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Biting and Shoulders

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
My kitten absolutely loves to bite on fingers and toes. She doesn't just go for it, but if she sees it for a few minutes without it going away she's biting. Is this normal? Or can I get anything that will help her satiate this craving? Also how do I get her to stop, we've all been blowing in her face when she does it.

She also likes to be on your shoulder, a lot, is this normal? It doesn't bother us much but I was just curious why she liked it so much.


I wanted to mention that when she bites she's not being malicious or feels like she's threatened, she does it playfully.
post #2 of 5
Hi! Have you named her yet?

Congrats on your new kitty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Did the vet say how old she is?

If she's somewhere around three months, she is VERY likely starting to teethe. This is the bitey stage, and it is imperative that no one plays with her with hands or feet (though it is tempting because it's cute).

Blowing on her and saying "no" is exactly the right thing to do. Her mom would hiss at her (or lightly bonk her on her forehead). Just be very consistent about it.

But whether she's teething or not, because she's got this "chewing" thing, the very best thing to do is buy a box of bendy straws and scatter like half the box around so they're easily within reach.

With kitties, it's important to redirect improper behavior to proper behavior, and to provide positive reinforcement along with the "no's."

So when she goes to bite toes or fingers, blow in her face, say "no," pick up a straw and give it to her, and when she starts biting on it, say "Good Girl!" and praise her a lot. If she ignores the straw and goes back for fingers or toes, blow again, say "no" again, give her the straw to chew, and walk away. If she consistently gets ignored by this behavior, she'll learn pretty quickly it's no fun doing it.

Also, at some point she's going to want to scratch stuff, so it's important you have appropriate stuff for her to scratch on. Being new to cats, PLEASE do not even consider having her declawed. It is illegal in 23 countries around the world because it is cruel. It's not like removing fingernails. The claws, which are retractable, are attached to the toes in such a way that the last joint of the toe needs to be removed in the process of declawing. Cats actually walk on their toes, and it can cause both health and behavior problems (esp peeing outside the box).

So make sure you get some scratching posts and a vertical cardboard scratcher or something. She's probably a little young to want to scratch yet, but she'll want to soon enough. The best place to put them is somewhere where she likes to nap - because cats LOVE to scratch and stretch when they wake up.

As to the shoulder thing? Hubby would be completely and entirely jealous of this. I suspect it's that she likes to be "up". Cats are animals that like to go vertical - so providing vertical space is important for them. They love the backs of chairs, couches, tops of bookshelves - stuff like that. If you have room and can afford it or can or want to build one, having a cat tree (or trees!) around for kitties is always a good thing (Right now we have more cat furniture than people furniture! ). Gives them something to climb and hop around on.

We saw a guy at the vet walk in with a kitty just sitting on his shoulder. Gary asked - how did you get her to do that? He said - she just always did it on her own. She was like a parrot or something! It helped that she was a little kitty. But it was terribly cute.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
She doesn't have a name yet, though we're brainstorming. We're all picky so we all feel like we'll know the right name when it comes. My two names I'm thinking of is "Hima" which means free time in Japanese, because she's our free time joy. It's also the name of the curious and feisty baby from an anime we all like. The other name I'm thinking of for her is "parrot" because she likes being on shoulders so much she's comftorable being on our shoulder when we walk around.

I would NEVER declaw a cat... My boyfriend's family has a lot of cats and I asked once why none of them were declawed, his mom pulled out like a scrapbook on the horrors of declawing. I'll declaw a kitty when I'm personally ready to chop off the last third of my fingers - aka, never

They don't know how old she is. Someone found her on the side of the highway all hungry and tired and brought her in. But she's very very tiny. She has teeth in her mouth, but there could be more coming in. Thanks for the tip with the bendy straws!

My boyfriend has a bike he keeps indoors because he doesn't want it to rust outside. She's already taken a liking to scratching the tires I've seen, and her claws are so tiny, plus when they're clipped they don't even dent the rubber. We need to get a scratchy thing so she doesn't get in the habit, but when she does scratch I'm glad she went to the rubber tire over my couch!
post #4 of 5
She sounds so cute and sweet! (Though aren't all kittens? ) And it is fun to wait and let the names pick themselves.

Glad you were already aware of the dangers of declawing. Most people don't know what it involves, and so many vets don't discuss what's involved at all before they do it when people ask. In fact, a lot of vet places basically ask "would you like a declaw with that spay?" And people do it without realizing - and had they known, they never would have had it done.

Actually, the vet at the place you adopted her should have had some idea of how old she is. ??? They're pretty good at guesstimating. And they definitely can tell if those are baby teeth or adult teeth!

It can be soooooo hard to tell a kitty just by size alone. There are adult kitties that are just 4 - 5 pounds! When rescued our first cat, Lazlo, we didn't have a box or carrier, so Gary put him in his shirt when we went to the pet store to get a litter box and carrier and toys, food and stuff. He crawled down the sleeve of Gary's shirt. We saw the vet the next day, and found out he was 10 - 12 weeks old!

When they start teething, the only way you can really tell is when they get bitey. You almost never find a baby tooth that fell out - they usually end up swallowing them. Their toungues actually have little "hooks" on them, which can kind of force stuff down their throats. That's why it's really important never to leave wand toys with string or cord or whatever on them out anywhere a cat can get to them - sometimes they start chewing on the string, they can eat through it, and then they have no choice but to swallow it (and it can get wrapped around their intestines).

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Wow thank you for letting me know about the chord!! I'd be so devastated if she got sick, well if it was a sickness that was in our power to prevent.

When we go into the vet to get her next set of shots on October 2 I'll ask how old they think she is.

The declaw thing I had NO IDEA about either until I mentioned it to my boyfriend's mom. So I know how that goes.

We really like the name Parrot, but said in a "French" way, so it's pronounced "Pei-row" Silent T and whatnot... But I'm sure we'll all debate it for a few days waiting to see if something else comes to us.

Does anyone have any recommendations for good toys or treats to get a kitten? I have some cat treats for when she's been good, or we feel she deserves a special treat. I also got some cat toys, just a simple ball and a little mouse looking thing with bells. Are these not safe because she could eat the bells or chew off the mouse's tail? Or should I just see if she begins to do that and take the toys away if she shows that particular interest?

Also... What does it mean when she just, darts across the apartment? Every now and then she'll bolt from the front door to the end of the living room, then stop suddenly and look around like "what's going on?!" It's really cute but I can't figure out why she does it!
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