I have a two year old black cat, who I adopted as a 9 week old kitten. I love him to death, and he’s driving me crazy and worrying me sick.
He’s always been a bit of a playful nipper. We’ve discouraged it as best we could, to some varying degrees of success. But now in the past month or so, he’s turned nasty, coming up and biting violently, without provocation. His bites now hurt. He does them out of nowhere. He came up to me fifteen minutes ago while I was breastfeeding a baby on the couch and gave me a nasty bite that left raised scratch marks and two tiny puncture wounds on my leg. All of this might be manageable but...
The problem is: our twin babies. They’re only four months old. When we adopted this cat, we thought the most we’d ever have would be one baby. Instead we have two, and it’s impossible to keep an eye on all three creatures and to be sure of always keeping them separated. We can’t confine our cat to one room without him going crazy. He can leap over baby gates. We have seen him get into their playpen and crib before. And sometimes, we have to turn our back on one twin, to change a diaper or give a bath.
When the twins were first born, our cat paid almost no attention to them. He sniffed them, and then went on his way. Now he’s beginning to show signs of aggression, acting like he’s going to pounce when near them, and biting me while I’m holding them. I’m terrified that it’s just a matter of when, not if, for him biting a baby.
I’ve tried everything I can think of. His litter box is spotless. We pay as much attention to him and play with him when possible. I’ve made sure not to reward bad behavior. I’ve tried to reward good behavior. I’ve tried spray bottles, and other suggestions as deterrents to biting and scratching. Nothing seems to be working.
We’re due to move across the country in six weeks. We have two options: pay to ship him through a private service, or try to take him with us in a multi-day car trip. Either scenario I just see his behavior being even worse when we get to California.
My children are too young to even get away from him, much less to be taught any sort of behavior skills around him.
I am heartbroken. I never thought I’d be a person who felt like they need to give up a pet. I’m terrified no one will take an adult black cat with a history of aggression.
I don’t know what to do. I feel like keeping him is a threat to my children’s safety. I feel like there are no sure options when it comes to rehoming him, and I feel like a terrible person for even considering it.
I just feel incredibly sad and like I have no good options left.
ETA: We have a veterinarian appointment Monday to discuss the issue.