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He bites!!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hubby and I were pretty upset to find out that Ripley is a biter. We can just be petting him and he'll nip... we'll walk across the floor and he'll attack our feet and bite...

We're worried about how to break this before the baby comes. I'd be really really upset if he ever bit the baby.....
post #2 of 11
How old is he?
post #3 of 11
Ferris puts his teeth on me as a sign of affection - it's his way. When he was a kitten, he didn't realize how gentle he needed to be, and he'd nip me and I'd get upset.

He learned my reaction to a harder bite wasn't good, and now he does it very gently, especially to my knuckles as I give him some good scritchin'.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ripley is a 3 year old shelter cat we adopted. His bites are HARD.
post #5 of 11
Is he de-clawed? It could also be over-stimulation in which case I would suggest some petting then stop before he gets over-stimulated.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yes, he is declawed.

It doesn't matter if we're petting him or not. I could pet him once on the head and he'll make to bite me. I could be walking by him and he'll pounce my legs and bite me.....
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali012281 View Post
Yes, he is declawed.

It doesn't matter if we're petting him or not. I could pet him once on the head and he'll make to bite me. I could be walking by him and he'll pounce my legs and bite me.....
I believe that may be the answer. It's not unusual for de-clawed cats to become biters. Sadly, litter box issues and biting are the main reason de-clawed cats are given up to shelters.

I would suggest you try working with him to correct the behaviour the same as you would with a kitten. When he bites, hiss at him and/or yelp loudly to let him know it hurts. Hopefully there will be some folks along with more experience that may have some other suggestions.
post #8 of 11
How long have you had him? I agree, it could be because he's declawed. His only means of defense now is to bite. If you just adopted him it may take him awhile to completely trust you.

Has he broken skin? If not, then I would say he's not trying to cause harm and may be play biting. If he was taken from his mom and siblings early, he was never taught what is and isn't appropriate behavior.

If he's running across the room and nipping, this may be his way of playing. Trying using a firm "NO!" and placing a finger in front of his nose, but do NOT touch his nose. You just want him to learn that NO means to stop his forward momentum. Then use a distraction, like a wand with feathers or string, to get his attention off of you. It may take a while but you will need to be consistent. There are also products like Bitter Apple that you can spray on your skin to help deter him.

My current foster boy, Max, also likes to give 'love bites'. His also can be hard, enough to leave an impression but not break the skin, but it is definitely not out of aggression. He is just a very mouthy and vocal (growls) Meezer who always lets you know what's on his mind. I'm still working with him on this and hopefully he will eventually get it.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
He's only bitten me once hard enough to break the skin, I didn't bleed but I still have the marks about 2 weeks later.

I've been telling him NO when he makes to bite me and I've started brushing him and it he goes to bite the brush I tell him NO as well. I'll try pointing. I need to tell hubby that a light smack isn't the way... (I've tried before but he doesn't listen), seems this will only provoke agression.

We've only have Ripley about a month.... Hopefully we'll get the trust up soon.

(And the 2 am meowing... I shut him out of the room or he wants to run around all night)
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ali012281 View Post
He's only bitten me once hard enough to break the skin, I didn't bleed but I still have the marks about 2 weeks later.

I've been telling him NO when he makes to bite me and I've started brushing him and it he goes to bite the brush I tell him NO as well. I'll try pointing. I need to tell hubby that a light smack isn't the way... (I've tried before but he doesn't listen), seems this will only provoke agression.

We've only have Ripley about a month.... Hopefully we'll get the trust up soon.

(And the 2 am meowing... I shut him out of the room or he wants to run around all night)

Did he break the skin due to the actual bite or because you pulled away?

NEVER hit a cat! Dogs may forgive you but cats will not. They will learn to distrust and fear you and the situation will get worse. If you see him start to run towards you also try the distraction technique so his focus is on something else before getting to you.

Depending on his personality it may take some time before he comes to trust you. If you're smacking to correct it will take longer or not at all. You don't want him to associate you or your hands as something negative.

As for the 2 am meowing...well just think of it as training for the real thing. Congratulations!
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzmom View Post
As for the 2 am meowing...well just think of it as training for the real thing. Congratulations!

Oh that is so true!!! I hadn't thought of that.


I emailed hubby (He's gone for a few weeks.. training.. bah) and told him about the no hitting thing and that it can provoke agression and distrust.

I can't really remember if I tried to pull away... I probably did because the little devil has one heck of a bite!!!

Thanks for the advice!
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