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Scratching and biting kitty

zebramax
February 18th, 2009, 08:00 AM
I have a 5-month old kitten named Simba who is the apple of my eye... with a few pips i need to deal with. When he is good he is very very good, all cuddly and loving, wanting to curl up in tight spots... the cutest. But without warning he will often get real active, real fast... aggressive-like. He is only playing and i know he means no harm to me... but his bite is hard, and his scratch is sharp. I've drawn so much blood lately i am desperate for help.
I have tried a number of techniques, i initially tried giving him a small smack on the bum and saying "NO!", i have tried spraying water at him (but now i think he is just used to the water and ignores it... or likes it), i've tried scruffing him, when it's really bad and he is persistent i will put him in the laundry room and he stays in there for 20 minutes so he can calm down... nothing ever lasts, and he doesn't seem to learn from it.
I know kittens are supposed to be playful... but sometimes he goes too far. If he only did it when i played with him it'd be ok... but i could just be sitting quietly, no movement whatsoever... and i am a target!
he has LOADS of toys and a huge scratching post.
he is also a strictly inside cat as i live in an apartment building.
I am desperate for a solution... and would be thankful for anything anyone can help me out with.

please?:cat:

Jim Hall
February 18th, 2009, 08:15 AM
Hi ya TRy doing what a cat would do hiss and run away
it may take a while, but be consistent

Dont ever use your hands to play only to pet,
also cats get stimulated by petting ,especially body strokes, so stroke a few times then stop for a bit


good luck

lol the old spritz some cats do actually like it go figure

Tundra_Queen
February 18th, 2009, 08:22 AM
Hi,

Do u play with him using an interactive toy? That may get rid of some of his energy. I wouldn't smack him that just makes him scared of you. Just tell him NO and put him down on the floor. If he does it when u are petting him then stop petting him right away and walk away or put him down on the floor if he is up sitting beside u.

Have u thought of getting another kitten for him to become friends with? Was he raised with other kittens and mother? That is how they learn to play. If he wasn't kept with his mother or litter mates long enough he didn't learn how to play with others. So it will take u lots of patience to train him.

The interactive play whould be at least twice a day for 15 minutes each time. Get a toy on one of those sticks so your hands are no where near the toy. you don't ever want to use your hand as a play toy.And don't just stop the play time, u have to slow down the game, so that he has time to calm down.

The book Think Like a Cat, by Pam Bennett-Johnson is a very good book. She is a cat behaviourist, and u can probably get the book at your library.

I'm sure u will get lots more advice from others on this forum.

Debbie

catlover2
February 18th, 2009, 01:09 PM
Cat bites that draw blood can cause a nasty infection, so never ignore them. Wash the puncture immediately with soap & apply an antiobiotic ointment (like Polytopic or Polysporin).

I would give a gentle finger tap on the nose saying a firm "No" at the same time.

If your kitten was taken away from it's littermates before 8-9 wks, it's very likely he never learned to control his bite. He shouldn't be biting hard to draw blood.

All the other advice about redirecting with a toy is good. Gradually, when he learns you stop playing with him if he bites, he'll settle down. He's in his wild teenage Hellion months now which should be over by the time he's 8-9 mos. He does sound like quite a dominant kitty tho.

Have you thought of adding another kitten to keep him company? Two kittens are more fun than one, and if you can afford another, one preferably of opposite sex and more laid back in personality and about the same age would certainly correct his tendency to bite hard, as the other kitten will bite back as hard. :cat: :cat:

zebramax
February 19th, 2009, 04:21 AM
Simba has more toys than you could count, and he plays with each and every one of them. He also has a battery-operated weasel ball that i turn on sometimes to keep him away form my feet but he's figured out how to defeat it.
When i bought him he was 12 weeks old and had spent 11 weeks with his mother and two brothers. I had, in fact, considered buying his brother also so he had someone to play with while i wasn't home but i decided not to at that stage because i wasn't sure if i could handle two kittens at one time with my schedule. I am now considering it once more.
Sometimes i shine a torch around on the floor and the wall and he runs and chases the light, jumping away.

I will try and find that book you suggested and give it a go also. Thanks

zebramax
February 19th, 2009, 04:28 AM
"I would give a gentle finger tap on the nose saying a firm "No" at the same time."
I will try that.

"He shouldn't be biting hard to draw blood."
Simba bites hard and it hurts but it's his claws that are drawing blood.

"Have you thought of adding another kitten to keep him company? Two kittens are more fun than one, and if you can afford another, one preferably of opposite sex and more laid back in personality and about the same age would certainly correct his tendency to bite hard, as the other kitten will bite back as hard."
This is certainly looking like a good option and i am taking it into consideration. I have some things that i need to also take into account giving my living situation and future plans but i do like that idea... everyone needs a friend... even cats. I don't like that i have to leave him alone while i am at work.

Tundra_Queen
February 19th, 2009, 04:40 AM
I would give a gentle finger tap on the nose saying a firm "No" at the same time.




Hi
I would not tap his nose. Their noses are very sensitive and if u damage their ability to smell they won't eat their food and will become anorexic! If they can't smell cats won't eat!

Also, if u get another kitten there is a whole thing about having to slowly introduce the new kitten to the other cat. It takes a while, and the new addition will have to be put into a separate room for a week or longer, depending on how well the introductions go.

Good luck
Debbie

zebramax
February 19th, 2009, 06:53 AM
good point... i will refrain from the nose thing.

catlover2
February 20th, 2009, 11:42 AM
I beg to disagree. Young kittens need a very brief period of adjustment to each other. There may be a hiss or two at the very beginning, but if you get them chasing a feather toy on a stick, they'll soon be playing together in no time at all. Adjustment to each other is very quick with kittens, who only want someone to play with.

As for the tap on the nose, a "gentle tap" as I suggested does not do harm, but is similar to what a mom-cat would do to discipline her kittens, and depending on how bold and insistent the kitten is, mom's claws would come out so kitty really got the message.