Why Is Cat Suddenly Starting To Bite In Bed?

fourwheeledlife

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
May 15, 2018
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Hello! My mom and I adopted 2 male cats a month ago from the shelter, Tolken and Buddha. One of them, Tolken, immediately started to sleep with me on my bed. There were no issues, and liked to be touched and petted on the bed. About one week ago he suddenly started to “chirp” and then charge me in bed, trying to bite me if I don’t move or stop him. He always chirps 1st. Once he falls asleep he doesn’t do it again during the night. I also can no longer touch him on the bed, he swats angrily at me or tries to bite. Off the bed he is fine, I can touch, pet and brush. Nothing that I can think of has changed. I have tried saying no in a stern voice, blowing in his face, and spraying him with water. Any ideas would be welcome to get him to stop!
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
15,692
Reaction score
31,273
Location
Canada
Hello and welcome to TCS. Congrats on the recent adoption of your 2 cats. Sorry, though, that Tolken has started to bite.

How old is he? Has he been neutered? Does he get along ok with Buddha?

It's possible something scared him, and he's redirecting his aggression towards you. When he bites you, say "owwww" and "no" to let him know he is hurting you.

Here's a few TCS articles that might be helpful:

Re-directed Aggression In Cats
Cat Aggression Toward People
How To Stop Playtime Aggression In Cats

Also, please don't spray water at him, as it could actually worsen the behaviour you are trying to stop.

How To Set Healthy Boundaries For Your Cat
Cats And Discipline Don't Mix
5 Reasons To Never Spray Water On Your Cat
 

ArtNJ

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
3,077
Reaction score
3,405
My guess is that this is play biting. I toss around a lot in bed because of insonmia and sleep apnea, and more than one of the kittens I've had over the years has been entranced by body parts moving under the blanket and wanted to pounce, often slipping claws under the blanket. My cats haven't generally bitten in the bed, but its sort of a package...when a cat gets in the mood to play with its human, and no toy is involved, it can happen, until discouraged. And once it starts, play biting can become a habit. The chirp, and the fact that this only happens in the bed, is particularly telling that this is likely what is going on. So my recommendation is the same as rubysmama rubysmama - a loud "no" followed by ignoring the cat. Since you may not be able to stop moving under the covers (I sure can't) its possible that the loud "no" may not work, and you may need to consider an eviction, at least for a week or two. Since this is likely a habit, a "time out" of a week or two might cure it.
 
Last edited:
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

fourwheeledlife

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
May 15, 2018
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
Hello and welcome to TCS. Congrats on the recent adoption of your 2 cats. Sorry, though, that Tolken has started to bite.

How old is he? Has he been neutered? Does he get along ok with Buddha?

It's possible something scared him, and he's redirecting his aggression towards you. When he bites you, say "owwww" and "no" to let him know he is hurting you.

Here's a few TCS articles that might be helpful:

Re-directed Aggression In Cats
Cat Aggression Toward People
How To Stop Playtime Aggression In Cats

Also, please don't spray water at him, as it could actually worsen the behaviour you are trying to stop.

How To Set Healthy Boundaries For Your Cat
Cats And Discipline Don't Mix
5 Reasons To Never Spray Water On Your Cat
Hi Rubysmama,
Tolken is about 1 yr old and is neutered. He acts like a crazy kitten still and I love his “spunkiness”. He and Buddha generally get along well, although some wrestling does get out of hand, mostly on Tolkens part. I can’t think of anything that seems to scare him before we go to bed (happens even if I nap during the day). I have thought he was trying to play with me because of the chirping. Tonight he bit my shirt and wouldn’t let go. That was a few mins ago and now he’s fast asleep and will be fine for the rest of the night. I want to figure this out so he is happy in his new home (and so I don’t get bit!). I didn’t know I shouldn’t spray water as a deterrent so I won’t do that anymore! Thanks for taking the time to reply to my thread!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

fourwheeledlife

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
May 15, 2018
Messages
6
Reaction score
1
My guess is that this is play biting. I toss around a lot in bed because of insonmia and sleep apnea, and more than one of the kittens I've had over the years has been entranced by body parts moving under the blanket and wanted to pounce, often slipping claws under the blanket. My cats haven't generally bitten in the bed, but its sort of a package...when a cat gets in the mood to play with its human, and no toy is involved, it can happen, until discouraged. And once it starts, play biting can become a habit. The chirp, and the fact that this only happens in the bed, is particularly telling that this is likely what is going on. So my recommendation is the same as rubysmama rubysmama - a loud "no" followed by ignoring the cat. Since you may not be able to stop moving under the covers (I sure can't) its possible that the loud "no" may not work, and you may need to consider an eviction, at least for a week or two. Since this is likely a habit, a "time out" of a week or two might cure it.
Hello! I too have the feeling he is trilling to play with me. He’s only about one year old and is from the shelter. I really don’t think he’s spent much time in a home before and just needs some manners. Thanks for taking the time to reply to my thread!
 

ArtNJ

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
3,077
Reaction score
3,405
Oh one more thing! Unlike some, I think that spraying water can have its place in narrow situations, like kitchen table training with a stubborn cat that refuses gentler methods. I agree not to do it here though, because unless your VERY quick the cat won't associate it precisely enough with the play biting and will likely just stop coming in your bed at all, which you don't seem to want. Maybe its not just a speed issue, but rather that they only link the water glass to "run" and don't form any linkage with the underlying behavior. In any event, from my experience, it seems a loud "No" is maybe a little easier for the cat to associate with what it is doing that instant. No to mention you don't get your bed wet :)
 

danteshuman

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
3,725
Reaction score
3,984
Location
California
If I was guessing I would say that it is play aggression. I can't remember who recommended a kickeroo but I could hug them. My punk loves it! When he chirps I would toss a feather missile (feather ball) away from you, then play with him. Play fetch or wand toys. I wiggle my bud's kickeroo around from one end so the tail wiggles to help encourage him to put his aggression on that toy not his brother!

KONG Kickeroo Cow Pattern Cat Toy
Petlinks Feather Flips Feathered Ball Cat Toy

P.S. they are cute :) Why are the cutest ones the trouble makers? ;)
 

jtbo

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 25, 2011
Messages
2,676
Reaction score
854
Location
Finland
Biting trough blanket ?

Mole, mice etc. move inside the grass, can't see, but can hear, can feel the movement with whiskers, move hand under the blanket and that is triggering hunting instinct, it is enough to move a finger rubbing against the linen, there is enough sound to get cat going.

Lift arm up and 'prey' becomes too big to hunt.

If there is no blanket in between cat and point cat is trying to attack, then it is bit odd., haven't seen or heard such, but sometimes cats get bit crazy just before falling the sleep, maybe wasting bit more energy by playing before bed time would work in either case?

Hmm, I wonder if this comes as a double as I got all kind of questionnaires and agreements, then saying error that available only via post.
 
Top