You are here:

Cats/male siamese behaviour

Advertisement


Question
Hi Norman, thanks for having this site where we can ask questions.

My problem is my 18 month old male seal point siamese- Oskar. He is a very healthy, slightly spoilt little man. His personality is incredibly loving toward myself but he seems to just tolerate my 9 year old daughter.

I bought him from a respected breeder in my area as a 11 week old kitten. It seems that I am the person who he attached himself to. he is generally very friendly toward visitors in the house and gets on with a few dogs that come visit and share a 'play date'with. BUT he bites!he will bite me very gently when playing, bite my leg gently ( think that this is attention seeking behaviour)when I do not pay so much attention to him but he will bite my daughter for no reason at all. My daughter has never hit him or abused him in any way, shape or form. When he does this, I usually tell him firmly 'no biting'and have started ignoring him afterwards- he hates that but I also think that he understands why cause after a while, he comes to me and is sickeningky affectionate. For example, he will push his face into my hand, attempt to rub his face/nose over my face and nose and generally act like he is apoligising! He definately knows what the words 'no biting'means yet he continues,,  what can I do? he hasnt drawn blood but has a nasty expression on his face when he bites my daughter.

Thanks,
Bronny

Answer
Bronny,

Cats have very, very tough skin and so, from the very beginning of kittenhood (newborns), kittens display biting/scratching behaviors as signs of affection. Kittens/cats have to learn that this is unacceptable to us soft skinned humans. Also, cats respond better to positive reinforcement rather than discipline, so a different approach is when then cat begins biting the daughter, she should just walk away. If your Siamese does not engage in biting behavior with your daughter, a tasty treat as a reward will be a good thing.  The combination of "no biting" and walking away for undesired behavior and reward for appropriate behavior should be very helpful.

Another suggestion for your daughter is not to pick up or pet your Siamese unless it asks to be picked up or petted.  Let the cat come to you.  Cats do better when they think things are their idea, not yours. So, the cat should be ignored unless he asls for affection.

You and your daughter should practice the reward for good behavior consistently, so the cat does not get confused.  After all, your Siamese is showing affection and not aggression by the "love" bites.

Finally, is he neutered?  If not, neutering may soften his behaviors.

Please let me know what happens.

Best regards... Norm.  

Cats

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Norman Auspitz

Expertise

I can answer most non-veterinary questions about cats. My particular expertise is pedigree cats, breeding and showing. However, I am versed in feline behavior, cat breeds and their characteristics, general feline husbandry, and the like.

Experience

I judged for the Canadian Cat Association from 1975 until 1982. I am currently an approved allbreed judge for the Cat Fanciers'' Association (the world''s largets cat registry), and have been judging for them since 1991. I have been breeding pedigreed cats since 1971 and have been exhibiting pedigreed cats in shows since 1970. I obtained my first pedigreed cat in 1970 and have never looked back. In 1971, I obtained my first Abyssinian which has become my primary breed. In addition, I have bred Manx and Persians. Currently, besides the Abyssinians, I am also breeding Maine Coons.


Organizations
Cat Fanciers'' Association, inc. (CFA) and the Manx, Maine Coon, and Abyssinian breed councils. I am currently Abyssinian breed council secretary.

Publications
Cat Fancy Magazine, The Abyssinian Chapter in The Cat Fanciers'' Association Complete Cat Book, and Articles for various editions of The Cat Fanciers'' Association Yearbook

Education/Credentials
I received a B.S. from Drexel University in 1968, a M.Math from University of Waterloo, in 1970, a Ph.D. from University of Waterloo in 1975, and a MBA from McMaster University in 1980. I received my approved allbreed judging status in the Cat Fanciers'' Association in 1999.

Awards and Honors
We have produced a number of Cat Fanciers'' Association (CFA) National winning Abyssinian and Maine Coons. We have produced a number of Abyssinian and Maine Coon Distinguished Merit females (an award for a top producing cat), including the first Distinguished Merit Abyssinian in the red (sorrel) color. I am the CFA Abyssinian breed council secretary and belong and/or hold office in a number of cat clubs. I am also a member of the CFA Judges Association.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.