first scratching, now biting!

Diane WallineDiane Walline Hamlin (suburb of Rochester)Member Posts: 500
edited 31 December, 2008 in Behavior & Training
This is jewels mom. Jewel has been living with us almost 2 years now ( shes about 3 years old). The first month she was pretty timid and extremely scared and scratched me a few times. Then she was a perfect cuddly angel up untill about 2 months ago. I was sitting on the recliner with her in my lap when my boyfriend came home from work. we started talking and jewel started flicking her tail. I continued talking and BAM she scratched my face, jumped down and hid the rest of the day. After that whenever we saw her flick her tail like that we would put her down, or move away from her. Then about a month later my boyfriends daughter was laying on the couch and Jewel curled up next to her. I wasnt home at the time so I'll never know exactlly what happened, She claims she didnt do anything to provoke it but she ended up with scratches on each cheek although it didnt bleed. Then a few days later i was petting Jewels head and rubbing behind her ears and she sratched my face again. I ended up taking her to the vet the next day because she kept scratching her ears - turned out to be a yeast infection in the ears and a URI. We figured the child and me got scratched because we touched her ears and it hurt her and she was sick to begin with. Then this past weekend my parents were in town Jewel seemed really scared of the extra people and stuff all around so i called her over to me and she sat in my lap and after a few seconds BAM she smacked my face ( luckily her claws must not have been out) and hid for a few hours. Then just a few minutes ago she was sleeping in my lap while i was on the computer and she randomly bit my forearm HARD! I yelled something i forgot what and I tried to move my arm but then she wrapped her paws around it and dug her nails in. then she just gave me this horrible look. I sat up straight, pointed to the door and yelled go and she did and i havent seen her since. After the last incident my boyfriend was convinced she has something wrong mentally. If i tell him about this latest incident he will probably want me to get rid of her. I dont know if these sudden outbursts are because she thinks she is queen and dominate over me - shes never EVER scratched my boyfriend. Shes now done with her ear drops and her amoxi liquid medicine. And seems to be back to her "normal" self with playing and eating. I think she knows when shes bad because before we can say anything she usually runs and hides and wont come out for a while. She has been interacting with our other can like normal this entire time. I dont know if maybe there was a power shift between them that is causing her to act out. Just last night she climbed up on the couch behind me and licked my ears "clean". When shes good, shes really good, cuddling, licking, purring. But when shes bad its so fustrating :? I could cry :(( Any suggestions?


  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 22 December, 2008
    With horses, one of the most difficult thing to figure out, is why the horse suddenly acts different, when to the owner, nothing has changed. With horses, its alot of detective work, sometimes, to figure out what is wrong. And having show horses, since 1969, and seeing this post so many times on the horse board, and its always from someone who boards. You have alot of detective work ahead of you, but this can be figured out. You said it changed 2 months ago. What, exactly, has changed since then? How long has the boyfriend been there, how long has the bf's child been there, any change in household routine, how old is the bf's child, how does the bf interact with Jewel, how does the bf's child interact with Jewel. Any other people that come in, when you are not there, and if you say no, are you sure??? Something has changed, in the last 2 months, and I already know what happened and who did it, but you wouldn't believe me, have seen this too many times on the horse board, so you are going to have to figure out what has changed, and what may be going on, when you are not around, because, this is what is happening, and I know exactly who it is. Please don't get rid of Jewel, it is not his fault, he is depending on you to take care of him, and instead, get rid of the abuser. Please feel free to PM me if you need more help. :):):):):):):D:D:D:D:D:D=;=;=;=;=;=;:^::^::^::^::^:
  • Diane WallineDiane Walline Hamlin (suburb of Rochester)Member Posts: 500
    edited 22 December, 2008
    The boyfriend and child have been here since before Jewel. The child is 7. We have both had the same work schedules the entire time:-k. We noticed that Jewel seems to get very Jealous if she is laying on me, usually half asleep, and I start talking to someone, or if i get up and interact with someone else which I can understand. So far the only thing is, we noticed last year she got a little moodier as the weather got colder and the windows stayed shut, it seems to be the same thing this year. Im off and usually home all day Sunday-Wednesdays. The apartment owner has to give us 48 hours advance notice if they need in for anything, and we told them that because of the pets, someone must always be home. This summer we had windows replaced - i was home both days. and we have had our furnace cleaned while we were home. A few months ago we got a new cleaning service that vacuums the hallways ( outside the apartments) and disinfects the washer/dryer room once a week. Jewel is terrified of vacuums. Ive actually been racking my brain since this whole thing started trying to figure out what changed. :-k
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 23 December, 2008
    How do the bf and child treat Jewel? Have either one said anything negative about her, anything at all? Is it at all possible, someone, anyone is there when you are not? Someone in the household is mis-treating Jewel, and its happened more than once. Thats why she gets upset, when someone comes near you. Or another thought, does someone mis-treat you, yell at you, hit you? There is something going on, in the household, that you may not be aware of. I know you don't believe me, but I know for a fact, from the horse world, someone is abusing Jewel. Best of luck. :):):):):D:D:D:D
  • Thea PowellThea Powell Member Posts: 852
    edited 25 December, 2008
    jewel, did you always have a cleaning service vacum the hall? you said it changed a few months ago is that about when the jewel started to miss behave? From what you've said there have been quite a number of changes in jewel's life lately this could be another reason. We may not think it but window changes could be a huge deal for some cats. Also have jewel checked for arthritis. If her mood changes when it gets cold then she could be feeling pain. A simple heated bed should help. Also where as it could be a possesiveness of you I really don't think so I have a possesive cat he only is aggresive to the other cats, Never me Never humans. I hope you figure it all out. Oh you said the child is Seven has she been miss behaving latley? if there is a sudden in crease in yelling cats don't normally take kindly to that. I am at a loss as to why jewel is attacking you that just does not make sense all the cats I have known take thier frustration out on the source of thier aggrivation.
  • Beastie_and_the_BoysBeastie_and_the_Boys Marquette, MI / ChicagoMember Posts: 17,806 ✭✭✭
    edited 26 December, 2008
    It sounds to me like Jewel has been going through a lot of stress lately, what with being sick, having company, and vacuums going on in the hall. That could at least partially explain the change in behavior. :-k I'm thinking that once things settle down, her behavior will likely return to normal. There are some things that you can try that might help. Products like Feliway (aka Comfort Zone) or At Ease have synthetic facial pheromone and can help kitties feel "at home" in their surroundings. Some natural calmatives like Bach's Rescue Remedy or Pet-Ease treats might also help her relax. Good luck Jewel! Keep us posted! |:|
  • Anastasia OBrienAnastasia OBrien Member Posts: 15
    edited 26 December, 2008
    I would have to agree that it is probably due to stress due to the changes - to you, these changes seem minor but you have to remember, a cat's world is VERY small...the tiniest little change could stress them out. Try some Feliway and give it a bit of time...if she is still acting out, maybe you could talk to your vet? The only other thing I can think of is she fixed?
  • Diane WallineDiane Walline Hamlin (suburb of Rochester)Member Posts: 500
    edited 26 December, 2008
    oh yes the pet ease treats - i used them when jewel first came to live with us and i think they did help. Shes been really good since that day. Shes actually has been falling asleep in our laps, or next to us on her back because she loves getting her belly rubbed now. Im starting to think that a lot of it was from when she didnt feel good, and the company and stuff. Christmas morning she kind of stayed in the kitchen when we were opening presents, and really didnt come out untill everything was cleaned up. we definitly have noticed she doesnt like it messy ( like when we fold laundry in the living room, or if there is big stuff on the floors). Although she did kind of like playing in the pile of wrapping paper for a while. I recently had an uncle pass away and from the time i got home after getting the phone call untill the time i left to fly in for the wake/funeral she constantly followed me around and insisted on licking me all over ( including in my ears) she also had to sleep under the covers with me, although by the time i would wake up, she would always be back on top of the covers. I think a lot of her mood could be tied to the mood in the house now that ive had lots of time to think of it. The past few months we have been stressed and worried about money, and trying to buy a house before we have to sign another lease, and just general holiday stress. I think maybe she just picks up on the tension and stress.
  • Joy WaltersJoy Walters Member Posts: 9,276
    edited 27 December, 2008
    When volunteering for a local rescue organization, I had the responsibility of adopting cats out of our cages in Petsmart. A cat from another organization \"Simone\" was the first cat I came in contact with. Simone was not fostered. She spent her time in a cage at Petsmart or in a cage at the shelter. She also freaked out and bit people \"for no reason\", although I\'m certain SHE thought she had a reason. I always took Simone (carefully) out of her cage while I was cleaning and doing paperwork in the adoption center. I brushed her, and petted her and loved her up. She never bit or scratched me. Well, one day Simone was adopted by an absolutely lovely lady and her husband. This lady didn\'t seem to mind if Simone was um--rather unpredictable--shall we say? I lost touch with Simone since she wasn\'t a cat from my organization. About a year later, this lady came back and wanted to adopt another cat. Henry was a large, black cat with a sweet disposition. A true couch potato. He wouldn\'t hurt a flea even if he\'d had them on his person. Tentatively, I asked this lady what happened to the cat I will always think of as \"My Simone\". The lady, with great enthusiasm, told me that Simone was a lap cat who loved to play. She described all Simone\'s toys to me and exactly how she played with each one. \"We play with her a LOT during the day.\" She told me. \"At night she\'s so tired out she poops out on one of our laps. She headbonks us and kisses us!\" Not only was I surprised but very thrilled that this \"hopeless\" cat found not just a wonderful home but an incredible one. And now, Simone was so loveable they\'d decided to add ANOTHER cat! The point of my story is this: maybe Jewel just needs some extra playtime and attention. Sometimes when we are part of a busy household, especially one with active children, the little four-foots kind of have to amuse themselves. Teach your daughter to play with Jewel whenever she\'s watching television. (And make sure she doesn\'t \"tease\" but actually plays with Jewel). Extended playtimes with all members of her family worked wonders with Simone. This cat was destined for The Bridge until these wonderful people adopted her. They weren\'t cat experts, but somehow seemed to know what Simone needed. Maybe Jewel is the same way...:-k
  • Diane WallineDiane Walline Hamlin (suburb of Rochester)Member Posts: 500
    edited 30 December, 2008
    I felt terrible leaving, but there was a death in the family so i had to fly to NYC from Rochester. I flew out early Friday morning and got back in a few hours ago. My boyfriend said Jewel was extra mushy after i left and was craving attention so they gave it to her. As soon as i walked in she was showing me her belly and rubbing her face on mine. I gave her 2 new mice to play with and before i could unpack she had lost one and had fallen asleep from running around playing with them. I think your right in that she is just craving attention. When the resuce group found her she was living in a box on the side of the road with what they assumed to be her sister and 14 kittens. They all stayed together in foster care untill each kitten was adopted out ( when it was old enough). She had been in excelent health so they think she might have been someones pet at some point. The foster said Jewel loved to play with her kids and the other cats, and would get super depressed on adoption days being stuck in the cage. I had read somewhere that some cats like soft singing so the few days before i left i tried it out and would listen to christmas music and sing along and i swear it put her to sleep on me each time.
  • Allison Tuthill GaulAllison Tuthill Gaul Virginia Beach, VAMember Posts: 168
    edited 31 December, 2008
    Kali is very demanding and gets aggressive when she doesn't get enough play. Lately, she's taken to playing soccer and entertaining herself more. this is good, b/c really, we play fetch with her 1-2 hours a day and there ARE limits. this is the kitty whose tag at PetSmart said "I need extra love." It should have read "I can't ever get enough love." When she doesn't get enough play time, she will roll around at the bottom of the couch and scratch it and our feet. I'd also say that maybe Jewel needs a cat companion. Tiger was so needy when we got her that she literally sat on top of one of us every minute that we were home. It was oppressive to be honest. One weekend, we were gone, and my sister cat sat, and Tiger literally slept on top of her on the couch all weekend. it was just too much. My husband said to get another cat, and we got a small, young, kitten so it wouldn't threaten Tiger. Tiger is much more chill now, although at night, she is super needy and about smothers me. She kicks off so much heat (as do I) that I end up sweating under the covers and having to thrash around to remove her. If I just move, she will lay there until I'm still. If I move a lot, she will move to the end of the bed and wait for me to settle, then she moves right back. Recently, Kali has taken to lying with her, so I have a combined 22 lbs of heat producing cat combined with my own furnace like qualities. Still, I wouldn't have it any other way. Oh, my husband says how pets behave is totally about the owners. I agree. We love on our cats all the time, play with them a lot, snuggle with them, hang out with them, and everyone who meets them is amazed at how pretty they are, how interactive they are, and how fun they are. Especially with a young cat, you can totally mold their personality. I think you're seeing this with jewel. I hope everything continues to improve! Allison (mommy of Tiger and Kali)
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