Why does my rescued cat keep scratching me?

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Mahatma Gandhi said, "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." How incredibly insightful and true. When my children were growing up, we always had various pets on our property. My children were constantly bringing home strays to be nurtured and loved. I still have plenty of animals around because my children leave their pets with 'grandma' when they go travelling. At present, I have two dogs, three cats and a parrot! Over the years, I've always stressed the importance of regular vet visits. As soon as a stray was brought home, I would make an appointment. The simple preventative treatments provided by our vet saved a lot of money and heartache. I like to keep up to date with the latest vet treatments. I hope this blog provides useful information for those who care about animals. Thank you.

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Why does my rescued cat keep scratching me?

29 April 2016
 Categories: , Blog


If you have a cat that keeps scratching you, you might be interested to know why they are doing it and if you can stop it. Here are some of the reasons that cats may scratch you and what you can do about it.

Habit

Sometimes an owner finds it quite cute when a tiny kitten scratches at their hands and play bites their wrists. Alas, what is cute with a tiny kitten can be quite painful with a fully grown tomcat. If you have taken in an adult cat that has a bad habit of scratching from a previous owner you can try redirecting their energy by patting them in places that they can't scratch you and stopping petting whenever they start to scratch. They'll soon associate the bad behaviour with reduced affection and hopefully, move on to behaving more acceptably. 

Equally, when a cat has not had much interaction with humans they may easily resort to play fighting as a way of showing affection. Between cats play fighting is an important part of maintaining group dynamics and this may simply be a sign that your cat has not yet realised you are not a cat!

Nervousness

Rescue cats can be nervous, especially if they have previously experienced abuse. They can lash out in a defensive manner. It's important to allow your cat some territory that they can feel comfortable and not feel the need to constantly defend themselves and the area they are in.

If this persists it's worth taking them to the vet as they may need a small dose of antidepressants in order to relax and become comfortable in your home. 

Anger

In some cases, a cat may bond with one owner only, and be quite angry when the other owners try to interact with them. This commonly happens to cats who have had some bad experiences in the past, such as being regularly kicked by the husband when he comes home from work or witnessing abuse of their owner. They may become overly sensitive to multiple owners, loud noises or sudden movements. Again they need to feel safe at home and receive a lot of affection. If the situation persisted they can often benefit from a short source of anti-depressants to help them regulate their moods. 

No matter what the reason for your cat's scratching, if it doesn't resolve with extra comforting you should seek advice from a vet to ensure there are no other reasons that make them scratch you.