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He won't stop biting me

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
No matter how many times I redirect him to a toy or tell him no or cry out in pain, he still bites me. It's mainly when he is really active, excited and playing. If I stop playing with him he'll bite my foot or my hand or my arm. If he's playing (biting and wrestling) with his stuffed animal, he'll all of a sudden stop and come at me. I'm wondering if giving him a stuffed animal to "attack" was a bad idea now.

Sometimes in the morning when I'm getting ready in the bathroom I have to take him out of there and close the door on him so I can get ready in time to leave for work. When I get out of the bathroom and go to the bedroom he'll bite my feet/ankles. Is he reacting to me not letting him play in the bathroom?

How long is it going to take until he learns to stop biting me?!? I guess I'm just not accustomed to this because my other cat, Monti, never acted like this.

BTW, Poppy is getting neutered on 04/27. He's 5 months old now.
post #2 of 12
I always sort out the dominance issues with kittens, personally I put them on their back and gently but firmly hold paws so that they realise what the pecking order is. That might be a little cruder than other ideas but I've never caused a cat any pain doing it.

It's only natural for a young animal to find out what the boundaries are and I don't really like to smack a cat. My little burmese Cooper is a very dominant little animal but if I say no! in a firm voice he stops whatever he is doing pretty quickly!
post #3 of 12
Poppy sounds like he is just full of P&V (piss and vinegar), as my mom would say. My boy was/is like this too - and even though he's almost 2, I still can't get ready in the bathroom without him knocking everything over and getting into things. He occasionally will have a little freak-out when I'm putting my belt on, and climb my leg - used to be cute when he was a kitten, but now it just hurts. Usually when I say "OW" in a loud voice, he gets the picture. Sometimes, he will still bite me when we are playing, and when I saw "ow, be easy" loudly, he seems to get it. And then I always stop playing with him, so that he knows the biting is not ok. Poppy could still be in the teething stage as well. Some kitties are just more oral than others, as I've discovered with mine....and like to chew and bite, even after they are way past teething. Mine destroys all his toys cause he chews them to bits...anyway, good luck - I think he will grow out of it somewhat as he gets older.
post #4 of 12
At five months, Poppy is teething! He is in the "bitey" period. He's not mad about being allowed in the bathroom - his baby teeth are coming out and his adult teeth are coming in.

You definitely need to teach him not to bite people, and there's two basic things to do.

Make sure he has LOTS of appropriate things to chew on. During teething, we - and a lot of other people - have had GREAT success with bendy straws. They're a durable plastic they don't chew to shreds - just make sure you throw them out when they start getting chewed up. Scatter the entire box around the house so they are EVERYWHERE.

Whenever he bites you, lean down, blow a short, sharp puff of air in his face, say "NO" firmly, hand him a bendy straw, and walk away.

He learns "no," he learns what is appropriate to chew on, he learns he gets ignored for biting people.

And he should be done teething in another month or two.

So it's not that redirection isn't working - it's that you've just got to keep it up until his adult teeth are in. And do keep putting him out of the bathroom. He's not biting you because he's mad about not being in there.

post #5 of 12

Yeah, what she said. I don't know how to link to a previous thread but I posted one some weeks ago called Need Help Training the Cat/Boyfriend.. because I had the same problem. Except Genever is 1.5 years old. But she acts like she's teething. She has gotten a lot better but is still bitey at times.

The straws work for sure. I'd have never thought of that before Laurie suggested it, but it's true! Except i don't leave them out when i'm not around because she DID chew bits off and I don't want any choking. When you pet Poppy, have a straw in the other hand, or since he gets you all the time, carry a straw around with you all the time? The blowing in the face really works too! It's amazing, you can yell in pain, anger, whatever, but that air in the face really lets them know they're in the wrong.

I ended up getting a dog chew toy that's really cool, it's a bone shaped thing covered in tennis ball material. It says SolidCore on it, i found it in the tennis ball section of dog toys in Petco, it is solid, but it gives, and G loves to chew on it and lick it, especially when covered in catnip..

Consistency is KEY- I did train the boyfriend so he, too, id consistent with not letting her bite. And like i said, over the past month or so she has gotten a LOT better. If i pet her and she gets like she wants to attack my hand, she might grab it, but then more often than not she'll just lick it instead of bite. Yay! I hope your little grey one catches on soon too!!
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I don't know why but I thought he'd be done teething by now. Maybe because he's growing so fast and I thought the adult teeth would come in fast too.

I just so happened to have a box of bendy straws in my cupboard. He chewed on them during the day yesterday but now he doesn't seem interested in them. I'll leave some out for him though.

Whenever he bites you, lean down, blow a short, sharp puff of air in his face, say "NO" firmly, hand him a bendy straw, and walk away.
LDG, I tried that last night when we were playing and he looked at me funny but then he didn't try biting me the rest of the night.

mycherona, Poppy is definitely full of P&V!

Thanks for all the suggestions.
post #7 of 12
Oh wow, does he ever look like my "psycho" cat Oliver I had as a kid. He would attack everyone ALL the time. It was terrifying to walk around the house. He would use his claws to climb up exposed skin on a regular basis.

I would say maybe its his age. Where did he come from? Is he a barn cat? (I just ask because Oliver was a barn cat and he was NUTS.)
post #8 of 12
the face blowing definitely doesn't work with my cat....lol
post #9 of 12
Originally Posted by mycherona View Post
the face blowing definitely doesn't work with my cat....lol
Sorry it doesn't work for your kitty!

Poppy, I'm glad it's helping. At this age, when feral, they're no longer with their moms (usually). But mom kitties teach them "no" by hissing at them (or bopping them on the head), and the short, sharp puff of air directly in the face (with Flowerbelle we have to do it three or four times quickly, so once doesn't work for all kitties ) is usually a good human equivalent.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Trouts mom View Post
I would say maybe its his age. Where did he come from? Is he a barn cat? (I just ask because Oliver was a barn cat and he was NUTS.)
Poppy was found outside at 7 weeks old, with two sisters and no mom. I adopted him when he was 9 weeks old.

Poppy is also very loving. He loves to snuggle when he's all sleepy and he rubs his nose into my nose and licks my chin and nose. He doesn't purr very much though...but when he does it's very loud.
post #11 of 12
what works for my 10 week old kitten that constantly wants to bite on something is the blow of air in their face. i tried tapping him on the nose and saying no but that wasnt working, he just would assume i'm giving him the fingure to bite on. but blowing him in the face has been working like a charm. it doesnt hurt him or anything but he gets confused and a bit annoyed. so he tries a couple times but now he barely ever bites my fingures (never toes) and when he does it's a very careful and gentle try to see if he's going to get that blow in the face because of it... and he does. Now he bites on everything else but me... which i'm ok with for now. be consistant and gentle. the reason blowing in the face (or similar actions) work well is because they dont particularly know it's comming from you. they just feel a buff of air everytime they bite you so they think it's the fingure it's comming from and that slowly drives them away. the less they know it's comming from you, the less chance of them rebelling against it or disliking you for it. your kitten will probably grow out of it or at least get calmer as he grows up but for now try gentle way of annoying him when he misbehaves.
post #12 of 12
You might find that after he is neutered he calms down a little, although I have the same problem with Jasper and although he does it less, he still does it! We have lots of little toy mice around and when he's in a playful mood we throw them to keep him occupied. If he's at face height blowing on his face works quite well, but sometimes he gets out of control over excited and I wrap him up in a blanket, carry him to the spare room and lock him in until he calms down (usually about 5-10 mins) and then he's all cuddly and appologetic!
The best thing we've found is to not give him any attention when he goes for you, chances are he's only playing and if he gets no play from biting he'll find a different way to get your attention. Also, keep his nails short so that when he does go for you it doesn't hurt as much!
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