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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21380
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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my cat bites and scratches when he has a temper tantrum

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my cat bites and scratches when he has a temper tantrum
Hello, and welcome to Just Answer.

Can you tell me what is usually happening before he gets upset?

Why do you call it a 'temper tantrum'?

Is someone petting him or interacting with him when he does this or does he just do it randomly, like attack you or another person in the household while you're sitting on a chair, etc.?

How long have you had your kitty and for how long has he been exhibiting this behavior?

Is he neutered?

Thanks for all your additional detail.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

when I groom him with a brush he loves it, closes his eyes and purrs but all of a sudden he gets angry and grabs my hand and bites and scratches which hurts! I use a wheel chair which he loves to sit in when I am not using it. That is ok with me until I need my chair. I approach him quietly and gently but he gets upset and sometimes tries to bite me. I gently push him off, not harshly. Usually he allows me to pet him but no way can I pick him up-he won't allow that, he will bite if I try. I don't try any more.

At bedtime when I lay down he politely crawls up on my chest and I pet him for about 3-5 minutes which he loves. When I'm done he jumps off and walks way. this is the only nice time we have together. I have never had a cat who was as angry deep down as Sammy is. We got him from a shelter, about 2 months old and have given him lots of love and toys and done everything we can do to allow him to trust us. My husband is giving him too much cat food in an effort to make him happy. He is getting a little pudgy (the cat, I mean!) He is well cared for by our vet and is physically very healthy.

I say he has tantrums because if things aren't exactly as he likes them he growls and runs away showing his displeasure. He does get over these spells quickly.

He doesn't do it randomly. he has done it since about 3 months-yes-neutered

Hi again, and thanks very much for your reply with additional and helpful information about Sammy,

Please give me a short time to compose and type your customized answer.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I haven't got the reply yet. I will go over to my e-mail. to see if it is there
Hi again, and thanks for your patience.

I'd like to address each incident separately. When you're grooming Sammy, even though he loves it, sometimes cats can become 'overstimulated' by petting or grooming for a period of even a short time, to a point where their skin is almost painful. This may be why he attacks while you're grooming him. From now on, time your grooming sessions, and only brush him for about 2 minutes at a time, and see if this will prevent the biting and scratching. If he continues to do it, brush him for 1 minute and then stop. See how that goes.

Re: the wheelchair--if he doesn't like to be picked up (many cats don't) and gives you trouble about being removed from the wheelchair, keep the chair inaccessible to him, or if that is not possible, because you need it near you, pile some things on the seat, that won't be comfortable for him to lay on, like some books or a lightweight box. If the seat is not 'attractive' to him, he will not want to lay there. Make sure Sammy has a cozy, fluffy bed to sleep in and place one of your old t-shirts or another piece of soft clothing in it, so he has your scent near. That's probably why he likes laying on the seat of your wheelchair.

I don't think Sammy has anger deep down; I think he does have a little bit of a stubborn streak, and as you suspect, likes things his way. Most cats are like this, but some are more timid and/or accepting of their 'parents' rules.

Tell your husband not to give Sammy extra food, especially if he is becoming a little pudgy, because overweight cats can develop health problems. He still young, so he has a chance to eat the right amount, get his exercise with his toys, etc., and not fall into that trap of being obese and developing diabetes or other health problems.

Your bedtime routine sounds great! I'm so glad you have that quiet, affectionate time with Sammy and he doesn't attack, then! : )

I hope all will be well with your furry boy!

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