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biting while playing

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm having major issues with a ~13week old kitten that keeps biting hard enough to draw blood even while playing. To add to the problem she's not entirely a normal cat to begin with. About 2months ago in the middle of kitten season I saw a little pile of roadkill on the center line of the highway but this roadkill sat up and looked at me. For the next few weeks I was syringe feeding and medicating a 4 week old kitten who got hit in the head by a car. Squeak (her vocal cords seem to have been damaged so she doesn't meow normal) has become a very active little monster with some mild brain damage. She forgets things, gets lost easy, gets distracted very easily even while in the middle of using the litterbox, and is overall just a bit more clueless than a normal kitten. I'm trying really hard to make her an indoor cat someone can live with because I doubt she'd survive outside. She'd attack things and run around until she was completely lost and probably get eaten by something.

She's learned to be cautious with her claws while playing but she still will repeatedly nip at my arm or whatever she can reach until something else distracts her or she injures me enough I have to put her in another room for awhile. She doesn't understand it hurts and isn't correct play. In copying the other cats I've tried growling at her, shoving her, pinning her down, tapping her on the head or shoulder, and always refusing to play if she's getting too rough but it's not getting through to her. I would ignore it if it was only when I played with her but while I'm on the computer, watching tv, eating supper, cleaning the house..... I have a kitten biting me constantly. Most of the time I'm doing everything 1 handed so I can use my left hand to knock her off me and throw something or move something to keep her busy for a few minutes before she attacks me again. As she gets bigger I've started to gain a few scars on my left arm. My older cat has taken to wacking Squeak repeatedly very hard, without claws at least, and then retreating to somewhere Squeak cannot jump to because she won't give up. For the next few hours I get to listen to Carmel yowl about how annoying Squeak is. My akita has become her new favorite target because she just ignores her since tiny kitten bites don't really harm 70+lb dogs and she couldn't get out of Squeak's reach anyway. Squeak has also started hissing and spitting at rather random times while playing. She even spits at her own tail now before attacking it.

Anyone have any ideas to get Squeak to play a little nicer? Eventually someone (besides me) is going to get injured. Either from Squeak hurting them or the other animals lashing back at her. I did wonder if maybe she just needs some other kittens to play with and learn from. Perhaps borrowing a couple similar aged kittens from someone's barn would help? I can't permanently keep more than 2 cats, small house and slightly allergic to cats, but after being tamed they might find a better home or they just end up back out where they started.
post #2 of 5
I'm sorry I don't have any advice, but I'd love to know if you've figured out anything since your post. My mother is having the same problem with her cat, Maxie, who is about 1 year old now.

She plays with her regularly, gives her new toys often, though there are not any other animals or people in the house for her to play with, only my mom. I can only think that somehow Maxie is not entertained enough, but that doesn't sound like the case with Squeak, who seems to get a lot of human and animal interaction.
post #3 of 5
You should read this thread:


It has all kinds of strategies for dealing with cat aggression.

But it may be especially difficult to teach a cat that has brain damage. In this case, if you try the usual methods and they fail, you might want to consult a vet about trying to curb the problem with medication.

Sometimes cats quiet down once they become adults; even normal kittens can act crazy. That may be the case with this one. Also, since she was injured only two months ago and she's so young, her brain might heal over time and make her more normal.
post #4 of 5
Oh poor baby

My Leya has some brain damage as well, but her's was caused by the vet, they gave her too much anaesthesia and now she's blind. She developed many bad habits including bitting. We actually got her to stop Enzo from bitting because he was the only cat and needed a friend. It really stunk fixing one cats bitting problem then getting a totally new cause for a bitting problem. It was a pain and she played rough. Eventually though Enzo taught her that bitting wasn't necessary. Thank goodness!

I think a playmate could really help you cat as well!
post #5 of 5
You have attempted discipline, but it's not being interpreted the way you want, so you can try things that only puzzle her, but not scare her.

Do you use the same signals for her claws. Since she learned that, there must be a way to communicate with her.

Showing her it hurts you, instead of responding to aggression, might work. For her to pick up on it, you don't have to roar and shout, but whimpering and hugging your hurt part is pretty universal.
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