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Other I just got a rescue cat and...

Discussion in 'General' started by benji2412, 5 Sep 2011.

  1. benji2412

    benji2412 <insert message here>

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    ...... she's a little bit mad.

    The missus and I have a kitten and she's 6 months old and had her since she was 8 weeks old. Originally the missus wanted a rescue cat, but having never had cats before (I have) I suggested a kitten first. She loves the kitten, absolutely loves it, so we got a rescue cat yesterday and she's 2 years old.

    Now unfortunately they didn't like each other at first. But the rescue cat is incredabily affectionate, she let me fuss her for ages at the cat sanctuary. However she will let you fuss her, then she either bites you gently or full on goes for you. I can't understand it tbh, she wants fuss, you give her SOME to avoid the attack, but she wants more. You oblige and you have to recoil at an incredable speed.

    Has anyone had this from a rescue cat before? I haven't and it's left me baffled, I can live with the two cats not being bothered about each other, but the missus is really afraid of her after taking a chunk out of her arm.
     
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  2. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    It's just cats tbh. I've had and known a few that just do that but they get better over time and you learn to read their moods better. They like affection on their own terms and can rapidly run out of patience or get frustrated if you don't do what they want.

    It's also worth noting that a cat lieing on its back displaying its tummy to you is a sign of trust, not an invitation to touch it! :D
     
  3. Tibby

    Tibby Technologic

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    A short tap and a stern "No!" when it does it?

    I do it to my cats and they seem to learn. Sounds like it is just being playful but doesn't understand that humans don't like 'Cat Fights'.
     
  4. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    My (male) cat does that all the time... it's him being nice to me, that... he'll lick the hand, then bit it, then lick it, then claw it... and yes, I did observe this behaviour even if I didn't have anything yummy in my hand...

    All the other (2) cats don't do that, so I don't think my hands taste good.

    Oh, and cat discipling tip: Cats don't like you blowing in their face, normally... that works for all three of them. A firm "no" and possibly blowing into their face.

    And whoever said cats can't be trained is a fat liar... my cats can all sit, and 2/3 come when called.
     
  5. Plastic_Manc

    Plastic_Manc Member

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    I've had two rescue cats. The first was 12 and we only had for a year and a half before his kidneys gave in. He was awesome though and was very appreciative of the love we gave him. He was a very strong character and hated other cats but adored humans.

    We picked up our second rescue cat about a year ago and he's a very different character. He's been very shy but is coming out of his shell slowly. He likes to be stoked but then will give a little nip when he's had enough. He overgrooms massively too, we think because of OCD so always has bald spots on his right side.

    They're definitely very rewarding as the seeing them grow in character from the cat you pick out in the shelter is great to see.
     
  6. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    The cat biting while petting is normal behavior and not related to being a rescue. It's a combination of them wanting you to slow down because they are overwhelmed with sensation and a reminder who's boss. One of the signs to look for is the tail, if it goes from a controlled back and forth swish to a frantic spasm or erratic movements, then stop and let them settle down. Or learn to like it. Cat affection can be painful.
     
  7. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    You may have an insecurely attached cat (no surprise --it was a rescue cat after all).

    Attachment is one of those psychological drives so fundamental to animals that need to be raised to independence, that they and humans are pretty much the same in this regard (in animals it is called "imprinting" because we want to keep up the pretence that us humans are speshiul and more sof-is-ti-kat-ed than animals, but it's attachment all the same).

    In humans, attachment is the fundamental instinctual realisation that you are totally dependent on your caregiver/parent for survival. As such, in order to feel safe, you need to know that the caregiver/parent cares about you. You seek validation in affection, and a good parent expresses their love for you in their affection. You feel that you matter, and you feel able to explore the world with them as a "secure base" to fall back on. When feeling ill, threatened or in pain, you make a B-line for the parent for reassurance (they are your "safe haven").

    As you grow up, you internalise the validation, and become your own secure base and safe haven. You learn to self-soothe and self-care. You become adult. But when you feel ill, frightened, threatened or in pain you will still seek reassurance and validation from an attachment figure --your parents, aunt/uncle, partner, or your doctor/nurse, therapist, teacher, whoever you perceive as trustworthy, authoritative and caring.

    Insecure attachment happens when parenting has been neglectful or abusive. If you cannot trust your caregiver to be reliably, consistently there for you, you either have to make them care by clinging like mad (because you are always mortally afraid of losing that care), or try and stand on your own two legs as soon as possible (although you dearly want to be cared for, it is just too threatening). You either pull carers in and cling to them, or pull them in only to then push them away. Sometimes a mixture of both.

    OK, back to the cat. Cats are animals that need to be raised to independence (they start out as helpless, blind kittens) so they are subject to attachment dynamics. Pets in particular have been selectively bred to remain slightly infantile and attached to humans. This is more obvious with e.g. dogs than cats, but is still the case. Your rescue cat has probably experienced inconsistent, abusive or neglectful "parenting" from its previous owners. It may also have been separated from its mother too early. As such it is insecure in its attachment. It needs lots of validation (i.e. 'fussing'), but it has also learned to be scared and distrustful of it. The line between feeling comforted and feeling overwhelmed/threatened/out of control of that attention may be thin. So it goes from normal gentle biting to all-out get-off-me claws and fangs too quickly.

    So your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be a consistent parent. Give it attention, but back off when it shows the first sign that it has had enough. Let it feel in control at all times. Eventually it will learn to feel securely attached, but be prepared for this to take a few years. 'tis stuff that runs deep, attachment.
     
    Last edited: 5 Sep 2011
  8. Smilodon

    Smilodon The Antagonist

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    Also watch the eyes. If they are closed the cat relaxes and you are doing everything right.

    And some cats don't like sharp movements. It you rub it's belly, don't go too fast. That just ends up stressing cats. Dogs love it, though. ;)



    It may also be that the cat feels trapped somehow. If the cat is laying on the floor, and you are standing over it, you will be much more threatening than if you lay on the floor beside it. Try to get on the cats level and see if the behavior changes.
     
  9. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Oink!

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    We have three cats and one of them is a rescue, but he's SO retiring and timid; he never bites, only licks.

    One of the other cats (our only female) is the one which is inclined to bite, but only as a sign of affection when she is being mollycoddled by my wife lol.

    Some cats get pretty rough when they play which is why some owners wear thick gloves to avoid any unplanned trips to A&E. :D
     
  10. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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    My one cat plays "dig", when she plays.
    And it's one of those cats with incredibly sharp claws.
    She tackles whatever moved and diggs for it, even if it's right there in front of her. A bit mad, perhaps, but it's really funny to watch, especially if your hand is safely under 2 (!) blankets.
     
  11. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon What the?

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    Do any on your cats do that weird "burying food" thing? Occasionally he will go around his bowl scraping at the floor like he is trying to bury his food.
     
  12. benji2412

    benji2412 <insert message here>

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    Thanks for the comments guys!

    Every extended fussing session I've gotten out of her I've given her some praise and a treat, in return she's stopped clawing (hopefully not just for the time being). On top of that she lets me fuss her for longer, if I go in another room (my study and obviously close the door - cats + pcs...) she'll sit outside and just meow.

    Personally I'm taken to her, it'll just take time to settle her in and down. I've seen a big change with both of them in a day. Took the day off work to make sure both could roam the house and not feel unloved/not in charge. Our kitten gets closer to her without hissing and has stopped growling as much as well. At one point they were meowing to each other at the top and bottom of the stairs.

    At the centre she was the first cat to run up to us and demand attention, I then picked her up and she gave me a kiss. Personally I couldn't see what wasn't to love!
     
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  13. Throbbi

    Throbbi New Member

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    Give it time. That's about all you can really do. Being a rescue it has suffered something be that abuse, simple abandonment or someone who loved it but can no longer cope. The latter is the hardest to deal with since cats will, despite their extremely haughty demeanor, become very attached to a person or two.

    Don't ever give it reason to think you might treat it in any other way and you'll be fine. My cat is, to put it mildly, Glados with claws. She will be all lovey dovey when she feels like it and the next second is attempting to sever your arm at the elbow.

    You're already doing all the right things by the looks of it so just be prepared to persevere :)

    Lastly, +rep for taking in a rescue animal of any description.
     
  14. outlawaol

    outlawaol Geeked since 1982

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    actually you may just want to let her bite you. If its enough to puncture skin then its a no no, but if its just 'kinda hard' it is just a thing that the cat is doing to say who is boss (more or less). Teach it a noise that indicates that is not ok. I've had many cats and usually a good psssst! Or consistent 'NOOO' will teach them that is not ok. But it takes time to get a cat comfortable in its enviornment, so it could be a 'Im freaked out because this is all new! RAGE BITE'.

    Also I lol'd when I read the thread title. 'Rescue cat' makes me think of a fire fighter or something... as a cat... Im American :D
     
  15. DLDeadbolt

    DLDeadbolt Space Cadet

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    I have 6 cats, 5 of which where hand raised from kittens

    1 was born under my bed, 2 where found abandoned in a dumpster aged around 8days, 1 an abandoned feral kitten, 1 was found as a young cat [few months] but no bigger than a kitten halfway across the country [South Africa] and still hasn't grown any, and 1 cat we picked up here that was abandoned by its owners.

    The feral cat does bite, but only when she is being affectionate, i.e she will lick you alot then take a playful bite at you (particularly likes going for your fingers and nose)

    The UK abandoned cat does bite aswell, but he goes overboard when he wants love (you put your hand in front of him and he will start rubbing against it, clawing and biting)
     
  16. gilljoy

    gilljoy Well-Known Member

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    One of my cats does this when your giving him attention.

    He just gives you a little nip, doesn't hurt just a wee nip, not sure why he does it, he does lick my hand first so I think he's being affectionate.

    But well done for rescuing a cat, +rep for being an awesome person
     
  17. BentAnat

    BentAnat Software Dev

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  18. Almightyrastus

    Almightyrastus Rule #9

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    Our little monster, Leija, loves to think that she is the boss but she now knows where she stands in the pecking order of our house. She used to stand up on her back legs and dance around trying to get at her food bowl at feeding time. The problem with this is that she is a Norwegian Forest cat and as such very big and helluva strong so the food went everywhere.

    Now she knows that she has to sit down before the bowl is given to her and she does.

    She occasionally tries to nibble at your finger and very rarely goes crazy with the scratch / slap/ bite thing but a firm 'NO' and a gentle tap on her nose puts her back in her place. She normally runs off after that but comes back about 5 mins later to get all lovin' and sweet again.
     
  19. benji2412

    benji2412 <insert message here>

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    Thanks for the rep guys lol, didn't expect that! She seems to be settling in well, she fell asleep on my lap last night while watching tv, also she didn't pine on her second night so that was a bonus!

    I'm looking forward to when our other cat stops hissing at her, at the moment it's one cat upstairs and one down. I think I've pretty much sussed now when she's fed up, she just raises her paw now instead of clawing me to say she's had enough. As I said I'm attached to her now, she's awesome, although the banister is definately too small for her. She keeps jumping on to get to a level height but makes a hash of it.
     
  20. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Whitelist Bit-Tech in your adblock!

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    Yes, mine is the same. It's a lot of cats. The best analogy we've come up with for explaining it is that it's like being tickled for them. When someone tickles you, it's funny and playful at first, but pretty quickly it can get overwhelming and irritating, and you just end up lashing out and struggling to get away.

    One thing I realised recently is that a lot of it's got to do with playing too rough. Cats are small and pretty sensitive, don't pet them like you'd pet a dog.

    The inevitable TL;DR is, of course, to always be gentle with a *****.

    /gets coat
     

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