A dog person has a cat question

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by gnanny, Jan 24, 2007.

  1. gnanny

    gnanny New Member

    I have never had a cat before. A life time of dogs and now a cat. We live in the country and the cat helps keep the critters at bay.'Fred' is more of an employee than a pet. He is a good mouser but not affectionate.
    He will follow me around even want to sit in my lap but if I should absent mindedly stroke him he will bite me and not always a warning nip but a bite that bleeds.

    Anyway it has been brutally cold and there has been an aggressive cat here some evenings so I wont let 'Fred' out at night. I have put a litter box in the laundry room for him. I dont want to have a cat box odor in the house so I bought Fresh step cat litter.....however I dont like the way it tracks out onto the floor off his feet. I have princess and the pea feet and to step on just a tiny piece of cat litter is painful.
    Any suggestions how to avoid this petty annoyance?

    How about his behavior? He has been this way since we got him as a kitten. After having dogs who chew as puppies I thought kittens did that also so I may have some ownership in his biting since I didnt correct it when he was young. It sure has come back to bite me now!

  2. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    Well, the litter thing is easy: get Fresh Step Scoop. If you get the litters called "scoop", they are finer and more like sand. I don't like, nor do my cats, the regular kitty litter. Like you, I can't stand to step on it, and the cats tend to throw it all over the room. Maybe also get a cheap welcome mat carpet thingie for him to step on when he leaves the box so it will catch some of the litter. But you shouldn't have the same problem with the "scoop" stuff. It tends to be less stinky, too.

    The biting, I have no clue. My cats usually get me with their claws so I trim them every once in awhile with my husband's nail clippers. But they seldom bite, and never really hard unless I really bug the heck out of them. Maybe one of the kitty experts will be able to help.

    best wishes,

  3. gnanny

    gnanny New Member

    'scoop' is the magic word, thanks!
  4. IowaMorningGlory

    IowaMorningGlory New Member

    We have for years taken in animals that others had abused. The local vet(s) knew we would work with them. I have one particular cat story and solution that may help with your cat.

    We brought home the most beautiful long haired calico named "Taisha". After a few hours at home the kids lovingly renamed her for awhile to "Catzilla". Wow could she growl and hiss from her cat carrier.

    Well after a day she wondered out...hissing and mumbling all the way. She decided sitting on the kids stairs to their bedrooms was where she wanted to be. Heaven forbid you try to touch her! After about a week I figured she had settled in enough, it was time to break a few learned bad behaviors. (Luckily she is declawed) I started by finding what she liked for treats...her favorite and still is is strands of cooked spagetti with sauce on. I would give her a piece of two and she would eat it and growl at me.

    After a couple days this is the most important part, I put on a pair of leather gloves and picked her up. She did not want held, or so she wanted us to believe. She wanted to be in control. I would sit with those gloves on about a 1/2 hr a day for a week and just hold her and pet her while she tried to bite me and growl and hiss. After the first week I went a little longer and held a little looser. Pretty soon all we did was mumble, but never try to leave my lap. I did this for a couple weeks, without the gloves and just kept petting her and holding her and she eventually quit biting.

    Oh! she still mumbles, but nobody believes her anymore. She still likes to tell us she is in control, but she wants to be held or on someones lap a lot of the time. She is my best friend now and anyone can pet her. (The kids actually like to hear her mumble, they think it is so cute because she will mumble the whole time you rub her belly)

    Oh! and the clumping cat litter and mat outside the litter box is what we do and it works great.

    Hope this helps. I have learned animals like people sometimes are insecure and just want someone to show them how much they care. Sometimes you just have to call someones bluff, animals are the same way. She trusts you, so I think a little holding therapy should work fairly quickly.
    Let me know if it helps you.

    Take care and Kitten Hugs,
    Blessed Be,
  5. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Hi, gnanny ~ The only cats I've had who bite are those who've been played roughly with when they were kittens and allowed to nip then. But at the shelter we keep a spray bottle of water nearby those who nip and immediately give them a good squirt after a bite. It has slowed down the nipping of several formerly biting cats. Of course the water bottle isn't always handy at home...

    The foster cat I have, Sophie, was an occasional nipper at first but she's getting better as I've learned not to over-pet her. The second she nipped I said NO! and pushed her firmly from wherever she was. I then proceeded to lecture her on the manners of a cat who gets adopted vs. one who doesn't. ;>)

    I suspect, since Fred isn't used to being petted, he associates touch with danger. He could come around in time but it will take a lot of patience - and blood.

    And yes, get the scoopable kind of litter. I find that the cheapest scooping litter is a bit dustier but isn't as highly scented. You choose depending on your preference. The cat often doesn't care one way or the other. I solved the litter clutter problem by putting a soft cotton rug outside the litter box so Sophie must "clean her feet" on it before she gets too far. Once a week I shake out the rug.

    Good luck and bless you for bringing Fred in out of the cold.

    [This Message was Edited on 01/25/2007]
  6. gnanny

    gnanny New Member

    I will get the clumping litter and a rug for him to wipe his feet on.

    I was probably wrong to allow him to bite me and play rough when we first got him. I thought it was just kitten play.
    Fred (grandkids named him) was a medium size kitten when we got him. No background, there were some kids with a box of cats outside of the Target store.

    I confess I wasnt sure if he would be around for long. I tried to keep him a house cat but he was having no part of that and insisted on being outside. I see so many flat cats on the road I truly thought it was going to be a temporary relationship. Well he has been here for over 6 years now. He stays away from the road so has some smarts.

    He also is a survivor. One March sunday sweetie and I went out for a drive. When we left Fred was asleep on our bed.
    When we got home the house was gone, totally destroyed by fire. I was sure he was gone...the firemen were not. I started calling him and sure enough I heard a feeble answer.
    He was spooked but ok. The only way he could have gotten out of the house was after the windows blew out when fully involved. He is fast and smart!

    Soooo he may have some 'issues' but we manage to get along.
    He is getting older and mellowing maybe. Thats probably why he has agreed to stay inside at night now.(thus the new litter box issues)

  7. therealmadscientist

    therealmadscientist New Member

    Just some medical input. Cat bites are notorious for getting badly infected. The typical bad bite is in the skin between the thumb and index finger. Anyway, can get inflamed and hand swollen very quickly and need to go to ER or doctor immmediately. Sometimes I wonder if cat bad bites were fatal before antibiotics. Cheers, (I do like cats, though have been bitten and scratched),mr Bill.
  8. gnanny

    gnanny New Member

    I do treat each bite as if it were toxic just to be safe. Thanks for the input.

    He likes to get me at my achilles tendon when I walk away from whatever he thought I should be doing for him.

    A funny true story... I forget what Fred was torqued about, he was upset with what I fed him or something, anyway sweetie and I were watching tv in the family room. I had permanent press in the dryer. When the buzzer went off telling me it was time to hang them up I started to get up...uh oh I could see Fred waiting for me to walk away. His ears were laid back and his eyes were wild...danger danger! I handed a cushion to sweetie and said 'cover me, I have to go to the laundry room !'

    Thanks for your input!