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Inappropriate licking and biting

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I adopted Shelby, my 2yr old dilute tortie, from the local humaine society nearly two months
ago. The cat room in the shelter had been her home since she was seven weeks old, so trying
to help Shelby to adapt to her new life has been a long and sometimes frustrating ordeal.
However, she is finally getting accustomed to living in my home and she and Touche (my resident
cat) get along very well.

One thing that I am concerned with is Shelby tends to lick everything - the couch, the leg of
the end table, the carpet, etc. I am tempted to chalk this up to being in new surroundings and
hope that she will eventually stop, but I want to discourage this behavior before it becomes a habit.

The other behavior that bothers me is when Shelby is being petted, she will start to lick my
fingers then 'play bite' me. When this occurs, I stop playing with her immediately, give her a
gentle tap on the nose and tell her 'no teeth.' This seemed to work with my other cats, but they
were all much younger at the time than Shelby is currently.

Is Shelby going through a delayed kitten phase, perhaps?

Anyway, I am hoping someone can give me some insight here. As I said, I want to discourage
these types of behaviors, but I don't want to be overly harsh as I think it would force Shelby
back into her shell (no pun intended.)
post #2 of 2
My Jack tends to lick weird things. He really likes nail files as well as a particular type of envelope that hubby gets in the mail. I wouldn't worry too much about that unless she is consuming weird things...

As for the play biting...Jack does that too, I've never really found a way to stop him. He was found as a "stray" kitten at about 10 weeks and we are semi-aware of his background, mom probably didn't take care of him for a real long time so most of his manners had to be taught by us. We failed miserably at that. I'll be honest we started to bite back (per some recommendations via TCS)--because he didn't seem to understand fully that biting wasn't nice. He was playing, he didn't mean to hurt us, but hissing wasn't stopping him, water wasn't, blowing in his face wasn't. I quickly realized that its hard to bite a long haired cat without getting a mouthful of hair so I started using my fingernails to briefly pinch his ear--this is literally the only place I could get to skin. It decreased his biting significantly. He doesn't attribute pain to his ears now or anything--I touch them all the time, clean them with cleaner, he doesn't have bad feelings towards our "biting"

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