Literally bites and scratches on purpose..

by Ana
(Maldives)

Hello Carolyne, Do you have any idea why a cat just bites alot and is very hyper all the time? ..
Its been about six months since a sister in law adopted Oreo..He is a Maine Coon..he was about two months when he was adopted..He is very playful but he always bites and scratches all the time..I don't know why..
He was handed down to my sister by a friend..Her friend says she used to give a teddy bear for him to play with before she went to work..And when he was with his other owner most of the time he was left alone as she used to work long hours..He would suckle on the bear and also he would defend it...And he plays really rough with it..He bites and jerks the head back side to side..He still has this bear and and he still does this and would cry if we took the bear away from him..They have tried hiding it from him but he would eventually track it down and if he didn't find it he would cry real loud and just meow all the time..
I have tried many methods to try and calm him down, I tried to establish dominance and I also tried the clicker method ,tried giving treats, tried ignoring him..i never used physical force, but there is little improvement..He would just bite and kick with his feet really fast..We've got some pretty bad cuts from him biting and scratching us..he's got really sharp teeth..
Do you think we should separate him from the teddy bear..I'm guessing he thinks of it as his mommy..How do i calm him down..Is he mentally stable??..we cannot pet him without him trying to bite us and he would frantically try to kick us with his feet..like boxing.. what should we do?..He's super hyper and we don't want to give him up.. :(

p.s - He's an indoor cat :)

RESPONSE:

Hi Ana,

Sorry for taking so long to answer you, we're in the middle of house renovations and it's hectic here.

I am not an animal behavior expert but it sounds like Oreo has had multiple owners and is unsure of who his friends are. He gets settled down and then he's moved to another owner. His only constant companion is his teddy bear, and I would not take it away from him.

The aggressive actions sound like they are meant to keep you at arm's length so he doesn't bond too closely and then be abandoned and sent to another owner. I'm just guessing, but it makes sense. Just like feral cats take a long time to bond with someone, and some never do, it takes time and lots of patience.

I suggest you let him keep his teddy bear ( and hope he doesn't ruin it), talk to him quietly when you can in a soothing tone, and do not attempt to touch him. Try to let him get used to hearing your voice and associating your voice with good things. Like talking to him when you are getting his food, speaking quietly when you see him enter the room, you get the idea.

One of cats, Giorgio, is rough with toys also. He has torn the head off of a number of teddy bears but is sweet and loving with us now. So, it varies with the background that a cat experienced when a kitten. Giorgio was mistreated by a neighbor so I went and talked to them, they told me to take him, they didn't want him. He obviously felt the rejection and in the beginning he was pretty rough with me. Over time, he listened to my voice, knew I fed him, never mistreated him, and he bonded.

I can only hope that time will help in your case also. Plus, I have a large furry mitt, looks like a kitchen glove for hot food, that is long and goes to my elbow. When one of the cats is angry or I suspect they will reach out to scratch, I put on the glove to be safe. With five or six cats in the house one of them might be having a bad day and get rough with one of the others. It's a handy item to have available.

I hope that all works out for you. Time and patience is the only suggestion that I can make. If one of our readers has an idea, I hope they add it.

Best of luck to you Ana, with Oreo.

Comments for Literally bites and scratches on purpose..

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Dec 10, 2014
fleas
by: Anonymous

do cat fleas kill each other when they are caught and left together?

Oct 06, 2014
Thank you .. :)
by: Ana

Yes..His previous owner didn't really give him the time he needed, and he was left alone with his teddy bear all the time..So it makes perfect sense..We are very patient and he does trust his owners a little now..But he would still bite if we try to pet him..but when he feels like it he would come and rub against our feet and lay down next to us..It's a great improvement in his behaviour and I hope his trust continues to grow..Also he obeys little commands like get down, come, sit and no..Thank you for being there to help whenever we need it..Really appreciate it..
Much love to you and you critters, Ana.

Oct 06, 2014
Thank you .. :)
by: Ana

Yes..His previous owner didn't really give him the time he needed, and he was left alone with his teddy bear all the time..So it makes perfect sense..We are very patient and he does trust his owners a little now..But he would still bite if we try to pet him..but when he feels like it he would come and rub against our feet and lay down next to us..It's a great improvement in his behaviour and I hope his trust continues to grow..Also he obeys little commands like get down, come, sit and no..Thank you for being there to help whenever we need it..Really appreciate it..
Much love to you and you critters, Ana.

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