1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

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K-the-Cat
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1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

Post by K-the-Cat »

Hello everyone, I recently adopted a 1 year old cat from another family who couldn't take care of him anymore (Today marks a week). The first 3 days were as they are supposed to, he hid in the bathroom and came out occasionally, now he is more confident and walks around the house and comes at me for pets, he is sleeping next to me at night and comes for cuddles in the morning. What is concerning me is that when I want to refill his food bowl or change his water he meows very weirdly at me, also he sometimes meows in a very weird way while walking around the house (maybe he is missing his previous family or calling for them) also, is not allowing me to walk comfortably in my apartment whenever I try to walk by he meows in that weird way and comes to me, first he circles my legs and rubs his body on them right before attacking them (His tail would be up though and is quivering before he does that), he clings to my leg and bites it and slap it he bites over and over and follows me around the house doing it all over again (It hurts sometimes). (A video can be provided to show his behavior) It is my first cat to adopt and I'm kind off worried, uncertain about this behavior,. I have no idea how to deal with it and whether it is temporary or will continue and grow to be more painful / hurtful. If you have any advice on how to deal with this situations and how to make it stop it would be great. I'm not much of a cat person but I wanted to change my view on them by adopting a cat and offer him a loving home, dude's stressing me out so much. Oh and his name is "K" because of his attitude.
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

Post by Mollycat »

You've come to the right place and it's great that youare looking for advice straight away, not waiting until the problem develops.

No need for a video, I think most of us will know exactly what you mean about a kind of wailing long miaow and the weaving round your legs with tail up then swishing and then he attacks your legs. It's not aggression, and it can be resolved, and everything is going to be just fine.

Cats have a huge vocal range, over 100 different sounds including chirps, prips, purrs, mews, miaows, yowls, screeches and more. Most of them are for cat-to-cat communication, but the classic miaow is normally only for kittens to make demands on their mother. Adult pets cats talk to us like they would talk to their mother, giver of comfort, warmth, food and protection. Therefore although it's a common language as in every pet cat does it, the subtle elements of it are unique between each cat and each human, because the cat will try everything until it finds a way that works and the human understands to get what it wants. The unique sounds K made to his old family that got him exactly what he wanted on demand, he now finds himself with a human who doesn't understand him, and the two of you will develop your own way to understand each other. It's a natural and bonding process, just relax and observe and offer things and try things - I don't mean different foods and treats, but body language helps give you more clues. A prip as he walks into the room with tail up and waving softly is likely just Hello! while more and more insistent and louder miaows near his food bowl, well that should be pretty clear too. My cats have never miaowed to ask for food, they just sort of sit there in a particular way, and the yelling starts when i say "Is it tea-time?" and so I think of it as me being told to hurry up and scolded for being slow or late or both. When you think about it, a hungry kitten doesn't yell for mother to go hunting, he starts screaming the place down once mother appears with the food.

Rubbing on human legs in an interesting behaviour and there are lots of not all that different theories about it. Basically it's a greeting, again if you go back to kittens and mothers it's how they greet, but they also sniff or lick faces, and our faces are a long way out of reach for a cat on the floor. That's why many cats give a little token hop to meet your hand if you bend down to stroke them, they are trying to reach you. If K likes being picked up, that would be a good time to do it, though if he pushes away from you or resists you holding him do put him down, you don't want angry claws near your face! If he doesn't like being picked up, try kneeling on the floor with him and give him your hands, he may rub on them and maybe let you stroke him or scratch his cheeks - they have scent glands in the corners of the mouth and that kind of rubbing shares scent and helps him mark you as his family. When the tail begins to quiver like that, it's either he's getting overexcited or frustrated - either way you can help him calm down by being calm, gentle and soothing in your voice and movements. Don't be confrontational when a cat is in that mode, cats don't back down because they don't recognise rank or seniority the way dogs do, they will fight back and if they don't it's not through happy submission it's defeat which breeds more tension and resentment and does lead to aggression, a very dangerous cat and a mess to sort out. Now you see the reason for the first part of this very long post.

My rescue girl when she first came would dive under the bed and hide there all day if I said no to her in a firm tone. I learned very quickly to say in a normal conversation tone, No Molly we don't do that here. It's so gentle you would think I was actually praising her, or asking what she wants for breakfast, but that's all it takes for her to stop clawing the sofa.

I would think the weird miaowing when you're refilling his bowls sounds like come on hurry up, when he's wandering around the house could be searching but it could also be other things - did he live with other animals or children? He might be missing a playmate and cuddle buddy, he sounds like an affectionate and sociable little thing. He might just want you to come and play with him, or have you encourage him to follow you into another room to explore or play a game. This is where trying different things should help the two of you bond and learn to have conversations together where you get to know each other and adapt to each other. If it's the same weird miaow before he attacks your legs, it does sound like frustration. If it develops slowly and you can see the warning signs, try stopping where you are and dropping down nearer his level, without putting your face and hands in the danger zone, stroke him gently and slowly32yyui0000 (sorry Molly's input!) from head to the end of his back, talking gently to him. Give him your full attention and encourage him to show you what he wants. It might sound silly but with your attention he might start purring to show he wants a cuddle, or walk towards his food or his treats, just be sensitive and encouraging to whatever he is trying to tell you.

Generally, freeze. If you wriggle and pull away, you're acting like either real prey or play prey or a play fight, and any of those will escalate the situation. Staying still and talking gently and calmly will defuse the situation. You and his new home are still very new and if they were no longer able to look after him there may be some old frustrations still to come out and get over, so you cannot have too much patience and gentleness.
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

Post by K-the-Cat »

Thank you so much for the reply, yeah I'm trying my best to understand his behavior and to work on improving it.

I tried that approach before where I kneel down to his level and try to cuddle him, he ended up holding my hand and biting it. Regarding the curling the legs and rubbing them right before he attacks them I will follow your advice and take your approach and see where it leads, however, If I let him bite and cling to my leg wouldn't it become a habit with time?
Mollycat wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:29 am You've come to the right place and it's great that youare looking for advice straight away, not waiting until the problem develops.

No need for a video, I think most of us will know exactly what you mean about a kind of wailing long miaow and the weaving round your legs with tail up then swishing and then he attacks your legs. It's not aggression, and it can be resolved, and everything is going to be just fine.

Cats have a huge vocal range, over 100 different sounds including chirps, prips, purrs, mews, miaows, yowls, screeches and more. Most of them are for cat-to-cat communication, but the classic miaow is normally only for kittens to make demands on their mother. Adult pets cats talk to us like they would talk to their mother, giver of comfort, warmth, food and protection. Therefore although it's a common language as in every pet cat does it, the subtle elements of it are unique between each cat and each human, because the cat will try everything until it finds a way that works and the human understands to get what it wants. The unique sounds K made to his old family that got him exactly what he wanted on demand, he now finds himself with a human who doesn't understand him, and the two of you will develop your own way to understand each other. It's a natural and bonding process, just relax and observe and offer things and try things - I don't mean different foods and treats, but body language helps give you more clues. A prip as he walks into the room with tail up and waving softly is likely just Hello! while more and more insistent and louder miaows near his food bowl, well that should be pretty clear too. My cats have never miaowed to ask for food, they just sort of sit there in a particular way, and the yelling starts when i say "Is it tea-time?" and so I think of it as me being told to hurry up and scolded for being slow or late or both. When you think about it, a hungry kitten doesn't yell for mother to go hunting, he starts screaming the place down once mother appears with the food.

Rubbing on human legs in an interesting behaviour and there are lots of not all that different theories about it. Basically it's a greeting, again if you go back to kittens and mothers it's how they greet, but they also sniff or lick faces, and our faces are a long way out of reach for a cat on the floor. That's why many cats give a little token hop to meet your hand if you bend down to stroke them, they are trying to reach you. If K likes being picked up, that would be a good time to do it, though if he pushes away from you or resists you holding him do put him down, you don't want angry claws near your face! If he doesn't like being picked up, try kneeling on the floor with him and give him your hands, he may rub on them and maybe let you stroke him or scratch his cheeks - they have scent glands in the corners of the mouth and that kind of rubbing shares scent and helps him mark you as his family. When the tail begins to quiver like that, it's either he's getting overexcited or frustrated - either way you can help him calm down by being calm, gentle and soothing in your voice and movements. Don't be confrontational when a cat is in that mode, cats don't back down because they don't recognise rank or seniority the way dogs do, they will fight back and if they don't it's not through happy submission it's defeat which breeds more tension and resentment and does lead to aggression, a very dangerous cat and a mess to sort out. Now you see the reason for the first part of this very long post.

My rescue girl when she first came would dive under the bed and hide there all day if I said no to her in a firm tone. I learned very quickly to say in a normal conversation tone, No Molly we don't do that here. It's so gentle you would think I was actually praising her, or asking what she wants for breakfast, but that's all it takes for her to stop clawing the sofa.

I would think the weird miaowing when you're refilling his bowls sounds like come on hurry up, when he's wandering around the house could be searching but it could also be other things - did he live with other animals or children? He might be missing a playmate and cuddle buddy, he sounds like an affectionate and sociable little thing. He might just want you to come and play with him, or have you encourage him to follow you into another room to explore or play a game. This is where trying different things should help the two of you bond and learn to have conversations together where you get to know each other and adapt to each other. If it's the same weird miaow before he attacks your legs, it does sound like frustration. If it develops slowly and you can see the warning signs, try stopping where you are and dropping down nearer his level, without putting your face and hands in the danger zone, stroke him gently and slowly32yyui0000 (sorry Molly's input!) from head to the end of his back, talking gently to him. Give him your full attention and encourage him to show you what he wants. It might sound silly but with your attention he might start purring to show he wants a cuddle, or walk towards his food or his treats, just be sensitive and encouraging to whatever he is trying to tell you.

Generally, freeze. If you wriggle and pull away, you're acting like either real prey or play prey or a play fight, and any of those will escalate the situation. Staying still and talking gently and calmly will defuse the situation. You and his new home are still very new and if they were no longer able to look after him there may be some old frustrations still to come out and get over, so you cannot have too much patience and gentleness.
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

Post by Mollycat »

K-the-Cat wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:22 am Thank you so much for the reply, yeah I'm trying my best to understand his behavior and to work on improving it.

I tried that approach before where I kneel down to his level and try to cuddle him, he ended up holding my hand and biting it. Regarding the curling the legs and rubbing them right before he attacks them I will follow your advice and take your approach and see where it leads, however, If I let him bite and cling to my leg wouldn't it become a habit with time?
I can't say 100% it wouldn't, it depends on exactly what it is he's doing it for but that's not even really possible to understand from videos, but I believe it's very unlikely. Almost always, if there is no gain from doing it, he should get bored and stop bothering. If there is a better more interesting fun and rewarding alternative, or if you can work out what he really wants and meet that need before he starts biting, then he won't need to do it.

Has he been neutered? Hormones and energy can be drivers for all kinds of frustration behaviours.

Also, can you talk to his old family? They might be able to shed light on it, maybe that was a game in his old home, or they know what he is really looking for when he does that.
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

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Mollycat wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:29 am
K-the-Cat wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:22 am Thank you so much for the reply, yeah I'm trying my best to understand his behavior and to work on improving it.

I tried that approach before where I kneel down to his level and try to cuddle him, he ended up holding my hand and biting it. Regarding the curling the legs and rubbing them right before he attacks them I will follow your advice and take your approach and see where it leads, however, If I let him bite and cling to my leg wouldn't it become a habit with time?
I can't say 100% it wouldn't, it depends on exactly what it is he's doing it for but that's not even really possible to understand from videos, but I believe it's very unlikely. Almost always, if there is no gain from doing it, he should get bored and stop bothering. If there is a better more interesting fun and rewarding alternative, or if you can work out what he really wants and meet that need before he starts biting, then he won't need to do it.

Has he been neutered? Hormones and energy can be drivers for all kinds of frustration behaviors.

Also, can you talk to his old family? They might be able to shed light on it, maybe that was a game in his old home, or they know what he is really looking for when he does that.
Why is he doing it is what I'm trying to understand, I was thinking that maybe he is being territorial as he always lays down in the middle of the room and this only happens when I walk around, whenever I'm seated he doesn't do this behavior.

Yes he is neutered.

I spoke to the old family about this issue, what they said is that they think he has separation anxiety and he used to do that when they are about to leave the house and it was gentle nibbles rather than actual bites and clinging to the legs, but they said he never miawod like that before. They also said his meows are very weird before he attacks my leg.
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

Post by fjm »

I have seen that sort of pouncing on feet and legs and play fighting with them from a young cat who was missing his lost companion. He was used to always having someone to play with, and redirected all that pent up energy onto ambushing my sister's ankles (she was understandably Not Amused). In our case the solution was another young cat, but in your case I would think about giving him lots of other outlets for his energy. Toys that keep your hands well away from him - long sausage-like soft toys that you can wiggle and he can seize and claw and kick at, fishing rod toys to pounce and leap and grab, tunnels to hide in and pounce out at a rolled toy from, etc, etc. You have a young creature who needs ways of working off physical and mental energy. As you get to know each other better you could try clicker training, or other trick training, or just teach him to bring you the toy he wants to play with; for now I would concentrate on keeping plenty of tempting to toys to hand to distract him from playing with your legs. The more boring your ankles are and the better the alternatives he sooner you will break the habit.
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

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fjm wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:04 pm I have seen that sort of pouncing on feet and legs and play fighting with them from a young cat who was missing his lost companion. He was used to always having someone to play with, and redirected all that pent up energy onto ambushing my sister's ankles (she was understandably Not Amused). In our case the solution was another young cat, but in your case I would think about giving him lots of other outlets for his energy. Toys that keep your hands well away from him - long sausage-like soft toys that you can wiggle and he can seize and claw and kick at, fishing rod toys to pounce and leap and grab, tunnels to hide in and pounce out at a rolled toy from, etc, etc. You have a young creature who needs ways of working off physical and mental energy. As you get to know each other better you could try clicker training, or other trick training, or just teach him to bring you the toy he wants to play with; for now I would concentrate on keeping plenty of tempting to toys to hand to distract him from playing with your legs. The more boring your ankles are and the better the alternatives he sooner you will break the habit.
Heya, it does not seem very playful, I would understand if he is hiding and ambushing my ankles as a form of play or prey hunting, thing is, he calmly walks to my legs when i walk and stand somewhere, curls around them for a second or two as if he wants me to stop moving around then miaows at them and finally cling to my feet and bite / scratch.

I got him a large set of toys, including a fishing rod with a toy at the end and big fish plush to play with and they arrived yesterday only, it is more of a love / hate attitude or just frustration as MollytheCat suggested.
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

Post by Mollycat »

No, play in cats can look very realistic and their apparently casual walk or sit can actually be very threatening, aggressive, or the playful pretence of those. I'm wondering if it might help if you watch some You-tube compilations of "cats being jerks" or "cats vs dogs" - the ones where the cat is just sitting there and the dog refuses to walk past the cat. Also when they are having a stand-off with another cat, and they sniff something as if they were taking no notice of the other cat. Or rolling on their back in front of another cat, people who know dogs well think this is submissive but it isn't, quite the opposite. Even when we know cats really well it can be hard to tell playfight from real fight sometimes.

Maybe if you act on the weird yowl as a warning sign and distract him with some rough play, that might help. Interesting what the previous family say though. If he tends to be a bit separation anxious anyway, losing them is probably even harder on him. My girl was rehomed twice before she came to me, and she is out of proportion anxious about being put in the carrier, probably because she rarely sees a vet and never stays in a cattery so the carrier still has a high risk in her mind of never seeing her home or family again. I don't let her out of my sight at the vets and the 3 times I've had to leave her for procedures and treatments, the joy and love when I collect her are unlike anything I've seen before, and I've had cats all my life. I wonder if that's a critical kind of age for cats, developmentally speaking, when breaking attachment bonds is especially damaging for some reason.
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

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Mollycat wrote: Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:25 pm No, play in cats can look very realistic and their apparently casual walk or sit can actually be very threatening, aggressive, or the playful pretence of those. I'm wondering if it might help if you watch some You-tube compilations of "cats being jerks" or "cats vs dogs" - the ones where the cat is just sitting there and the dog refuses to walk past the cat. Also when they are having a stand-off with another cat, and they sniff something as if they were taking no notice of the other cat. Or rolling on their back in front of another cat, people who know dogs well think this is submissive but it isn't, quite the opposite. Even when we know cats really well it can be hard to tell playfight from real fight sometimes.

Maybe if you act on the weird yowl as a warning sign and distract him with some rough play, that might help. Interesting what the previous family say though. If he tends to be a bit separation anxious anyway, losing them is probably even harder on him. My girl was rehomed twice before she came to me, and she is out of proportion anxious about being put in the carrier, probably because she rarely sees a vet and never stays in a cattery so the carrier still has a high risk in her mind of never seeing her home or family again. I don't let her out of my sight at the vets and the 3 times I've had to leave her for procedures and treatments, the joy and love when I collect her are unlike anything I've seen before, and I've had cats all my life. I wonder if that's a critical kind of age for cats, developmentally speaking, when breaking attachment bonds is especially damaging for some reason.
I tried the approach you suggested which is kneeling down, talking calmly to him and cuddle him a bit, it worked out until I had a friend over, it was all fine until he left, K bit me harder than usual and when i kneeled down to sooth him, he bit my hand and when i got up he bit my leg, he held my leg and bit me but what raised my attention is that he did not use any claw, it was only the bite that did hurt but her paws were very gentle, after biting my leg and I was just there talking to him and not moving, he stopped and then hissed at me. (This is the strongest hiss he has done since he came over)
Also , I don't think he wants to engage in rough play when he yowls because when he yowls he would be rubbing his body against my leg like he wants affection or just cuddles but yesterday when I tried that he proceeded to do that anyway. I will try watching videos like you suggested, I hope this doesn't take very long to stop.
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

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I've had you and K sitting at the back of my mind and something came to me this morning, is it a bit like a toddler tantrum? Could it be a protest just in case you're thinking of leaving him?

Hissing isn't aggressive either, it's driven by fear and self-protection. It's normally a back-off warning, but my very hissy Molly (she even hisses at her toys and to herself sometimes because something crosses her mind) has taught me it can also be a moment of insecurity. She was rehomed the first time at 9 months old and the second time at 6 years old and I just discovered she is completely attached to people not territory so she is settled within days of moving house as long as she has her human with her, whereas being rehomed was months and years of trauma. So I'm wondering if maybe K doesn't like you standing up and walking around in case you disappear?

How did the move happen for him, did you collect him, did they deliver him to you, what happened? Did he come with toys and beds and scratch posts?

Another thought from my Molly, she is very affectionate but was extremely timid, it was a massive dilemma for her that she needed loving but was terrified to ask for it from the stranger I was back then - but K is fine and seeking affection from you isn't he, as long as you are sitting down or on the floor with him? But when your friend left, he attacked you harder than ever? If it is fear of abandonment then it will take time and patience, lots of both, for him to trust that he is never going to be given up again, and gentleness and reassurance are going to be the path to helping him become secure and confident with you. You do talk to him, don't you?
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

Post by K-the-Cat »

I was thinking about the same, it can be very much that he is afraid I might disappear, whenever I walk around his tail is up and it quivers like he is getting overly excited so yeah, the same thing crossed my mind, his previous family told me he didn't like them getting dressed and getting to leave so he used to attack their ankles so that most probably is, tough love I guess? Like even before attacking my leg he would be rubbing his body on my leg a moment before attacking it.

He was dropped off by his previous family with his toys, scratching post and even his food tray. ( I just added the bowls from my house) I'm going to make him a bed from my own blanket and hopefully this might help, I also got him a new set of interactive toys and he is loving them.

Correct, as long as I'm sitting down or laying down he goes around playing and doesn't attack me or anything, when I get ready to sleep he comes over and snuggles next to me for cuddles and just sleeps there for an hour or two, he is very affectionate and loving when I'm not walking around the house, I talk to him every time our eyes meet or when he is just walking around to play or whenever he meows, I ask him what's wrong and tell him it will be okay and call him to cuddle. And yes, when my friend left he attacked me harder than ever, his bite did draw some blood and he hissed at me right after biting me, even though I didn't move an inch. :lol:
Mollycat wrote: Thu Oct 28, 2021 5:55 am I've had you and K sitting at the back of my mind and something came to me this morning, is it a bit like a toddler tantrum? Could it be a protest just in case you're thinking of leaving him?

Hissing isn't aggressive either, it's driven by fear and self-protection. It's normally a back-off warning, but my very hissy Molly (she even hisses at her toys and to herself sometimes because something crosses her mind) has taught me it can also be a moment of insecurity. She was rehomed the first time at 9 months old and the second time at 6 years old and I just discovered she is completely attached to people not territory so she is settled within days of moving house as long as she has her human with her, whereas being rehomed was months and years of trauma. So I'm wondering if maybe K doesn't like you standing up and walking around in case you disappear?

How did the move happen for him, did you collect him, did they deliver him to you, what happened? Did he come with toys and beds and scratch posts?

Another thought from my Molly, she is very affectionate but was extremely timid, it was a massive dilemma for her that she needed loving but was terrified to ask for it from the stranger I was back then - but K is fine and seeking affection from you isn't he, as long as you are sitting down or on the floor with him? But when your friend left, he attacked you harder than ever? If it is fear of abandonment then it will take time and patience, lots of both, for him to trust that he is never going to be given up again, and gentleness and reassurance are going to be the path to helping him become secure and confident with you. You do talk to him, don't you?
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

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So a "Don't you dare leave me" then, and perhaps the hiss for fear. I had another little inspiration just now coming back from walking the dog, a cat from down the street has taken to camping outside my block of flats and he is super affectionate and if he thinks you might be going, he first headbutts then tried to grab with a velvet paw like don't leave me, stay and give me cuddles.

It sounds like this might be the issue then, especially if he hated his old family leaving the house as well. It's hard to think how to help him be more easy going about people going out though, I know if he was my cat I'd figure it out going along but I'm at a loss for a plan from a distance. Reiki might help, it's certainly helped my little one no end and my neighbour's cat as well. Be sure not to get sucked into feeling anxious or sorry for him when you get up and walk about though, or he will sense your mood and think he's right to be worried, so your absolute calm is really important.
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

Post by K-the-Cat »

True, but what also caught my attention is he is also biting my hand when I try to give him cuddles. So I'm keeping two options in mind, its either him being territorial or just fear of abandonment. It has been 8 days since he came over so maybe he needs a little bit more time to settle in and this behavior will go on its own? Is there a specific timeline for him to settle down?
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

Post by Mollycat »

No, some cats will walk into a new house take one look and spot a comfy chair to settle on. Others are still skittish after weeks, months, even years. There's no right or wrong except to give them time and space, never block off access to their chosen safe area, provide all material things and be gentle and patient and respectful, all of which you are doing.

It can be fear of you being big and tall and moving unpredictably that makes cats go for feet but this doesn't sound like K form what you describe. I put my money on him being affectionate, maybe needy, extra insecure because everything including you is still unfamiliar, and some level of either fear of abandonment or just not liking being alone, it could be that simple.

Biting your hand when you're offering affection - can be overload ie overexcitement, or can be if it's being pushed onto him when he isn't in the mood, or a little nervousness. My old cat was always still purring while she sank her teeth into your hand, nice kitty.
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

Post by fjm »

Yes, cats are renowned for first demanding attention and then seeming to decide "That's enough!" and biting without warning to discourage more. In fact they do give signals when they have had enough but subtle ones that can be hard to spot if you don't know what you are looking for - a twitch of the tail or ear, a brief glance away. It is still very early days - you are both learning a new language and some misunderstandings are inevitable. If you feel his teeth or claws your instinct is to pull away - freezing is better and less painful. I don't think this phase will last very long - as you both get better at reading each other you will recognise when he wants to be left alone and he will learn better ways of interacting with you.
K-the-Cat
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

Post by K-the-Cat »

Mollycat wrote: Thu Oct 28, 2021 9:54 am No, some cats will walk into a new house take one look and spot a comfy chair to settle on. Others are still skittish after weeks, months, even years. There's no right or wrong except to give them time and space, never block off access to their chosen safe area, provide all material things and be gentle and patient and respectful, all of which you are doing.

It can be fear of you being big and tall and moving unpredictably that makes cats go for feet but this doesn't sound like K form what you describe. I put my money on him being affectionate, maybe needy, extra insecure because everything including you is still unfamiliar, and some level of either fear of abandonment or just not liking being alone, it could be that simple.

Biting your hand when you're offering affection - can be overload ie overexcitement, or can be if it's being pushed onto him when he isn't in the mood, or a little nervousness. My old cat was always still purring while she sank her teeth into your hand, nice kitty.
Thanks a lot for all your help Molly, you've been great and very helpful, it is very much appreciated. I will go by your advice and give him space and time to get used to it, the kneeling approach helped a lot with the biting so far and hopefully it will all go to the better. Whenever I'm in doubt I will reach out here and hopefully you will still be there to help.
Yes, cats are renowned for first demanding attention and then seeming to decide "That's enough!" and biting without warning to discourage more. In fact they do give signals when they have had enough but subtle ones that can be hard to spot if you don't know what you are looking for - a twitch of the tail or ear, a brief glance away. It is still very early days - you are both learning a new language and some misunderstandings are inevitable. If you feel his teeth or claws your instinct is to pull away - freezing is better and less painful. I don't think this phase will last very long - as you both get better at reading each other you will recognise when he wants to be left alone and he will learn better ways of interacting with you.
Thank you too man, cats can be jerks indeed.
Cat Lady
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Re: 1 year old adopted cat being aggressive

Post by Cat Lady »

Hopefully it's working out now. Sometimes a spray like Feliway can help, or Royal Canin Calm cat biscuits mixed with their other food. Time and play and love are the best things, but sometimes other things help too.
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