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Kitty likes to bite

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, my recently adopted cat is now getting bolder and getting used to my apartment, but she looks like she has a biting problem. After reading the "I learned something new" thread, I found out not to touch my cat while she's showing her belly. But the thing is, she seems to bite (or at least try to bite), even when she's sitting up and asking for a pet (stares at me blankly and meows).

When I try to pet her when she's lying on her belly, sometime she'll paw at me and grab my arm with both arms and try to bite me. Yesterday she gave me a good scratch with one of her teeth trying to bite me.

It's also very unpredictable when she feels like biting or feels like being petted.

She's also very vocal, she meows at me constantly if I'm not paying attention to her, and when I get up to pet her, she tries to bite, or she'll lure me over to the kitchen (I think I got her hooked on tuna and now she asks for it every minute).

But the wierd thing is, sometimes I can just pass by and pet her, or even pick her up, and she won't do a thing. Or she'll lie down on her side, and I can brush her for hours, and then the next minute she'll put her teeth on me. Thing is, I don't think it's a bite out of aggression or fear, she never puts her claws on me, and she doesn't really try to bite hard (except for yesterday).

So my question is, why is my cat trying to bite me all the time? Should I take her to the vet to get her checked out? I haven't had her long enough to know what normal behavior is, so not sure if this is abnormal or normal. Is there anything I can do to make her quit biting me?

-Lemur 6
post #2 of 17
how old?
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hissy
how old?
Two years old
post #4 of 17
Tuna is not the best thing, espcially as a sole source of food if you end up leaning that way.

To try to get them to stop biteing, let them know even the smallest bite hurts with a yowl or cry of pain. Also let them smell your hand before petting or any time you see them thinking about/trying to bite just freeze, let them smell and see if that helps. It seems to help with my Buddy at least, who is also very vocal and bitey sometimes.

Those are just my opinions, perhaps not the best advice possible.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirque
Tuna is not the best thing, espcially as a sole source of food if you end up leaning that way.

To try to get them to stop biteing, let them know even the smallest bite hurts with a yowl or cry of pain. Also let them smell your hand before petting or any time you see them thinking about/trying to bite just freeze, let them smell and see if that helps. It seems to help with my Buddy at least, who is also very vocal and bitey sometimes.

Those are just my opinions, perhaps not the best advice possible.
Oh yep, the tuna is only a once a week thing, and no matter how much she begs I don't give her any till the next saturday.

See that's the thing, I tried staying still like most of the aggression guides say to do, but she grabs more and bites more if I do that. I tried yelping too, but she just ignores it like she doesn't hear it (and I know she's not deaf).

Is it possible that she's frustated/mad at me for witholding tuna on her and that's what's making her ornery? She never used to do this before I introduced her to tuna.
post #6 of 17
I would say that she is testing you. You need to set your boundaries, and if she bites, then no matter what, don't pet her. Don't worry it is not a forever don't pet her. Just let her adjust to you. Chances are as a kitten during the crucial time 2 weeks old, no one was in her life to handle her, cuddle her, or introduce her to human touch. Perhaps those trying to help her at the shelter, indirectly hurt her with their hands one time or another. So adopt a hands off policy. And some cats are just vocal. If you know for a fact that she is healthy. You have had her to a vet for all the checks, then just stop petting her and stop giving her tuna. It's not good for cats and it makes for finicky and demanding eaters. Contact Plain Brown Tabby and give her the good and safe treats that Pat carries. Wildside Salmon, Grandma Lacy's Tuna Flakes and Kitty Kaviar

Also if she does bite you? Push into her mouth gently into the bite, she will be startled and drop you hand, then slowly withdraw your hand. And be sure to treat the bite wounds aggressively!
post #7 of 17
We're still training Freya that it's not nice to chase us around the house and bite our feet at any opportunity. She seems to do it as more of an affectionate thing, but it hurts x.x And now she's getting used to the squirt bottle, which means we'll have to find something else she doesn't like.

Fortunately, she never breaks the skin, but that might change once she's a bit older than 3 1/2 months XD
post #8 of 17
Billy used to do that. He used to be very vocal, and would bite playfully when you pet him, just the way you described it. Then, he became territorial when his feral mother snuck into the house. Well, he got to the point of attacks.... breaking the skin, hurts really bad for days, need some pretty big bandages biting. He did that twice. Then we put him up for adoption, missed him too much, and got him back before they adopted him out... the next day, Billy became an "it." Yep! We got him fixed, and he's back to normal. No attacking, he's not vocal, and he's even more lovable. He still bites playfully occasionally, but not like before. Maybe you could get her fixed? I'd try Hissy's advice, first, though.
post #9 of 17
Something else to try - get a bunch of inexpensive small stuffed toys - the same size as the collectible ones that have individual names and are so popular (drat, I forget what they are called). You can usually find them in a dollar store or at a thrift store or some place like that. Have them around your house so you can get one into your hand quickly.

When your guy starts to bite, take one of the stuffed toys with your other hand and put it beside your hand or your foot or whatever it is he is biting, and get him to transfer his attentions to the stuffed toy. He will release your hand in doing so and you can then slowly and carefully withdraw your hand while engaging his attention to the toy. Then, let him play with the toy. He may rabbit kick it to shreds or tear the heads off (make sure they are kid and cat proof - not button eyes, stuff like that) but that is ok because you want him to take out his play/aggression on something safe. Eventually, he will make the adjustment from fighting hands and fingers to fighting toys. I have done this with all of my cats and kittens and am fortunate that none of them bite or attack hands, feet or other body parts.

Kathryn
post #10 of 17
If i stroke Rosie too much her tail starts swishing back and forth first, then she'll give me quick snack but not an actual bite to basically tell me she's had enough of the stroking
post #11 of 17
Billy and CJ both will still do it, if I started rubbing too fast.... they think I'm trying to play.
post #12 of 17
Eh I have a Biter. His name is Zorro.

Zorro, for the first 4 months if his life, lived with a guy who kept him locked in a closet. He would hardly ever let the lil guy out and when he DID, he'd beat him off of him (Zorro was your average, loving kitten) AND worse -- he would continue to pick ZOrro up by the scruff of his neck.

I told the idiot that after a kitten is to a certain age, YOU DO NOT pick up a cat by it's scruff!!!! Especially Zorro --- he is a rather large cat --- even as a kitten he was rather large.

Anyway. Zorro came to live with me when he was 4 months; the guy was going to take him to the pound.

Long Story Short:
Zorro bites when he feels threatened or if someone is aggressive. Even if we are totally not aggressive with him, he just lunges at legs or ankles or whatever and bites for no reason. He really is a loving, sweet cat, a big purring lump! But I think from his early kittenhood he's kind of mental. So, for no reason, he will just bite ppl (And draw blood).

He's turning 7 yrs old this May and so far, the biting hasn't stopped. It's just who he is! Your cat might be the same.

Snickers gives "love bites", not the killer blood-drawing bites like Zorro; if ya love on Snickers a whole lot he will gently gnaw at your hair or hands.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hmm... I think I found a method, but I don't know how long I can keep it up. I've been playing with my cat more vigorously and for longer periods of time. I have her chase a piece of string I wiggle about, and I have a small mouse cat toy that she can knock about. After a session, she's so pooped that I can pet her pretty safely.

Also I found a couple warning signs like waving tail back and forth to look for.

She's doing something even weirder now though. I think she's learned that no matter how much she begs, she won't get the tuna. So she's stopped doing that. But now she jumps into the bathtub and sits in there while the leaky faucet drips on her head, and more than once today I had to dry off her head because it was damp.

And gosh, something happened today and my nose is totally clogged, I hope I'm not starting to become allergic to my cat
post #14 of 17
I suspect you may be having a virus that could lead to a cold rather than an unexpected allergic reaction to your cat. Try some decongestents and see if that helps:-)

Mine love the bathtub and taps in the sink. Many cats do, and unless it really bothers you, just let it be. She will find lots of amusement out of trying to catch the water drips - it satisfies her 'hunting' skills as the drips move quickly, plus she then enjoys drinking the water. You can also throw one of her toys into the tub - krinkle balls or small foam balls are great - and she can spend lots of time chasing it around and around the tub. Lots of fun for kitties and great exercise too.

Freija, Abbie and Lion regularly come in with wet heads. We don't have any leaky faucets, but they have all learned how to push against the faucet lever to get the water to drip and do so, regularly.

So, unless it really bothers you, just let her be and don't worry too much about drying off her head unless this is a nice bonding for the two of you - you get to cuddle her face and head with a towel and she gets to enjoy the tousling sensation:-).

Kathryn
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yep you were right, I came down with a bit of a cold... kinda sucks since this is my 3rd time getting sick this year

Biting still seems to come and go, today she tried to bite me a couple times, but just right now she let me touch her stomach and touch her spay wound area (which healed nice and cleanly by the way, never knew a operation could leave such a clean looking scar).

She still seems to get a wet head every now and then when I forget to crank the bathtub faucet shut, and she had a few sniffles and coughs but now they're gone (maybe she gave me her cold?).

I think she wants to wrestle with something, which is why she's always trying to grab my arm with both paws. She was feeling bitey so I put on a thick winter glove and tousled her around a bit and she found it fun to wrestle with, and then she proceeded to wrestle with my foot. Are there any good stuffed animal type toys that are good for cats? I see a lot of them for dogs, but not many for cats. I was planning on getting her this life-size plush facehugger doll (that bug like thing from the Alien movies) from Mediaplay, but they sold out.
post #16 of 17
My ten year old cat sometimes bites for no apparent reason, usually when she's sittin in my lap. When she does I hiss at her like a mother cat would and she's stop immediately and settles right down. It's not cure but it seems to remind her that what she's doing is wrong. Immediately after that she snuggles in tighter, kinda like saying "Sorry dad".
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemur 6
Hmm... I think I found a method, but I don't know how long I can keep it up. I've been playing with my cat more vigorously and for longer periods of time. I have her chase a piece of string I wiggle about, and I have a small mouse cat toy that she can knock about. After a session, she's so pooped that I can pet her pretty safely.

Also I found a couple warning signs like waving tail back and forth to look for.

She's doing something even weirder now though. I think she's learned that no matter how much she begs, she won't get the tuna. So she's stopped doing that. But now she jumps into the bathtub and sits in there while the leaky faucet drips on her head, and more than once today I had to dry off her head because it was damp.

And gosh, something happened today and my nose is totally clogged, I hope I'm not starting to become allergic to my cat

KC drinks from the tub drips here and also likes to rub up against it I think.. she often comes in with a wet head which I cannot stand.. yuck! My GF just loves, thinks its sooo adorable.. blech!
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