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Kitten is biting HARD...

July 27th, 2003, 09:48 AM
We have a 4+ month old kitten. We have pretty much trained him not to scratch & use his nails while playing with us (yay), but he is a biter. He's not biting inanimate objects, he is biting my husband & I. He does this during play, while he's having a freak out moment (without us interacting with him), while we're sleeping, etc. He wraps his paws around our arms & bites HARD! We've tried the "timeout", we've tried freezing or playing dead, we've tried spraying him with water.

Any suggestions on how to get him to stop this?

Lucky Rescue
July 27th, 2003, 10:04 AM
All kittens do this, and it's not much fun!

One thing I've found that helps is to react as another kitten would.

When he bites you, make a sudden high pitched yowl . This is what a littermate would do to let the biter know that it hurts.

This is another reason why it's good to leave kittens with their littermates until around 8 weeks - so they can learn this bite inhibition.

Your kitten will probably be startled into letting go, and then you can throw a toy for him. Catnip mice dangled on strings are good for biting, and also good for tiring out energetic kittens.

August 3rd, 2003, 11:08 AM
Yes, I agree with the loud pitched meow sound, the kitten needs to realize that the biting is unacceptable and that it HURTS. Another thing, if you are able to do this, is to totally ignore him when he attempts to bite you. Get up and do something else, not giving him any attention.

April 11th, 2004, 04:12 AM
i dont wait until it really hurts!
i let them know right away that it hurts and i screech...they usually just look at me as if to say ' huh you big wimp' and then scuttle away when i wont play any more.

April 11th, 2004, 10:53 AM
Ohhhhh I know all to well about this.

My Casper who is now 7 months old is doing this.

Yes LR,still....:(

But my thing is we have done everthing LR has said.Except fpr the high pitched yowl.Since he is deaf,he can't hear it.

With Casper,he attacts.Ears back,head cocked.And this is in the middle of the room while we are on the couch.He'll be lovey and dovey in your arms,then attack and bite.And I mean very hard.Hubby(Mr no brains) tried to calm him down and put his face right close to Caspers,yup you guessed it,Casper got him right on the lip.No blood though.I actually had to put Casper in our room to settle him down.Both hubby and Casper needed a time out.LOL.

LR,we are still thinking on getting him a playmate.But I'm worried he will hurt her.Yes we are thinking of a female around the same age.

And this biting has gone on for a few months.

April 11th, 2004, 11:11 AM
My Chico used to give us a hard"love-Bite"sometimes when he's being cuddled and yes it hurts:( But now we can see it coming and a very firm NO CHICO! stops him in his tracks,but he's old enough to know when he's in trouble and seems to understand NO!...A playful kitten is another story,it's very tempting to play with a kitten with your hands,I have the scars to prove it,but it's better for the kitten if you play with a toy,rather than your hands,that way he'll not think it's ok to bite the hand that feeds you..
Moving feet and arms in bed is a very popular target for kittens,something they usually grow out of though. IMO

April 11th, 2004, 11:34 AM
I agree.NEVER use your hands to play.Which is something we never do.With Casper,everytime he was doing the biting,we directed him with his stuffed duckie.This worked for a while.But then he would turn around and go after us.

I have never had this problem with Phoenix or any other cats I have.And since Casper is deaf,this is much more of a challence for us.He even goes after Yukon and Tron.They have put him in his place.They are fed up that they want nothing to do with him.Poor guys.

We do play with him alot.He has the toys on the string and we get him all pooped out.

Lucky Rescue
April 11th, 2004, 11:37 AM
MonaB - I don't know what is triggering your cat's attacks. At 7 months old, I would say it's not the usual kitten attack thing.

Is his back rippling? Tail Lashing? If they are, and his ears are back as you say, it sounds like the overstimulation, energy-release type of attack.

I would advise you to try petting him just briefly - a few seconds at a time - to avoid the over stimulation. The second his ears go back, or he shows the other signs, stop petting or cuddling him.

You might keep some catnip toys handy (if he reacts to catnip) to help him discharge the energy on that instead of on your hands.:(

April 11th, 2004, 11:47 AM
Thank you LR.I will try what you suggested.

No rippling,but yes they tail does lash.And of course the ears are back.

Nope,there is no effect with the catnip.I even tried quite a while ago the honeysuckle Luba suggested.But he wants nothing to do with it.

Also,this happens when we are not even holding him.

When he went to the vets for his last shots at 4 months,it took the vet 20 mins just to give him his first shot.He was going after the vet.

But when he gets up from a sleep,omg he is so loveable,purrs,and licks your whole face.

So do you think it would be safe to get him a playmate?

Lucky Rescue
April 11th, 2004, 12:53 PM
Getting him a playmate may change him totally, but of course there is no guarantee!

He is very young and full of energy which needs to be expelled, and a playmate is very often just the thing!

What you might want to do is try fostering a snotty young female who won't take any of his crap and see how it goes. That way if it doesn't work out, the new cat can go back to the rescue and still get a good home.

Of course you will need to do proper introductions, and foster a cat who is known to be fine with other cats.

My kitten Stinkerbelle (6 months old) has attacked me just a couple of times. The rest of the time she plays with my other two adult cats, and they have taught her bite inhibition without ever hurting her.

I know that if she were my only cat, the attacks would be MUCH more frequent and hurt a heck of a lot worse!