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kitten who bites- help!

elisa
August 7th, 2008, 12:32 PM
We have a small kitten 9 weeks - we had him since he was 5 weeks (he was given up from a farm when he was 2-3 weeks due to being stepped on by a cow) We adopted him at 5 weeks once his paw was healed. He is very cute, gets along with our dogs and other cat but has been biting us/kids/guests to the point where we wonder if we can keep him! We understand that he wants to play (and we do play with him) but he kindof goes into "attack" mode every once in a while and is hard to manage - especially in the middle of the night. Help!!
Do people ever crate cats at night like some people do for dogs?
appreciate any ideas- we really love him -most of the time :)
elisa

Love4himies
August 7th, 2008, 12:43 PM
Cats can be trained not to bite when they play, the earlier it is done the better.

Consistency is key and everybody must be on board.

Never wiggle fingers or toes to get your kittens attention, they will believe they are play things and are fair game.

During the training time period, always try (I know very difficult) to keep some kitten toys handy so if the kitten bites, a firm "No", take the hand away and immediately pull out a kitten toy to play with the kitten. If the kitten continues to bite everytime the hand comes close to the kitten, stop playtime, walk away for a bit, then come back armed with toys.

Never spank a kitten, it is not necessary, the kitten needs to understand what is acceptable to play with and what isn't, spanking just teaches the kitten a human is mean.

Consistency is an absolute must!!!

Good luck and keep us posted. Would love to see some pics:D

14+kitties
August 7th, 2008, 12:54 PM
Hi elisa. Welcome to the world of baby kitten ownership and to Pets.ca!

It's a normal thing to kittens to play this way. You can teach him the proper way to play though. Cats are nocturnal so it's natural for him to want to play in the middle of the night. He needs to have lots of toys available for playing. I have included some info from some sites which hopefully will help you understand why she is doing this.
Thanks for taking him in. At five weeks he was pretty young to have been taken from mom. She would be teaching him the proper way to play. Sounds like the little fella had a rough start. Please don't give up on him too soon.


Excerpt from:
http://www.paw-rescue.org/CATS/kitten_care.html

Playing. Play time is very important to a kitten. They learn to socialize, develop physical skills, get exercise, and have fun! Kittens have a great time playing with each other - rough housing, stalking, pouncing, chasing, and grooming each other. Young kittens don't know they are hurting you when they grab at or bite your hand, or run up your pant leg, so be patient and forgiving. If you have just one kitten, you will the focus of all of his playmaking attention! You can "train" your kitten not to bite or scratch by giving a high-pitched yelp whenever she gets too enthusiastic. This is how kittens let each other know that the play has gotten too rough. An idea which can help save your arms from scratches is provide what I call a "wrestle buddy" for your kitten - a stuffed toy or old sock filled with soft cloth or socks - that they can be free to sink their little teeth and claws into. Use it to rough house with your kitten and she won't become accustomed to using you as her scratching toy!

Scratching. Your kitten will start to scratch at things at an early age. This is the time to start training her! Provide a small scratching post or flat scratching pad and keep it wherever she usually plays. Encourage her to use it by enticing her with a toy or with catnip. Gives her praise when she uses it, and give a loud yell ("CLAWS!) when she scratches the wrong thing. A loud voice is generally all it takes to communicate the error - don't hit her or squirt her with water. You can also start trimming her claws. Wait until she is sleepy and relaxed. Start by trimiming just a few of her claws, and don't force it if she starts to resist. Pet her and tell her good she is! She will soon get used to it, and it will become a lifelong good habit.


http://pets1st.ca/articles/00009TrainingYourCatNotToBite.asp

http://www.perfectpaws.com/agg.html

ancientgirl
August 7th, 2008, 12:57 PM
I second what L4H said. When I git my first cat, Vlad he was a big time biter. A firm now and distraction with a toy fixed his problem. The worst thing you can do is play with a kitten using your hand as the toy. It's cute to see a little kitten nip at your hand and bunny kick and all, but it's not so cute when that kitten turns into a cat!

With a little patience he will learn.

Hillary1972
August 14th, 2008, 12:35 AM
My kitten is about 5 months old ad I got her at 7 weeks. She bites ALL THE TIME! I am thinking of getting another kitten to help socialize her. I'd rather not but I feel I have no choice. I"LL TAKE ANY ADVICE!

Thanx :sad:

Love4himies
August 14th, 2008, 07:25 AM
You may want to get your kitty some toys that she can wrap her paws around and do the "bunny kick", it helps release a lot of energy. A tennis ball would work and large catnip toys.

As mentioned above, humans must never use their hands to play with the cat, that is a rule that can't ever be broken. If the cat bites, stop play immediately with a firm "no". No spanking, no yelling, it will only scare the kitty. Restart play with a toy that the kitty can release a lot of energy with. A laser light is good, or just a long rope that you drag around the house with.