or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Is this behavior problematic?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is this behavior problematic?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey I am a first time cat owner so I don't know much about cat behavior. My kitten is 6 months old and is very very playful. Alot of times when she is laying or walking around and i try to pet her she does one of two things, she will either jump back and make a weird sound, or she will nip at me and grab my hand with her paws(claws in). I think that this behavior is her being playful and not malicious or fearful. Of course when she bites or scratches I tell her no and stop paying attention to her. The bites and scratches don't hurt as much as they used to so I believe that she is learning that biting and scratching is bad, but it seems like it is taking forever for her to completely stop biting and scratching. Am I taking the correct action for her to learn, or will she grow up to be a biter?

BTW I got her at 5 weeks so she hasn't had much time to play with her litter mates. This is what I have heard can cause a cat to keep biting into adulthood and I really hope she will not grow into a biter.

Any thoughts are appreciated, Thanks!
post #2 of 7
When you reach out to your kitty, extend your hand with curled fingers and just the index finger a little straighter, sticking out a bit. The kitty will sniff your index finger, like smelling the nose of another cat, and recognize your scent. This works for dogs, too, I think. It prevents them from flinching when you reach out. Instinct thing.

Somebody here taught me that trick. But, I watched my father (former yappy show dog breeder) use it on Miss Scaredy Cat when he visited for Thanksgiving. Scaredy Cat let him pet her on the first day.

You are right to discourage the biting play. It will start to hurt very badly as the cat gets older and stronger. Your kitty is learning to nibble and play more gently, but I think you are better off just discouraging that play on your hands entirely.
post #3 of 7
Kittens are taught good manners by their mothers, one of them is to control their aggressive play behaviors. Many kittens that left their mother too young have some issues with being overly zealous in their play because they didn't have the time to learn those manners. That is why you will hear people on this sight say to avoid adopting a kitten before they are 8 weeks old.

With that said, I live with 2 cats that were orphaned at 10 days old and another orphaned at 3 weeks old. They all have their quirks with self control, and only 1 of them gets over aggressive when she plays, and that has calmed down a lot once she hit about 4 years old.

If you want some good tips on how to redirect your kittens behavior, read through this thread. A lot of the reasons for aggression won't apply to you, but the correction tips are great. You are right when you say your kitten isn't really aggressive, she just has trouble controlling how she plays.
post #4 of 7
I think she will grow out of it, but it sounds like you are handling it right. A few things to think about. First, at 6 months old, her claws should be formed enough that you can start trimming them. Actual kittens can't retract their claws but by 6 months they should be strong enough that you can at least cut off the sharp tips. Be careful how far you cut, and if you're not sure definitely take her to a groomer (or the vet) first and let them show you. That will save your skin a lot of wear and tear, and will get her used to you "messing" with her paws.

Also, kittens teeth are just like a baby's teeth. They need to come out so the adult teeth can grow in. Sometimes their gums get irritated and they need to gnaw on something. It is something that they outgrow, but in the meantime, try to get them something to chew on. With mine they were usually happy with chewing on toys, but I've seen kittens that age chew on sticks, furniture, whatever.

Good luck, and you're in for a fun year! Mine calmed down after about 2 years. 6 months is the beginning of the "fun" stage. They still have the energy of a kitten, but have the body size of almost a full cat. Don't want to scare you because it is TOTALLY worth it!

One thing....have you considered getting a playmate for her? Honestly, another cat isn't that much more trouble, and they keep each other company. Just something to think about. That way they can wear themselves out beating each other up (playing) and come to you when they are tired and want lovins. I now have 7....I know!
post #5 of 7
It sounds to me like you've a normal kitty and are doing a great job. For me, I enjoy playing with my kitties with my hands and have successfully taught all of them not to bite too hard but it takes time and I have to put up with too rough play as they're learning. I've found that when there's an emergency they're less likely to really bite me if they understand the difference, but again, that's just me and my kitties. However, many people prefer not to have their kitties come at their hands at all (I certainly understand that!). If that's how you feel then you're on the right track!
post #6 of 7
Originally Posted by hwc View Post
When you reach out to your kitty, extend your hand with curled fingers and just the index finger a little straighter, sticking out a bit. The kitty will sniff your index finger, like smelling the nose of another cat, and recognize your scent.
I should try this out. My cats know it's me when I say something so no flinching when I reach out to them.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips, I'm glad I am on the right track to stopping her biting habit. I have considered getting her a playmate, but I live with 6 other guys and I dont think they would go for that (some of them arent very fond of the cat i have). I have tried extending my hand with my pointer finger out and it seems to work well.
Thanks for the great tips guys
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Is this behavior problematic?