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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:13 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:25 pm
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Hello! I've finally had it with my 4 year old Bengal, Luna, attacking me. I've been reading this forum for a while trying to get some insight into her behavior issues, but her attack this morning has pushed me to finally write in and ask for help. I've had a problem with her biting me for as long as I can remember (maybe once or twice a week or so) but it's getting worse.
I work from home so she and I spend a lot of time together. 90% of the time she's a great cat. She loves to sit on my lap, loves to be brushed/pet and chase wand toys. One problem is that if I don't instantly start waving a toy around every time she asks, she bites me. But she also has been biting me more and more seemingly at random. We're moving in less than 2 weeks so I know the packing/changes to the house make her anxious and possibly over-stimulated. I do a lot of shipping for my business, so the packing tape, bubble wrap and boxes are nothing new to her. This morning I was packing dishes in the kitchen and she lunged at me with her teeth. I tried to catch her mid-air (like I often do) she fought me so hard that I have big gashes on my hand, arm and chest. 5 seconds earlier she was "helpfully" sitting on packing supplies, curious but calm.
The problem is that it's getting to the point where I'm afraid to walk through the house because the attacks are getting more frequent and severe. She has her own room with a cat tree, window, litter box, food, stuff to climb on etc. When she attacks me I usually put her in there to calm down, and to protect myself from her.
My question is, what can I do to get her to stop these attacks? I hate having to leave her locked in her room but I also can't keep living like this. I'd love to use the move to the new house as a fresh start with her but I don't know what to do. We've done some clicker training, and she'll follow a few commands (sit, paw, touching a pencil) but she's not food-motivated enough to snap out of her crazed moods. She doesn't attack guests for the most part, usually it's just me. Is she picking up on my fear of her, or think I'm prey or have I taught her it's okay to attack me?
One last thing, I'm not sure if this matters since she's 4 now, but when I picked her up at 10 weeks old, the breeder said her mom went into heat too quickly after she and her siblings were born (I don't know exactly when) so they were taken away from her and put in with another litter. I'm just not sure if she didn't miss out on some kitten lessons from her mom.
Any ideas? Thanks!!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 3:09 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8146
OUCH!!!! There is definitely something going on that is triggering the attacks on you. Can your kitty sense your fear? Absolutely! I know there are episodes of My Cat From Hell that have dealt with this. I believe the Animal Planet website has episodes you can watch. You say she has a "room" with her things in it. Well, she needs a HOUSE with her things in it. That means, toys all over the place, multiple cat trees in other rooms. You're punishing her by putting her in her room and cats do not understand punishment. Plus, bengals are very social cats and want to me around their humans.

I rescued my bengal when he was 6 years old and he's the sweetest kitty in the world. Never scratches and has never bitten me. Most bengals have a sweet disposition.

How to stop this behavior? First, you let the kitty know YOU ARE the boss and not the other way around. Be assertive. Use the word "NO" or "STOP". Raiden knows both of those words from our walks. Walks may be another option. More exercise for your kitty.

This behavior should have stopped when your kitty was a mere kitten. The fact that you've allowed it to go on for so many years has instilled this behavior in the cat. Make sure you kitty has multiple window ledges, beds, put another cat tree in the room you use the most. Reinforce good behavior with treats. This is not something that you can stop overnight. It's going to take some work from you and that means spending time with your kitty and getting the attacks on you to stop.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:09 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:26 pm
Posts: 724
Sherry is so right, you must let her know who is the boss. Adding to all that Sherry said- at the moment she is getting what she wants (play) when she bites you. I have a 7yr old rescue who went through a period of flexing his muscles. He would get higher that me and stare me out. He would then stalk closer and eventually try and bite me. Not hard but it hurt. I consulted a uk bengal behaviourist and she helped me to turn it round. She said you must be gently dominant - don't let them on counters, work tops etc. Don't let them use you as a piece of furniture! If they meow for food, make them wait till they are quiet. If they are staring you out then push them to the floor and walk away. Say 'NO' very loudly if they go for you and stand up higher than them. She also stressed the importance of play and working the cat's brain etc. One other poster suggested having a large stuffed toy with you so if you are sitting at the computer and Luna tries something you can fend her off with the toy and Luna can attack that instead which is an appropriate target. If the toy is large enough it could also save your legs. She needs to know that your limbs are off limits to shred. It's a tricky problem when you cannot control your fear as these attacks must hurt. However, you must try to stay calm as fear will communicate to Luna. Learn to use your voice and maybe hand movements to show her you are the boss. Also you said you moved her from you and she got your arms and hands - try to scruff her and then support her under the bottom if you need to get her off you Good luck

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Oscar - Rescue (Rascal!!!) Bengal


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 3:06 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Great advice, Melissa. I think redirection is also a key. I wish I could relate to what this member is going through, but I've never had a cat that was an attack cat. Ironically, the other night, Raiden and I were playing and we got into a staring contest. I was on the carpet, at about eye level with him. He jumped on my head. No claws, no teeth -- it really took me by surprise. Then he came at me again and I caught him with my hands. He loves to jump up on my legs and will bare his teeth, but he never uses them! I'm guessing that if he took a bite out of his previous owner, he got slammed up against the wall and that ended that! It's one thing to get attacked when playing with them. It's another thing for the cat to attack unprovoked! More play time may be needed and more catification is definitely in order. I have been attacked by neighbor's cats and that's not fun at all.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:56 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:26 pm
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Oscar will go for me sometimes during play or an ambush across the landing but with claws in and not bite. I bet Raiden did surprise you jumping on your head! We all need to learn to talk Cat and figure these moggies and their behaviour out!

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Melissa

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Oscar - Rescue (Rascal!!!) Bengal


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 11:20 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2014 6:38 pm
Posts: 1836
As my two get older, they become more gentle toward me. The only time they hurt me is if they knead me when they need a nail trim. Grace has learned to knead the blanket or fitted sheet next to me and Blondie kneads the air when I rub her belly. That's great, but I just noticed my new sheets are ripped already. They never attack me while playing, they attack each other, lol.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 1:45 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:03 pm
Posts: 535
Take her to the vet. It sounds like there could be some kind of imbalance with her or there is amedical issue.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:54 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8146
Hopefully, in the four years of this bengal's life, it has been to the vet several times. Aggression can be caused by many things -- and I'm guessing a move to a new home is not going to help the situation. All I know is that mine wants attention constantly. If he's not eating or sleeping, he's at my feet wanting to play, wanting a belly rub, wanting to go for a walk outside. I don't know how much attention this little guy gets during the day. There are websites that deal with play aggression and how to handle it! After four years, it may be a little difficult to curtail unless one spends a lot of time training the cat.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:53 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
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Location: Portland Oregon, USA
I really think you are going to need professional help with something like this. It could be something subtle behaviorally, your body language or your cat's body language, signals getting cross, triggers that are not intuitive or obvious etc., so I think having a behaviorist come to your house and work with you would probably be the best thing.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 3:32 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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There are only a handful of cat behaviorists and how do you know when one is a good one or it's just someone like me, offering up some advice. Something is triggering the attacks and this clearly seems behavioral. Google is a great resource to just read and read and read some more. But the first thing is to teach the cat that "NO" means "NO." And put the cat down. The owner HAS to be the dominant figure to a cat and not the other way around. It's easy to fear a kitty when they do damage to you. But, fear will only compound the situation. If you get the Animal Planet on your TV, watch some of the My Cat From Hell shows. I've seen owners on there using gloves and dressing in armour to deal with their kitties because they are so terrified of getting hurt by them. I believe you can watch them on the Animal Planet website, too. Jackson Galaxy offers great free advice on these shows and things work out in the end.


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