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hi all.

my partner and i rescued a 3 month old kitten that a friend of ours found on the street. we named him harvey. he is now 7 months old.

harvey is a bit wild, to say the least. he has been rambunctious since day one with lots of spirit and personality. he nurses on us when we're wearing t-shirts (issue related to being weened to early or not at all). he plays fetch. he sleeps on his back. he pants like a dog (which i've also researched endlessly...and he does not have asthma...i think). he's got spunk. and that's why we like him...but we're having some issues now. he never really knew the line that separates play from injury. he has an incredibly huge hang up over food...always begging and trying to get what he can...only seems happy right after a meal, and that full-happy never seems to last long enough. he bites when we pick him up or try and pet him....not the kind with hissing and growling but the kind of biting that just allows you to look and not touch. harvey has also developed this habit of attacking us randomly by launching at our legs...especially when bare. sometimes i think it's because he's hungry, sometimes its because he's riled up, sometimes i have no idea why. usually he hits hard enough to draw blood.

i've tried spray bottles, i've tried covering myself in citrus, we did a small bout of yelling no and tapping him on the nose...which i regret because it made the situation worse. we have a cat behaviorist coming next month (first available date). i've been reading endlessly, looking for tips on how to coach him into relaxing or letting go of the food psychosis, not attacking us.

i'm a cat lover. i love cats. my family always had them growing up. i'm stumped. i'm frustrated. i'm sad. i'm looking for help.
Comments  
Hey anon, I'm very sad to read about your problem, and I hope the behaviourist you invited will really help. Do you mean Harvey doesn't have ANY moments when you can safely pet and stroke him? He sounds to be an extremely active kitten who needs to drain his energy loads and loads. Do you and your partner both work during the day? Maybe he gets extremely bored and frustrated when there's no one to play around with when you're away.
Hi Lauren,

thanks for writing. i too hope that our behavioralist can help us out.
there are very few moments when harvey will let us pet him. usually if he's very tired he won't put up too much of a fuss, but even then, after several strokes his tail starts to twitch rapidly. he has no problem with touching while he is nursing on us as well....once or twice a day.

my partner has a much more irregular schedule than i do and is home often during the day. this month, unfortunately/fortunately, we are both very busy and away from the house most of the day. when i'm home during the weekends, harvey doesn't do much more than sleep. we have talked about getting a second kitten as harvey is still young, but i'm hesitant as i couldn't handle having a nightmare situation on our hands with harvey attacking a little kitten. should we get an older cat or would that end up similarly?

we recently got a laser pointer which has helped a lot as he's wild about it. i feel a bit bad using it as it feels kind like cheating but it get's the job done.
in my humble opinion getting another cat of the same age would be better than getting a much younger or a much older furball. harvey can as well grow out of this behavior but you can never tell for sure... god bless your family!! hope your problem gets solved soon
I assume Harvey does have scratching posts and a few kinds of cat trees and maybe some shelves for him to jump and walk on? I didn't mention this in my first post because I assumed you're an experienced cat owner so you surely must have had all those. So I'm asking now just in case. Anyhow, at least a laser pointer works! Maybe you could also get him some chewing toys, those like dogs normally have? Or a teddy bear to scratch & bite. Oh and how about some training if he's so much like a dog? I mean train him to play fetch, to sit or roll over, and other doggy stuff. Who knows, maybe he'll love it. Emotion: smile
In addition to what Lauren wrote, how about some clicker training, anon? Have a look here: https://mysmelly.com/content/cats/cat-clicker-training.htm
He's just a wild cat he may of been a feral kitten when you found him many of my friends have rescued feral kittens found on the side of the road in the country and they have all been ferociouse