Cats are quiet, independent, solitary little creatures -- not. While your little boy isn’t a pack animal, he does love you and wants some together-time with you. If he has some behaviors that puzzle you, get down on his level and play with him.
Creature of Instinct
Your feline boy’s behavior is normal, so don’t worry. He’s not attacking out of anger. Instead, he’s acting on those inbred instincts that served his forebears so well in the wild. Watch him when he goes into his “cat attack zone.” He may crouch low to the ground and move slowly toward you. Make the stalking and “attacking” a game and help him to satisfy those instincts and refine his hunting skills.
You may be sitting on the floor loving your little guy when he suddenly starts biting at your hands. It’s easy for him to get overstimulated and he will communicate this to you. Instead of looking at you and telling you, he’ll start twitching the end of his tail or wriggling his behind. If you feel his muscles begin to tense up, stop right away, get up and walk away calmly. Go do something else and, when he’s calm again, try to resume petting him. Believe it or not, he’s not angry when he’s attacking. He is happy, but his state of overstimulation leads him to attack your hands.
Your cat-dude jumps out from a small hiding spot and attacks your feet or lower legs. He’s not trying to make a meal out of you. He’s caught up in what’s called “predatory play.” Again, this is a natural cat instinct, so he will release it by attacking moving objects, like your legs.
Bring in a supply of feather toys, small balls with bells inside and a feather toy on a long nylon string called “Da Bird.” This toy comes with a sturdy handle for you to hold as you twitch the feather around, mimicking a bird. Your cat will completely enter into this game, so hide Da Bird when you’re done playing, or he’ll destroy it.
Make sure your little boy has been neutered when he begins to attack your feet and legs. This surgery makes him less aggressive.
You may think that, because your kitty is an aloof little guy, he’s perfectly fine being left alone all day. While he may not destroy the house, he does get lonely. If he begins meowing when you come home, he’s telling you, “I want to be with you.” He may want a session of play, a conversation -- yes, a conversation with a cat -- or he may want a little bit of petting from his human.
Set up some stimulating scenes, such as a bird feeder, for him while you are gone. Give him a few foraging toys that keep him busy. Hire a pet sitter to come into your house for a little while so he gets some cat-on-human interaction.
Genevieve Van Wyden began writing in 2007. She has written for “Tu Revista Latina” and owns three blogs. She has worked as a CPS social worker, gaining experience in the mental-health system. Van Wyden earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from New Mexico State University in 2006.