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Although we are able to accommodate cats with a variety of special needs, we are, unfortunately, currently unable to accept cats that are aggressive toward people. We do have a number of cats with biting problems but, because of the difficulties they pose for staff and volunteers, we can only accept a limited number of them at any time.

Biting is a challenging problem in cats. Finding a new home is rarely an option, so I encourage you to focus on correcting the problem so you can keep your kitty.

Start with a checkup by your veterinarian to rule out any health problems. Pain or irritability associated with a physical ailment can cause aggressive behavior. If a medical problem is discovered and treated, the aggression should subside on its own.

Once a medical problem has been ruled out, there are several different avenues of treatment to consider, depending on your preference, resources, and availability.

Contact an animal behaviorist. Ask your veterinarian or a local animal organization to recommend a qualified cat behaviorist. Another option is to ask your vet to consult with Tufts University or one of the other university behavior clinics. For help in finding a behaviorist, visit the Animal Behavior Society website at :

Use a behavior help line. Here are some examples:
* ASPCA Companion Animal Services Behavior Help Line (New York), 212-876-7700, ext. 4357.
* San Francisco SPCA Behavior Help Line, (California), 415-554-3075. You may leave a voice mail message 24 hours a day. Within 48 hours, a behaviorist will return your call (collect) or they will send you written information.
* University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine Behavior Clinic, 215-898-3347. If the clinic is not open at the time of your call, their recorded message will give you their call-in hours for the week.
* Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine Behavior Clinic (Massachusetts), 508-839-7934. This clinic offers consultations for a fee.
* Feline Health Center, Cornell University, Dr. Louis J. Camuti Feline Consultation and Diagnostic Service, 1-800-KITTYDR, open 9 am to 4pm EST, Monday - Friday, except holidays. You will be charged a $35 fee on a major credit card.

Visit the Best Friends Members and Pets forum. The Pet Health and Behavior bulletin board on the Best Friends website may be able to help you. Dr. Margaret Muns is available thre to answer questions. Click on the following and scroll down to the Pet Health and Behavior link:

Read a book on cat behavior. You may find it helpful to read one of these books:
* "The Cat Who Cried for Help" by Nicholas Dodman
* "Think Like a Cat" by Pam Johnson-Bennett
* "If Only They Could Speak" by Nicholas Dodman

Contact an animal communicator. If you are open to this option, we strongly suggest Joanne Seere. 845-651-1383 or visit her website at:

For more information about causes and treatment of feline aggression, and how to protect yourself while working through the problem, see the two fact sheets at the links below:

Thank you to Best Friends for allowing us to use these help sheets.