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Q: Biting/clawing cat

May 9, 2011 | By SusanRT | 2 answers | Expired: 1163 days ago

My cat does not like to be held by me. She will swat at my face with her claws out or grab my head with both paws and sink her claws in. I'll immediately put her down. She does NOT do this with my husband...she lets him hold her. I am the one who gives her the most attention, plays with, her feeds her etc.

At night she will lay on both of our chests for attention and to be pet. Lately with me, after I pet her she will bite my face/arms and claw me. Again, she does not do this to my husband.

Any advice??

Readers' Answers (2)
Jillian
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May 09, 2011

It's possible she just knows better than to scratch or bite your husband, but it may also be the way you're holding her.

When some cats are done being pet they'll scratch or bite as a way of saying enough. Their skin is very sensitive, even w/all that fur protecting it, and after awhile the petting can become almost painful. The same can be said for holding her. For instance, my boyfriend and I hold cats very differently and some cats will have their preference for which way they like, struggling when the wrong person picks them up. Take notes on what your husband is doing and mimic him. That may be all it is.

While you're copying his moves, have a treat in your hand {we use a little plain yogurt on a finger for handling training} that she can occupy herself with while in your arms. Go slowly, letting her have the treat immediately when she's off the ground and setting her back down right after she's finished. This will tell her that being held by you is a good thing. Repeat this several times a day, but not several times in a row. Unlike other training, this one can upset her if she's up and down and up and down in quick succession. About once an hour, more or less, should encourage more good behavior.

Watch for signs from her if it's alright to hold her longer. Good signs would be a relaxed and not stiff body and gentle tail movement {or none at all}. If her eyes are half closed or she's slowly blinking, those are very good signs. Bad signs are dilated pupils, thrashing of the tail, tension in her body, and ears being held back.

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daryl b.
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May 12, 2011

i am one who trys to respect my animals likes and dislikes. if they don't want to be held i do not force them. it may hurt our feelings but respect is very important.

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