General Question

athenasgriffin's avatar

Why is my cat acting so strange?

Asked by athenasgriffin (5949 points ) July 3rd, 2011

My cat has been begging for attention all of the time lately. I have spent hours upon hours playing with him, feeding him, petting him, for the past few days. But he just doesn’t stop. This is not his normal way. Usually, he is quite reserved. Usually he doesn’t like to play for more than five minutes a day, or be petted for more than a couple of hours.
This would not bother me if it wasn’t for the fact that he has been biting me when I am too busy to give him attention. Not even hard enough to leave marks or even feel uncomfortable, but still very strange. He will rub his head against me a couple of times and then chomp he bites down.
What is wrong with him?
How do I fix it?

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9 Answers

woodcutter's avatar

You are his human and have been so claimed. Our cats will “jowl” us all the time, but when they don’t need you for anything for a while they will ignore you too.

tinyfaery's avatar

Whenever your cat exhibits new behaviors a vet check is always in order.

Could just be your cat is getting lonely. When the cat starts to bite you replace your hand with a toy. If that doesn’t distract him just get up and walk away.

Plucky's avatar

It would help if you could give more details about your cat.

How old is he?
Is he neutered?
Are there other cats in the house?
Has anything changed at home (something new in the house, new cat food, etc)?
How long have you had him?
Has anything about you changed (behaviours, physical appearance, new hygienic products)?

athenasgriffin's avatar

@PluckyDog Bobby is about five years old and neutered. I’ve had him since he was about six months old. We have no other cats in the household, but we do have a Pomeranian that is not exactly Bobby’s favorite person in the world. I’ve been around more often than usual, because it is summer and I have less to do. If anything I’ve been giving him more attention than he would usually want. The only thing that has really changed about me is that I’ve been sleeping all day and staying up all night because I don’t have to go anywhere except social activities and such.

@tinyfaery My cat goes to the vet more than I go to the doctor. He last went about two weeks ago for vaccines and he was fine then. It is not a huge deal, just a little bit disconcerting.

@woodcutter That might be it, I suppose. Just a cat being a cat.

Thank all of you so much for offering me advice. :)

Plucky's avatar

With the biting, it seems like your cat is showing you a bit of dominance. He’s doing a play/affection attack. When he bites you, say something like “ouch” or “no” ..then do not pay him any attention. If he persists, grab him by the scruff (the skin on the back of his neck) and push him groundward for about 3 seconds, saying “no” sternly. Do it sternly but not roughly. This is not abuse. It is something his mother would have done to teach him how to behave. He needs to understand that biting is not ok. Do not give him attention for biting (other than the “scruff” treatment). If you do, he will see his biting as paying off and will continue to do so.

As for attention seeking, this behaviour will probably settle down as the summer continues. You are home, when he is not used to having you home, so he’s going to be seeking your affection. He will get used to your summer routine though.

I wouldn’t worry too much. :)

SABOTEUR's avatar

When you find out, let me know.

Our family has had 2 cats. The first one was attacked by something outside, suffered kidney failure and eventually died. We’ve taken extra precautions to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to the second cat. But nobody likes this cat but me because she’s too affectionate. Since I’m the only family member that feeds and plays with her, she doesn’t taunt me (like she does my wife), but she demands attention when she wants it. This means occasionally jumping on my back to lay across my shoulders if I don’t pet her fast enough.

Recently it just got to be too much. She was already following around the house but I was beginning to feel like the cat was stalking me. I couldn’t move without her being at my feet and she was forever trying to get behind me to jump on my back.

One night I couldn’t take it anymore. I opened the back door and let her go outside. Then I berated myself for being an irresponsible pet owner.

Ever since then, though, she’s been a whole lot less aggressive. She comes and goes whenever she feels like it and the whole family is a lot more relaxed.

And she doesn’t jump on my back anymore.

Just hope she’s not hurt during her frequent trips outside.

bkcunningham's avatar

Could be that he’s smelling (a) female cat(s) in heat and is just feeling randy.

athenasgriffin's avatar

@PluckyDog I’ll try to use your advice to get him to stop biting. I’m a little embarrassed to say that my current technique involves locking him out of my room.
@SABOTEUR I was always surprised on how much attention certain cats want. I’m a little bit of a hands-off pet owner. I love my pets, and they are very well taken care of, but I’m not the sort of person who wants a constant companion. It just becomes too much at a certain point.
@bkcunningham My cat has been neutered for about five years. Although he probably is feeling randy, it has nothing to do with female cats. :)

bkcunningham's avatar

Having him neutered makes no difference in the game of mating. That just means he can’t get another cat pregnant. It has nothing to do with his sense of smell and wanting to breed and mate @athenasgriffin. They didn’t remove his instinct; just his testicles. ;)

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