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How to get ragdoll kitten to stop biting?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi there, I recently adopted a ragdoll kitten, male. He's 5 months now, and he likes to bite me and my fiancee. It's never random, sometimes he does it after we pet him too long and I understand it's over stimulation and we try to see the cues and stop petting before then. Other times, he's purring and he seems to be really into the petting and then he'll turn around, grab my wrist with his front paws, and bite my hand while he rabbit kicks with his back legs. Sometimes we just put our hand near his nose so he can smell us before we pet him and he'll bite or if we hold him too long. It's never a hard bite and it never breaks skin or hurts, but we're concerned that once his adult teeth grow in they'll be much sharper and we want to deter the behaviour early on. 


We're saying firmly 'No' over and over when he bites and sometimes he'll stop and lick us instead. I've also tried the 'no' and walk way and ignore him. We've done this for a month and it hasn't really changed his behaviour at all. We'd like to be able to handle him without the biting, and we definitely don't push ourselves onto the cat. We hardly pet him for more than a minute or hold him for more than a minute at a time. Is there anyway to increase his tolerance and get him to use other ways to communicate besides biting? We play with him twice a day until he's panting, and he has lots of toys out. 

post #2 of 4

Has he been neutered yet? Once cats are fixed they tend to settle down a lot.


My cat is 3, and still can get "worked up" from time to time....petting, then a slight nip with her teeth. We say "no" in a firm voice and walk away. This works wonders. 


I also walk our cat almost everyday as she's an indoor cat. When we go, it's normally 30 minutes, we come in for a snack, then she sleeps.. Walking your kitten may be another way to burn off energy! Since he's young, it would be easy to start harness training him for walks later.


Be consistent whenever you're redirecting and "correcting" behaviour. "No" and walk away is a great way...or use a wand toy or laser pointer to redirect the energy and attention.

post #3 of 4

Sounds like he's overstimulated, especially if he's doing this during petting.  Since he's only 5 mons old, he needs A  LOT more playtime.  He should be playing all the time!  He's got a lot of kitten energy to burn off.  If possible, and you want to, adopt a playmate for him that's roughly the same age.  The kittens will help each other learn more appropriate play manners. 


When you see this behavior happening, redirect him with a toy that he can bunny kick.  Kickaroos are wonderful for this.  Also, if he does it to you, hiss at him.  That's what a mother kitty would do.  If he latches on, gently push into him so he'll release.  If you pull away, he'll clamp down harder or think of you as prey and will continue pursuing you. 

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

He's been neutered and our breeder has a contract that we can't bring him outside at all. We also live in a dense urban area so it's not the safest for walks anyway, even though I've considered it. We never pet him when he's in 'play' mode or active, usually it's when he's sleepy. I will definitely try the kickeroo, he gets bored of all his toys so easily. We have the dabird that he's bored of already and won't chase anymore, a mouse wand toy, a fish wand toy, a ton of different types of store bought balls and home made paper/foil balls, and the turbo scratcher and a scratching post. I've tried rotating them but once he's bored of it, even if it's been away from a couple of weeks he isn't interested in them again. We just chased him around at 1am cleaning poop off his behind. First time and we ended up having to disinfect the entire apartment and give him a bath. If he wasn't so cute and loved... lol. 

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