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Been Bitten by Your Cat Yet?

It is unusual for cats to be aggressive towards humans unless they are mishandled,but if they have not had much handling as kittens then they may develop the petting and biting syndrome

We all know it so well!

This adorable cat sitting on our laps purring while it enjoys your stroking hand and then quick as a flash it has its claws around your hand and sinks its teeth into your flesh while its back legs beat painfully at your arms!

You get the appearance that at first your cat behaves like a kitten enjoying the cuddle and then suddenly it becomes an adult who feels maybe trapped and fearful so it kicks out.

If this happens with your cat then try to limit yourself to short sessions of petting your cat [if you want to save your arms!]

When it sits on your lap don t try and cradle it but leave it free to get down from your knee when it wishes.

Do not try and rub its tummy or back legs and after a few minutes put it down.

Your cat may then want to initiate more contact as it will gradually start to feel under less threat.

If your cat is normally quite docile and has suddenly become aggressive then check that it has not developed an allergic reaction to anything.

If you have started to use any new household cleaners stop them for a week and see what happens.

You could try changing the diet from tinned food to fresh chicken or fish and see if this makes a difference. The recipe of the canned food he normally eats may have changed to include another additive.

Then there is the cat that claws into your ankles when you walk past and pounces on your out-stretched hand and inflicts minor woulds how many of those have we met?

I know I have met a few horrors in my past. One in particular in my mother in laws house in S.Africa. An ardent cat lover with 6 of them in the house ,all strays and waifs picked from various localities around the town. The most beautiful of all a pure white with green eyes had a favorite spot in the hall well hidden behind a bookcase. Any unsuspecting poor soul that walked past was liable to for attack. Not on the ankles but a full blown airborne launch onto the arm of the unsuspecting visitor. A scary experience I can tell you!

If a cat is a real biter and scratcher then it could be suffering from under-stimulation. It might work to let it outside for a while and even play chase and pounce games with a toy mouse,this may work wonders.

Kathy Davison is a Health Studies lecturer in the UK. She lectures on Humans and Animals health and Behavior


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