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Kitten attacking everything in sight

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I don't know what to do. I had worked on teaching my foster kitten not to bite, and he was getting very good about not biting. Then suddenly he has started biting and attacking (in play) everything that moves! If your foot is off the ground while you're sitting down, he attacks it. If you hand hangs off the bed at night, he attacks it. If you walk across the floor he attacks your feet! If you try to pet him he attacks your hands. He usually keeps his claws sheathed when he does this but he bites HARD. I am not sure what to do because the methods I tried when he was biting in play before don't have any effect (saying "ouch!" in a high-pitched voice, time-outs, using bitter spray, etc...) Any advice would be very helpful! I know he's getting towards the teenage months so that is probably the reason but I am not sure how to stop it since the things that worked before don't work any longer...
post #2 of 12
First of all, praise to you for fostering! How old is he and how old was he when separated from mom and siblings? Some kittens/cats simply don't understand the pain they inflict or how, where, what they play attack. When they are separated from the litter and mom, they don't have that rough play where they learn boundaries and respect, put them in their place basically. He needs extreme play time before bed for one. Dinner should be atleast 4 hours before you go to bed, this gives him time to digest and drain that energy. When he does jump on you when in bed, push him over on his side and hold him there and low growl like sound. The idea is to mimic what mom cat would do if she was annoyed and fed up with this behavior. It really works!
post #3 of 12
Have you read the Ouch!!! sticky at the top of this forum. The 'how to stop aggression towards people', may help.
post #4 of 12
My kitten is currently learning her boundaries with limited success as well.

My legs feel like I've walked through a stand of stinging nettle.

She was removed from her mother way too early and has boundless energy. She bites, she pounces, she climbs up legs to shoulders. Once I had the okay for her to interact with the other cats, my boy cat, Scooter, is teaching her some manners. She bites him, so he bathes her more enthusiastically. She bites something else, and he takes his paw and puts her on her side and licks her head. She bites again and he huffs with annoyance and then nips her ear. Finally he will walk away and ignore her.

So I try the puff of air on the face. I say no firmly and then take my index finger and gently touch her nose when I'm saying it. It has resulted in her controlling her claws in some play, but when she's doing the super high enery run up and down the hall, she's still pretty feisty. I'm sure to wear slippers to protect my toes and when she's climbing I get her down.

When she chomps on my toes in an unprotected moment, I say "ow" and then get up and walk away. Who knows if it's working. She's a leaping, lunging, flying velcro cat with pricky little claws and teeth.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
I tried most of the things suggested in the post mentioned in the section about play-aggression... I had tried redirecting the behavior to a toy first but it did not make a difference so I tried "ouch!" in a loud voice which was working before when he sometimes was getting a little overenthusiastic and biting... Now that he is just crazy-attacking everything that is not working.
If I try holding him still or blowing air at him or anything similar he just gets more worked up and bites more. I've been doing time outs but if I lift him to take him to the area for the time-out he will try to bite my hands while I'm carrying him...

He was a stray and his mother was feral. I caught him at about 6 weeks old. I think he may have been the only kitten born, or his littermates possibly did not survive, because I never saw/have seen any other kittens with the mother... He quickly adapted to being inside and was very sweet for a while, it seemed like he was learning not to bite very well and he had almost stopped play-biting but then he just started getting very bitey a week or two ago.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well, he is still biting and I've tried pretty much everything suggested! I just don't know what to do!
post #7 of 12
Is it possible he is teething? Get some of those big fat bendy straws and strew some around for him to chew on. Don't give up on the hissing and blowing in his face. Say ouch loudly as well. Don't move your hand or foot when he is biting though - stop dead still and say ouch so he knows it hurts.
post #8 of 12
How old is he NOW, and has he been neutered?
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
He is 13 weeks now. He hasn't been neutered yet because my vet said to wait.
He does usually let go if you say "ouch!" but it has not slowed down the frequency of the biting. If you say "ouch!" and he lets go of biting you, he is apt to still bite you again 20 seconds later.
I even tried scruffing him but when I did that he would just bite more/harder as soon as I let go again.
post #10 of 12
Quote: She's a leaping, lunging, flying velcro cat with pricky little claws and teeth.

Bless your heart.. I can so relate…I had to laugh although I certainly know exactly how UNHUMEROUS it is to be the target!

My girl attacked me a few times today, but not nearly as much as usual. The down side to this Vicks thing is that it keeps her away from me longer! :-( The few times she did get me was brutal...I have a ~5 in scratch on my arm that bled quite a while.

I had a long talk with her about how cold it is outside and there have been other kitties who have been coming by to visit…of course she knows; this they're probably friends or sibs. They might appreciate me more if she doesn't!

AWWW, I'm just joshin!

I fed them, gave them treats and set up a few boxes with blankets, an old jacket and kinda, sorta made a little cave to keep the wind down.

I don't see them anymore, but I sure do hope they're warm. It's down in the 30's tonight out there. Gosh, last year at this time, I was homeless and out there…(shudder!) I'm so blessed!

I've been doing time outs but if I lift him to take him to the area for the time-out he will try to bite my hands while I'm carrying him..

I have found that what works well is if I can get her by the scruff, it stops the attack…I read somewhere that paralyzes them somewhat so I can get her to the time out area.

I also make sure once I have her, I use my other arm to support her bottom, so she's just not hanging there by the scruff.

I just went and looked out, and the 2 little ones who've been hanging out must've gone to spread the news, cuz now there's 4 of them huddled in the blankets and boxes! I better set out more!
One of them looks really tiny!
post #11 of 12
Half of my post is missing!!?? What happened!? Well, I just wanted to let you know you are not alone and I sure hope the solution to this is right in front of us!
post #12 of 12
At his age, and being unneutered, kittens are very likely to be nothing more than a wild and crazy bundle of energy, with no concept of cause and effect, so even nasty consequences don't work. It's basically just about waiting it out, keeping your place cat proofed and believing it will get better. There is very little 'tame' about them, and a sense of humor can help if you can be philosophical, but not a lot else yet.
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