Anonymous asked in PetsCats · 8 years ago

My cat bit me. Cat psychology advice?

I have three cats. We got our elderly cat pilchard aged 11, and he needed a bit of work until he was a calm and well behaved cat. I got a kitten, Muffins six months ago, and he is still a little boisterous but hes a kitten so that's t be expected. All in all he has turned out well. I understand how both of their minds work and can usually judge their moods. I have a good system for when they do things wrong, tailored to each of them. Pilchard rarely misbehaves but clapping my hands and hissing at him works fine. Muffins needs to be taken by the scruff of the neck, hissed at, and put in his carrier for two minutes. It sounds a little harsh but he literally will repeat his misbehaviour right after unless i do this. After being shut away, if he goes to do the thing again, I hiss at hm and he stops right away, because he knows if he continues he will be shut away.

we got a six month old cat two months ago called Sansa. Her old family didnt treat her very well; left her alone for long periods and because of this she was i disciplined, so when they were home to spend time with her and she misbehaved, they disciplined her very harshly - shouting at her, chucking her across the room,cor throwing things at her. We knew she would be a challenge, but when we were offered her, we wanted to get her out of that environment.

I don't understand Sansa at all. She does not like to be picked up or petted, and she fights with the other cats. By this, I mean she won't bother them unless they walk close to her, or god forbid, come too close to her bowl when she's eating (they all eat together in a row, usually quite happily). We introduced them to her slowly,many although there was hostility at first, I can trust her not to fight seriously with the others when I'm not around.

I'm writing this, because I was petting Sansa, and she wasn't giving off any signs of discomfort (she is very vocal, and not afraid to run away if she doesn't like what you are doing). She rarely stays around while i am petting her for more than five seconds. Anyway, I was stroking her and she turned around and bit me. She didn't break the skin, but this is the first time she has done something like that totally unprovoked.

How do I bond with Sansa better? If i offer her pet treats for good behaviour (which should have worked as she loves food of any sort - i have to defend my own food while i eat) she attacks my hand and will bite it in her haste to get her treat. She isn't necessarily meaning to bite me, I'm just in her way - but I want her to be more gentle. If i play with her with cat toys, she is so strong and vicious that she is actually frightening. She breaks any sort of 'fishing line' style toys, and will claw any body parts that come near while she's playing. Sometimes if our cats are VERY bad (biting), we would rap them on the nose and say 'no' loudly. Sansa doesn't seem to be bothered by this in any way. Hissing at her or spraying water is the same. Shutting her away is not an option because i know what will happen if i grab her in an an angry manner (still got the claw marks), and she actually doesn't mind sitting in a cat box or a small room for long periods anyway, so it won't be a deterrent.


Okay people are clearly thinking i abuse my cat. I do not hit the cat. I tap him on the nose, and put him in the carrier. I do not shake him or throw him. I do not tap his nose hard. I don't scream in his face. Don't say I know nothing about cats, i researched carefully when I got my first cat, and I would never a abuse a cat.

Also, all my cats at neutered and taken to the vet every 6 months.

Update 2:

What I count as bad behaviour is basically when any cat attacks the oldest cat, Pilchard. Playing is fine, play fighting is fine, but sometimes the younger ones have in the past, not so much anymore, jumped on old pilch and made him yelp by biting him with their teeth. This made pilch upset, he retreated into himself and just wasnt the same. He is now happier and more respected. The other thing is biting or attacking humans. This is important as there are young children around the cats, and also a flatmate who doesn't midland our pets but obviously will not be happy if she gets bitten or clawed for no good reason.

8 Answers

  • Lorna
    Lv 4
    8 years ago
    Favourite answer

    Muffins needs to be neutered, that may be what's making him misbehave. You don't say how Muffins behaves to deserve being picked up by the scruff (painful for a cat that age and can be dangerous) shaken, and stuffed in a cat carrier. Cats should never be picked up by the scruff of the neck. Hissing at him could result in your being badly scratched and bitten, as it will make Muffins feel that he has to fight for his life against an aggressive housemate.

    With respect, you don't seem to have much understanding of general cat psychology. You're going on a punishment-dominance path that is totally unsuitable for cats. Muffins probably has no idea what he's done wrong and is afraid of you because you hurt and frighten him. You turn into this monster without warning. Punishment doesn't work in cats and can make them unhappy and ill.

    Sansa is miserable, she's been abused and has a very short trigger, as delay of any kind would be enough to get her hurt or killed. She gets afraid that any other cat or human will hurt her. She may never be able to settle into your house as she may need to live as an only cat. If you read the books recommended below, they'll help you understand how to give her the best chance of settling.

    If you want to understand your cats, please read Vicky Halls's books "Cat Detective" and "Cat Counselor". She's a fully trained professional cat behaviorist/psychologist and writes to help cat owners understand why their cats behave the way they do. She'll give you a much better idea of how to work with your cats.

    Good luck

    Source(s): Volunteer for a cat charity with a special interest in cat behaviour/psychology
  • 8 years ago

    Your latest cat was hit, thrown, had things thrown at it - of course it doesn't want any human contact! DON'T try to pet, stroke or go near it. IF and WHEN the cat is ready to (it may take YEARS, or it may NEVER be ready), allow it to come to you. NEVER punish the cat. NO cat should be picked up by the scruff of the neck, either - only mother cats should ever do that. No cat should ever be put into a carrier as a punishment - they will associate the carrier as something to be feared, which won't be very useful when you need to get it to a vet.

    As for feeding 3 cats in a row - cats should be fed AWAY from each other. I've got 3, and although theya re all fed at the same time, the dishes are apart. One at one end of the dining room, another at the other end, and one in the middle (laminate flooring, with wipeable place mats under the dishes)

    You do NOT understand cats at all.

    Source(s): been a cat owner for 33 years
  • 8 years ago

    Your hand probably touched a spot on her back that had a bruise or a cut that was still healing from her old household.

    since it didn't break through the skin then that means that it was a warning bite, and she didn't actually want to hurt you.

    I had a cat that had been taken out of a hostile environment and she was awful at first but here is what I did: I moved slowly and calmly around her, when she was playing and she would play bite my hand/scratch my hand I wouldn't react at all, I would just keep playing with her. I knew that when cats play a lot of them play ruff it sounds like your cat is like that. try matching her energy level when playing with her!

    also cats can sense emotion VERY well so if you get mad at her she will automatically tense up. its a fight or flight instinct she cant help it. be gentle and kind with her also, speak to her and be as kind to her as possible, if she does something bad, all you have to do is a loud-ish abrupt noise. this is something that mother cats do and all cats know the sound of it even if they didn't have a mother.

    Good luck!

    and good job for taking in a cat like that!

    Source(s): Experience
  • Kelley
    Lv 5
    8 years ago

    She doesn't like to be touched, picked up, or petted for long because of her history of being thrown around and abused. I suggest watching My Cat from Hell on Animal Planet on Saturdays~ very good show, cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy helps families and their misbehaving cats whether the cat is aggressive, fearful, previously abused, feral, mentally imbalanced, impaired, bad with other cats, or simply misunderstood. I have learned so much from that show, and I think you would too!

    Don't give up on your cat, but do know that getting her to trust humans again, and calm down, will be a patience-deserving process. But it definitely can be done!

    Source(s): Love cats
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  • 8 years ago

    Since Sansa was severely mistreated and abused by her former owners, it will take quite a while for her to trust you. It will require great patience. Listen kiddo, NEVER strike a cat anywhere, not even on their nose. That is just cruel. If you can't be kind and gentle to cats you should not have them at all. They are not like dogs. Cats are fiercely independent and self directed. You don't seem to understand cats at all.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    She probably bit you because she felt nervous, or you may have touched a bruised spot. Cats like this simply need time. We had a half-feral cat that took several months to stand being near humans. It took longer for her to withstand being petted for any period of time, and even several years later, she refuses to be held, and must at least assert her dominance with the other pets of the household. She was able to calm down enough to be a nearly-perfect housecat, though she often had a tendency to run off for a couple of days before returning. She also turned out to be an excellent mouser-we never had any major problems with infestation, thanks to her.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    I had the same issues with my cat. I used this cat training system which worked.

    The site is

  • 8 years ago

    Had food on ya??

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