bit me again. How can I stop this behavior?

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. With any sudden behavior change, it is always a good idea to schedule a wellness check with your local veterinarian. Sudden aggression in cats (especially ones where the cat breaks the skin with its bite) may indicate an underlying health issue such as pain or illness.

If your cat checks out healthy, it may be a good idea to speak with a behaviorist in your area. Many animal shelters and humane societies will have a list of trainers or behaviorists that can help address your cat’s behavioral issue.

Aggression can be tricky to treat, but sometimes techniques such as increased play and activity to reduce boredom, changes in diet or location of litter, food and water, or even common supplements in addition to a new behavior routine are all that is needed.

In some cases, cats may be stressed or overstimulated, causing their aggression. Making sure your cat has a safe place to hide that is away from people, animals and noise can help your cat to feel a little better in the meantime.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

If the cat tries to attack you in the night, grab your trusty bottle and spritz him in the face. Follow the spray with a firm “No!” or loud clapping. Don`t give the cat any other attention after the reprimand. Every time the cat repeats the attacking behavior, spray and reprimand him.
Cats are nocturnal and like to play. Because they have claws and sharp teeth they can play rough. My first cat liked to ambush me when I walked from the car to the door. He also liked to chase me and my partner to the bathroom and back during night time trips to the toilet.
Many cats exhibit what behaviourists call “petting-induced aggression,” an instinctive reaction to something they find unpleasant, even painful. Compared to dogs, cats are generally less tolerant of petting. When, where and how long cats can be touched before they become overstimulated vary from cat to cat.
Cats attack because it`s fun

Cats love to play and attacking is usually just another form of this. Attack play is most common in younger cats who will attack pretty much anything: you, kitten friends, plants, toys, toilet paper rolls, shoes, shadows…you get the idea.

Prevention and management. Avoid trigger situations where possible. Do not encourage aggressive play: this involves ignoring unwanted behaviour (not reinforcing it with your attention). If your cat tries to play aggressively, move away from the situation, preferably into another room, shut the door and do not react.
One of the most common reasons why cats get aggressive at night is because they want to play. Cats are energetic animals and need physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy. If they do not get enough playtime during the day, they may become restless and seek playtime at night.
Overstimulation: Aggression can occur as a normal response to being petted or handled in areas or ways your cat finds uncomfortable. It could also happen when the petting or handling have gone on for too long. Some cats exhibit overstimulation which leads to petting-induced aggression.
There are many possible reasons why cats suddenly attack their owners including misguided play, a show of dominance, fear, or a medical issue. The good news is that, with time and patience, the issue can usually be corrected.
Getting your attention

Some cats have learned that biting their human will get them the attention they crave. These felines will usually not really bite, but rather give you a small nip to remind you that you are not paying enough attention to them.

If the problem arises, the owners must avoid the cat until it is calmed down. As with redirected aggression to other cats, the immediate treatment is to avoid the cat, preferably by finding a safe way to confine the cat in an area away from people, and then releasing the cat only after it is calm.
Changes such as new animals, new people, major renovations may trigger territorial aggression. Cats may mark their territory by spraying, rubbing their chin on furniture or areas surrounding, and patrolling. Offenders may be chased off or swatting, vocalization and aggressive behavior may be exhibited.
Cats bite for so many reasons: They could be overstimulated or showing affection; if they`re babies, they could be teething; they could be depressed or scared; or they could be angry or sick. Why do cats love bite? Veterinarians speculate that cats often love bite when they get overstimulated.
To tell if your cat is in bodyguard mode, look for the following cat body language: Dilated eyes. Pointed ears turned out like satellite dishes. Sharp, quick tail movements.
Remember, a cat`s mood will vary just as our mood does! Sometimes your cat may just need some alone time. If they associate you approaching with being picked up or stroked and they don`t fancy it, they may well run away. Next time they may be in the mood for some affection and so head towards you.
Playful, energetic cats may slap each other as in invitation to play. Cats that are inviting play by slapping will have body language fitting a playful cat. Their whiskers will be forward and their attention given to the situation at hand.
Every cat is different, but there are a few feline behaviours that may be your cat`s way of saying they`d like to patch things up. They include, Approaching you (it`s a little gesture, but it means they feel safe) Head butting and rubbing.
There`s a difference between rough play and aggression

During fun play, ears and tails will be straight up in the air. There may be some hissing, but play is usually quiet. If you notice a cat`s ears turn toward the back of the head (“airplane ears”) or you hear growling, the play has tipped over into aggression.

The most common reason that cats bite their owners isn`t that they have an aggressive cat, it`s because they are trying to play! While sharp teeth or claws may not feel very “playful” to you, hunting behavior equals play behavior for your kitty. This means stalking, pouncing, biting, and kicking.
These types of bites may have to do with play aggression (playing too roughly), territorial aggression, or a response based on early abuse that the cat may have endured. Play aggression is the most common reason a cat will bite a human.
If your cat nips you They might be trying to get your attention. Lastly, cats can use biting as a communication tool or a means to get attention. This type of biting is often the least severe – think “love nips” when you`ve stopped petting your cat when they want more.
The cat begs for attention and loves the petting, but then bites you after only a few strokes. These cats use the “leave me alone” bite to stop interactions such as petting, being lifted or approached, or being moved from a favorite perch. It`s a very common behavior in cats, but you can work with your pet to stop it.
As a general rule, cats are sensitive when it comes to smells, but there are a few scents they hate that might just surprise you. They can`t stand citrus and as much as you might love the smell of fresh herbs, cats hate rosemary and thyme. Banana and mustard are a big no-no too, as well as lavender and eucalyptus.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My cat attacks me, it´s usually at night but now she does it also during the day. I just spent 5 days in the hospital… I got back and she bit me again. How can I stop this behavior?
ANSWER : A. With any sudden behavior change, it is always a good idea to schedule a wellness check with your local veterinarian. Sudden aggression in cats (especially ones where the cat breaks the skin with its bite) may indicate an underlying health issue such as pain or illness.

If your cat checks out healthy, it may be a good idea to speak with a behaviorist in your area. Many animal shelters and humane societies will have a list of trainers or behaviorists that can help address your cat’s behavioral issue.

Aggression can be tricky to treat, but sometimes techniques such as increased play and activity to reduce boredom, changes in diet or location of litter, food and water, or even common supplements in addition to a new behavior routine are all that is needed.

In some cases, cats may be stressed or overstimulated, causing their aggression. Making sure your cat has a safe place to hide that is away from people, animals and noise can help your cat to feel a little better in the meantime.

Q. My cat continues to scratch on furniture and carpets. He has plenty of scratching posts around the house. Please help!
ANSWER : A. Scratching is a natural behavior in cats that can be frequently frustrating for pet owners who want to keep their furniture from being shredded on a constant basis. The texture of furniture and carpet is very appealing to cats and this why they frequently choose to spend their time on this activity as opposed to playing with their own cat toys. Here are some suggestions to help curb this unwanted behavior:

1. Purchase a cat scratching post or cat tree that is covered in carpeted or textured material. Place it in an appealing spot that your cat would be inclined to spend time (eg. in the sun). You can also place catnip on the scratching post or cat tree to make your cat even more interested in the new object.

2. You can utilize double sided tape on the ends of the furniture because you cat will not like the sticky feeling and will learn to not scratch in that region. Use the tape that has a lighter adhesive in order to prevent any permanent damage. Other materials, such as aluminum foil or bubble wrap can also be placed on the furniture to discourage the scratching.

3. Keep nails trimmed short by either learning to do this on your own at home or using a veterinary technician, or groomer. Nails can usually be trimmed every 6-8 weeks.

4. Redirect the unwanted behavior. If your cat begins scratching, use a favorite or new toy to distract the cat from the scratching. Give your cat positive praise for not scratching.

5. As a last resort you can use a spray bottle full of water to spritz your cat when he or she is scratching inappropriately at your furniture. Generally, cats do not like water and this will discourage them from continuing the behavior.

Have patience with your cat because it can takes time to understand this is an unwanted behavior and that furniture is not another toy for them to use. You can always consult your veterinary or veterinary behaviorist to help with ideas or further solutions to this problem.

Read Full Q/A … : I found Pickle on

Q. Why do cats meow?
ANSWER : A. Cat parents often wish they could better understand what their favorite feline friends want or desire. A cat’s meow can be interpreted in many different ways and can indicate an array of feelings and needs. Here are some of the most common reasons for your cat’s vocalizations:

1. Greeting- Many cats will meow as a greeting when you enter your home or walk into a room. Cats will also meow at another cat or animal in the household to extend a hello and acknowledge the other animal’s presence.

2. Attention – An exuberant meow followed by leg rubbing or another attention seeking behavior may indicate your cat is looking for some quality time spent together. Some petting or rubbing behind the ears may be in order.

3. Hunger – A meowing cat is often a hungry cat. This is one of the most common reasons for a cat to vocalize to their owners. A cat will meow to get your attention at feeding times or even when they want extra food.

4. Sickness – A sick or hurt cat may begin to meow excessively, warranting a visit to the veterinarian. There are numerous reasons for a cat in distress to meow—whether it is related to an upset stomach, an injured leg or a urinary blockage. These meows should be carefully investigated.

5. Entering or leaving – Most cats will vocalize when they want to be let in or out of a room. You may notice when you are in the bathroom or behind the closed door of a room that your cat begins to meow, scratches at the door, and often reaches its paw under the door. This is a clear indication that the cat wants to be where you are.

6. Angry – An agitated cat may meow to warn their owner or another household pet that they are upset and would like to be left alone. This angry meow may increase in sound volume as the cat becomes more stressed or agitated. Often a cat will exhibit this type of meow at the veterinary office when they are unhappy with their examination or restraint.

Each feline is different and so are their vocalizations. Learn to understand the variety of meows your cat uses on a daily basis. This will help you develop a better relationship with your cat and help them live a more trusting and happier life.

Q. How should I interpret my cat’s tail movements?
ANSWER : A. Our feline friends express themselves in many different ways, including through the use of their tails. Most pet owners pay close attention to a happy or excited dog, but they are sometimes less attentive to the posture and movement of their cat. Here are some of the most common cat tail behaviors, and the underlying emotion behind each action:

A flicking tail: Many anxious, nervous or stressed cats will hold their tail in a low position and flick it quickly back and forth. This is often referred to as angry tail, and a pet owner or veterinarian should be on guard for any possible aggressive or defensive activity. If a cat is moving their tail slowly, and not exhibiting the flicking motion, then this cat is at a much calmer state.

Vertical position: Most of the time when a cat is holding their tail in a straight, vertical position this is indicating curiosity and a playful mood. A cat chasing after a laser pointer or playing toys will often have their tails in a vertical position showing their enjoyment. This position also helps with balanced movements. In contrast, if the tail is in the vertical position and the cat’s back is arched with pinned back ears then this could demonstrate a feeling of being threatened and thus result in defensive or aggressive behaviors.

The Tucked Tail: Similar to a dog, a tucked tail often indicates submission or fear. Your cat is conveying upset feelings and should most likely be left alone. This tucked tail appearance can also make a cat look smaller and less threatening to an aggressive cat.

The Tail Twine: Cats will often hook their tail around another cat’s tail, owner’s legs or other objects to show a friendly and affectionate nature. They are also trying to indicate whether they want to receive affection from their owners, be fed or have playtime.

The next time you are home with your feline companion take note on how they express themselves through their tail movements, their ears, body posture and vocalization. You can start to better understand their needs and wants, in addition to what makes them uncomfortable or happy. Cats will surprise you with their array of emotions and varied expressions they can express.

Q. I have a cat with that virur (aids) could u tell me about her disposition and care
ANSWER : A. Thanks for your question.

Unfortunately the discussion about what you asked has no straightforward answers and can be quite complex.

First thing that I would double check, considering that your cat is very young, is whether she is really infected. It is important to remember that kittens born to FIV-infected queens will receive antibodies from the queen via the milk, and so will test positive early in life though they may not be infected. Kittens with a positive test result should always be retested when they are 5-6 months of age.

Many FIV infected cats are able to live happily with the virus for a long period of time, and indeed the virus will not necessarily ever cause clinical disease.

Different factors will influence the onset of disease in your cat including:

– The ”subtype” of FIV your cat is infected with,

– Her immune response

– The presence or absence of other infectious agents.

To maintain a good quality of life for your cat, I will give you these general guidelines, but you will then find certainly helpful to speak with your veterinarian for specific cases.

– Some antiviral medications used in human patients with HIV infection have also been shown to help some cats with FIV infection. Interferons may have anti-viral effects and modify immune responses. A recombinant feline interferon (feline interferon omega) is available in some countries. Down side is the cost usually.

– Keep your cat away from other cats and possible source of infections;

– Maintain good quality nutrition;

– Keep your cat indoor if possible regularly checked by your veterinarian;

– Keep your cat away from non-infected cats.

Q. My cat is pooping outside of the litter bix. He is 2 1/2. He did this as a kitten. It stopped then started about 3 months ago. Litterbox is clean.
ANSWER : A. Inappropriate elimination or house soiling can be a frustrating problem but with a bit of detective work on your part, there is hope. First, before deciding that this is a behavioral issue, any medical problems (diarrhea, constipation, fecal incontinence, pain on defecation, etc.) need to be ruled out and/or treated. If your cat receives a clean bill of health from your vet but is still eliminating outside the litterbox, then we need to consider that something about the box itself might be aversive to your cat. Cats can be quite finicky about their litterbox and toileting habits. Below I have listed common recommendations and cat preferences for litterbox use. Review the list and make any changes that could account for your cat’s aversion to defecating in the litterbox:
* Soft, fine-grained clumping litter (vs, coarse-grained, non-clumping litter)
* Unscented
* 1 – 1 1/2 inch depth (especially older cats or cats with hip problems)
* Larger pans (especially for large cats) – want to get whole body inside – poop just outside the box might mean the box is too small
* Open, non-hooded
* At least one shallow side to get in and out easily
* Easy to get to – not hidden away, preferably in areas they spend time in or near – and not near appliances that make scary, unpredictable noises (washers, dryers, refrigerators)
* Scoop minimum 1X/day – preferably 2
* Clean the litterbox with soap and water and put in fresh scoopable litter at least once/month (instead of just continuously adding)
* Some cats prefer to urinate in one box and defecate in a separate box, so you may need 2 boxes even if you just have 1 cat. Multi-cat households should have 1 box/cat plus 1 extra.

Q. Should cats be declawed, or should they have their claws capped?
ANSWER : A. Declawing is the removal of the claw and last bone of that digit, and I would definitely advise against it. Many people assume that declawing is more or less like trimming your nails or getting a manicure, but the truth is that it is a painful and permanently crippling procedure. In fact, some countries have outlawed this procedure.

Not only is it painful, but declawed cats often find it hard to function normally without the last bone and claw. As a result, many cats experience behavioral changes, such as becoming more aggressive.

Besides, if you’re planning to have your cat go outside anytime in its life, I would highly recommend never to declaw your cat, since declawing leaves your cat defenseless, especially while interacting with other animals.

If your cat is clawing up furniture or other objects, I would recommend giving your cat more toys to claw at. In this sense, buying multiple scratching posts would be a very good option.

You might also want to consider discouraging your cat from scratching furniture by using a loud, firm voice whenever the scratching begins.

So, to sum up, having your cat’s nails capped is definitely a better, more humane solution. However, this may not be necessary either if you provide enough toys to claw at, try to correct unwanted scratching behavior, and trim your cat’s claws regularly.

Q. I want to know from a veterinarian that has owned indoor cats if they agree with declawing? Also, is the whole digit still removed?
ANSWER : A. I am not a veterinarian, but a certified dog trainer. I have studied cat behavior as well, so I have some knowledge in that area. Cats need their claws in my opinion. When a cat is declawed, it can sometimes cause serious anxiety and frustration in the declawed cat. This is because the cat can not de-stress by digging at a scratching post, and a cat feels defenceless without its nails. It is a sad sight to see when a cat who is declawed is dealing with anxiety. I’ve met declawed cats who seem very unstable. It’s difficult to tell whether or not the cats would be so unstable had they not been declawed, but I’ve never seen a cat who has all of its nails act the way a declawed cat acts.

That’s just my two cents.

Read Full Q/A … : snopes.com: Declawing cats