Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cat on the leash

Cat on the leash
Originally uploaded by dawnkua.

I was a bit busy earlier trying to talk to the officers about the case with the cat that was caught (the caregivers just called - they're going home with the cat now as there was some problem with the fax not getting through) so didn't get to write too much about our visit to cat on a leash.

Here he is at his new foster home. His foster parents have been taking very good care of him and he's grown very big and handsome - I almost didn't recognise him for a minute there. However he has also continued his bad habit of biting. And now with his being older and bigger, the bites are clearly also more painful. His poor foster parents have put up with quite a lot - as have the other cats sharing the room with him.

The adoption volunteer had thought perhaps he was intimidated by the others - but it seems that he's actually probably the most dominant cat there. His foster parents are trying to work him out of his biting - and if so, then he can be adopted into a new home.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does he bite in an aggressive, harmful manner or playful, harmless manner?

19/12/07 6:44 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Just responded to your other post - don't think he MEANS to hurt but he is. It's not harmless and the fosters are getting bitten and scratched at the moment. In fact so did the adoption volunteer and I. Plus the other cats.

19/12/07 6:50 PM  
Blogger Aminah Bee said...

Seems to me the bitey behaviour could mean the "cat on the leash" misses his old place, his life as a stray and his owner - the homeless man probably still under arrest for unrelated offences.

But then again his bitey behaviour could originate from being on leash from young until recently rescued. Came across this info from SPCA website "Chaining or caging up a pet constantly is inhumane; your pet can become restless, agitated, distrustful, physically ill or develop psychological problems".
This could be the reason for his bitey behaviour.

19/12/07 7:49 PM  
Blogger EJ. said...

Indeed he is very handsome and grown up.Glad tht he is well taken care of by foster parents.

20/12/07 8:23 AM  
Anonymous chinky said...

Any expert on animal behaviour to correct this chap? A pity that he was rescued but is now unadoptable because of this trait.
What is the future going to be for him?

20/12/07 8:28 PM  
Blogger Aminah Bee said...

Singapore is still way behind compared with the vets in Western countries. Do you know they have animal behavioral experts such as pet psychiatrist, pet pschychologist -- and there's also Cat Whisperer.
Here's more info on on Cat Whisperer:
A Cat Whisperer is someone who tames and trains cats, heals emotional damage and assists an owner to a better relationship with the cat.
Some say that a Cat Whisperer is a cat therapist, but in truth, most Cat Whisperers are good cat behaviorists.
Some cats that have been abused will only respond to a Cat Whisperer.
Other people may try to help the cat and only see a scared cat with a long memory of abuse and hurt. These cats often tragically end up in kill shelters. It is tragic because the cats have already endured so much. Many of these poor cats were once loved and coddled pets.
They were abandoned, mistreated by children or cruel adults, terrorized by dogs and possibly even tortured.
With careful handling and some gentle retraining, these cats can be wonderful pets again.
When a cat is this badly damaged emotionally and physically, it takes great patience and care to bring the poor cat back to some semblance of normalcy around people.

For more info on cat psychiatrists, cat whisperer etc., click to this link - info found in my blog
"Pet psychiatrist - When your crazy cat need one"

20/12/07 8:52 PM  
Blogger Surferket said...

My favourite cat likes to bite too. He'd grab my hand with his paws and legs and clamp down with his teeth but not too hard and the claws are sheathed.
Seems it's way of expressing affections.
In the beginning he'd forget to sheath his claws and I ended up getting long scratches on my hand.

21/12/07 3:43 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Unfortunately as Aminah said, we don't have any cat behaviourists in Singapore. The fosters will take him to the vets to see if they can help in any way.

Surferket - I have a cat who bites me from time to time, but this cat is much worse. It isn't also showing affection (cats sometimes do nip you when they are over-stimulated if you for example pet them too much). This cat just launches himself at everyone and all the other cats.

21/12/07 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could be a dental problem. perhaps a soft toy for him to bite as an alternative? We have a cat who bites my hubby. Initially it was quite bad. My hubby did not move his hands when she bit, he would call her name softly and she released her grip gradually. It took about 2 months for her to change. Now my hubby offers his hand to her instead and proudly showed me her bites. :} He felt that she would not wear off the habit. He thinks she find comfort and assurance when she does that because after that, she is all lovey dovey.:)

We rescued her from SPCA and she was deemed unfit for adoption. She was aggressive and on heat at that time. After we sterisllised her, she was less agressive but not approachable. Already with us for almost 2 years, she simply adored my hubby.:)

For Cat On the leash, there is hope.


21/12/07 9:07 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Sally - good to hear about your case!

I am sure there is hope but I don't think it's a dental problem though the fosters will take the cat to the vet.

For example, when the cat was biting one of their cats, the foster put her hand and told the cat firmly to stop it. The cat then turned around and bit HER.

21/12/07 9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bitibg is a form of intense affection, and if cats are in a conflict, they will go for the nearest target unknowingly, so keep your distance and springle water to separate the fight.

Maybe cat needs to establish emotional and physical territory...maybe another cat could give security than the lot in the house. Also, quite a bit of damage from the string episode and now must calm it down with a string again for episodic memory.

21/12/07 1:38 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - they weren't fighting. The cat on a leash lept on another cat that was just walking by and started biting her.

The cat pretty much seemed the dominant cat - all the other cats were up on high shelves but cat on a leash was walking around the room.

21/12/07 4:34 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Hmm, this biting issue is very interesting. Dawn, remember Jinpa? Yes, he is also into the biting trend. And at times, he will jump onto my leg while i am standing, climb himself up as if he is climbing a tree to reach for my hand to bite.

21/12/07 5:48 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

mary - interesting. Anything that particularly seems to set Jinpa off?

21/12/07 5:58 PM  
Anonymous kaori said...

It'd be more appropriate to say that the bitey issue is behavioral, not psychological, just like a kid who is not taught the proper manners will think that he is fine when not being corrected.

The cat is quite dominant, but he did learn the limits with all other cats - can chase but no brawling, and he only bully the youngest one, learnt who's boss - got a bite on the leg from the alpha male. Dawn: all my cats in the room except the youngest are apprehensive of strangers, so it may appear that they are up on the shelves.

We can surmise that converting a rescued cat to a housecat may take longer than expected - the cat will need to adapt to new surroundings and in this case learn social dynamics with other cats and needs to correct his tendency to bite. I got a few nasty scratches but all is forgiven when he can be sweet and still in my arms. He's learning and we are learning too.


21/12/07 6:11 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Thanks for being so patient kaori :)

21/12/07 6:28 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Yes Dawn, my hand but he was never like this. He had recently been vaccinated so he is spending more time playing with his sibilings, hopefully that will correct his biting habits.

26/12/07 3:40 PM  
Anonymous auntie p said...

I just saw this post. Actually, cat on a leash already has a biting habit when he was living with the old man. I got bitten by him when I visited him in the past, so I don't think it has to do with wanting to be dominant or anything, but more to do with the old man not disciplining him as a kitten. The bites weren't major, just some scratches (although kitty does have sharp teeth).

26/12/07 4:18 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

auntie p - yes it is quite likely that his time with the old man has affected him. Luckily Kaori and his wife are both very patient and kind with him.

26/12/07 4:27 PM  

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