or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › How much biting is too much?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How much biting is too much?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
We adopted two kittens from the local shelter nearly a week ago. Penny is 5 months and Fae is 4 months. From the shelter's paperwork Penny was a stray found at 7 weeks and had lived at the shelter since then, poor baby. Fae was surrendered at the beginning of this month by her owner with the reason stated as "have too many."

Things with the kittens have been going pretty well. They both have mild URIs which we're not surprised about and neither is the vet. We figure it's probably pretty common with shelter kitties. We've got them on amoxicillin right now. Hopefully it will clear up and go away for good.

In Penny's paperwork the behavior evaluation does warn that she "plays rough." She does a bit, but it's not that bad. She does get overly excited and tries to treat our hands or feet as toys but we've been working on it by telling her no, and distracting her with a toy. What's interesting is that she doesn't bite hard, she doesn't even bite down. She'll "mouth" our hands then lick and groom them, same as when she's playing with Fae.

And now Fae's picking up the same habit. She mouthed and then groomed my fingers a little bit ago when I was visiting with them (we're keeping them isolated from our other two cats for now until they get better and until our more timid kitty gets adjusted to them).

I'm assuming that although they don't hurt me at all when doing this I should deter this habit so they don't get worse right? For now I'm continuing to tell them no, set them down and give them a toy to play with instead of my hand. Usually when I do this the "offender" will go over and play-attack the other kitten. I'm thinking too I should pick up some bendy straws this week because they'll both be teething soon, if they're not already.
post #2 of 7
Hi! I can relate. My 18 month old kitten loves to play-bite and she does exactly what you said. Grab my hand, bite a little, lick them and sometimes, throw in some bunny kick as well. It doesn't hurt because you know that those are restrained bite. Some call it love-bites.

Just wondering if your kitty does this all the time or only when they get excited. Are those biting episodes provoked or unprovoked? Can you normally pick them up without them shoveling your hand into their mouth?
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Right now it's only when they're in a really playful mood, so much so that it seems like they're in the "kitty crazies" mood. Otherwise I can easily pick them up.

I'm finding too that I'm going to need to wear my hair up for a while. I have long hair (to mid-back) and it's proving to be too much of a temptation for them when I wear it down.
post #4 of 7
Well then, you are fine! At least your kitty doesn't bite out of no reason at all. I think it's when they get hyperactive that they tend to use their teeth and claws. It's better to stay out of their way when they're in the *ZONE*. Whenever my Lucy Belle get into a mad dash, I'd be sure to stand clear of her path. I also never pet her when she is all excited - she fluff her tail and do the side jumping as if she is walking on hot stones. It's fun to watch but I don't want her to treat me as prey!
post #5 of 7
Chloe is a play-biter. It's really bad with her. She was a stray kitten and was with her littermate and the foster mom's cats until she was 12 weeks old.

What I try to do is not play with her with my hands at all. This isn't going well because even though I don't do it, my SO still does it. I blow air in her face when she does it and then move her and ignore her. I don't know if that's helping or not. Sometimes when I move her I will give her a toy to bite/kick.
post #6 of 7
You definitely want to discourage this altogether.

It's one thing when they're older and you're petting them and they give you a "love bite" - that's VERY different than anything that even resembles play with any part of a human.

However - at this age your kitties are teething, so it's really important to make sure you don't let them play with hands or feet.

You may want to consider purchasing a box of bendy straws and scattering them around. Most kittens going through the teething stage love to chew on these. If you scatter the whole box around, there's almost always one handy to give to kitty to redirec the attack on feet or hands.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
We do have bendy straws on the shopping list for this week. We've been continuing to tell them firmly "No biting" and gently set them down. I think they're getting the idea because the frequency is diminishing. We'll keep reinforcing that biting is not ok.

Thanks for the advice everyone.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › How much biting is too much?