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Kitten Biting

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
How do I get my young kitten to not bite? Our last cat, also taken in at a very young age due to abandonment, we made the mistake of letting her 'play with our hands', and now she is a very aggressive cat when it comes to play time, and sees nothing wrong with injuring us. Now that was have young Aurora, (See todays pictures of her in Strays and Ferals) who was also abandoned, at the age of 1.5 days old, she is getting to the age where she wants to play.

What do I do when she nibbles on my hand? What about when she scratches me? How do I teach her that this isn't a good thing, and that we will not stand for it now or in the future. I had lately been hissing at her and gently pinching the skin on the back of her neck like a momma cat would do to pick her up, but more gently. It seems to kinda do the trick... but then she starts up later and does it all over again.

I realize we should not use our hands as 'toys' when interacting her her, we should use a cat toy or something on the end of a string. Any more information would be very much appreciated.
post #2 of 3
It's a very common problem with all young cats. Until they learn to retract their claws they tend to scratch. I was covered in scratches the first week we took Harry in. I couldn't help yelling OW! every time it happened as it was bloody sore and he soon learned it was something that annoyed me. So by yelling and giving him a slight startle, he learned that claws are a no-no during play.

As you said already, making sure toys are on a long string definitely helps. However Harry has become wise to this now and attacks the hand attached to the toy! He still doesn't have his claws out now but he will bite. Again he has learned the biting threshold I can tolerate by lots of yelling when he bites hard.

The other thing is to tire kitty out with vigorous playtime not involving your hands (maybe try a laser pointer against a wall or throwing a ball?!) so he is less likely to attack your hands playfully afterwards.

I hope that helps put the painful times behind you!!
post #3 of 3
Usually, I've found that playing with a wand toy is the best way so that the kitten really only knows that the toy is for playing.

If your hand is sort of laying there and the kitten decides that it wants to make your hand a toy, the best reaction is to say "ow" (or something equivilent, a sound that you use consistently to mean "don't do that!") and then get up and walk away.

It takes a while and lots of repetition for the kitten to finally remember that playing with hands (or feet) is unacceptable. So long as you are consistent, the kitten will get it eventually.
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