Hi there! My name is XXXXX XXXXX X would be happy to help you with your question about Tex.
In comparison to dogs, biting tends to be a more "normal" behavior in cats. They tend to do it when they are overstimulated, playing,m or even when they're feeling stressed out.
What kind of biting is Tex engaging in?
Is it when you are petting him, or does he seem to have "random" times where he is attacking?
The other night he bit my arm (hard) while I was sleeping. Totally unprovoked.
The first step you might want to look towards checking out is having his thyroid checked at the vet's office. Older cats are more prone to hyperthyroidism, and this can cause them to become more aggressive (as well as other common signs, such as causing them to start losing weight even while eating the same more, and loss of luster in their hair coat).
But another thing to keep in mind is that having a new baby can be extremely stressful to a cat, especially an older one who is set in his routines. He may be very stressed out all of the time due to changes he can sense in your hormones, and changes you are making in the household to prepare for the baby.
Euthanasia would be pretty extreme for a kitty who is reacting normally out of stress. While the biting and aggressive behaviors that cats can display when they are stressed are unpleasant, they're very typical cat behaviors in reaction to stress. A better option would be to take some methods to help reduce his stress, or if you are concerned about the new baby (which is understandable), you can find him a new home where he wouldn't be dealing with all of the stressful changes that comes along with having a new baby.
Are you interested in hearing about some things you can do to help him out in your home?
Yes, that would be very helpful.
After getting him checked out at the vet to ensure that he doesn't have any medical issues that are causing his aggression, you can start by trying some feline diffusers around your household. The most common product on the market is called "Feliway", and they come in plug-ins (like the glad plugins) and sprays. They emit a pheromone that can help calm and relax a stressed cat. You can purchase them online and at most pet stores. If you put the plug-ins in the rooms he likes the best, XXXXX XXXXX and the rooms with new furniture, it will help to calm him a little when he is in a high-stress area.
They emit no smell to humans, so it won't cause an odor in your home.
He may also require a lot more attention now that he previously did. If you take him into the rooms that you have switched around, and for 10 minutes a day, sit down and play with him, give him treats, and talk softly and pet him while he's in these areas, it can help him associate these new changes with positive things.
He might do better as well if you have someone move his litter, food, water, bed,toys, and scratching structures to one location with a door. this will give him one localized territory that is "his", where things aren't getting changed around. You can also close him in there at night for a couple of weeks if you are worried about him biting you while you sleep, then when you let him out in the mornings, lavish him with attention and praise.
I need to leave now, but thank you so much. :)
This will give him a place to run and hide as well when he's feeling overstressed that's away from human contact.