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Kitten's biting absolutely out of control

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We have had our kitten for about a month now and his play biting is still out of control. Most of the time, he is a super sweet loving kitten, but for some reason around 8pm its like a light switch flicks in his head and he becomes a holy terror. At 12 weeks, his bites are really starting to hurt.

He will bite our feet, our legs, our hands, our clothes. He has ruined more than one of my sweaters by biting holes in it. We have tried: screaming OUCH, screaming swear words, spraying with water. For the last two days whenever he bites he gets immediately transferred to his cat carrier for a 30 minute time-out. What else can we try? He has got to stop ASAP.
post #2 of 11
He's a baby You've said you've screamed at him, swore at him, shut him in his carrier, and doing what we never advise which is squirting him with water, but what you've never mentioned is playing with him?.

He needs stimulating at such a young age, and that's to play with him and stop him from getting bored.
post #3 of 11
Please please abandon all of the mentioned remedies you have tried, the only outcome you will get from a cat with those negative techniques are negative. Cat are never to be handled that way, you will raise a unhappy cat.

He is not doing this to intentionally harm or bother you. You must think like a cat in order to understand them. Kittens play like this. They play with their litter mates and teach each other what hurts and what doesnt. When he does this, very calmly place him away from you and walk away. Do this consistently.

Please understand that squirtting cats with water, if any drop gets into their ears, a very serious infection can occur. And please find more positive ways to deal with your kitten. Cats never respond positve to these negative techniques.

I know you are a new cat owner, please ask here if you have any questions, so we can help you raise a healthy cat. So many people, who dont knw better, use these techniques and when they dont work, they just get rid of the cat, we can show you positve ways that will keep you and your kitten be happy.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
We do play with him and he has a huge fleet of toys, but we can't play with him all the time, and 8pm is a particularly inconvenient time as it is usually when we try to get work done or have guests. We do set aside time every day to play with him.

We realize he's a baby. And no, we've had had cats before but we have had other pets. I have 2 horses, one of whom I got when he was 6 months old. I would never tolerate biting from a horse, even a playful baby. I don't think that because cats are small and their biting can only puncture the skin not break fingers that they should be exempt from having to behave :/ Saying that, none of the horses I worked with were ever this persistent. You tell them "NO" in a loud voice a couple of times, and they get it. Our kitten doesn't. We used to sleep with him in our beds because he would purr and enjoy it, but now he wakes us up in the morning by biting our feet or ears and we can't do that anymore. One of my cat-owning friends suggested we throw him when he does it, which I absolutely refuse to do because I would never throw an animal. We did try to ignore him when it was last suggested, but he is SO persistent and the things he's destroying are really expensive.
post #5 of 11
Again, think like a cat. When he bites one of his brothers or his mother, they hiss or squeal. Then they walk away. Also, anticipate the behavior. Start playing with him before 8PM, tire him out, then 8PM is no longer the problem time.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaslove View Post
One of my cat-owning friends suggested we throw him when he does it, which I absolutely refuse to do because I would never throw an animal.
That i'm pleased to hear because that's awful!
Quote:
Originally Posted by thomaslove View Post
the things he's destroying are really expensive.
Unfortunately unless the expensive things can be put away, then this is what happens with kittens and puppies, and weve all been there.

For the first few month's after i brought Jack home he had me awake at 4.a.m every morning and i had to be up for work at 6.25. The girls were nothing like that when they were little so i was lucky, but you know what?, as shattered as i was i loved every minute of it because they don't stay babies for long

If you don't have time or patience for him like he needs, do you think you should have a kitten?.
post #7 of 11
I went back and read where you have already had a problem with him biting your legs. People gave you advice then not to spray him.

Cats are not like horses at all. You are going to have to read on the nature of cats to understand their nature and be able to handle them.

You are going to have to weigh within yourself the importance of some of your material belongings to life with a cat. These things actually, should have been done before you got Thomas. There are sacrifices you are going to have to make.

Right now, if you want peace, you have to understand that as a kitten being taken away from him siblings at such a young age, he did not learn his boundaries from them. When I say ignore him and do it consistently, it doesnt mean until the third time, then get frustarted and squirt him or put him in a cage for 30 minutes. You have to be willing to be calm and consistent doing the same thing every single time, day after day. Set him aside and ignore him, if its 30 times a day. He is a baby and baby kittens are rambunctious and curious and clever and intelligent and want to keep doing what they want to do, that is just how it is.

You have to understand he missed this developmental stage and in order to get through this, you must take a step back, regroup, let the frustration go and deal with it straight forward.

I saw in your other thread that you were told handling things this way would make your cat fear you and Im telling you, from someone who has had 4 kittens in my home from tiny newborns, you are going to have to change your approach if you want a positive outcome.

Set him aside and ignore him, nothing more. He is only playing, he is not being spiteful, continue to do this daily, doing nothing else, no yelling, no aquirting, no caging him, just ignore him. And be willing to give him a few weeks of this consistently.
post #8 of 11
What worked with my cat was that every time he bit I put him in a separate room. The laundry room already had the litter box on one end and the food/water on another. He would not get any sort of attention from biting except to be put in this room. Took about a month of doing this EVERY time he bit no matter what the reason was. For the next 20 years he almost never bit anyone or anything besides cat toys.

I don't think you need to let the cat bite you and and your possessions while you do nothing and you hope he quits. What are you supposed to do, not wear clothes and enjoy having wounds all over your bodies?

It sounds like the yelling and water isn't doing any good and might be agitating him into biting more. Just take a deep breath and realize he will stop biting if you consistently withdraw attention when he does it. I wouldn't let him sleep in the bedroom if he bites you to wake up. When he sees you wake up from the bite, it reinforces bite=humans awake to play. Maybe let him return when he doesn't bite anymore.

Good luck with your kitty
post #9 of 11
Hissing works wonders I have found.

When my Aura was a kitten it only took 2 or 3 hisses to make her understand what she was doing hurt and that i didn't want her to do it.

Our new kitten Scratchez, who sounds like he is around the same age as your kitten, responds very well to hissing. When we first got him he liked to sleep on our bed, but at 5 a.m. he liked to also grab our arms and bite them. At first we just ignored him but it didn't work. One night I hissed at him while looking him straight in the eyes. He had this look of shock that I hissed at him, but he stopped biting me immediately.

He now only licks our arms and face, and if he does start to get to over zealous a quick hiss when he has actually put his teeth on our arms takes care of it.

It works because we are speaking his language. Kittens don't understand curse words, or screams. And locking him in his carrier against his will when he has been bad will only cause you untold headaches when its time to get him to the vet.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
He's a baby You've said you've screamed at him, swore at him, shut him in his carrier, and doing what we never advise which is squirting him with water, but what you've never mentioned is playing with him?.

He needs stimulating at such a young age, and that's to play with him and stop him from getting bored.

I totally agree with Rosiemac here. I am concerned however that you have not totally prepared yourself for your 'new arrival' and are therefore suffering the consequences. My kitten was biting, nibbling, scratching, playing, weeing, pooing, thing is, i was prepared for that. Why have you got a kitten that you are punishing excessively, 30 mins in cat carrier? Shouting and squirting water at all for just being a kitten? It sounds like your kitty may have a poor quality of life. Please listen to the advice on here, for poor kitties sake. I have removed a lot of what my cat could destroy, i chose to have my cat and like all relationships there are compromises. Play with kitty, love kitty and don't use your fingers and toes as 'toys', as kitty will see them as toys and some time may confuse an innapropriate moment or two.
post #11 of 11
I like the advice you have been given.

Also you can give him a substitute. I would have a toy handy and when he gets aggressive in his play let him chomp on the toy.

My cat ReeRee was a huge biter..he ruined many shoes and to this DAY likes to bite my hands during play But I just don't let him. I walk away and give him a play substitute.

When he goes for biting just take a toy and put it directly in his open mouth, if he drops it like he is uninterested and just wants to bite you again put it back in!! He will learn to play with those toys and/or get so frustrated that when he wants to play with you he gets them shoved in his face he will stop biting you.

I also agree with being calm and patient. It takes MONTHS.
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