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Author Topic:   What to do about an aggressive young tomcat?
CatGuy
Member

Posts: 17
From:Fort Worth, TX USA
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 10-18-2003 08:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for CatGuy     Edit/Delete Message
First off introductions: My name's Ty and I have 2 domestic shorthairs that are like my kids. Their names are Bruce and Sonia.

My problem is not with them however (they're angels)...it's with my girlfriend's cat Ray. He is about 6 months old and neutered. Almost since she got him he has been very aggressive. She got him from the local humane society when he was 2 or 3 months old, and we don't know anything about where he was before that. What I mean by aggressive is that he bites constantly, generally in a playful manner (I think) but HARD. Sometimes it's not playful...you can tell he's really angry and trying to inflict pain. He'll ambush while you're walking and bite the heck out of your foot, sneak up behind you and jump on you biting, and even run and jump at your face (biting and clawing)! She ended up declawing his front paws partially for this reason, and so all he can do now is bite, but he does it constantly. My girlfriend once had a study group of 5 girls over and he ran around biting all of them non-stop until she locked him in the bathroom.

As far as discipline, we have tried several things. He gets stern "NO"s, firm spankings (of course not harming him), and spraying with a water bottle. When she's at her wit's end she locks him in the bathroom until he calms down. I got her a small "Super Soaker" water gun to shoot him with and this works a LITTLE better but it hasn't broken the habit.

We're looking for advice for more effective ways of disciplining him or otherwise stopping the problem. Do we have any hope that he will stop this as he gets older? If he associates with my cats, will they learn his bad habit? He is a very nice sweet cat when he is tired! Any advice is appreciated.

-Ty

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nern

Moderator

Posts: 1591
From:NY, USA
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 10-18-2003 08:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for nern     Edit/Delete Message
Welcome to the board Ty!

Here is some info. that you may find helpful: http://www.fanciers.com/cat-faqs/behavior.shtml
"Biting
Give a sharp, plantative yowl, like the sound a hurt cat will make. Pull your hand back (or if that would score furrows down your hand, let it go completely limp), turn your back on it, and ignore it for a few minutes. People are divided on the issue of whether to allow hand attacks at all or to allow limited hand attacks. You can train the cat to do either with the same method. For the former, always wail when attacked and then offer a toy to play with instead; for the latter, wail whenever the claws come out, but allow attack of the hand up to that point. Be aware that a cat trained not to use a person as a toy at all will be more trustworthy around a new baby (see A New Baby). You may try hissing at a cat that persistently attacks you."

For further info. check out these links:

Aggression Towards People from HSUS- http://www.hsus.org/ace/15916

Aggression Towards People from Cats International- http://www.catsinternational.org/articles/aggression_to_people/index.html

Feline Aggression from IVIS- http://www.ivis.org/advances/Behavior_Houpt/horwitz/chapter_frm.asp?LA=1

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CatGuy
Member

Posts: 17
From:Fort Worth, TX USA
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 10-19-2003 02:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for CatGuy     Edit/Delete Message
Thanks! Some of those suggestions are great...one website you listed suggested putting a small amount of vinegar in the spray bottle. I think that's a great idea!

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lpammy61
New Member

Posts: 5
From:Elmira, NY USA
Registered: Oct 2003

posted 10-19-2003 03:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for lpammy61     Edit/Delete Message
No advice for ya, but I think the cat will settle down some when it gets older. My cat was the same way when he was that age. He was always diving out at our feet as we passed him or he'd jump at our face while we were just sitting watching tv. The cat bit & scratched me while on his leash, as I picked him up to come inside. I ended up getting an infected tendon in my right index finger and had to be hospitalized for 5 days. After 2 days on IV antibiotics, they had to operate on my hand to drain the pus from the infected finger. Even after all this, I kept the cat and he has matured. He's still a moody cat, but he doesn't do that biting or diving at us like he used to. So have hope that "Ray" will grow out of his playfulness!

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footsie
Member

Posts: 123
From:Vancouver, WA USA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 10-20-2003 05:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for footsie     Edit/Delete Message
My cat does just the same thing.

So far I've tried tons of things and gotten so mad at my kitten I seriously considered giving him away.

Recently I bought him a stuffed animal that is about the same size as he is. its a baby toy rather than a cat toy. It is about as long as he is but floppey with thin spots. Whenever my cat attacks me I distract him with the toy and taunt him with it. usually it changes the focus of his attention and he'll bite it for a while. It hasn't helped completely and once he gets board and realizes that the toy isn't fighting back. But it has helped.

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