I have a eight year old cat who has never shown any sign of aggression until the last six months or so. There have been no household changes during that time period.
The first attack happened when I was sitting on the bed and found a large spider about to crawl up my pajama shorts. I screamed. When I did, the cat hurled himself at my head three times in a row. He gouged a ding about an eighth of an inch long across the lens of my glasses. By the third attack, my husband was able to grab him, toss him (gently) from the bedroom, and shut the door. That was his first and worst attack. All attacks have taken place in the bedroom and they have all taken place in the evening.
A couple more head attacks like the first passed. However, last night, while I was straightening the bed covers, he attacked my hand. He punctured one of the main veins in the back of my hand with his teeth with a gruesome result.
This does not seem to be a "play" response at all. I tussle with him often enough: he likes to lie on his back and he holds his claws in and he pretends to bite my hand and beat off my wrist with his back legs while I scratch his chest. This is not that.
He has been seen recently by the vet for a regular checkup and is well.
The only factor I can think of is that the cat has the run of the bedroom during the day, but is closed out at night because he disturbs our sleep. He is not lonely at night, he has a cat buddy to hang out with. I wonder if he gets aggressive at night because he knows he's going to get booted off the bed and he's being possessive of the bed somehow.
Question: Why is my cat attacking me so viciously after several years of peace? Do cats get curmudgeonly with age? What is the appropriate human response, besides removing him from the scene of the crime? I would like him to stop entirely, but anything that could lessen the frequency would be welcome as well.