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Aggressive Kitten

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We have a kitten who is 4 months old. After the first week of getting him, he started lunging at both of us for no reason. One minute he can be purring around you, and the next, he is attacking us. He bites down on our arms and holds on to it, and shouting at him does not make him stop. He bites so hard that it is very hard to pull him off. We have tried squirting water at him, and pulling him off and ignoring him, but he comes straight back at us! Has anyone got any suggestions on what we can do, and why he is acting this way?
post #2 of 11
Hi, and welcome to TCS! A good article for you to read is Cat Aggression toward People It was written by our webmaster, Anne, who is an expert on feline behavior. If you need further help after reading the article, please let us know.

EDIT: You didn't say if this is your first cat or not, so just in case you could use a little more information here's an article on Cat's play behavior It could be that your kitten just needs to be redirected with an appropriate cat toy when he starts attacking you.
post #3 of 11
I would disagree that your kitten is being aggressive, he is still quite young, and he is being a kitten. You are a playtoy to him until you prove him otherwise. He will lunge at you because he is learning and growing. You are his mama, and if he were with momcat, he would be doing the same thing. It is how they learn to defend, to hunt, and yes to attack. Neutering him if he isn't already neutered will help. Giving him interactive playtime with toys, instead of your arm, legs, or feet will also help.

A good way to burn off this energy is to get a big cardboard box and make some openings in the sides of the box, big enough that he can easily get through them, but not on the ground level. Cut the flaps off one of the sides of the box and toss some ping pong balls inside. Kittens love this, they can go over the top of the box to play, bat the balls around without you having to retrieve them under a heater or fridge, and they can leap through the holes if they wish.

Another good play toy is Da Bird- or a laser toy. I personally just use a small flashlight with the lights off at night, and give my cats a good chase. That way I don't have to worry about getting the light in their eyes accidentally and blinding them.

You might also consider getting a second kitten about the same age, so your kitty can have a worthy opponent and friend.

When he latches on to your arm, give him a gutteral hiss, just like a mom cat would do. I even growl at my young ones, letting them know this is unacceptable behavior. Avoid the very tempting game of fingers and toes under the blankets. Kittens are not dumb, they know what those objects moving are attached to.

Do interactive play with him at least 15 mintues twice a day. Put up the toys inbetween those times, make this a special bonding moment, and because he is attacking, lunging and killing the toy, be sure to end the session with a treat (the reward of the kill)

Good luck!
post #4 of 11
Mine can be like this but he really is playing. Char learns quickly and I do most of the above to redirect him and it helps alot.
post #5 of 11
Tipsy was like this when he was 4 months old as well - we found he calmed down alot once he was neutered
post #6 of 11
I'll second everything that Hissy suggested and will add that consistency with your approach is very important right now. You (and everyone in your household) needs to discipline and/or redirect him EVERY time he attacks you with no exceptions. I have also successfully used the "puff in their face" technique when they latch on - can be used in place of the growl - just purse your lips and give them a little puff of air in their face.

Water bottles have never worked for me. They only teach them what not to do and not what is appropriate behavior. When they are so young and learning about life, they need to understand what is right.
post #7 of 11
Not that this helps STOP the biting immediately, but the natural response when you are being bitten is to pull away ... instead, try pushing into his bite and my guess is that he will detach on his own. He may grab again but push into it again and push harder with each attack. He'll learn to stop biting because he is getting pushed back - he will sense that your kung fu is much, much stronger than his kung fu. *grin*

Hope this helps at least some.

post #8 of 11
Also watch that puff of air. On some kittens it will work, but on others it launches them into aggressive attack mode. Just ask Prowler! And my shredded lip!
post #9 of 11
All of Hissy's advice is absolutely right... The other thing that you need to remember about the biting is that around 5 or 6 months old, their teeth are starting to come in... their baby fangs will fall out and the adult ones will grow in... so they are teething... and you are the most delicious thing in the world to them ... Gayef is also right about the kitty kung fu... My best friend takes Kung Fu and he taught Malakai that he is the boss by Tiger Clawing him a few times... Now, he has a respect for Adrian that he doesnt have for me... Believe me, at their age they dont respond to yelling or hitting... That is playful for them... Malakai and I play this game for a little while each day where I wear a long sleeved sweatshirt, push him around and let him attack and bite at my arms... i dont let him see my hands tho... just the sleeved arm so he doesnt associate the biting with my skin.. just the 'object' moving at him... Although it doesnt really deter him from biting... LoL
post #10 of 11
Same with Jazzy before, the first time we got hime was worst. He just keep biting me for no reason, it's like he is trying to show his affection. He got fixed and it was a lot better. But sometimes, I am playing with him with a fishing pole, he will just attack my hand. I stopped playing and say no and walk away.
post #11 of 11
Simon did that for a while. And I really was Mama, having bottle fed him. But I've done everything that Hissy suggested, and Simon, now just 7 months old, has become much more "gentle." Oh, don't get me wrong - he's still a rowdy kitten, but he's appropriately rowdy; he attacks, kills, and then parades the feather wands about the house...instead of coming after me, my feet, my face, my hair, and my everything else.

Hang in there; your wee guy is being a kitten. And while on occasion a kitten can resemble Devil Spawn from darkest Hell, he really isn't possessed.

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