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File his teeth down?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I was just curious if it was possible to file a cat's teeth down so they wouldn't be as sharp. I have his claws under control with soft paws (rubber covers over his claws) but he still bites pretty hard when I get playing rough.

It might seem silly, but I figure since I got my teeth filed down at the dentist (front teeth were slightly jagged from chipping when I was a child) that it's gotta be possible for cats too.

One might think that it would be bad for their eating, but my cat only eats dry food, and aren't his canine teeth really the wrong kind of teeth to be eating that with anyhow? Would them being slightly more dull make it harder for him to eat? I would only seriously consider something like this if there were no ill side effects to my kitten!

And do you think them being a little more dull will really help? Is it just that he has really powerful jaws, or is it more of the sharpness of the teeth?
post #2 of 8
I think that it would actually cause some major dental problems. Like with humans when we Grind our teeth it basicly files them down causeing nerve damage and trust me as a teeth grinder IT'S PAINFUL!!!!!!!! I don't know if it would effect the kitties the same way but I sure wouldn't try it. you might want to look into teaching him not to bite you when you are playing I know my little guy Kitman is a biter when he plays but it's to the point now where everytime I go to pet him unless he is alseep he tries to (play) bite me. I think it would be best to juet to teach him that you won't play with him if he bites. But that's just my opinion.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well I know with humans there's a good amount you can file down, so I figure it would be the same way with cats. I'd probably never really do it, I'm really just pretty curious.
post #4 of 8
I cannot imagine why you would want to do something like that to your cat if he doesn't need it for medical reasons.

From your cat's perspective, biting is completely normal, and it is simply a matter of retraining your cat that biting isn't OK. It's likely that the harder part is retraining yourself not to treat your hands as toys.

I really can't imagine that it would be OK for your cat - they are so prone to problems with their teeth and gums as it is, because let's face it - who actually brushes all their cats' teeth every week?

I don't know how old your cat is, but it is very easy to train kittens not to bite. Just like two or three-year olds, they will constantly try - but if you are consistent in not allowing them to associate biting with play, depending upon the cat it should only take a few days to a few weeks to break them of this habit.

It may take longer for older cats, but again, the process of retraining them is pretty much the same.

For older cats:

1) Do not ever play with your hands. Period. Always use a toy.

2) If your cat starts to bite during play, immediately drop the toy you are holding and make your hand go limp. Blow a puff of air in your cat's face.

That's it. They will learn that biting is not acceptable play.

For kittens, if they're just romping around and skip over and nip at our ankles or something, we keep lots of bendy straws handy. We just substitute a straw for the ankle they wanted. Same thing if we're in bed and they nip at our hands. If they drop the straw and persist in chasing the ankle or hand, then we give a puff of air in the face - and immediately give them the straw back (or play with them for a minutes with the straw). They generally learn very quickly that the straw is the toy, not the hand or ankle.

It works - but you have to be willing to teach your cat that hands are not toys. Just skip the straw with older cats and go directly to the puff of air (they're not teething).
post #5 of 8
Laurie is right, filing down a cat's teeth will prove painful for them, opens them up to infections and mouth disease and is an unneccessary action to take against a biting cat. She gives you wonderful ideas of how to redirect biting. Also if your cat has your hand and is biting it, the normal reaction is to pull away, don't. Instead gently push your hand further into the mouth, this disengages the teeth, startles the cat, and he opens his mouth wider and you can release your hand. If you are rubbing your cat's belly and he bites you. Don't rub his belly. Most cat's do not like this, and kittens are not used to it. Whatever is prompting this cat to bite you, figure it out and stop the activity. But please do not file the teeth down on your cat!
post #6 of 8
I agree with LDG and Hissy, If the cat bites do not play any more or do not pet them in that area. Some cats can become Over Stimulated really quick, so get to know your cat. Our older cat only likes to be petted on the top of his head, anywhere else he will bite you. Everyone know this, so you are own your own with him.
And as stated, Do not use your bodyparts as play toys, when you do you will have a cat that bites. Get those cat toys on strings or the sticks, or better yet you can make your own. Cats love to play with anything that moves .
post #7 of 8
I wouldn't file the teeth down. When I am playing with my cats, if they start to bite, I "redirect" them to a toy. I really only have this problem with Amber, since she is still a kitten. She has a rope made from old socks, that she got a hold of and chewed to pieces. Whe she starts to bite, which is never that hard, I put the socks by her mouth, so she can bite them. Also, I agree with Hissy about putting your finger further in their mouth. Amber will let go and usually licks my hand.
post #8 of 8
Good one to know, MA. I haven't ever had the problem of adult cats biting, but working with ferals, you never know. That knowledge could come in handy some day.
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