Post # 1
I need some help here, cat savvy Bees.
A little less than a year ago our family adopted a shelter cat for our daughter. It was a rough start, he did show some aggression in the beginning and we adjusted our home accordingly. After some changes to where he was sleeping, his diet, toys, climbing areas, lots of My Cat From Hell videos, he did a big turnaround and turned into a lap cat. Lovey eyes, purring, snuggling at night, the works. No aggression whatsoever.
We have a new baby due any day now, in fact I’m technically overdue at this point. But we’ve had the house ready for a long time. No changes in routine, no disruption, he does not lack attention in any way shape or form. In the past week alone he has latched on to both my husband and I during routine “pet me please” head butts. He likes to be scratched on the top of his head normally. Both times now he has asked for attention and then latched onto our hands, which hurts for my husband and is absolutely a no go with me being pregnant. And we can’t have this around the baby.
He was just checked out, there are no cuts or abrasions, no ticks, no fleas. He just got a dose of Frontline for this month. He’s eating, drinking, pottying, and playing as normal. Honestly I’m at a loss here. Just looking for some insight. I do not want to consider giving him up at this point because he is a family member but this can not be happening around the baby.
Post # 3
how is the cats behavior directly before you petting, and when your petting? Is his tail twitchy? does he growl?
I know some cats will see a cat outside, or birds, and they get frusterated when they can’t get to them so they turn their frusteration somewhere else.
I would watch her bahavior carefully because that can tell alot.,
Post # 4
@RockStar33: Both times this has happened, the cat had just finished eating and was doing the usual attention seeking thing. Lovey eyes, slow blink, head butts. Then he flops over for head scratches. Relaxed, no swishing tail or other signs of aggression. The latching on is completely out of nowhere. My husband got scratched when rubbing under the cat’s chin. I just got scratched rubbing the top of his head.
Post # 5
Several of my friends have mentioned that their cats and dogs got a little weird when they were pregnant. They can pick up on your hormones, especially as you become more and more pregnant and can act a bit “off”. Some get more loving, more protective, more clingy, others more standoffish, a little aggressive, etc. I wouldn’t make any decisions about your kitty until after the baby is here, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he went back to normal after a few weeks.
Post # 6
it sounds like he’s trying to play like he would with another cat. out cats grab each other and wrestle so maybe he sees you and your husband as his playmates. sometimes they just get bored and go crazy cat.
it is possible he senses a change coming with the new baby and is acting out a bit but if he has never shown this kind of aggression towards your daughter i wouldn’t be alarmed. he’ll settle down.
i would just moniter him and flick him on the nose or head lightly to let him know your disapproval, this is how we have trained out cats not to do this and it has worked. I really don’t think you have anything to worry about, just keep a watchful eye.
and no we don’t abuse our cats, we don’t even have to make contact now for them to know they are doing something wrong.
Post # 7
He could be sensing your hormal change for getting ready for the baby and is acting out in agression?
Post # 8
When this happens we just tap his butt in a “Time for you to leave” way and ignore him.
Post # 9
I’m not a cat trainer by any means but I would think that if you keep a spray bottle handy and spray him in the face with water when this happens it should stop. My male cat used to give hard love bites and doing this or (if spray bottle wasn’t handy) firmly saying no and physically removing his jaws gets the point across rather well.
From what you say this doesn’t seem like aggressive behavior
Post # 10
I should also be clear, we’re not considering giving him up at this point. We just want to make sure the new family dynamic is as peaceful a transition as possible for everyone, including our crazy cat.
Post # 11
Yea, cats have a sixth sense, they just KNOW and can sense when something is different.
My cats know when i’m not feeling well. or if i’m mad, or sad…. they can sense my moods.
The cat probably just knows.
also, some cats can become sensitive to being pet. my one cat is like that, she’ll be all snuggly and cuddly and head-butting my hand – then when i pet her she nips me. but she’s not an aggressive cat, she just developed a sensitivity
Post # 12
Is he doing it playfully? Sometimes when our cat gets excited, she’ll playfully grab onto us. Is he wearing soft paws at least?
Post # 13
@redheadem: I don’t know, usually when he plays like that it’s a closed paw. This is full on claws latching on. And no, after 18 rounds of SoftPaws he chewed off we gave up on them. He doesn’t keep them on whatsoever.
Post # 14
well it’s hard to say why he’s behaving this way without actually seeing all of his body language, but he likely is picking up on the fact that things are about to change. one thing we always tell our clients (i’m a vet tech) is that when you are expecting a new baby, try to accustom the cat (or dog) to what life will be like once the baby comes home. for example, when you set up the baby’s room, allow the cat to check it out, but set firm boundaries, such as the crib/bassinet being off limits. carry around a doll, and allow the cat to smell it and have only as much contact with said doll as you would be comfortable with with your own baby. play recorded baby sounds, especially crying. i know, i know, it sounds ridiculous, but for sensitive cats/pets it can make a huge difference. i know you said you are due any day now, but if it is possible to start this, i’d recommend it. another hugely helpful thing is to have your husband or another family member bring home blankets or articles of clothing from the hospital, and even soiled diapers. this gets them used to the smell. like i said, i know it sounds crazy and most people can’t possibly do all these things. but speaking from experience, i know how beneficial it can be. good luck
Post # 15
My cat started behaving like that. He has become worryingly violent though, took a chunk out of mums arm. He respects my FI but when FI isn’t around he stalks me like prey and not in a playful way.
It seems to be worsened by atmospherics but we took him to the vet. She gave him calming medicine (she isn’t sure whats wrong, I’ve kept cats for years and I know all the tricks XD she hinks it MAY be hyperthyroidism and he has been eating a lot more) which I hide inside salmon and chicken truffles I make just for him. We also got a feliway diffuser which the vet says is AMAZING for cats experiencing changes. It’s safe to use around pregnant women and babies too. Highly recommended. His biting is now much reduced and with behaviour management I think he will be back to normal.
Post # 16
It sounds a lot to me like the cat is sensing the pregnancy hormones/changes to come. I think after the baby comes and the cat feels things return to “normal” this should stop. I’ve heard about this a lot and it usually stops. If it gets to be really bad you could always get some medication to calm the cat. I think you tapping the cats butt and “dismissing” him when he does this is a good idea. Gives him the hint. I know with our dog, the bigger of a deal we make about these kinds of behaviors the worse it gets!