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The biting must stop

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Our kitten Jack is about 4 and half months old. He was found as a stray at about 10 weeks so I'm not sure how long he was with his momma. He's smart (and often a little stupid), is great with the litter box and eating well. But his biting is driving me nuts.

At work yesterday I got to looking at my wrist and top of hand and realized the scratches on it were from Jack's biting (it hurts when he does it but don't realize its leaving marks). How can we stop him? We are using a squirt bottle for discipline in general (it has been working pretty well)---but when it comes to biting he just comes back for more (usually hands/wrists and feet/ankles).

I'm sure he teething but what can you convince a cat to chew?


post #2 of 9
Squirt bottles basically teach your kitty to be afraid of you. I'd lose the bottle.

Get lots of bendy straws and scatter them all over the house. Talk to him in his own language. When he bites at ANY time, give him a short, sharp puff of air in the face (his mom would hiss at him to teach him "no" to whatever behavior she didn't like when he was with her). Give him a bendy straw to chew on instead, and walk away, ignoring him. You want to make sure that you're not teaching him that biting gets him attention.

If he chases after you, give that short, sharp puff of air in the face again, hand him another bendy straw, and continue ignoring him. Make sure you are consistent, and he'll learn pretty quickly that people are not to be bitten or gnawed upon.

Also - our vet uses teething as the measure of when it's time to have kitty neutered (or spayed). Might want to consider it!

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
He was neutered last week.

The puff of air does absolutely nothing! Believe me it has been tried.

Why does a squirt bottle teach him to be afraid of me? Won't anything do that?

post #4 of 9
I have a little rescued kitten, about 8-9 weeks old now, who had started to bite when playing. At first I was not sure how to stop him, I tried a few things like I would stop playing with him if he bit me, or I would give him a toy he could bite instead. Those things didn't discouraging him from biting the next time, though.
Finally I tried something else and it worked. I even ended up with a rash from him scratching me with his teeth! (it's fading now.)
Then I took a suggestion often giving with puppies who are play-biting and used it-- whenever his teeth would come into contact with my skin I would say "Ouch!" in a high-pitched, loud voice. If I tried it in a normal-pitch voice he just ignored it (like regular talking) but the loud/high voice worked. When I did that he'd immediately let go! I kept doing that every time and now he is biting a lot less. I also gave him a stuffed animal that he can chew on and wrestle with, which is about his size--that way he has something he can chew and pounce on that's NOT ME.

Good luck!
post #5 of 9
When Ares was our only kitten, I got some great advice to spray my feet (the object of Ares' attack) with bitter apple apray. I did this for a week and it reduced the biting attacks by 90%. Spray some bitter apple on a napkin and apply it to the tops of your hands. I suspect that this will be a great deterent. (Also, be sure not to use your hands as toys when playing with Jack.)
When did Ares completely stop attacking my feet? 48 hours after getting our new kitten Hypnos, who I might add has never tried to bite me during play. I had heard the advice on getting your kitten a playmate can help with biting and I can honestly tell you that its true
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately another cat is out of the question. Jack is actually pretty lucky he's adorable or he wouldn't be in our house...my husband isn't a huge fan of cats (but has fallen in love with Jack)

The bitter apple spray is a good idea, is there a homemade version of this? Vinegar and water is what my parents used with their dog. Don't want to use anything that could hurt him but as a fulltime college student money is tight (living on my husbands salary).

post #7 of 9
I just wanted to add because some people do not know, the water bottle technique can also cause ear infections in the kitty, if any water gets in the ear.
post #8 of 9
I don't know about home remedies, but I saw an 8 oz bottle at Walmart for $5.00 and Petsmart and Petco carry it as well.
post #9 of 9
Sometimes when nothing else will get through to my girls, I've litterally hissed at them! I like the idea of the bendy straws to chew on and something about his size to wrestle too. I just checked with PetSmart's website and it looks like they have the 8oz bottle for $4.99 as well.

Good luck!
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