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Jess K
Jess K, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1512
Experience:  Licensed Veterinarian
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We have a 4 year old indoor neutered male cat that is

Customer Question

Hi! We have a 4 year old indoor neutered male cat that is usually quite docile. Today he just randomly came up to my husband and bit him. It happened again later in the day. He has not bitten me and in fact, sat on my lap for quite some time. Why is he all of a sudden demonstrating this behavior?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Jess K replied 1 year ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Jess. I am sorry to hear about your trouble with Edgar! Cats can be funny creatures, with their own strange quirks, sometimes including biting. Sometimes cats may bite people when they are annoyed or don't want to be bothered. I have attached a good article here from Dr. Sophia Yin who was a great veterinary behaviorist that you may find helpful. It talks about cats that bite their owners. Oftentimes this will happen after petting- even if a cat seemed to initiate the petting. Or it may be a situation where the cat anticipates something they don't like happening and will bite in advance. This article describes a strategy for working with your kitty to retrain him to associate your husband with good things only. The article is below:

If following these ideas doesn't help your cat, then you should consult a veterinary behaviorist. Cat bites, if deep, can be dangerous because cats have bacteria in their mouths that can cause infection. If the bite is deep, you should consult your physician.

You do want to be sure your cat doesn't have some other reason for biting, such as being in pain. If he is acting abnormal such as any lameness, decreased appetite, changes in litterbox habits, etc., then he needs to be examined by your vet.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It just started today - while my husband was sleeping! He hadn't done anything to Edgar to warrant this. Could it possibly be a hormonal thing? He was fixed when he was tiny before we adopted him from the shelter. So far Edgar hasn't done it to me and that's why I thought it might have something to do with being male.
Expert:  Jess K replied 1 year ago.

Was the cat already in the room/on the bed with your husband when it happened? or did he just run into the room and bite him and run away? Could it be possible that your husband moved and startled him? If he was fixed as a kitten, it is unlikely. Is he otherwise acting normally today?

Expert:  Jess K replied 1 year ago.

He may be acting out towards your husband because he is more intimidated by your husband and some of his reaction could be fear based, and he finds him more intimidating than you.

Expert:  Jess K replied 1 year ago.

Are there other cats in the house? Sometimes cats can have aggression where they are upset with another animal in the house, or they may see or smell a neighborhood cat outside the house/from a window, and take their frustration out on a person- this is called redirected aggression.

Here is another article on feline aggression that may bring something to mind if you read through it...

Expert:  Jess K replied 1 year ago.

Hello, just wondering how your kitty was doing if you were still having problems with him?