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Terri
Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32072
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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I adopted a two-year-old cat about six weeks ago. She was

Customer Question

Hi: I adopted a two-year-old cat about six weeks ago. She was picked up by Animal Control as a stray so no information about her upbringing but I am guessing it was pretty casual with no proper socialization of other cats/people. Also, she was in the wild for some time (probably not very long but did have to kill in order to eat). She is by no means feral (in fact she is affectionate and seems to love being petted). The main problems is the biting when I pet her. I have had this same situation with five other cats I've raised and I trained them out of it. No go with her. Saying "ow" and walking away doesn't do it. Her bites have broken the skin and drew blood a couple of times. None of my other cats did that. Also, she stalks and pounces on me. Any help?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Terri replied 12 months ago.

Hi Christine,

I am so sorry you are having trouble with a kitty you were so kind to save.

Do you have any other cats at this time?

Has Jasmine done this since you got her?

What toys does she have to play with?
Is she spayed?

After your reply please give me few minutes to type detailed answer or if you prefer we can speak on the phone.

Thanks,

Terri

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Jasmine is the only animal in the household. Her biting seems to have gotten a little worse since she came home. She has many throw toys i.e. different sized mice, feather toys, squeaky mouse etc. Plus I use a wand toy but that actually seems to overstimulate her (am careful to keep toy part on the ground like prey, let her kill it and then give her treat). She was spayed by the shelter before I took her home. She has gone through a lot of trauma in the past few months plus she is having a major growth spurt (only seven pounds when I got hersix weeks ago, at age two that is probably underweight, but now with proper diet she is much bigger; don't know current weight but we're going to the vet this week and I wouldn't be surprised to see nine on the scale).
Expert:  Terri replied 12 months ago.

Dear *****tine,

Thanks so much for your very helpful reply.

It sounds as though Jasmine has bonded with you an considers you to be her "mommy".

She is treating you like you were another kitty, meaning she wants your attention. She does not realize she is going about it in the wrong way.

This is NOT a mean or aggressive cat. She just becomes overstimulated.

The trick is to watch her body language and stop petting the instant you see her tail swish or her ears go back.

http://www.purina.com/cat/body-language/understandbodylanguage.aspx

I had a similar problem with one of mine.

I put a stop to it by teaching him he will NEVER get my attention if he uses his teeth or claws. He can only get petting when he approaches me calmly and quietly.

Use a throw pillow to gently push her back if she tries to bite or scratch. Some cats do respond to saying "Ow" or a tap on the head because that is the way their fur mom would let them know they did something wrong.

Jasmine may have been taken away too early from her mom and thus never developed manners.

I had the same problem with my Alec. I used the pillow trick to stop him from biting or scratching. After a few times he would back up as soon as he saw the pillow.

When Jasmine approaches calmly give an immediate food treat so she sees good behavior is rewarded.

When petting her watch closely for signs she is being over stimulated and will turn and bite.

If she acts like she is in stalk mode show the pillow and say NO - go back.Push her with the pillow, if necessary.

Tire her out by playing with toys that don't put her in that prey mode where she wants to "kill" the toy.

Foraging toys

http://www.zootoo.com/pet-product/cat-toys/funkitty-twist-n-treat

http://www.batarat.com/

http://www.catdvd.com/

http://www.shopfatcat.com/Cat-Toys_c_7.html

http://www.amazon.com/FroliCat-BOLT-Interactive-Laser-Pet/dp/B0021L8W6K

Use a puzzle rug:
http://search.aol.com/aol/search?s_it=client97_inbox&q=puzzle%20rug%20cat

I would also use a feliway plug-in to keep her calm.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=8906

Please let me know how things are going. Just reply and I will be here for you.

Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback; that is the only way I receive credit for my assistance. Thank you very much!

Providing a positive rating will not end our conversation, should you need me for any follow-up. Simply click 'Reply' for clarification or additional information, if needed, at no additional charge.

Love,

Terri

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