How do I get my cat to be not so aggressive?

  • How do I get my cat to be not so aggressive and tear me up I know she's a kitten but I have to stop her from this I look like hamburger meat she wants to scratch my walls and climb my curtains how do I stop that I've tried to fly swatter I've tried to water bottle she thinks I'm playing with her it doesn't bother her

  • Hi Angel,

    Since she is a kitten, it is very normal for her to consider all of this as playing, as it's just her instinct to behave this way. The best thing you can do, to save yourself and the furniture from further destruction - is to provide her with plenty of toys and "cat zones" (such as an enclosure specifically designed for cats) or a cardboard box for her to "abuse". Allow (at least a minimum) 15 mins a day of interactive playtime with a wand toy to allow her to expel her excessive energy, as well as keep your hands safe from her reach. This will also help build a trusting bond with her. To save the walls and furniture, consider investing in a scratching post or cat tree. Cats instinctively need to scratch to condition their claws, mark territory and stretch their muscles. If your cat is choosing the walls to scratch, consider a scratching board that can be fastened to a wall area she frequents the most. If she needs encouragement, use catnip to entice her interest towards her toys and scratching areas. 
    Using forms of punishment, such as a fly swatter or a water bottle is not recommended. By doing so will be ineffective in the long run, as it only teaches her to behave these behaviours when you are not present - as well as she will inevitably begin to associate you with these actions and may start to fear you - thus, damaging any bonds that you are trying to build. 

  • @Angel Day if you are holding the kitten, try blow in his face if biting.  Also, when aggressive say no and put him down. I have one who becomes over stimulated easily and bites. 

  • Hi. Our cat, Lucy, is 5. We've had her for almost 4 years. She's crazy about my husband but just barely tolerates me. She's actually pretty mean to me. When I walk through a room, she charges, grabs my ankles/lower legs hard with nails extended, and bites me. Other times, she'll be laying on the couch or bed with me, then out of the blue she'll stab and bite my arms. I love on her, and she likes to be petted, brushed with my after-shower brush, and will be very lovey. I just wish I knew why she attacks me! If my hands have been wet, I'll flick water on her when she does those mean things, but my hands aren't always wet! Do you have any suggestions why she might be doing this, and what I can do to break her of the habit? She knows the word NO, even when it's whispered.

    A little bit of history: we got her from a woman who was a couple of days from losing her battle with cancer. They gave us her adoption paperwork, etc. She'd been returned to a shelter when she was a little less than a tear old. At the time, she had not displayed any of the bad behavior. We babied her, loved on her, played with her. Tried to make the transition from her previous human to us as calm as possible. After I experienced her pattern of attacking/biting, I figured THAT was why she was returned. Broke my heart! She'll be with us forever, despite all my scars. I'm so sorry to have written a book! If you can give me any advice on how to break her if this habit, I'd really appreciate it. I'm so glad to have found y'all!!! 

  • Polly wants petted ALL the time. Then turns and bites & scratches. Being a diabetic I need to figure out how to change this.  How much should one feed a 6hr old cat daily?

  • Hi there and thanks for your question Luanna.


    If a kitten is 6 hours old (I'm not sure if this is a type on your part?) they need to feed every 2-3 hours, ideally from mum.

    If mum cannot feed, we would have to bottle feed.


    If you mean a 6 year old, they can graze feed (as long as a healthy weight) or we would have a couple of set feeding times each day.  (I assume it is you that is the diabetic rather than the cat, as advice would be different for a diabetic cat).


    With regards her biting/scratching, this sounds like petting induced aggression.

    The issue that you are experiencing is actually not as uncommon as you may think and is a reason that many owners will seek assistance. This is particularly true of cats that are rescues or were feral or semi-feral as they often did not receive adequate socialisation and integration with humans when they were in their key developmental stages in their first couple of months of life. While the best time for them to learn to socialise correctly with humans is when they are kittens, this does not mean that they are beyond help and there are certainly things what can be done.

    Petting induced aggression occurs when cats are feeling very comfortable, are perhaps purring and enjoying a head scratch. They are really relaxed and suddenly, for no apparent reason, they put their guard up and may hiss, bite, scratch or run away. The theory is that they have suddenly realised that they have let their guard down and feel vulnerable so quickly act offensively in fear of something bad happening. It's sad really, that they can not just enjoy being content but feel that something bad may happen.

    Our aim is to minimise and eventually eliminate these events.

    Be sure you are reading her body language. At the first sense of a bite coming on, remove yourself from the situation. Watch for ears down, freezing, tail wagging etc. Some cats give lots of clues, while others do not.

    Ideally, you would see a pattern to her behaviour e.g. she will tolerate petting for 2 minutes and then becomes impatient. Try to pre-empt him and stop a petting/cuddle session after 1 minute. If she has been really good the whole time, reward her with vocal praise and a treat. Of course, if the session ends badly, she gets no praise or treat.

    It is useful to build her confidence and sense of security so she feels less inclined to lash out. This is done by enriching his environment with interactive toys such as laser pointers and battery operated mice, as well as food puzzles, cat mazes and cat tress. Some cats also enjoy catnip toys. Be cautious to not use your hand to play at any time, as this can increasing hand biting tendencies.

    Another consideration would be stress-reducing products such as calming supplements in her food each day (e.g. nutracalm or Yucalm) as well as a Feliway plug-in.

    A final consideration would be to have a vet check if she has not had one recently. This would just be a nose to tail check to ensure we are not missing a source of discomfort or discontent such as a bad back tooth or any joint pain.

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