Cat eyes and cat behavior

I got a Ragdoll cat for my birthday about 1 month ago.

  1. My cat has a single, very thin squiggly red line going around edges of the visible part of both of his eyes. It looks like a vein, but it doesn’t appear to be broken or branching or anything–it loops around the visible part of the eye and can be seen when he has his eyes open wide. Is this odd vein a common characterstic in domestic cats, or could it be some sort of weird parasite? He doesn’t appear to have any problems with his eyes, FWIW.

  2. Normally he is very sweet and snuggly, but occassionally he will grab into my arm and start biting and kicking me for no apparent reason. I’ve noticed that other cats do this too sometimes… any idea what they’re trying to communicate in cat language?

  1. Doesn’t sound like a big deal but do some searching on the web. People love to talk about their cats and I’m sure this has come up in a pet forum somewhere. This is how I found out what the little black bumps on my cat’s chin were.

  2. My cat does the same thing. I assume it’s playing because after we quit “wrestling” around he acts like nothing ever happened and he never bites or scratches hard enough to inflict any real damage. Usually. :wink:

He just want’s to play. Get out a toy he can chase and sink his teeth into. When my cat play-bites me I say “noooo” in a firm voice he resorts to licking.

For health info, try www.about.com and search for cats or animal health, they have several good forums there.

Thanks… :slight_smile: Hope those bumps weren’t serious or anything (doesn’t look like it according to Google).

Unfortunately, about the vein around the cat’s eye, Google thinks I’m talking about cat’s-eye ore… ;_; well, I’ll go find a pet forum or something… :slight_smile:

If you’re being affectionate at the time the cat goes to bite or scratch it may be that the cat is confusing affections. As sex and violence go hand in hand in the animal world, it is not uncommonm for this to happen.
I have an adolescent male in our house who gets stiffies at the strangest times, and is usually when he is in a highly affectionate situation such as snuggling under blankets.
I’m thinking if it is sexual confusion, and what adolencent dosn’t have sexual confusion? It will pass as the cat matures, as our Mackey’s has been slowly abating.
One the other hand, sometimes a banana is just a banana.

Can’t help you on the eye problem, but I’d say it dosn’t sound to worrisome as it is not adversly affecting the cat. Perhaps it is something he may grow out of. Keep an eye on it anyhow.

  1. Can’t say with authority, but here’s my WAG: it’s an area of no (or little) pigment, causing you to be able to see the blood vessels in the eye (which are numerous). In which case it’d be absolutely nothing to worry about.

  2. Of this I am certain: this is the way kittens play with other kittens. Your cat is instinctively practicing hunting behavior (specifically, the disembowling phase). If you don’t want to encourage it, you should immediately withdraw from play with the cat as soon as it starts, and give the cat several minutes to “settle down” before interacting with it again. Don’t try a punishment reaction, as that will not achieve the desired effect but will cause the cat to mistrust and/or fear you.

I would ask your vet about the squiggle when he’s in for his routine checkups. It doesn’t sound like a problem, but it’s hard to tell from a text description.

On the grab and bunny-kick maneuver, I think it usually happens when they get overstimulated. They’re enjoying being petted for a little while, but then it gets to be too much and they stop you. Mine always have their claws in and bite very gently when they do it - they’re just saying “hey! quit it!” They do the same thing to each other when they’re grooming each other and one has had enough. Here’s a photo of one of my kittens doing this to the other, when they were about four months old - does that look like the move you’re talking about?

How old is your cat? Especially if he’s a kitten, he may be trying to play with you. Does he have his claws out when he does it? If so, you can say “ouch” moderately loudly and then completely ignore him for a little while. This is the treatment that his mother would give him if he got too rough playing with her, and will help him learn the bounds of polite behavior with others.

** ENugent** what cute widdle kitties. I ended up scrolling through the whole thing. I especially liked photo #51.

So this isn’t a totally irrelevant hijack – my cats do the same thing. One, Bitch Kitty, is known far and wide for purring while she’s being petted, then suddenly she turns into Bitch Kitty and chomps down on you. In fact, my mother refuses to call her by name (Tribble); instead Mom calls her “Chomp”.

The eye thing – I’d have the vet look at it on the next checkup. Unless of course it seems to hurt, changes or your kitty seems to have trouble seeing.

Thank you, Dogzilla! She is fierce in that one, isn’t she? :smiley: They won a photo contest at the local PetCo with this one.

Oh, and dre2xl, I second the suggestion of the about.com forums. I also very much liked the book Think Like a Cat (I don’t remember the author right now - I think her last name was something hyphenated - but I’m sure it’s on Amazon, and I’ve seen it in the pet section of several bookstores).

Nice pics. Hi-jack: what program did you use to do that nifty photo next/previous/index system? I assume you didn’t do each page by itself?

Anyway, about.com is a great place to ask these questions.

I’ve read that if you let your cat claw and bite you, they’ll think it’s fine and want to play with your hands more. Get some toy that you don’t mind them biting and attack them with that if they get nippy. :slight_smile:

My husband put together the photo collections using iView Media Pro.

We got a big bird puppet for our cat when he was a kitten for that exact situation. He was allowed to bite hands only when they were inside big bird.

It worked better in theory than in practice, but we still have a big bird puppet, who is known in our house as “the evil one.”

The biting-and-kicking thing is one of the ways cats play. Some cats are gentler than others - my current cat doesn’t bite hard or use her claws when joy-bouncing. Other cats I’ve had would tear my hand to shreds if I let them. Whether you let your cat “fight” with your hand is up to you - as long as it doesn’t hurt too much, I don’t see anything wrong with it. Don’t neglect the other cat games, such as chase-me-around-the-house and attack-the-string.