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How to get kitten to stop attacking my hands!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
We got our kitten when he was about 9 weeks old. He is 5 months old today. my husband wouldnt let me buy any toys for him so he now thinks that our hands are the most wonderful toys to attack and rip apart with his claws.
i recently bought him some toys cus i couldnt take it anymore and he plays with them but he still attacks my hands when ever he sees them. UGH i am going crazy! please help me!
i tell him no and put him in the other room when he does it...but nothing works! i dont believe in getting him declawed. he doesnt do it all the time. when he is all sleepy and snuggly he doesnt do it, but every other waking minute he does! i dont mind him having claws.
i just want him to stop attacking my flesh!

pleeeease help me!
post #2 of 5
Why wouldn't your husband let the kitten have any toys? Midnight will play with my hands, but I let him and want him to. But he knows I'll only play with him like that at night, right before bed time. He knows I won't do it any other time with him. Lynxx used to do that with my father's hands when he was a kitten. He kept it up until he was about a year old, and never played like that again. Maybe if you got your kitten into a routine of only letting him play with your hands at a certain time each day, for a few minutes?

I just recently bought Soft Paws, their the plastic covers you put over your cats claws. That has helped with the scratching, but I haven't really had good luck with them, because a few of them fell off of Midnight's claws the first night and that was with the vet tech putting them on.
post #3 of 5
You might want to check out the sticky on aggressive behavior; there are some good tips there about aggressive play:

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20837

I also wanted to add that he's at a pretty rambunctious age. In my experience, kittens usually grow out of this behavior; just continue to direct him toward the toys rather than your hands.
post #4 of 5
Apart from having learned that hands are toys (which needs to be undone), he's probably finishing teething as well (makes him extra bitey). He's at a really active age, and needs a lot of attention and (re-directed) play.

First of all, put your foot down with hubby. A fully grown cat trying to play with human body parts is not fun for anyone. Hands, arms, feet and legs are NOT toys. Ever.

Get interactive wand toys - but do not leave them out (or he may eat the string). da Bird with feathers, the rabbit tail or the mouse are usually a favorite. Neko also makes fabulous wand toys with differing "bugs" at the end of them. Have at least one regular, scheduled play time every day - reward him with praise and treats. The wand toys are really important in this process as they will distance the "toy" from your hand, and are important for his learning.

Buy a box of bendy straws and scatter them everywhere. When they start to get chewed up, throw them away. But they need to be handy for this transition. When he goes to play with hands - grab a wand toy or bendy straw, and redirect him.

Use a firm "no" for when he goes to play with hands. Right now, he doesn't know this is wrong, so just the "no" and the attempt to redirect. When he DOES play with a toy or straw or anything other than a human body part, PRAISE HIM TO HIGH HEAVEN. If he doesn't redirect, walk away and ignore him. Or blow a short, sharp puff of air directly in his face and say "no" again, and try to redirect again.

Cats are just like children in that sense. It is almost more important to teach them what is good behavior with praise than it is to discourage "bad" behavior with the negative reinforcement. Right now, he needs to learn what's right more than what's wrong, and praise and redirection are your most important tools in this.

I'd also have his favorite treats handy to reward him for a good play session with the "right" toys. This will go a long way to helping him transition from human body parts to appropriate toys.
post #5 of 5
Try wrapping him in a blanket, or let him outside. Or just wear gloves. If that doesn't work get a water gun or something and spray him with a little water but do it quickly so he doesn't see you.
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