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Suspected kitten teething (and biting!)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Over the past week or so, our kitten, Iroh, has started biting a lot. He's constantly attacks people's feet and legs and tries to gnaw on people's fingers and arms. He's just over four months old now and I think he may be starting to teeth which I've heard can cause an increase in biting.

Blowing in his face when he bites only seems to spur him to jump at you more, so instead I hiss really loudly at him and try to hold him down for a few seconds by his scruff which I've heard is what a mother cat would do.

Are there any other tips anyone can give me to help Iroh and us through this teething process? I've heard that wetting a towel and chilling it can help ease his gums. What else have you tried that works well and helps with the biting problem?
post #2 of 8
3-5 months is prime teething time... some have told me a slightly wet rag frozen can help, some like thick straws ( this you have to use EXTERME care with), pet stores sell "teethers" for not much ( or make your own with semi durable fabric you can moisten and freeze )
post #3 of 8
Awh, I know that can be rough on hands and feet, but it's also a stage that will pass.

Let's see, some tips...

Never deliberately roughhouse with him using your hands or feet (I'm sure you know that, but just in case).

When he goes to bite you, put a stuffed toy between his face and your skin and let him bite and kick the toy.

If he persists, hissing, as you said, is a good tactic, as is simply turning your back or walking away (cats do so hate to be ignored).

That's all I've got off the top of my head. Distract, discourage and ignore. I'm sure other folks will come along with more suggestions.
post #4 of 8
I'm learning on this topic! It's been sooo long since I've had a teething kitten! When I found Dusky she was already 5 months and I suppose well past that stage. Mojo is getting to the 3 month stage and is definitely starting the biting thing. This advice is great.
post #5 of 8
I don't mind when lil' Siren bites on my hand. I have pretty tough hands from hard work and injury through out my life. By letting her do this now could I be setting her up for bad behavior later in life?

I love to have hands on play time with her. Some times I use soft toys but I don't stop her if that gets kicked aside.
post #6 of 8
Yes, letting her bite you now is "teaching" her that human limbs are toys, and you are setting her up for bad behavior later in life.

It's fun, and some people do play with their hands with cats, but it's best NOW to teach her hands are not toys - and introduce hands as toys later if that's very important to you. Best not to confuse the little thing during this phase.

Cats learn best through positive reinforcement and redirection. The lesson she needs to learn is that humans are not for biting, toys are.

Sharky warns about the risks of straws - and while you have to keep an eye on them, we have always used bendy straws. We would buy a big bag and scatter them EVERYWHERE. They seem to be a great consistency for teething kitties. When kitty attacks our hands or feet or whatever, since blowing the puff of air in her face isn't helping, just focus on the redirection. Grab a straw and encourage her to play with it. When she does, praise the heck out of her. If she goes for a hand, give her a straw and walk away.

Whenever she plays appropriately for the next few weeks, praise her a lot.
Whenever she goes for hands or feet, try to redirect her to something appropriate - praise her like crazy and encourage it - if she doesn't go for it, ignore her and walk away.

She needs to learn that she doesn't get attention for bad behavior - she gets attention and praise for good behavior.

The straws do get chewed up after a while, so when you see a lot of holes in them throw them away, because kitty can ingest little pieces of them - but that isn't a risk until they're over-chewed, so just don't let them get to that point. This phase should only be a few weeks to a month or so.
post #7 of 8

Help I have not had a little kitten in such a long time! he is 5 months old and teething. Should I be feeding him a soft food now? He came from a breeder and is eating Origen.

post #8 of 8

hi there!

this thread is 3 years old...why dontcha post in nutrition or pregnant cat and kitten care so someone can help u?

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