a cat that exercises restraint, may have way too much energy, has to learn that not everything that moves is a toy or prey. So we can fix this. I don't see this situation as dire as I originally thought it might be. I am very hopeful.

I would like to see more videos and longer context if at all possible.

Please let me know any questions and any clarification on what to do. Some of it is tricky and may need clarification and may also be incomplete. But we'll get there. Hang in there, I actually think your cat is going to be fine in time with the effort and knowledge we have.
I'll work on getting more videos that are longer tomorrow, since I have a pretty busy night tonight after work. When I came home today she was already at the door. She did a big stretch and then was inbetween her tail being straight up and straightened out like in the video. I talked to her and got down to her level and reached my hand out. She sniffed, but turned her head away and didn't let me pet her.

She isn't much of one to play by herself, which probably is another reason she has pent up energy. Though sometimes in the middle of the night I'll hear her batting around a spring in the bathroom. I've tried throwing a ball/small toy and getting her to chase it, but she would often just watch it and continue to stay by me. She does love string. I'd be willing to keep a little piece of string in my pocket for when she comes over and is starting to bite me. I heard that if you pet or play with your cat when they come up and sit on your laptop, that it reinforces the behavior that if they sit on your laptop, you'll give them attention. Would this work the same way? If she starts to attack my hands, does it encourage biting because then she'll get a toy to play with? In the past when I've said "No" sternly, her tail would whip harder like she was getting more angry with me for telling her no.

One thing about the videos is that I often don't know when she's going to come over to me and try to bite my arms/hands, so I don't always have my phone ready to capture what's going on up until the biting. I can video whenever she approaches me to see how she'll react differently from time to time.

I live in a one bedroom, one bath apartment with a roommate. It's pretty small. However, I'll be going home this winter/summer. And next fall I'm moving into a 4 bedroom flat, so she'll have more room.

If it’s about “calories” then when I'm using treats to train, can I break up 5 treats to give more chances for her to get treats throughout the day? Like break 5 treats in half so she can get 10 treats a day?

She doesn’t bite my roommate like she bites me. My roommate will be sitting at her desk doing homework and Ophelia will bite her ankle or if she is hanging her hand over something like the back of a chair Ophelia will jump and bite her hand. She uses a squirt bottle which helps to get her to stop biting her. I’ve never used a squirt bottle because I heard it makes them fear you. Yet, somehow, my cat has a better relationship with my roommate haha..

That old video was pretty long ago, I don’t remember what I was doing that caused her to bite in the first place. But that was during the time that I was experimenting with possible ways to stop her biting. I’m sure I had put her in the closet for a minute or two before this. I quickly pulled out my phone to get how she was acting on camera. I’m sorry the videos are so short, I will try to video more often and hopefully get something on camera!

Oh, and she never bites me WHILE we’re playing. Usually my hands are at a safe distance and she’s focused on the feather or laser that she doesn’t go for my hand.
 
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From what I read, there is no scientific proof that dry food is good for their teeth. Their teeth are designed for tearing flesh and not chewing. Cats tend not to drink enough water to compensate for eating dehydrated food (in nature, their prey contains quite a bit of moisture), and they can have chronic dehydration and urinary problems down the road.

I personally think adding another cat would be a great idea. Someone I know has a crazy high energy cat, and she went through a few foster-to-adopt trials till she found a cat that fit perfectly with the energy level. Now the two are inseparable!
Okay! I’ll do more research and ask my vet what she thinks about switching over to a mostly wet food diet. She drinks a good amount of water as it is, but I’m sure it wouldn’t do harm.

I’m sure her crazy playful personality won’t slow down anytime soon, I’m hopeful I’ll be able to get her a friend in the near future. :)
 

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Maybe wearing socks and jeans would help, if not to change the behaviour to prevent further wounds. Sorry if this has already been suggested.
 

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Just do your best on getting video. I know it is hard to time things perfectly. What I would love to see is her walking around, the places she can "hang out", and how she may react when you are "doing your thing" whether that is just sitting studying, watching TV, etc. Especially seeing her react to you doing this. I am trying to get a sense of her body language before she starts going for the papers then arms, etc. To see if there are some warning signs that you can then react to so that it doesn't get to the biting point.

I think that is a positive response to you coming home. So she stretched (which is a sign of being comfortable, it is positive body language), her tail was up at times (again a positive sign, a sign of being happy to see you). Then you got down to her level (she didn't attack) you reached your hand out (she didn't attack so she must not have felt threatened), she sniffed your hand (she didn't attack so she obviously didn't see you as a threat) and then she walked away. AND I am really proud of you for not forcing attention on her and reading her and not forcing anything. So over all, I think that tells us a lot. That does not sound like a cat that doesn't like you and will attack. Which is great. So there is a good relationship there that we can improve on. And on other thing, she may have sniffed your hand looking for treats which would be a sign of the beginning of the positive association we are trying to achieve (though cats just do sniff for other reasons so hard to know). But overall, I think that is a positive encounter.

Just keep trying to think of things that may be able to occupy her. VERY interesting she chooses to be by you instead of chasing a moving ball or toy. Another good sign of your relationship. Is she at all afraid of the toy or ball being thrown? Having string to distract is a great idea. To get her to realize that string or a toy is a play thing and not arms, moving fingers, moving pant legs etc. I personally don't think it is a reinforcement issue like it tends to be with dogs. I do distraction all the time and it tends to work. now, I also sense when something could go wrong (like the biting) so I tend to distract before the negative incident happens. Getting to know the body language (which comes with experience) is very helpful in avoiding negative situations from starting.

So the stern "no". It sounds like it is escalating her or "amping" her up more. So cats sense our emotions and assess the risks to their safety. I deal with ferals (both in the wild and indoors) and with other people and have observed how our emotions and actions can have a large impact on the cats behavior. If we are excited they get excited and defensive. If we are anxious they get more anxious and cautious and defensive. If we move faster or slower than "normal" they wonder if something is wrong and get more defensive or on guard. Think of it this way, a guy is walking towards you in an alley. If he slows down, starts looking you up and down, turns around when you pass, stops, turns towards you, you start wondering "this is odd" and you get more cautious. It is a survival instinct. But if the guy is normal, just walks by at a normal pace and continues at that pace then you don't act any differently. Cats have and need a survival instinct so they tend to have that instinct of any change can be danger and therefore they get more cautious. I see this in ferals all the time because on the streets if they aren't smart and cautious they don;t survive. It is kind of hard to explain but I hope I may have explained it somewhat. I see it all the time so I know but explaining it can be difficult.

On a side note, my one girl sits on my lap when I type (my other girl does as well). But my one girl LOVES to see my typing fingers and nibble or "nip" at them. They are moving and she can;t resist. I tell her "no" and she goes back to it. She doesn't break the skin or anything but she can't resist. BUT she knows not to hurt me. I can't stop her, I have tried everything. But I also don;t remove her, lock her in a room, etc as that can escalate the feeling. Since cats are territorial taking territory away can cause greater issues and exacerbate the situation. Now if it is a really dangerous situation then something has to be done but if it is a situation that is not that risky then communicating displeasure (in a non-threatening way) can be helpful. But making sure it doesn't escalate. Again, it is not a science but more art. It is more by feel than any hard rules.

Yes, videotaping is hard. And a fast movement of your hand to a phone then moving it so you can video her could be a trigger for her to attack. So just do your best. If she seems "amped up" then maybe describe it as I don't want you to be in harms way. Just do your best on how to video her. It doesn't have to be immediate and descriptions can work. Just seeing it in person is easier because I can read the body language, actions etc.

Yes, I figured it is pretty small. Do you have a window that she can look out of? To entertain herself looking at people or wildlife? Also, does she have a cat tree? Scratching posts? Warm and comfy bedding? Where does she sleep typically? Hang out? Is she getting "shooed" away from places? Can you put things together to give her an opportunity to run up to something then run down? Like a small table next to a desk next to a taller bookcase? Or anything that she can run around, up and down? I know it is hard being student in temp housing.

Yes, about calories and about ingredients as some treats are not so good for them. SO breaking them up is a good idea. 5 into 10 is good.

Interesting. So she does "bite" or "nip" your roommate as well. The hand over the couch sounds like she sees hands as play things. So we need to reinforce it is unacceptable. A proper "ouch" or "no" etc that doesn't escalate it sound be figured out. Some people "hiss" like a mama cat would. And making those positive associations with hands and food/treats rather than play things. With the biting of ankles that sounds like excess energy. It isn't an attack but either a love bite or an attempt to initiate play. I have a feral that is a "nipper". He would nip at my legs but I told him "no" and "ouch" and he got the point it was unacceptable. BUT he still will nip at one of my other ferals (that he LOVES) which obviously the other feral doesn't like. If your roommate could pull out a string to distract I think I would do that in addition to finding the words and emotions to communicate to Ophelia that biting is unacceptable (but not in a way to escalate the situation). Again, it is more art (feel) than exact words.

Spraying with a water bottle is one of the worst things. How does Ophelia act after being sprayed? Is she more likely to "attack" you shortly after being sprayed? It could be a redirected aggression.

How does your roommate differ in her interactions with Ophelia than you? Does she approach her differently? Does she act more calm around Ophelia? Try to observe how they interact and see if there is anything different you can see. Was your roommate was not involved in vet visits, nail caps, etc?

Ok, I know it is hard to remember. Taking away territory (putting a cat into a closet) can cause a lot of issues. It can be traumatic, scary, etc. So it creates a negative association that can linger. Now, if it is an absolute safety issue then sometimes it may have to happen but it would be a last resort kind of thing. I want to reiterate one thing as well. When I say things I am not judging, accusing, scolding, etc. Words can come across incorrectly as intent and my intent is only to help with learning and improve the situation. So if you ever mis-interpret anything I mention PLEASE ask me about it.

GREAT. That tells me that she chooses play over attacking, a toy over hands.

I know I need to learn more but I get a sense Ophelia is viewing hands, ankles, etc as toys so we need to change that behavior. I don't get a sense Ophelia sees anyone as a threat and needs to bite out of survival. I see a cat that has a connection with you and wants that. We just need to bring that out with positive associations (play and food). And I think we need to try to find things to help drain some energy and occupy her time especially if she is allow for longer periods of time.

You seem like a great person and you obviously love her and have the desire to have a great relationship with her so I really don't see any reason why you can't achieve that. It will take some time and some effort (which I sense you have) and I think as the positive emotions and trust and bond builds it will feed on itself and lead to more positives.

I know there is a lot her so please ask any questions for clarification. Hang in there, we'll fix this.
 
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Kvla

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I know some signs that lead up to her attacking. I know that if Im sitting on the ground with my laptop and a notebook, if I try to remove her from the situation she'll end up getting irritated and come back and bite me. Lately, I've been letting her sit on my stuff to avoid that. If it's something I really need to focus on, I won't be in the room where she can do that.
No, she's not afraid of the balls/springs/mice on the floor or when I throw them. I don't really know why she doesn't want to go after them, but I think it's because it doesn't move like I can make the wand toy move. In the middle of the night or around evening she'll hit them around in the bathroom where the floor slides and she'll bat them around. Especially the little springs.

What you explained makes sense to me. Your kitty sees your fingers as moving and she can't help herself to reach out in nip. Will my cat always be this way where she'll always chase my ankles while moving? I need to find a way to show my "displeasure" without escalating her. I'm thinking I should use a different word than "no", "ow", or a hiss because she's already associated bad things with those words. If I don't talk in a stern voice, will that still get the message across? I've tried hissing in the past and she seemed to not really respond to it and I wondered if that's because she's had no contact with cats since she was 4 weeks old. It's also hard to tell because whenever I talk to her, her tail moves. I've had her sitting next to me and everytime I spoke to her, her tail moved. I was trying to figure out if her tail was moving out of annoyance and that was my warning to stop. I posted in a facebook group and most of the cat people said that their cat's tails move slightly when being pet too.

We have a really big window, but it's above the trees. She does still love to sit by the window and watch outside, but she loves it even more when the window is open. I had one of those floor to ceiling cat trees when she was younger that she loved to launch herself up and down all the time, but it broke right before I moved out and she hasn't had one since. I've been looking around online and in stores knowing Black Friday is coming up I'm hoping to get a good deal on a nice tall one.
She has one cat bed that she sleeps in occasionally: FB3C4EDD-11B6-419A-8C36-8633850EB441.jpeg
Most of the time she'll either lay on my roommates desk chair: 3496D1DE-7AB0-4ACB-BD5F-BD86F985A520.jpeg
In this cat tree next to my desk. (The grey box that it's sitting on is a little cave, she doesn't use much) 88F8CD72-4793-4AE8-A8BD-248C395F27F1.jpeg
Her favorite spot to lay is on my roommate's bed: D5B2519F-C10B-459F-B75F-53707FB32321.jpeg
For places to jump up, we have a windowsill ledge that's the highest place she can go, she enjoys it: 9DD46BFC-F08C-4BE8-8316-3D892738D4C1.jpeg

It's funny, after being sprayed with a waterbottle, she turns away, shakes, and then starts to groom herself where she got sprayed. She usually finds a spot to go lay down after that and she doesn't attack. My roommate doesn't really need to squirt her anymore, all she does is point the squirt bottle at Ophelia and she backs off.

I watch how my roommate interacts with my cat a lot, she always talks to her, which I'm always a little nervous to do in front of my roommate. She grew up with cats her entire life while this is my first one, so I think she knows how to interact with them a lot better than I do and it probably makes me nervous. She's really gentle and makes a clicking noise when she talks to her. (I do that too sometimes) When Ophelia approaches my roommate, her tail is straight up in the air and curved at the tip, she rubs all over her legs, then she usually stretches, and rolls over onto her back. She does this when strangers walk into the room too. She loves up all over them. I stopped using nail caps a long time ago, before I got my roommate. And she helped once to try to pill her with a towel. After that I was pretty much done with medications. My roommate is the first one up in the morning and she often says "Opie loves me in the morning! I think it's because she wants food"

I totally get that you are trying to help me! I haven't took anything you've said as an attack on myself because I know I need help haha. I know a lot of the things I've done in the past have been working against me and I'm working on trying to fix that.

I uploaded two videos, one where I was getting into bed and the other is while I was typing this and she was sitting on my laptop.
In the laptop video I did try to pet her, but her tail started moving quickly so I stopped. I ended up picking her up and putting her back on the ground.
 

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calicosrspecial

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That is good you are aware. So knowing that see if you can de-escalate the situation so that an "attack" doesn't occur. Now I say "attack" because I am not sure it is really a mean "stop that" attack or more of a play that gets out of control "attack".

SO,if you are sitting on the ground with your laptop and notebook what does she do that you have to remove her? Cats don't like having territory taken away and they tend not to like to be removed. So what I try to do is make removing a positive using a toy or a treat or something. And see if you can get her in a place that she can be occupied (like looking out of a window). Cats also can have a negative association with being picked up ("I remember last time I was picked up I was locked in a room" - lost territory or "I was taken to the vet" or "I got my nails trimmed") so trying to make it a positive is a good idea.

If she is sitting on your stuff and behaving herself as long as she isn't damaging anything that is fine. Actually, it sounds like she wants your affection. If she didn't she wouldn't want to be sitting next to or near you.

That is great she is not afraid of the ball etc. And that she plays with it on her own. She is a cat, who knows why she doesn't go after it. It could just be that she senses something different. Does she go after it if your roommate throws it or doesn't your roommate throw it at all?

Yes, my cat just sees my fingers moving as "prey" or a toy. She doesn't hurt me but she can't resist. I think Ophelia will get over going after ankles. She might once in a while do it but we'll get her out of that.

Try saying "whatever" word in a sympathetic or pained tone. Cats take on our emotions so conveying displeasure (in not an escalating way) tends to help. Cats will sense our emotions and respond accordingly in order to ensure their survival. So for a crazy example, if someone comes running at a cat screaming the cat will get defensive and maybe lash out to protect themselves or they will run away. Or if someone approaches them more slowly than normal a cat will get more cautious. But if a person acts calm, confident and moves normally around the cat then that is "normal" and the cat will be more relaxed and calm and confident. So just try different emotions and see how she responds.

So you mention every time you speak to her her tail moves. What are your emotions like when you speak to her? Are you kind of cautious? Or not as calm as normal (like if you were just speaking to a friend)? Are you worried about her lashing out? If we have fear the cat can pick up on that and it can lead to issues. How fast is her tail moving? Slow moves are not bad, really fast can be a sign (but not always). Well, I just got to your facebook mention. They are exactly correct. And if you see her tail moving and if you get more cautious she will pick up on that and get more cautious. I see it all the time with new people and ferals. New people see a feral not being too friendly and giving warning signs and they are fearful (understandably) and the cat gets worse and the situation escalates. Whereas, I might have a cat growling but because I kind of know when they might attack and when it is just a warning if I am like "whatever" it actually can de-escalate. Our emotions really matter in my experience.

GREAT that she can look out AND loves to look out. Yes, hopefully you can find another big cat tree to help her get more confidence AND to possibly drain some energy AND give her another place to hang out (especially when you are studying).

She seems to like being up. That is great. Does she ever attack you when you are on a chair, on a bed? Or if she is above you and not on the floor?

You have a lot of great options for her to hang out which is great.

Interesting on the spraying. Glad she is not spraying her anymore. Hopefully the spray bottle can be put away forever soon.

Do you ever get "attacked" soon after she is either sprayed or shown the water bottle?

Did you grow up with dogs? PLEASE don't be nervous around your roommate (talking to Ophelia). Why do you think you are nervous? I think Ophelia is probably picking up on those emotions (nerves) and that is why she may be a little off. I get a sense Ophelia really wants to be with you but I have a feeling that you maybe just don't trust her totally or you are just a little cautious around her. Try your best to be as calm and confident around her as possible and just let your love for her show. Cat typically only attack out of fear. The need to protect themselves. I deal with ferals on the streets all the time and I have never had a cat attack me. Some have shown signs of being close but I see that and back off. It is all part of experience knowing what a cat is going to do.

Food is a great way to build a bond with cats. I do it with ferals all the time. In a TNR I use chicken meat to calm a feral in a trap. It is amazing how often it helps them calm down. Have to be careful but with Ophelia food can be a GREAT way to bond.

I didn't think you would take things wrong but I do like to make sure since I am not always that artful in my writings. I am really not worried about what has happened in the past. Those can be overcome.

Where are the 2 videos you uploaded?

What were you feeling when you were petting her and saw her tail moving and you stopped? How afraid were you? If at all? But you picked her up and put her on the ground? You couldn't have been to afraid. Were you when you picked her up? How did she act after?

If she doesn't like you she wouldn't be by you. So I think you are closer to a bond with her than you think. I think if you make some breakthroughs it could really build on itself quickly. I think you and Ophelia are going to be fine.
 

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If the "OW" isn't working you can try a "Hiss" and turn your back to her for a couple minutes.
The hissing and Ow worked for me but I would watch for her reaction as your trying to get her
to love you, and you don't want to hinder that, but the hiss is what the mother would do to show
her what not to do. You have to do this every time too otherwise it's like starting over.

I would just start with the hissing and turning your back, don't hiss and stare, that would be an aggressive move I think.
 

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I second that on the wet food. We transitioned to raw food almost two full years ago and we are convinced it's best for them. Here in the Twin Cities (MN) area we are lucky enough to have Woody's, a purveyor of raw cat and dog food which has all the necessary ingredients already added to it (although they do sell it without the additives too so you can custom-mix your own) which is good. The selection is great too, from quail and cornish hen to fresh air pork and rabbit. Just amazing. It's also very economical, but the main thing is that the cats love it (for the most part, they are partial to certain varieties) and we have the confidence of knowing they are getting what is best for THEM. If raw isn't an option for you right now, get them on the wet food ASAP and say good-bye to kibble once and for all because even if they don't exhibit health problems when they're young, they are likely to later. There are a lot of articles on this on the web, but this site is probably going to have plenty to convince you of the benefits of both wet and raw.

As far as the play goes, I recommend setting a schedule, even if it's just a loose one. Otherwise it's just too easy to let it slide. You know what I'm saying, being a busy student. Always so many other things to tend to. Play is soooo important. Otherwise they will get neurotic and will start doing weird things like licking themselves too much, etc. Any vets care to chime in on this comment?
 
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Kvla

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That is good you are aware. So knowing that see if you can de-escalate the situation so that an "attack" doesn't occur. Now I say "attack" because I am not sure it is really a mean "stop that" attack or more of a play that gets out of control "attack".

SO,if you are sitting on the ground with your laptop and notebook what does she do that you have to remove her? Cats don't like having territory taken away and they tend not to like to be removed. So what I try to do is make removing a positive using a toy or a treat or something. And see if you can get her in a place that she can be occupied (like looking out of a window). Cats also can have a negative association with being picked up ("I remember last time I was picked up I was locked in a room" - lost territory or "I was taken to the vet" or "I got my nails trimmed") so trying to make it a positive is a good idea.

If she is sitting on your stuff and behaving herself as long as she isn't damaging anything that is fine. Actually, it sounds like she wants your affection. If she didn't she wouldn't want to be sitting next to or near you.

That is great she is not afraid of the ball etc. And that she plays with it on her own. She is a cat, who knows why she doesn't go after it. It could just be that she senses something different. Does she go after it if your roommate throws it or doesn't your roommate throw it at all?

Yes, my cat just sees my fingers moving as "prey" or a toy. She doesn't hurt me but she can't resist. I think Ophelia will get over going after ankles. She might once in a while do it but we'll get her out of that.

Try saying "whatever" word in a sympathetic or pained tone. Cats take on our emotions so conveying displeasure (in not an escalating way) tends to help. Cats will sense our emotions and respond accordingly in order to ensure their survival. So for a crazy example, if someone comes running at a cat screaming the cat will get defensive and maybe lash out to protect themselves or they will run away. Or if someone approaches them more slowly than normal a cat will get more cautious. But if a person acts calm, confident and moves normally around the cat then that is "normal" and the cat will be more relaxed and calm and confident. So just try different emotions and see how she responds.

So you mention every time you speak to her her tail moves. What are your emotions like when you speak to her? Are you kind of cautious? Or not as calm as normal (like if you were just speaking to a friend)? Are you worried about her lashing out? If we have fear the cat can pick up on that and it can lead to issues. How fast is her tail moving? Slow moves are not bad, really fast can be a sign (but not always). Well, I just got to your facebook mention. They are exactly correct. And if you see her tail moving and if you get more cautious she will pick up on that and get more cautious. I see it all the time with new people and ferals. New people see a feral not being too friendly and giving warning signs and they are fearful (understandably) and the cat gets worse and the situation escalates. Whereas, I might have a cat growling but because I kind of know when they might attack and when it is just a warning if I am like "whatever" it actually can de-escalate. Our emotions really matter in my experience.

GREAT that she can look out AND loves to look out. Yes, hopefully you can find another big cat tree to help her get more confidence AND to possibly drain some energy AND give her another place to hang out (especially when you are studying).

She seems to like being up. That is great. Does she ever attack you when you are on a chair, on a bed? Or if she is above you and not on the floor?

You have a lot of great options for her to hang out which is great.

Interesting on the spraying. Glad she is not spraying her anymore. Hopefully the spray bottle can be put away forever soon.

Do you ever get "attacked" soon after she is either sprayed or shown the water bottle?

Did you grow up with dogs? PLEASE don't be nervous around your roommate (talking to Ophelia). Why do you think you are nervous? I think Ophelia is probably picking up on those emotions (nerves) and that is why she may be a little off. I get a sense Ophelia really wants to be with you but I have a feeling that you maybe just don't trust her totally or you are just a little cautious around her. Try your best to be as calm and confident around her as possible and just let your love for her show. Cat typically only attack out of fear. The need to protect themselves. I deal with ferals on the streets all the time and I have never had a cat attack me. Some have shown signs of being close but I see that and back off. It is all part of experience knowing what a cat is going to do.

Food is a great way to build a bond with cats. I do it with ferals all the time. In a TNR I use chicken meat to calm a feral in a trap. It is amazing how often it helps them calm down. Have to be careful but with Ophelia food can be a GREAT way to bond.

I didn't think you would take things wrong but I do like to make sure since I am not always that artful in my writings. I am really not worried about what has happened in the past. Those can be overcome.

Where are the 2 videos you uploaded?

What were you feeling when you were petting her and saw her tail moving and you stopped? How afraid were you? If at all? But you picked her up and put her on the ground? You couldn't have been to afraid. Were you when you picked her up? How did she act after?

If she doesn't like you she wouldn't be by you. So I think you are closer to a bond with her than you think. I think if you make some breakthroughs it could really build on itself quickly. I think you and Ophelia are going to be fine.
Hi! It's been a second since I've been on here. I went home for Thanksgiving and brought Ophelia with me. She walked around the house confidently most of the time with her tail held high, we still worked on bonding while I was home.

I've been letting her sit on my laptop. It's just frustrating when I'm trying to work on homework and she sits on the keyboard and messes up everything I've written. She also likes to chew on the corners of my screen and my laptop is brand new so I don't want her to ruin it already. I'm not sure she wants my affection, I usually will try to pet her but she'll turn around and bite my hand when I do, so I usually just let her sit on my keyboard until she starts to chew on my computer. It's hard to watch movies without her coming and turning them off by stepping on my keyboard or accidentally turning up the volume all the way. When I pick her up and put her on the ground, it seems to make her angry and she'll jump back up on my keyboard or next to my laptop. I can tell that she's mad because her tail is moving quicker and her paw reaches out to grab my hand. When she bites me or tries to chew on the corner of my laptop again, I put her back on the ground and she will jump back up with her anger a little more escalated and that's when she starts to bite in a quick ripping motion on my arms. (Like in the old biting video)

My roommate doesn't usually throw the toys either, but today she threw a crumpled piece of paper into the trash can and my cat ran around to go see what it was. Other than that, I haven't seen her do much chasing unless it's connected to a stick!

I've been working on being more confident around her and talking to her even when my roommate is around and it seems to help. I really try to hide any jealous feelings I have and she will sometime rub up against my legs when I come home now. I work at a boarding facility with dogs and I use the same tone of voice I use when I'm talking to a nervous dog. A soft, soothing voice that gets kinda high pitched at the end of my sentence. I don't usually worry about her lashing out when I'm talking to her because I usually talk to her when she seems calm and happy. Her tail escalates and starts of really slow and eventually will move quicker while I talk to her. I find it so hard to control my emotions around her and to try to feel confident because right now her "attacks" feel like they come out of no-where. I'm not as familiar with warning signs in cats, so when I think I see one I start to assess what I'm doing and why it might be upsetting her and sometimes I worry/feel like I might escalate her to bite me. I'm not really afraid, I'm just trying to work through what she likes and what is making her feel like she has to bite me.

I got a big cat tree on black friday, which she seems to love. She curls up on the top of the cat tree at night usually. She doesn't particularly bite me more when I'm up on my bed versus on the ground. It doesn't seem to matter where I am. I could be on the floor and she could be on my bed and I'd reach up and she'd grab my arm and bite me.

No I never got attacked after her being sprayed.

Yes, I grew up with dogs. At heart, I know I'm a dog person :/ As much as I love cats, Ophelia made me realize it. Dogs are so loyal and love you unconditionally. My dog at home also doesn't bite me! :biggrin: About being nervous, I'm definitely just self-conscious about how my own cat treats me versus how she treats other people. I've been practicing talking to her in front of my roommate though. I taught her how to sit while I was on thanksgiving break, so it gave me an excuse to talk to her when I got back and has been helping me feel more comfortable. Also, my cat loves strangers. When they walk in the door, she rolls onto her belly like she wants to be pet. I usually warn people not to touch her stomach because she'll bite them, but sometimes they touch her in just the wrong way and she latches onto their arms and it's embarrassing. So I often feel really nervous when other people are around her.

Like I said earlier, I wasn't really feeling fear, but I knew she was probably not liking what I was doing because her tail had started to move when I touched her, so I stopped and was probably just trying to figure out what I was doing/why she got upset. While it does hurt when she bites me, I feel like I've just become numb to the feeling. She'll still be biting me as I'm putting her on the ground but I just have gotten bit so many times I don't even react to it anymore.

I uploaded another video of her exploring her new cat tree.

Biting: IMG_2536.MOV
Playing: Items Shared on 11-3-2019
Exploring Cat Tree: BEEB8C08-9669-4B22-A6B2-4AF1CC30E0EA.MP4
Hanging out on Laptop: IMG_2518.MOV
While I was in bed: Items Shared on 11-3-2019 2
Cat & Dog playing together at home: Items Shared on 11-3-2019 3

The videos were too long to be posted on thecatsite, but I was able to upload them to a cloud. Hopefully the links will work. Let me know if they don't.
 
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calicosrspecial

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Right now my girl on on my lap as I type this. She hits the keys at times as well. I tell her no, she stops for a minute then does it again. Cats do things like this. But the fact they are on or near us tells us they want to be by us. Now, cats like things on their terms. So typically when we try to move them they go back to where they want to be. So I tend to try to get them interested in something else. Now my girl is nibbling my knuckles and typing fingers. They just can't resist. Now with my girl, I give her a pet to distract her *but of course that means I can't type). Basically I just try to work around her and I do know that she has no intention of hurting me.

Now Ophelia - she shouldn't be biting on the laptop. Can you have a toy there so she can bite on that? To her a laptop and a toy are basically the same.

Now her tail moving could just be that she is getting over-stimulated. Moving a cat around, picking them up etc can be viewed as play with cats or stimulation. So if putting her down is not working try some other things. We want her to get out of the habit of wanting to nip. So maybe having a treat nearby or a toy. Just try some things to get her focused on something other than your computer or your arms. But given her response I probably would not pick her up and put her down since it seems like she is getting over-stimulated. Maybe take a break and get a short play session started. (I know it is hard when you have to get things done).

I think she is just a young cat with a lot of energy. It is good she went to see the wad of paper.

Whoa!!!! SHE RUBBED on you when you came home???? AWESOME!!! That is a GREAT greeting. You are in!!! I think you have a bigger bond with her than you think!!! I actually think some of the biting is her wanting more love. We have to do it right but I am starting to see that maybe there is more of a bond there but you may be holding back a bit and mis-interpreting her and that gets her frustrated. As I learn more I see she wants to be with you more (like on your laptop) and now the rubbing when you get home (which is a sign of her wanting to "own" you getting her scent on you). Wow, rubbing, VERY cool!!!

Ahhhhhhh, you work with dogs. She may be smelling the scent of dogs (which can cause issues) and that may trigger some of what is happening. Interesting, I didn;t realize you had dog scent on you at times.

Great that you are focusing on your emotions. PLEASE do not feel jealous, you have no reason to feel jealous. You and Ophelia are going to be fine. I would like to see how she responds to when you are speaking to her. She may just be excited. Interpreting cats is hard but you will get there. Then if you feel more cautious worried about her she could be sensing that and get more on edge. Cats :attacks" typically don;t come out of nowhere. I deal and have dealt with thousands and thousands of cats and it is highly rare when there is just a chemical imbalance. Usually there are signs. My goal is to teach you those so that you can understand what is worrisome and what isn;t. I don;t get a sense Ophelia has a chemical imbalance BUT I have not see her. Also, one thing I have learned is with ferals or unknown cats how our emotions are impact how the cats respond. So the more "cool" we are the more the situation de-escalates. Again, it is art but Ophelia is not a wild feral or a scared cat so she will be easier to work with. I like that you are analytical but don;t overthink things to much. Just feel the love you have for her. I think she already picks up on that but she will more in the future and the better behaved she is the more positive you will feel and it will build on itself.

GREAT on the cat tree. Well done!! I love to hear she loves it. Hopefully she will choose the tree over you sometimes so you can get some work done.

Does she ever break the skin when you reach up and she grabs your arm and bites?

Good. No attack after spraying. That again tells me she cares about you more that you may realize.

Yes, I figured you grew up with dogs. I am not sure there are really dog and cat people. Sure the animals are different but that is what makes it very fulfilling. I was a dog person (or so I thought) and now I call myself a dog AND cat person. They both are amazing, different, but amazing. I actually think Ophelia thinks you are a cat person.

I have a feeling you are seeing her in a different way than she is seeing you. You should not feel self conscious. She wants to be by you. If she didn't like you I guarantee she would be away from you. And I actually view it that yu are doing something right that she loves strangers. That tells me that you have built her trust and confidence. If she had a "bad" homelife she would not take to strangers. And why should you feel embarrassed? You warn them and they didn't listen. THEY should feel embarrassed if anyone should. If some stranger came over and rubbed your belly you might get mad too!! ;) One serious thing though, if you are feeling nervous Ophelia could pick up on that and increase the likelihood of something bad happening. Cats wont attack typically without provocation. They may hide. Or they may feel fear if someone stares at them, corners them, starts reaching for them, etc but those would be triggers that are easily corrected. It doesn't sound like Ophelia is a "scary" cat. Just calmly explain to your guests about how to interact (or not) with her. Please don't be too hard on yourself.

Cats tails can move because of over-stimulation or as a warning. It can mean multiple things. Watch her ears (if they go flat), watch her hair on her back (if it is up), watch her pupils (if they are big), watch her body (if it looks defensive), things like that. If her tail starts moving faster then just work to de-escalate so don't pick her up. Just try to be more calm, talk to her calmly, etc.

So think of a dog. A dog wags their tail. That means they are happy, right? Well, my dog wags her tail while she is snarling and barking and showing her teeth. A tail waging means something depending on other signs.

When she bites I know it hurts, but does she draw blood? A real cat bite is serious. The fact she is not doing a real bite tells me that she is not trying to hurt you but rather is trying to tell you something. She is showing restraint. Intentional restraint. Not something a cat that dislikes someone or feels fear would do.

I am a little short on time to watch the videos now but I will check them out. Are all of them new?

I know youtube can handle longer videos and I know it works really easily. I don't know how to upload them there but I know people do it and it comes up on the thread and can be watched while in the thread. It is really easy.

Hang in there, I actually think that you and Ophelia are closer than you think. I think all we need is a little breakthrough to show you and once you see the situation clearer I think the positives will build quickly.
 

She's a witch

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Dogs are so loyal and love you unconditionally.
Dogs are wired to be obedient as their survival in pack depends on this. Cats are solitary hunters in nature and care less about what others think of them, which I value a lot.
Personally, dog's loyalty scares me, they don't seem to "care" about themselves at all. Cats are great teachers in self love.
There's this funny exaggerated saying/joke that I like a lot: If you want to experience to be loved, get a dog. If you want to experience to love, get a cat. (And get a hamster if you want to experience their death).
Sorry for OT!
 
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Kvla

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Right now my girl on on my lap as I type this. She hits the keys at times as well. I tell her no, she stops for a minute then does it again. Cats do things like this. But the fact they are on or near us tells us they want to be by us. Now, cats like things on their terms. So typically when we try to move them they go back to where they want to be. So I tend to try to get them interested in something else. Now my girl is nibbling my knuckles and typing fingers. They just can't resist. Now with my girl, I give her a pet to distract her *but of course that means I can't type). Basically I just try to work around her and I do know that she has no intention of hurting me.

Now Ophelia - she shouldn't be biting on the laptop. Can you have a toy there so she can bite on that? To her a laptop and a toy are basically the same.

Now her tail moving could just be that she is getting over-stimulated. Moving a cat around, picking them up etc can be viewed as play with cats or stimulation. So if putting her down is not working try some other things. We want her to get out of the habit of wanting to nip. So maybe having a treat nearby or a toy. Just try some things to get her focused on something other than your computer or your arms. But given her response I probably would not pick her up and put her down since it seems like she is getting over-stimulated. Maybe take a break and get a short play session started. (I know it is hard when you have to get things done).

I think she is just a young cat with a lot of energy. It is good she went to see the wad of paper.

Whoa!!!! SHE RUBBED on you when you came home???? AWESOME!!! That is a GREAT greeting. You are in!!! I think you have a bigger bond with her than you think!!! I actually think some of the biting is her wanting more love. We have to do it right but I am starting to see that maybe there is more of a bond there but you may be holding back a bit and mis-interpreting her and that gets her frustrated. As I learn more I see she wants to be with you more (like on your laptop) and now the rubbing when you get home (which is a sign of her wanting to "own" you getting her scent on you). Wow, rubbing, VERY cool!!!

Ahhhhhhh, you work with dogs. She may be smelling the scent of dogs (which can cause issues) and that may trigger some of what is happening. Interesting, I didn;t realize you had dog scent on you at times.

Great that you are focusing on your emotions. PLEASE do not feel jealous, you have no reason to feel jealous. You and Ophelia are going to be fine. I would like to see how she responds to when you are speaking to her. She may just be excited. Interpreting cats is hard but you will get there. Then if you feel more cautious worried about her she could be sensing that and get more on edge. Cats :attacks" typically don;t come out of nowhere. I deal and have dealt with thousands and thousands of cats and it is highly rare when there is just a chemical imbalance. Usually there are signs. My goal is to teach you those so that you can understand what is worrisome and what isn;t. I don;t get a sense Ophelia has a chemical imbalance BUT I have not see her. Also, one thing I have learned is with ferals or unknown cats how our emotions are impact how the cats respond. So the more "cool" we are the more the situation de-escalates. Again, it is art but Ophelia is not a wild feral or a scared cat so she will be easier to work with. I like that you are analytical but don;t overthink things to much. Just feel the love you have for her. I think she already picks up on that but she will more in the future and the better behaved she is the more positive you will feel and it will build on itself.

GREAT on the cat tree. Well done!! I love to hear she loves it. Hopefully she will choose the tree over you sometimes so you can get some work done.

Does she ever break the skin when you reach up and she grabs your arm and bites?

Good. No attack after spraying. That again tells me she cares about you more that you may realize.

Yes, I figured you grew up with dogs. I am not sure there are really dog and cat people. Sure the animals are different but that is what makes it very fulfilling. I was a dog person (or so I thought) and now I call myself a dog AND cat person. They both are amazing, different, but amazing. I actually think Ophelia thinks you are a cat person.

I have a feeling you are seeing her in a different way than she is seeing you. You should not feel self conscious. She wants to be by you. If she didn't like you I guarantee she would be away from you. And I actually view it that yu are doing something right that she loves strangers. That tells me that you have built her trust and confidence. If she had a "bad" homelife she would not take to strangers. And why should you feel embarrassed? You warn them and they didn't listen. THEY should feel embarrassed if anyone should. If some stranger came over and rubbed your belly you might get mad too!! ;) One serious thing though, if you are feeling nervous Ophelia could pick up on that and increase the likelihood of something bad happening. Cats wont attack typically without provocation. They may hide. Or they may feel fear if someone stares at them, corners them, starts reaching for them, etc but those would be triggers that are easily corrected. It doesn't sound like Ophelia is a "scary" cat. Just calmly explain to your guests about how to interact (or not) with her. Please don't be too hard on yourself.

Cats tails can move because of over-stimulation or as a warning. It can mean multiple things. Watch her ears (if they go flat), watch her hair on her back (if it is up), watch her pupils (if they are big), watch her body (if it looks defensive), things like that. If her tail starts moving faster then just work to de-escalate so don't pick her up. Just try to be more calm, talk to her calmly, etc.

So think of a dog. A dog wags their tail. That means they are happy, right? Well, my dog wags her tail while she is snarling and barking and showing her teeth. A tail waging means something depending on other signs.

When she bites I know it hurts, but does she draw blood? A real cat bite is serious. The fact she is not doing a real bite tells me that she is not trying to hurt you but rather is trying to tell you something. She is showing restraint. Intentional restraint. Not something a cat that dislikes someone or feels fear would do.

I am a little short on time to watch the videos now but I will check them out. Are all of them new?

I know youtube can handle longer videos and I know it works really easily. I don't know how to upload them there but I know people do it and it comes up on the thread and can be watched while in the thread. It is really easy.

Hang in there, I actually think that you and Ophelia are closer than you think. I think all we need is a little breakthrough to show you and once you see the situation clearer I think the positives will build quickly.
I will watch for other signs with her tail wagging! I do notice her pupils get really big and her ears lay back flat when she's really escalated and about to pounce. I'm worried to stare too long into her eyes and make myself come off as intimidating too. But for picking her up, I'll try to get her off by using a toy or something and get her to play for a little while. In my mind, it doesn't make sense that I would use a treat/toy when she bites my laptop because it feels like I'm reinforcing the behavior.. is that just for dogs? I thought that any attention, whether negative or positive, is attention.

She did rub on me! I did walk in with other people though so she was really happy to see some new people and was rubbing up on all of our legs, including mine. It makes my heart explode with love when she does that because I know she's marking me as hers.

I've been working with dogs ever since I got her at 4 weeks old, just at a lot of different workplaces. Do you think that could still have an affect? She also grew up with only a dog and they get along so I don't see how that could be a reason?

No, she never bites to break skin. I got my fingers pretty mauled up by a cat at a vet clinic I worked at about 7-8 months ago and had to get stitches, so I know that her bites are different than that one lol. It's hard to tell the difference between "stop that!" bites and "i want your attention!" bites because it seems like she will want my attention by sitting on my laptop, but then when I try to give her love she will bite me, no matter where I touch her.

It makes sense that if she had a bad experience with people that she wouldn't want to be around people, but would it also make sense if she had a bad experience with ME that she would love to be around other people more? and that's why she gets excited when new people come in?

What does intentional restraint mean? And yes, all the videos are from the last week.
 
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