Teddy's celeb vet Dr. Patrick Mahaney has some advice Teddy reader, Alyssa, who asks:
I have a 7 month cat that is sweet as can be. However, since having my baby, he's been acting out. He gets plenty of attention from both me and my husband, and he also plays constantly with our other older cat, but he just seems to can't get enough! When we're holding the baby, he'll do whatever he can to either sit on top of him or crawl on our shoulder. If we move him to sit next to us, he'll "love-bite" us as we pet or scratch him.
He's even bit the baby while rubbing up against him. He doesn't show any angry or negative temprment with hissing or twitching his tail, but is constantly purring when this happens.
How can we make him stop?
Dr. Patrick's answer:
It sounds as though the cats with whom your cat grew up with did not give him enough of or the correct signals to alert him as to when playing (including biting) should stop.
As cats mature through kittenhood into adulthood, they receive vocalized and body language communication from other cats which tells them when enough is enough.
When your cat gets himself into a situation and exhibits behaviors that you find undesirable, try to get his attention onto a feather toy, laser pointer (not into the eyes), or appropriate portion food treat. Praise him when he is having fun with this new stimulus and repeat. By doing this, you are getting his attention onto something positive and not scolding him (negative stimulus) for exhibiting undesirable behaviors.
You can also try a Comfort Zone Diffuser (with Feliway), which plugs into your wall (like a non-aromatic air freshener) and exudes calming feline pheromones. These are available on-line or through your veterinarian. Make sure to get enough diffusers (and refills) to cover all areas of your house where this behavior occurs.
If the behavior continues despite attempts to change, make sure to schedule an examination with your veterinarian to rule out potential contributing health problems.
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