My cat became aggressive when petted.

by Connie
(New Jersey)

I had a cat that would become aggressive when I petted her.

She was a beautiful tuxedo cat, the love of my life, and the smartest cat I have ever had. I tried everything I could think of to solve the problem.

I read every magazine article I could find, searched the library for books, asked everyone I knew, and took her to the vet. No one had the answer. One article said that these cats should be euthanized!

One day in my search for a solution, I read that some cats become overstimulated by petting. I started to watch her carefully when I was petting her, and I noticed that her pupils would dilate just before the attack.

Once I realized that, all I had to do was watch the eyes and I would immediately stop the petting. She would jump down from my lap or just walk away. As long as I watched for that eye change, we could have our petting sessions without biting.

I hope anyone who has a cat like this will be patient and try to resolve the problem. Domino passed on 18 years ago after a year and a half of weekly chemotherapy. The original cancer was cured, but she developed another type in a different location, and the vet told me it was incurable. We had her cremated, and she now rests with my Dad.

I have tears in my eyes just thinking about her. I believe in the Rainbow Bridge and believe that I will meet her there. I have had other cats since, and I love them, too, but Domino will always remain in my heart.

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Enough Petting.
by: Larry (editor)

Hi Connie,

Thank you very much for sharing your story about Domino with us, and how you finally found a solution to the problem of her biting when being petted.

Whoever the author of that article was that advised that cats that bite should be euthanized, I really don't think they know (or care) much about cats. What a horrible thing to suggest.

In fact it is not uncommon for cats to signal that they have had enough petting by biting. It is a means of communication. Sure, some cats can give a nasty nip and it is something you would of course want to stop.

It is great that you found your cat's eyes to be an indication that Domino had had enough. There are some other signs to watch out for too - Why does my cat bite my hand when I stroke her?

Connie, you are so right when you say that anyone who has a problem like this needs to be patient, an answer can usually be found.

I'm sorry to read that you lost Domino to cancer, but I bet she had a great life with you and has left you with many wonderful memories.

Larry (editor)

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