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New kitten being aggressive

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
As some of you know, I recently adopted an 8 week old Siamese kitten from a breeder. NORMALLY, he's a sweetheart, but about 20% of the time, he just becomes aggressive... he will lick my hand, then start biting VERY hard.. and if I walk around, he will attack my feet. With or without socks. And will NOT let go. We've tried the basics --- yelling no, hissing, even scruffing. None work... when we scruff he resists and bites WHILE we are scruffing him... SOMETIMES he will let go if we hiss but it's working less and less.

How can we teach him that my extremities are not playthings? I don't use my hands or feet to play with him, but I know the breeder did.



And to prove the point, here he wouldn't even let me put my sock ON...

post #2 of 15
This is why kittens should stay with their mother until they are 10-12 weeks old, so they learn these things are not OK.

He should *never* be allowed to get away with it. If he gets overstimulated & bites - he needs to be removed from the situation (but not punished by swatting, etc).

Don't use any of the toys that are like gloves, it only encourages him to bite hands/fingers. Play with him interactively with a wand toy at least 2x a day for 15 mins each time.
post #3 of 15
Get a laser pointer! It'll keep him very occupied and well away from your hands.

I have a cat who also did this and I found that the only thing that worked (and worked very quickly, might I add) was yelping loudly every time he grabbed hold of me. He knew he hurt me, got upset, left and came back to snuggle with me. Then we played with a fishing pole-type toy and he was still able to get his energy out. He was such a quick learner in this regard and while he still gets feisty once in a great while, he still knows what it means when Momma yelps.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iheartstrays View Post
Get a laser pointer! It'll keep him very occupied and well away from your hands.

I have a cat who also did this and I found that the only thing that worked (and worked very quickly, might I add) was yelping loudly every time he grabbed hold of me. He knew he hurt me, got upset, left and came back to snuggle with me. Then we played with a fishing pole-type toy and he was still able to get his energy out. He was such a quick learner in this regard and while he still gets feisty once in a great while, he still knows what it means when Momma yelps.
We've tried yelping... he ignores it... it's hard to get him to listen... I actually feel like he doesn't make the connection between my hands, my feet, and -me-, sometimes... he doesn't bite at my face (though he does at my glasses, but not -me-), only licks it... particularly my nose :P.
post #5 of 15
Most breeders keep the ittens until they are 12-16 weeks old.
I wonder why they let him go so young.
Try using teasers.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Just wear him out so he doesn't incessantly use me as a toy? It's worse now because he JUST figured out last night that he can climb my bed.

We were also thinking about adopting a second kitten (not from the breeder) to give him someone to play with and socialize with... so he can learn what not to do from someone that can give him kitten-like feedback.
post #7 of 15
Oh no an attack kitten!

I'd suggest you immediately stop "playing" with him and completely ignore him when he starts acting up. Give him a few seconds to calm down then distract with a new toy (so let him have the sock or whatever).

I made the big mistake of encouraging rough play with one of our family cats, it's not so cute now that he's full grown! (Although my husband still wrestles with him, it's hilarious to watch!! )

Adopting a second kitten isn't a bad idea, but I've always found that, like dogs, when you adopt two young cats at the same time they are going to bond much closer to each other then you.
post #8 of 15
Tiny has this problem. He had it when he came, but since he came he has learned not to bite hard or pull out his claws, to stop pouncing on feet, and to back off when I tell him to back off. That's as good as it's going to get for him; he's a very easily overstimulated cat, and he'll probably always impulsively pounce on hands when he's feeling nervous and like he simply has to move or he's going to go nuts.

Tiny's aggression is play aggression. The only two things that ever worked for him were ignoring him whenever he started attacking hands or feet, or catching it before it happens (his body always gets more tense when he gets into that mood) and getting him to play with a toy. Currently I have a sock filled with catnip and plastic bags (for the crinkle) that I get out and toss to him when he's feeling crazy. It all depends on what your cat's favorite toy is. (btw, don't let them play with a catnip/plastic filled sock unsupervised, in case they chew through the sock and end up with plastic in their mouths.)

You're lucky in that your kitten's aggression is obviously of the "play" sort. The other sorts are lots harder to deal with, and this kind can be grown out of somewhat. You have a very young kitten as it is, and that is an advantage Tiny does not have: He was full grown when I picked him off the street; yours is still young and trainable.
post #9 of 15
Rather than another kitten, go for an adult. A playful adult, but one who knows the rules. Putting another kitten in there will possibly result in you have 2 kittens who are biters & have other bad behaviors. An adult can help teach him right from wrong.
post #10 of 15
^Exactly. Though might I suggest a young adult neutered male (<5 years). You'll get a cat that still wants to play and if you find one with a great personality you'll get a "big brother" cat. Those of us with multiple cats, males at least, generally have one of these big brother type cats that are great with kittens and young cats. Sometimes they're more nurturing than a mother cat is with her kittens.


iirc white cat lover has one in the form of Dorian. He's a cat friendly boy, correct? I can think of a few other members that have nurturing males, too.


This isn't to say female cats cannot be nurturing, but my experience is that adult spay females prefer to be left alone a bit more than males do.
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Is there a window of opportunity by which he can no longer easily/effectively be 'taught' not to bite/scratch at me?
post #12 of 15
I think my family's 5 year old cat is a lost cause .

For biting specifically, next time he goes for your finger push it straight into the back of his throat until he gags. You will only ever have to do it once and they will hate you for a little while but I have done this with each of my cats & none of them bite.
post #13 of 15
Usually by 8-10 weeks they learn these behaviors are not acceptible.

And yes, my Dory is "Uncle Dory" for everyone. He teaches them right & wrong - and how to be a complete & total goofball.
post #14 of 15
Sounds like a total guy kitten! Do you think some of the aggession is breed spesific? I have head that the Siamese are really,really "out there"(in a good way).I have always played with my kitten using my hands and feet and she gets a bit wild but nothing like what you described(rescued her at the age of 8-10 wks).Sounds like a very strong willed kitty! I respect that but also sympathize with you.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
It seems that he attacks more often socks and such that do not have a scent... for instance, my girlfriend sleeps with socks, he sniffs her socks, they smell like her, he leaves them alone. I sleep without socks, so I get new socks, they smell like detergent, he attacks them. He does attack bare feet though.

He's gotten better with biting hands from our hissing and 'no's and pushing backs... he's also become very talkative .

He's being better... he's still bad with feet, and does sometimes still attack my feet and hands. Trying to eliminate it.
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