Psychotic Cat

Do your cats lash out and bite you when you either: 1) reach out to pet them 2) trim their nails 3) hug them

My cat just cut me and bit me, ferociously I may add, when I was trimming her nails just now. Wtf?
My palm is bleeding excessively now- she really did a number on me.

She’s been doing this a lot lately, for the past few months- mind you, she hasn’t even turned one year yet.

She bites hard even when I, or my family pets her. We’re gentle when we do so, so I’m clueless as to why.

Do you guys have the same problems with your cats?

My cats don’t like having their nails clipped, and will fight it. They don’t bite, though.

Is this a sudden behavior change? If so, schedule a vet visit. She may have an abcess or other medical condition that is making it painful for her to be petted. If not, ask your vet about possible reasons and solutions. Cat bites are nothing to trifle with.

My cat went psycho on me two years ago. Not because of anything I did; he was being taunted by another cat outside, calling him names through the window or something. But I saw him sittign on the windowsill, raised hackles, big tail and all, and tried to calm him down by approaching him like " Oh, don’t be silly, here let me pet y…" Well, fangs and nails ensued. The blood trickled down my leg.

I’ve even called a cat psychologist to figure out why.

I’ve since learnt to respect signs of “no” in cats. Big tail, hissing, raised back? Stop what you’re doing and give him a wide berth. If he doesn’t like you trimming his nails, just give him a scratchinpost so he can do it himself.

It took me over a year to trust that cat again, but even then, I wasn’t sorry to leave him with my ex when we parted.

I’ve since then learnt to respect her boundaries more

There was some discussion about a psycho cat on the boards a while back. The police were called in to SHOOT the cat. We have a very crabby kitty. We tell visitors “Just don’t touch her.” She doesn’t like being touched much, even by us.

Some cats are just mentally ill. Just like dogs. There’s no figuring, and no amount of “love” is going to change it. Trust me…our cats own the joint but this one…well, she’s not what you’d call a cuddler.

Our cat does this too, although he is getting more gentle as time goes by.

We got him when he was about 5-6 months old and he really didn’t like to be petted much (of course he PRETENDED to like it at the shelter, which is why we adopted him, then his true colours came out after we’d had him for a week or two … devious little sh*t).

Anyway, I read that petting them actually can be too stimulating for a cat and they lash out in return … so don’t take it personally.

Our cat HATES having his nails trimmed - we have to wear heavy duty work gloves to protect our hands. He also HATES to be put in his cat carrier.

BUT on the bright side, we’ve had him for almost a year and a half now, and he tolerates petting much more, and he will snuggle one of us while we’re sleeping, etc. We just learned to leave him alone and let him decide when he wants some lovin.

Ricky always reaches out and takes a swat at me when I’ve put food in his dish and am walking away. But that’s the only time he does it.

He’s not a cuddler either. Hubby’s the only one who can pick him up and stroke him. Rick growls and switches his tail, but he endures it. He’ll jump up on your chair but he’ll never sit still for petting. But if you don’t pet him, he’ll paw at your hand until you do, and then he immediately leaves.

I agree with Kalhoun – some cats have issues.

Only anecdotal info, but for the longest time our~10y.o. cat was very particular about how she was petted. You could pet her tummy if she was relaxed on a bed in the sun, but not for very long or you’d get bit and hissed at. Paws were right out. She also sat up if she was sleeping and you tried to pet her on your way by.

More recently, she’ll stay curled up and purr I pet her on my way by, and she doesn’t mind having her front paws touched. (She still hates it with the back ones though).

My parents have a psychotic cat. She won’t allow herself to be touched for more than five seconds at a time, and only by my mom, dad, and sister. Anybody else, she’ll raise her hackles and start hissing. She especially hates me, which is weird since I’m the one who “saved” her (found her outside my parents’ house in the snow and brought her in). Whenever I go over to visit she hisses at me constantly and runs away if I get within two feet of her. My parents actually had to get her declawed because whenever she got her nails clipped (my mom didn’t even try to do it) at the vet she’d scratch him, and the last time she got them clipped she drew his blood. My mom’s vet is very, very anti-declawing (as most vets are now, I gather) and he’s the one that brought it up. She’s been like this ever since she was a kitten. Well, no–she was nice the first night she was brought in (since she let me touch her then), but she was probably weak from lack of food. She reverted the next day.

Personally, I think the cat should be put down since she’s obviously miserable (she has a stomach disorder too, which causes her to throw up 2-3 times a week, and that’s after eating special food that costs 5x more than regular cat food and taking medicine). At least she probably won’t live very long due to the stress and the stomach problems. I know I sound totally cruel by wanting this cat to die, but some animals just aren’t fit to live with people. In the wild she’d probably be dead by now after pissing off the king cat.

My vet once told me that when reach ing to pet an adult cat never bring your hand over their head. They see it as a sign of agression. It’s part of establishing a pecking order.

I’d agree with that; some cats will flinch if you try to do it. If your cat plays what I call ‘bat-a-paw’ you can kindof see this, where the object seems to be to smack the back of your opponent’s paw before they can do the same to you. (Cats are fast, but I can win a round or two. :))

With any aggressive animal, you have to establish that you are the boss, and that misbehavior simply will not be tolerated. What I would do if I were you is put on a big thick set of gloves, a nice thick sweat shirt, some nice heavy jeans, and grab a hold of little psycho kitty. The more she bites and scratches, the longer you just hold her. Eventually she’ll figure out that whatever she does isn’t bothering you in the slightest, and she’ll give up.

Any time she misbehaves after that, repeat the procedure. The first few times she may fight back quite a bit. After that, she’ll give up.

Your cat may fight back quite a bit since she is getting older and has firmly established a pattern of misbehavior. You don’t need to hold her until she completely gives up and goes limp. She may not do that at first at all. Just hold her until she stops biting and scratching. Shouldn’t take more than 10 mintutes at the absolute worst.

Make sure you say “bad kitty” or some similar phrase before you grab her. Make sure that whatever phrase you use that it’s the same phrase every time. Eventually all you will have to do is say “bad kitty” or whatever your phrase is, and the cat will stop it’s bad behavior.

Thanks for your advice guys- i’ll be sure to apply them when/if it the psychosis will ever come up again.

I guess we got lucky! Our two cats (male, neutered, 1.5 years old) are very docile, and never lash out at us. Even when trimming their nails, they might struggle a bit at first, but they endure it quite calmly anyway.

Jules is the more agressive one of the two, and he’ll actually play-fight a little bit when pushed. But even then, he is clearly pulling his punches, both with claws and teeth. Obviously just having fun.

Vincent is so damn meek and loyal, it’s almost ridiculous. When we took him to the vet to take a dozen or two stitches out after his knee surgery, he was obviously in discomfort with the clipping of each stitch. He twitched a bit at first, but all my wife had to do is hold her face close to him, and talk softly. The poor little bastard started purring, and licking my wife’s face, with the vet continuously clipping away the stitches. She couldn’t believe what she saw. :slight_smile:

Of course, if our cats are ever set loose in the wild, they’ll last about 2 hours, max. :smiley:

OH yeah. My “baby”, Toxie, loves nothing more than to sneak up alongside whatever chair you’re sitting in, leap over the side and bite you on the arm, unprovoked. Or, same as above, only leaping over the back of the futon (he likes to wait until I’ve dozed off and THEN get me). Or, for absolutely no reason he will just start yowling and repeatedly attacking our ankles.

He has been like this for three years, since we adopted him from the Humane Society at one year old.

He’s been to the vet several times, who could find nothing physically wrong with him and advised us to get rid of him. Sorry, no. Cats aren’t furniture. We made a commitment to him, and the fact that he’s a bit of a jerk? Okay, a lot of a jerk (tho he has mellowed out considerably)? Doesn’t change that I love the little bastard.

Definitely have the cat checked out at the vet though.

How hard is he biting? It sounds like he’s letting his play behavior get a little out of hand. Whenever he does it, try grabbing a hold of him and saying “hey, that hurts” then let him go. With a little luck he’ll figure out that if he doesn’t do it hard enough to hurt that it’s acceptable play behavior. You’ve got to let him know what he can and can’t do for fun.

Does he have any toys to play with, like little balls with bells inside of them? If he has toys to pounce on maybe he won’t be so inclined to pounce on you.

How do you play with him? Or, do you play with him?

Hahahaha! Sorry, I’m honestly not trying to be rude, but seriously. Did I mention, it’s been three years? To answer your questions: he bites very hard. He gets one or two times with a squirt with our trusty squirt bottle and a “bad boy” in a stern voice (or, more often than not, “Toxie! F*** OFF!”), then he gets carried into the bedroom (usually whilst wearing protective gear) for a “time out”. When he emerges from these time outs, he’s totally mellow and fine.

To put a bit of perspective on this, he’s a HUGE freakin’ cat, and pure muscle. Picking him up is ill advised without some kind of armour. Our favourite is my husband’s old leather jacket. Totally impenetrable.

He has so many toys it’s not even funny. Jingle balls, mice, fishing poles, catnip toys, and a “kitty cat circus” play-gym thing he got for Christmas. And we play with him usually for at least an hour a day.

Like a said, he’s just a big jerk, that kitty is. But I love him, jerkiness and all. :smiley:

A friend of mine had a psycho kitty. She liked my friend and that was it. If anyone else tried to look at her, she’d growl and hiss. If you tried to touch her, she’d lash out. My friend thought the change (she wasn’t always like that) in her behavior started around the time my friend had her oldest daughter. My friend ended up having to give her away to someone who did not have children.

This is the game Scarlett enjoys the most, except we don’t bat the paw, my game is to get her anywhere above the neck before she can clamp down on me. I can bop the of her head, smack her nose or a paw. She’s hopelessly slow, but probably because she’s fat. We’ll play til she growls and hisses at me, and she’e left me bleeding many times. But once play time is over, she goes back to being a lovey and demands her petting.

Kalhoun nailed it. Some cats are just nut-jobs.

Doesn’t always mean they’re mean, though :D. My boy likes to go in time-out. We have a box with a lid (one of those file boxes that they sell at Staples or wherever), and his big ‘game’ is ‘Do you want to go into time-out? Get in time-out!’. He jumps in the box, we put the lid on, and he peeks out of the handle-holes with that crazy cat-look on his face. If you happen to walk by him, he shoots a paw out and grabs your leg.

My girl cat hates it when you walk downstairs without her. She will throw a paw out of the bannister and grab you - it hurts like a bitch sometimes, but I think she’s afraid you’re going to disappear into the abyss.


Wow, you guys have some crazy cats. Mine have always been mostly harmless but then again I get them when they are very young. In fact my cats are so docile I can do the cat gun…grab the front legs with one hand and the rear with another and then spray the room with “bullets.” More fun for me than for them I suspect. :wink: