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Completely Unprovoked Biting... Help!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
We have two cats, and it's the newest (and youngest) one that has started biting without being provoked. Pixel is 16 weeks old, and we've had her with us for a month now. The two cats get along pretty well considering they've just met (Tak is 4 years old), and we also have a Feliway diffuser in our home.

Pixel is a really cuddly cat, which is nice for us because Tak is very aloof. We've been very careful not to play with Pixel using our hands, and only use toys to get her chasing. We also clap to get her off of the counter or away from plants/cables, etc, as we don't want her to be afraid of our voices. Everything is working really well apart from the random biting.

She often sleeps on us while we watch TV or read, and in the past week or so she's started suddenly biting us. One time I watching TV and not moving at all (not even touching her), and she was sleeping on me. Suddenly she woke up and bit my finger, hard! I yelled, because it hurt and surprised me, and she let go really fast. I picked her up and put her on the ground. She's done it many more times, without provocation.This has been happening more and more recently, and with my boyfriend as well.

With our other cat, she'll twitch her tail if she's mad, and she gives very ample warning before a bite. I don't understand what Pixel is doing. She doesn't appear to be angry, but it isn't the playful kitten bites either (she does that as well, naturally, but it's of a different sort). My hands don't smell like food either!

Any ideas? I'm reading some cat books to find out, but I always get such good advice here!
post #2 of 6
Karma does this when I an on the computer. Usually it is because she wants attention. She only does it when I have been at work and come home and get on the computer right away. I posted about this same thing a few days ago. The thread http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=116570
I got a lot of good responces. If I stop what ever it is I am doing and play with her for a little while, how ever long she wants me to, could be 15 minutes could be an hour. When we are done and I go back to the computer, no more attacks. I think all she wants is your attention. Give it to the little one. They can be demanding. Just give in its bonding time. Remember kitties can not talk or cry like human children, biting and attacking may be the only way they know how to get out attention, be it good or bad. At least we are paying attention to them.
post #3 of 6
There is a sticky thread about inappropriate biting that is very helpful. It pretty much summarizes the reasons they do it and things you can do in response to it. You need to find out why she is doing it before you can take action:

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
I don't think it's that she wants my attention, she definitely has it! It usually happens when she's sleeping on me, and then she'll suddenly wake up and bite. I'll usually stop petting her once she's fallen asleep as the petting wakes her up and starts her purring again. I thought she might actually want to have a nap and not have me continue petting her... am I wrong? She also doesn't want to play because she's tired... hm.

And thank you for the link to the cat aggression thread. But it doesn't seem like she's biting for any of those reasons? I've also picked up a copy of the Psycho Kitty book and I have the other one on hold at the library. Maybe I'll find my answer in there!
post #5 of 6
If Pixel is 16 weeks old, she is very likely teething - could this be it? Cats like to bite and chew as their baby teeth are replaced with adult teeth.

We handled this with all our cats by buying a box of "bendy" straws, liberally distributing them throughout the RV (that's where we were living when they were kittens). Anytime a kitty went for one of us, our feet or ankles, we'd lean down, blow a short, sharp, puff of air in the face (language they understand!) and say "No" - and grab one of the bendy straws lying around and give it to kitty to chew on. They learned pretty quickly straws were OK to chew on and people weren't OK to bite.

post #6 of 6
This AM while I was in the bathroom getting ready for work the cats were with me, as usual. Juno, my feral 10 month old who loves to be petted in the bathroom, licked my leg and then decided to take a taste. It was just a nibble, this is a cat who never scratches or bites. She shows no agression at all ever. I think she just was curious and wanted to see what my leg was. I said NO, she immediately laid down on the rug and that ended this behavior. I'll watch her and see what she does next.
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