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Thread: Help with my cat?

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    #1

    Help with my cat?

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    DH and I have a cute kitty cat named Bella.
    The problem is she gets really rough when she is playing with me. She likes to bite and it kind of hurts. She also likes to attack like a lion (like if my feet are under a blanket and she seems them move, she will crouch down and wait to pounce). When she bites I immediately stop playing with her and put her in another room so she can have some "alone time" to cool off, but it doesnt seem to effect her. Does anyone have any advice to get this to stop?
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    #2
    You may want to try "scruffing" her for a few moments after she does that. Not only does it assert that the behavior is undesirable but scruffing (kittens especially) releases a calming hormone since it simulates a mother scruffing her young. Just be sure to support the rest of her body It might help with that behavior, if not I would go for a water squirt bottle and squirt her right in the hiney!
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    #3
    When my dad had a cat that bit, everytime she did it too hard, he would yell and pretend cry like she had mortally wounded him. It worked though, she learned not to bite harder than a nibble. He theory was that cats who are playing together will yowl and scream when one gets too rough so maybe it would work for a human too
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by littlemissred View Post
    You may want to try "scruffing" her for a few moments after she does that. Not only does it assert that the behavior is undesirable but scruffing (kittens especially) releases a calming hormone since it simulates a mother scruffing her young. Just be sure to support the rest of her body It might help with that behavior, if not I would go for a water squirt bottle and squirt her right in the hiney!
    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    When my dad had a cat that bit, everytime she did it too hard, he would yell and pretend cry like she had mortally wounded him. It worked though, she learned not to bite harder than a nibble. He theory was that cats who are playing together will yowl and scream when one gets too rough so maybe it would work for a human too
    Ill definitely try both! Thanks guys! And that is too funny about your dad! I could only imagine my dad doing that!
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    #5
    Here's the problem - you are playing a prey game with a highly predatory animal. Cats are exponentially more prey driven than dogs. They live in a sleep, hunt, kill, sleep cycle. The hunt and kill is important to them. You are engaging her instincts to kill and when she does exactly what you are telling her to do (inadvertently) you punish her for it - leading to a confused and frustrated cat which will cycle into faster/harder escalation of her behavior every time you play.
    How old is your cat, how old was she when you got her and what sort of situation did she come from (meaning was she alone in a shelter or was she with a litter until you took her)?
    First thing - your body parts are no longer for play, PERIOD. No hands, no feet, no fingers -- human bodies are for gentle affection ONLY. Play is reserved for toys - toys that she can pounce on, attack and "kill" to her heart's content. This is pretty common when people bring home a cute kitten and it's fun to play with them with your hands, feet, etc becasue they are small and the damages they do are minimal - but as the cat grows they gain strength and size and suddenly those same attacks start to hurt. The human that used to encourage the game is suddenly angry at the cat - and, to the cat, nothing has changed.
    Invest in some toys - wand toys where there is a length of "stick" and then a chaser toy (string, fur, feathers, etc) at the end are best, especially for the situation you have. You can play some serious hunt/kill games with your cat with this and have a very clear separation between your body and the actual target that the cat is to attack. You can also use some enrichment approaches similar to what you see in zoos -- hiding "stashes" of food for her to find, using high value treats, etc so that she can engage that seek (hunt) mode and be rewarded with finding her "kill" to eat. Basically you are going to be creating lots of GOOD outlets for her hunt/kill so that when she is in contact with your body parts that is all out of her system and she is looking only for gentle affection and not prey.
    How much actual play time do you spend with the cat daily - and how often throughout the day do you do it?
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Grey Mare View Post
    Here's the problem - you are playing a prey game with a highly predatory animal. Cats are exponentially more prey driven than dogs. They live in a sleep, hunt, kill, sleep cycle. The hunt and kill is important to them. You are engaging her instincts to kill and when she does exactly what you are telling her to do (inadvertently) you punish her for it - leading to a confused and frustrated cat which will cycle into faster/harder escalation of her behavior every time you play.
    How old is your cat, how old was she when you got her and what sort of situation did she come from (meaning was she alone in a shelter or was she with a litter until you took her)?
    First thing - your body parts are no longer for play, PERIOD. No hands, no feet, no fingers -- human bodies are for gentle affection ONLY. Play is reserved for toys - toys that she can pounce on, attack and "kill" to her heart's content. This is pretty common when people bring home a cute kitten and it's fun to play with them with your hands, feet, etc becasue they are small and the damages they do are minimal - but as the cat grows they gain strength and size and suddenly those same attacks start to hurt. The human that used to encourage the game is suddenly angry at the cat - and, to the cat, nothing has changed.
    Invest in some toys - wand toys where there is a length of "stick" and then a chaser toy (string, fur, feathers, etc) at the end are best, especially for the situation you have. You can play some serious hunt/kill games with your cat with this and have a very clear separation between your body and the actual target that the cat is to attack. You can also use some enrichment approaches similar to what you see in zoos -- hiding "stashes" of food for her to find, using high value treats, etc so that she can engage that seek (hunt) mode and be rewarded with finding her "kill" to eat. Basically you are going to be creating lots of GOOD outlets for her hunt/kill so that when she is in contact with your body parts that is all out of her system and she is looking only for gentle affection and not prey.
    How much actual play time do you spend with the cat daily - and how often throughout the day do you do it?
    This. Cats dont get 'time outs'. When they play with something inappropriate, simply take it away (hide your feet beneath you) and redirect it by giving her a toy. And holding a cat up by the scruff as an adult does not do anything for the cat, except potentially hurt and irritate them.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Grey Mare View Post
    Here's the problem - you are playing a prey game with a highly predatory animal. Cats are exponentially more prey driven than dogs. They live in a sleep, hunt, kill, sleep cycle. The hunt and kill is important to them. You are engaging her instincts to kill and when she does exactly what you are telling her to do (inadvertently) you punish her for it - leading to a confused and frustrated cat which will cycle into faster/harder escalation of her behavior every time you play.
    How old is your cat, how old was she when you got her and what sort of situation did she come from (meaning was she alone in a shelter or was she with a litter until you took her)?
    First thing - your body parts are no longer for play, PERIOD. No hands, no feet, no fingers -- human bodies are for gentle affection ONLY. Play is reserved for toys - toys that she can pounce on, attack and "kill" to her heart's content. This is pretty common when people bring home a cute kitten and it's fun to play with them with your hands, feet, etc becasue they are small and the damages they do are minimal - but as the cat grows they gain strength and size and suddenly those same attacks start to hurt. The human that used to encourage the game is suddenly angry at the cat - and, to the cat, nothing has changed.
    Invest in some toys - wand toys where there is a length of "stick" and then a chaser toy (string, fur, feathers, etc) at the end are best, especially for the situation you have. You can play some serious hunt/kill games with your cat with this and have a very clear separation between your body and the actual target that the cat is to attack. You can also use some enrichment approaches similar to what you see in zoos -- hiding "stashes" of food for her to find, using high value treats, etc so that she can engage that seek (hunt) mode and be rewarded with finding her "kill" to eat. Basically you are going to be creating lots of GOOD outlets for her hunt/kill so that when she is in contact with your body parts that is all out of her system and she is looking only for gentle affection and not prey.
    How much actual play time do you spend with the cat daily - and how often throughout the day do you do it?
    Ditto; you need to engage her in appropriate play- I use a toy that is a long stick with feathers at the end and play with them several times day. We also have plenty of furry cat toys for them to play with.
    we never ever "play fight" with the cats.
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    #8
    I dont ever "play fight" or anything like that. After I read what I wrote, I didnt properly explain. I do play with her with toys and things. She does ok with that. But if I'm petting her, when she has had enough, she will bite. When she does I just stop, but I dont want her to make it a habit to bite hard (like she has started). We got her when she was about 3-4 months old. She had been with another family, got out for a few days, then we found her. They said they never had any problems and she was very gentle. Now she is 6-7 months old. For the first few months she was really gentle in letting us know when she was done being loved on, ect. Or more verbal. (Even now I swear she sounds like a demon haha) Now she still makes her demon noises, but bites pretty hard. And when I say shes playing with me, I dont mean I'm engaging in it. She likes to make a game of going after my hands/feet while im doing things (sometimes even if they are just laying there.) I usually try to just ignore it, especially if im doing something, or love on her, but DH and I are wanting to have a baby and I'm trying to prevent an issue in the future. And we play on and off throughout the whole day. I stay at home all day (aside from weekends if DH and I decide to go do something, but im only gone x amount of hours, not all day) and every so often I do things with both the cat and dog. She and the dog also play "antagonize the dog because we all know he wont get off his couch to get me but he is DYING to get me ) I will definitely try some of the other things you suggested tho! Thank you guys for the input!

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