My family and I have had Callie for about three months now. When we found her, she was injured on our back porch, but VERY sweet. We were able to find her owner, and eventually ended up adopting her when it came to light they were looking to rehome her. Callie is a very active, very playful kitty, and we believe her to be about 3 years old. We have MANY toys for her (even though her favorite thing is chasing wads of paper around), including mice, catnip toys, and fishing pole toys. At least one person in the family plays with her once a day, so we know her problem isn't a lack of attention.
Since our other cat died last year when he was almost 19, we have no other cats except for Callie. Our last cat was extremely personable and loved to be pet, and we have actually had to tone down our petting when dealing with her, because we never know when she's going to want attention or not. Callie has a major issue in that she will purr and love getting attention in one moment--even coming up to you to demand it by rubbing her head against you--and then turn around and bite or scratch, or even try to 'trap' your hand and kick it with her back legs.
We have no clue where this behavior stems from, and all of us watch very carefully for signs of annoyance so we don't get attacked. She very rarely breaks the skin, but it's still upsetting and painful. Today, Callie was sitting on the dining room table, and I went over to look out of the window to watch some work being done in the backyard. I pet her twice, scratched her under the chin, and she purred loudly. When I was pulling my hand away (and wasn't looking), she lunged and attacked me quite viciously. I was extremely surprised by this, because it wasn't a playful attack, which she has been known to do. When I looked down and pulled her off of my arm, she laid back on the table, ears perky, but twitching, tail swishing, eyes narrowed, etc, showing all the signs of severe agitation, even though I had touched her for less than 20 seconds! While studying my hand to see if she broke the skin and telling her "No, Callie, bad!", she attacked AGAIN and I had to pick her up by the ruff and put her on the floor.
Callie does this kind of thing frequently, but usually not back to back, and usually she shows signs of irritation FIRST, even if it's only a second before she attacks. We just took her to the vet a few months ago, and they did a thorough examination on her skin and even a blood workup, so we know it's not a pain issue. She has some very strange behaviors, and we're not looking to get rid of her or anything so drastic, but it's quite upsetting to realize that at any moment she could literally lash out and attack us for no reason.
I don't think this is an over-stimulation issue, either, because like I said, her bizarre behavior has made all of us cut back on the time we spend petting her, as soon as we see her tail switching. Does anyone know what could cause this? She has started doing this more frequently, but when we first got her, she only did it every once in a while.