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New Kitten Is Biting

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I got my 9-10 month old female kitten, Bailey, from a local shelter a little over a month ago. She warmed up to me right away and has never acted scared. From the moment I got her, she has always wanted to be held and cuddled and has nipped a little (at my feet mostly), especially when she wants to play. So, I've tried to redirect her attention to her toys whenever she does try to nip (and tell her "No biting") and it usually works.

Recently, the biting has become more of a problem with her going for my face. At first, she would bite at my face while I was sleeping. I eventually just decided it would be best to keep her out of my room at night. (Now, she has her own bed right outside my bedroom door.) Then, she started to nip at my face while I would be lying on the couch watching television. Now, it has escaladed to a point where she wants to bite at my face whenever she can.

As I mentioned before, she loves to be held and will stand on her hind legs and paw at my leg for me to pick her up. However, sometimes when I pick her up, she seems perfectly fine and happy, then she will go after my chin, nose or cheek and bite down. (Hard enough for it to hurt quite a bit!)

She is spayed, has plenty of toys (and likes to play with them all), gets fed a good food on a regular schedule, and always has a clean litter box. I am at a loss as to what to do to correct this behavior. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to fix this behavior?
post #2 of 2
I know how you feel, my 6-month old thinks that by nipping at my nostrils in the morning...I'll wake up happy...their teeth are sharp and it hurts.

I've had a biter...anywhere on my body..it didn't matter to him....and one biter who only bit my hands.....both times, the Vet said that the cat isn't being aggressive....he is telling me something. The hand biter was telling me that he didn't want his tummy rubbed...okay, I stopped rubbing his tummy. The 'anywhere' biter was simply 'playing'......apparently kittens play like that....it's being affectionate...obviously it doesn't hurt them like it hurts us.

The only way that I stopped unappropriate behaviour was to: say NO very loudly; grab the offending cat part..in this case, her mouth (perhaps in the open position); and give a good hearty push at it. Not enough to harm her, but enough to make her feel uncomfortable. Then release...and say in a nice voice..good kitty....give pets...and hugs, etc. Do the first three things simutaneously...so she gets the idea that by biting you....it makes you annoyed, loud, and perhaps gives her a little jolt.

It will take time and persistance, but she is young and will hopefully catch on quickly. You cannot let biting escalate...she will become stronger in the jaw and more determined to do it. By making her sleep outside the room..is safer for you, but doesn't teach her to stop biting.....

If you have children....it's something like teaching a child not to stick its tongue out...all kids do it...and we don't like it. Cats have a short attention span...so the NO, grabbing and pushing immediately upon the moment of the bite will reinforce to your cat that the action results in a uncomfortable moment for her. She will 'get' it....and by praising her immediately after you release her mouth.....she will 'get' that by not biting gives her pleasure with a pet or hug. Keep repeating the pattern everytime.....

Good Luck! I hope this helps!
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