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play aggression

morbius

Savannah Super Cat
I'll be honest. I loved it when Servo played rough. On occasion he would cock his ears back and yowl at me then make a lunge at me. He did grow out of it with time. He used to have a thing for jumping up at my face. One day I instinctively reacted by flinching and putting my elbow out. He hit my elbow pretty hard and fell to the floor in a daze. After that he started jumping at my shoulders or my back. I remember the one time he jumped up on my back and sunk his claws in to hold on.... OUCH! But hey, I took it as this is what you deal with when you have a savannah. He didn't have bad manners. He loved me. He was always just playing. I think they just don't know sometimes. But you have to set boundaries and be firm with them. But give a lot of love and don't strike them. Servo used to always knew when he did wrong. I'd turn to him and he'd take off to his tower, jump to the top and innocently plop down and look cute. Little stinker.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
Elmo is neutered. The problem is that when I tell guests not to pet his stomach when he rolls over they do it anyways and get aggressively attacked for it.

I have tried scruffing him and saying no loudly but I can't do it when he attacks strangers if I am far away. Even when I can do it, scruffing him usually makes him more aggressive.

I have tried clapping and that usually makes him release immediately but I would really like to stop the behavior all together.


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If the only time he's "attacked" strangers is when they are not listening to your advice to not pet his stomach... then either you are not cautioning them well enough or they need to learn to listen. Maybe you need to put him in a safe room when you have guests just so these incidents don't happen...
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
He is an only kitty. I have brought him to my parents house, there are 4 other animals (2 cats and 2 dogs) but he still plays aggressively with me and my family despite having companions.

In my opinion, which could be completely wrong, Elmo just doesn't understand that this behavior is not acceptable with humans.


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Are you saying that Elmo now lives with 2 cats and 2 dogs or that you visit your parents' home and you think those occasional interactions would substitute for full-time kitty companionship?

It is possible he doesn't understand (and you need to be firmer or more persistent with training)...or because he doesn't have a viable alternative he figures it is worth trying even if he's aware you aren't happy about it.
 

kittykitty

Savannah Super Cat
Are you saying that Elmo now lives with 2 cats and 2 dogs or that you visit your parents' home and you think those occasional interactions would substitute for full-time kitty companionship?

It is possible he doesn't understand (and you need to be firmer or more persistent with training)...or because he doesn't have a viable alternative he figures it is worth trying even if he's aware you aren't happy about it.

If he is aggressive because he wants a kitty companion what should I do? I currently cannot get him a companion for another year. I try my best to bring him to my parent's house so he can play with their animals but even when he is over there with the animals he still pounces at visitors and even me if the mood strikes. If he knows it's not good behavior and continues how should I respond?


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mhardy12

Savannah Super Cat
So Taz (who is 4 1/2 yrs now) used to play aggressively. It was cute when he was 5 lbs, but as he got bigger not so much. I broke him of playing this way by a combination of things. Squirt of water directly to the face (he could care less if it's on his body), also when he would attack my arms/legs whatever a loud "Eeeee" would make him let go. Also I would turn my back on him and completely ignore him when he attacked. He is much calmed now and has amazing claw control. Don't know if it's him maturing or if my techniques actually worked, but this is my two cents. Good luck with your little guy.
 

Eddies

Eddies a ham!
So Taz (who is 4 1/2 yrs now) used to play aggressively. It was cute when he was 5 lbs, but as he got bigger not so much. I broke him of playing this way by a combination of things. Squirt of water directly to the face (he could care less if it's on his body), also when he would attack my arms/legs whatever a loud "Eeeee" would make him let go. Also I would turn my back on him and completely ignore him when he attacked. He is much calmed now and has amazing claw control. Don't know if it's him maturing or if my techniques actually worked, but this is my two cents. Good luck with your little guy.
Sounds like a bit of both! I just do the typical "Oww" & push (NOT PULL) him (Eddie likes to bite hands) away basically pushing my hand into his face, & then ignore him. Finally he is doing better! Oh I also used lots of hand lotion, bad tasting hands...lol.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
If he is aggressive because he wants a kitty companion what should I do? I currently cannot get him a companion for another year. I try my best to bring him to my parent's house so he can play with their animals but even when he is over there with the animals he still pounces at visitors and even me if the mood strikes. If he knows it's not good behavior and continues how should I respond?


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I think it is more work for you in the interim... he needs a LOT of activity to wear him out!

You need to either shut him up when you have visitors or be sure they can follow your rules for your cat if you allow the cat to stay out during visits.

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=7352 This is something I did use in the past. We had a Savannah that was too much of a bully to live with the other cats, and was confined to a room by herself. She really didn't care, she just wanted human attention. BUT she did want to wrestle and she was a large cat that we were never going to tolerate that. What this glove did was teach her when it was appropriate to wrestle...she recognized the glove as what she wrestled with. It's thick and protective... and she never mistook a hand as a toy from using this. I've not used this with any of our cats since, as they have each other to wrestle with!
 

Chris Elliott

Savannah Super Cat
I adopted Ziggy when he was almost 3. His owner recommended I bring long gloves in case I needed to handle him before he got to know and trust me.

I found long leather welding gloves at Harbor Freight--3 pair for $10:

http://m.harborfreight.com/3-pair-14-inch-split-cowhide-welding-gloves-488.html

They have a single pair for less. They also have sleeves for extra protection:

http://m.harborfreight.com/18-inch-split-leather-sleeves-40206.html

Ziggy reacts the same around us whether we have gloves on or not. They were a big help when he was lashing out at us when we were near his food--including when we delivered it. Petting him every time he got food has resolved that issue. Now I only use them when I need to get him in the carrier.

Training the cats that it's ok to play rough with the glove is an interesting idea.
 

mhardy12

Savannah Super Cat
I also instituted a no touch, no talk, no eye contact policy for anyone coming into our house. They have to treat Taz as if he does not exist. It's worked very well. He had severe peeing issues for about 3 years, especially when we had people over. It's been about 1 1/2 yrs since he's peed on anything. I strongly enforce my ignore rule with visitors. Even if Taz goes up to them, I insist they act as if he is not there.
 
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