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A question about Biting

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My cat elliot is a pretty smart boy. He sits, begs, turns around in a circle, and today I just successfully got him to *WILLINGLY* shake hands! But we have a little problem in the treat department. Whenever I give him the treat he just lunges for it and ends up biting my fingers. Now, I always give him the treat if he at least thinks about doing the trick, so I dont know where this would come from. We have other cats, but none of them compete for the treats. I know discipline is NOT the answer, I wouldnt like it either if I did what someone told me to do and then they told me that I was bad! But I was wondering if anyone had any tips on stopping this? I was thinking of holding the food in my fist and not giving it to him until he took it nicely, while saying "Nice, Eli" Would this work? Or would you reccomend a different way? He doesnt show any type of food aggresssion, he's just a little piggy I think O_O THanks for any feedback!
post #2 of 4
I wouldn't treat him very often, and I would but the treat in a bowl and then give it to him. Cats are not dogs, even though some cats sit up and beg and play fetch. They are not programmed the same, and it is usually a matter of conditioning and training from us that make these cats act un-catlike.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Oh, yes I know they arent programmed the same XD WHere a dog will willingly do anything for you for either a pat or a good word or a treat, you have to do it when the cat wants it, the cats way. Elliot always liked playing fetch, he learned that by himself. The other ones I picked because they are easy ones. I think that most cats are ok with easy tricks but get bored of doing the more complicated ones. Any cat owner definitely knows that cats are waaaaaay different from dogs xD. As it is even if I have food he might not do the trick O_O The thing is for the tricks is that I say up and hold the food above his head and he begs for it, for round I hold the food in my hand and say round and make a spin motion, or tap his side to make him turn. For Shake I hold the food in one hand, and shake his paw with the other, so the bowl thing isnt really an option O_O. He'd most likely get mad at me for not giving him the food right away and not do the tricks anymore.

Besides, the cats like it. Its sort of a bonding thing you both can do, where the cat gets food and praise and pettings just for standing on its hind legs XD
post #4 of 4
I was a dog owner, too. One thing I had to learn was that the cat is not going for the treat, she is going for "the kill" -- the object of her attack. And anything can conceivably become "the kill", so I would not put myself in a position where a part of my body would be in close proximity to her target.

With Nano, we play for however long and then I feed her treats at the end of the session. It is for her exercise, to get her pent-up energy out, to get her "killer" instinct practiced, etc. But the treats all come at the end and I feed them on a shallow plate.

Instead of using the treat as the object of her attact, maybe try using Cat Dancer toy sprayed with Catnip flavor? It gets Nano's attention -- sight, smell -- but there is no damage if she gets very aggressive and rips the whole thing out of my hand. Anyway, I don't make treats part of the actual play and don't have any advice beyond "wear gloves" if that's what you want to do.
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