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Aggressive/Biting Kitten

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, my kitten seems to be very aggressive whenever I play with it. Usually it tries to bite me (usually my hand) and it would even try to jump on my shirt while digging its claws into my shirt to get a grip on my body to try to bite my hand if I try to put my hands in the air to prevent it from biting me. My cat also is a pretty energetic kitten. Are there any solutions to this problem? I've heard from people that usually kittens will grow out of this. Is this true? If so, I don't need to do anything right? I do not want to use a spray bottle to discipline my kitten.
post #2 of 13
From the sound of things your waving your hands in front of your kitten?, if this is the case that's why your kittens being the way he/she is so you need to stop.

Go and get a toy that dangles from a small rod that you can hold and your kitten won't touch your hands again
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
My mom loves to wrestle the cat around with her hands when she's playing it, does this also contribute to aggressive behavior?
post #4 of 13
Ha - I've wrestled Jynx for all of her 18 years of life. Yes.. when she was younger, she would be aggressive back due to it.

However, I was also able to get her to understand the difference between 'play time' and 'not play time'. Something like that just takes time for the cat/kitten to learn. Your cat needs to learn this behavior is only acceptable with your Mother, and not with you. When with you, you need to love the cat more than play with it.

My method was likely 'harsh', but I was only a kid. When Jynx tried attacking me, I'd grab her and wrap her up and pet her until she calmed down. I'll still do the same if she tries mauling me again. She hasn't in so many years.

There's likely other methods too.
post #5 of 13
It's important that you train your kitten not to bite while he is still young, because otherwise, he will continue to do so when he will grow old.
You also mantiond your kitten is energetic, so you shold use it to activate him more: give him some toys to play with and make sure to play with him to, so he will be more relaxed and take out some of his energy.
I would like it if you will update how is it going...
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
I do a toy that's basically a long string type thing attached to a rod that I have hanging around. However, my cat doesn't seem to be interested in it unless I wave it around for it to play with. My cat always tries to ambush me and bite me. Will it grow out of this? My mom's friend who is a vet said that it will probably grow out of this by itself at around 1 year of age.
post #7 of 13
One thing I was told early on is to never use your hands or fingers to play with your kittens. She is indeed learning this from your mother. You are setting yourself up for a biter and that is not a good idea.
Do not allow hand play with you. Always have a toy in hand.
Yes, kittens grow out of play biting to graduate to real biting when they are so inclined.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
What should I do now? My kitten always tries to bite me whenever I'm around it (either on my foot or my hands). How can I correct it?
post #9 of 13
I used a suggestion from this site when mine were doing that. Blow a puff of air at them. Not hard, just enough that they feel some of the air and mostly the sound. You can also try hissing at them. I could not master that one. Also another suggestion from here was to keep those plastic bending straws at hand and when they start to bite you stick a straw out for them to chew on. Worked great. I still have straws around. I tied a couple of the straws together in the middle to look like a star type shape. This was a hit. It's about redirecting the bad behavior and replacing it with something okay. I hope it gets better.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Which of those suggestions were most effective for you and did they work?
post #11 of 13
Also you said that the cat was only interested in the toy when you were waving it around. That's completely normal.

With high energy cats you have to play with them actively for sometimes several hours every single day so that they'll get rid of their pent up energy.

If you can get your kitten all played out and tired from that much safe play it'll be easier trying to get him to stop biting.

My cat (a bengal) is that way, if I've not exercised her enough through play she will start biting my feet because she just *needs* to play. Her mind and body get all worked up and if I haven't played with her she'll go after any moving target she can get (my feet usually). It's not her fault she's a high energy feline so I see it as my duty to provide a constructive outlet for her energy through play with me that I control. If I do that then I don't have a problem with her biting at all.

Hissing can sometimes work to tell the kitten NO! but you'll then have to play with him because the I must playplayplay!!! kitten urges don't just go away.

Hissing doesn't work on my cat though, she gets really angry and even more worked up and more aggressive if I do that. Same if I try to pinch the skin at the back of her neck (it makes some cats go semi-limp). So for me a timeout followed by a lot of running around for her after wand toys, da bird, or a laser pointer usually does the trick.

This much play is more than some people want to do with their cats but when you have a high energy feline that's what you need to do. A lot of kittens will grow out of this. Bengals usually don't, I'm ok with that though, I knew what I was getting myself into when I got Nikita (she's 2.5 years now and still hyper)
post #12 of 13
You've already gotten some good advice here, I just want to reinforce most of it.

I don't know how old your kitten is, but from 3-4 months to 5-6 months (individual to each cat), your kitten will be teething, and just like a human baby, it needs to chew on things. Being a cat, it will want to bite. It needs to be given appropriate things to bite, and you MUST get the whole family to participate in teaching your kitten that human hands, arms, fingers, toes, feet, ankles and legs are NOT appropriate things to bite. While some have success in getting their kittens to learn the difference between appropriate biting and inappropriate biting, it's best not to run the risk.

Tell your mom to STOP using her hands as toys. This IS teaching your kitty bad behavior.

When kitty attacks your hands or feet, DO blow the short, sharp puff of air directly in her face and say "NO." Redirect her behavior onto something appropriate - like the bendy straw - and walk away. Your kitty must learn that biting does NOT get her attention, it gets her ignored. But giving her something appropriate to bite is an important part of this learning process.

As to toys - some kitties will play by themselves. Of our six, two will play with a toy just lying there sometimes. All the rest won't play with anything unless it's moving, so we have lots of wand toys around the house. Just think of cats in the wild! They don't chase after and attack dead mice - they go after moving targets. For most kitties, it is the movement that catches their attention, and they actively need to be played with - and interactive toys are the best. But again - with toys that are appropriate, not with hands. Just remember to always put away wand toys where your kitten/cat can't reach them when you're not playing with them (a closet is a great place to keep them) - because they can require surgery if they eat that string.

Also, just like human children, kittens and cats get bored with the same toys. For little furry mice and balls and things, we rotate them every week. The wand toys we swap out every 1 - 2 weeks or so. We have a cloth "snake," we have feathers at the end of a string, we have a kind of papery-like sisal ribbons at the end of a string. We tied a furry mouse to the end of a leather boot lace and have that taped to a dowel rod. They all love chasing just about anything moving, and we make sure to play for at least 10 minutes a day with each of them.

post #13 of 13
i like these toys for teething cats - my cats liked them, too [even the senior!]: petstages chilly chews
petstages fishy fun
petstages catnip chew ring
or something similar.
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