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He bit me!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
It has been months since he's done it, and I thought he was broken of the habit, but last night, without any provocation, Zane bit me.
post #2 of 15
Aww... maybe he was just having a flash back. I don't think any habit is ever completly broken. Hope it's not too serious.
post #3 of 15
Is he biting so hard that he draws blood (like my Mother's cat does), or is he just clamping his teeth on you and pressing hard (like my Max & Wayne did)?
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAXCAT08 View Post
Is he biting so hard that he draws blood (like my Mother's cat does), or is he just clamping his teeth on you and pressing hard (like my Max & Wayne did)?
Usually the latter, although he has the former.
post #5 of 15
When a cat bites, he's usually showing frustration. Can you think if there was something that he wanted..to let out, to eat. Were you touching/petting him and he decided that he didn't want you to continue?

Cat biting is hard to eliminate, it seems to be an innate behaviour. We have to figure out why and avoid the triggers. It's a shame because it hurts and can cause lawsuits. Cats have to be separated from company in case they strike. We can't truly enjoy our pets because we sure don't want to be bitten, be it our hands or our face. They can be fast about it too!!

Perhaps an animal behavoralist can help to break the habit again, so that you don't live in fear of being bitten.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAXCAT08 View Post
When a cat bites, he's usually showing frustration. Can you think if there was something that he wanted..to let out, to eat. Were you touching/petting him and he decided that he didn't want you to continue?
He doesn't go out and has an automatic feeder.
post #7 of 15
Is light biting ALWAYS bad? I have a kitten who will sometimes pounce my feet/lower legs, fall, and start nibbling on my feet and toes. Rarely when I'm barefoot though; I think she's either afraid I'll harm her back or she doesn't want to harm me in the first place. Personally, I find it adorable as she gnaws away with her paws wrapped around my foot. To me it seems like she's rough-housing and playing with me.

She'll also bite my hands and wrists from time to time, but it's never out-of-the-blue. Usually we're playing a bit beforehand and she'll clamp down on me, release, and repeat. And again, I see it as playing. But can either of these develop in behavioural problems?

Not once has she broken skin. Only left marks.
post #8 of 15
Light biting by a kitten is totally normal...they are 'tasting' their new environment. The same with chasing your feet and hands..it is all play with them.

It's when they are older, after their baby teeth have fallen out, they actually start stalking your hands, feet, etc. By the age of about 6 months..all biting should stop. After than it can be hard to stop the behaviour.

It's trying to find the trigger to their biting that can be the problem. Sometimes a cat is just plain aggressive...and will never stop biting. I wouldn't like to always live in fear of being bitten. What kind of relationship is that with your cat? Some cats will stop after a few strict sessions on what is acceptable and what is not.

Really, accept chewing and chasing up to about 4 months...after that start being a little stern with them if they bite. Remove your hand, foot, etc...or simply get up and walk away. When they play without biting..really praise them and let them know that non-biting play is totally acceptable. Let them bite toys..perhaps their teeth are bothering them. If they open their mouth to bite....stick a soft toy in their mouth. It does work...I've done it. Not one of my kittens bite now....wouldn't even think of it. They may bite, gently, each other, but never me.

If they still want to bite..try playing away from your body...get a long stick with feathers, etc, or a laser pointer..in other words...you two are playing, but are separated from each other.

If they attack you while you're doing nothing..you have a problem. They are hunting, and stalking you. Again, I would try playing at a distance with them. Perhaps there are behaviour books that give some better tips.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
He doesn't go out and has an automatic feeder.
How old is your cat?
post #10 of 15
Thanks for the info!

Is misting using a spray bottle a good idea when they bite or get too aggressive? I usually use a combination of the spray bottle and a sharp hissing sound to discipline her, as I'd rather not make any physical contact with her (ie. hitting, patting, etc.)
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAXCAT08 View Post
How old is your cat?
About nine. He was a stray my father took in, so we can't be sure.
post #12 of 15
Using a spray bottle and hissing at her at this point probably makes her think that you are playing or that you are mad at her. It is always recommended to be out of sight when using a spray bottle..which is hard if she is close enough to bite you....and the hissing...that has no affect on a cat. It only has an affect if it comes from another cat. A sharp NO in a firm voice is a good disciplining tool. You want her to know that you mean business. As soon as she stops biting...have a nice soft voice and pet her to make her understand that the action of biting is bad, and not biting is good. They don't have the memory retention of a child, where you can explain later....think of a 6 mo old baby...you can't talk to the child or explain in words what is wrong so you use actions and the tone of your voice.

It's a bit of cat psychology and understanding that they are basically non-verbal beings with very short attention spans.
It is certainly good to start off at the kitten stage. Be firm and be consistent and understand that they don't mean any harm at that age. So we have to redirect their interest.
post #13 of 15
Hissing does actually work in some cases. When she was little she would get into or onto places she wasn't allowed and I would react by hissing then picking her up and moving her away. Now she recognizes the hiss as a "Bad kitty!" and rarely does she go to those places any more. And when she still does (example: when she hops onto the dinner table) I'll hiss and she'll hop off and go to somewhere she's allowed, like the chair or sofa/couch.

My guess is it must vary from cat-to-cat. I know plenty of people who have raised their kittens on "No" and it works fine. But it never worked at all with Zoe. She would just stare at me like I have three heads, even as I moved her away from where ever she was, heh.
post #14 of 15
It makes sense that different techniques works for different kitties. At least you found a sound to warn her of danger. That's the important thing!
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zane's Pal View Post
About nine. He was a stray my father took in, so we can't be sure.
That makes it hard to figure out why he's doing it. At nine, he's pretty set in his ways. Hopefully he'll have a non-biting stretch again.
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