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post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi, I recently bought a 2 month old persian kitten named Kenny. He's having some behavioral problems. He scratches (we've bled a few times now) and he bites us. WE're thinking of getting him declawed if this problem persists. Does anyone else have this constant problem?
post #2 of 20
I have had quite a few Persians and they are extremely sweet & docile cats.

The two I have presently, I have had since they were about the age of your Kenny. All kittens scratch & bite...they are playing & teething. PLEASE DO NOT have your kitten declawed -- it is painful, unhealthy & inhumane!!

Please give some details as to what & when Kenny is biting & scratching on? Is he hissing? Is he playing rough?

When you say you have bled a few times from Kenny...is it a scratch mark...a nibble?

Again, Persians in general are extremely docile and kittens in general will bite & scratch in play.
post #3 of 20
Kittens have razor sharp claws and a tendancy to climb legs. Some of this will pass as he gets older. I urge you to clip their claws or get soft paws, as well have lots of toys he can scratch around.

We recommend against declawing your cat. Furthermore, the biting may get worse if that is the only defense you leave him with.
post #4 of 20
Hi.
Welcome to you and Kenny to TCS!
Well, let me just say that there isn't alot of support here for declawing in general.
People much more knowledgable than I when it comes to breaking down the disadvantages of declawing rather then resolving the problem behaviour through other non invasive methods first. But I will let you know that you could in fact make the problem worse.

First of all, when is he scratching? In play? As you walk by?
Are you playing with him with your hands? If so, DON'T! Get him appropriate toys like a kitten mitten. Does he have appropriate scratching posts placed in a common room within sight? If not, definitely get him one or more and show him where it is and how to use it.

More info. is really needed I would think and then we here can really get to the root of Kenny's scratching.

Many people are wonderful here and you will get tons of great advice

Cheers
Mum to Lovey and Rocky...
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
I really don't want to have him declawed, it's definately a last resort to us, I'm not trying to sound evil for saying that, now I feel evil. You could be randomely holding him, one second he's very happy and purring and the next he scratches your arm until you bleed. I was washing him and he scratched and bit me then ran away, he has a severe fear of water. YES HE HAS A HAS A 5 FOOT TALL CAT CONDO WITH 2 SCRATCHING POSTS THAT HE USES AND ITS IN HIS ROOM ALONG WITH EVERYTHING ELSE THATS HIS SO HE KNOWS THE LOCATION. But he still continues to bite and scratch. Is there anything else we could possibly do to stop this behavior? If so PLEASE respond!
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
I doubt he's doing it out of play, he seems to be scratching and biting when he's afraid or angry and annoyed. Mostly he bites and scratches when he hears a loud sound (like yesterday he scratched my chest REALLY hard when I was holding him walking by someone vacuuming) and when we're either washing or brushing and grooming him.
post #7 of 20
Have you trimmed his nails? Or seen those soft coverings that can be glued onto the nails -- sometimes you vet will put them on for you. He will still scratch when freaked out, but it won't hurt you.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
We've tried trimming but it hasn't helped. Thanks i'll be sure to ask his vet when he gets his check up this week.
post #9 of 20
I was washing him and he scratched and bit me then ran away, he has a severe fear of water

I don't know many cats that love the water. I'm curious as to why you are washing a kitten? My cats get groomed, washed, nails clipped, etc (Persians) and they definitely do not love it.

I doubt he's doing it out of play, he seems to be scratching and biting when he's afraid or angry and annoyed. Mostly he bites and scratches when he hears a loud sound (like yesterday he scratched my chest REALLY hard when I was holding him walking by someone vacuuming) and when we're either washing or brushing and grooming him.

A cat will scratch, hiss and even bite when scared or annoyed. You have a little kitten who is just learning. All of my cats hate the vacuum. They run like a freight train had passed through my house. There have been quite a few times when I was holding one of my cats and they got so scared of something that they jumped and scratched me. Definitely not done to hurt me.

I guess what I am trying to point out is that your cat doesn't seem to have a behavioral problem...it is just being a cat...a new kitten in your home.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leesali
I was washing him and he scratched and bit me then ran away, he has a severe fear of water

I don't know many cats that love the water. I'm curious as to why you are washing a kitten? My cats get groomed, washed, nails clipped, etc (Persians) and they definitely do not love it.

I doubt he's doing it out of play, he seems to be scratching and biting when he's afraid or angry and annoyed. Mostly he bites and scratches when he hears a loud sound (like yesterday he scratched my chest REALLY hard when I was holding him walking by someone vacuuming) and when we're either washing or brushing and grooming him.

A cat will scratch, hiss and even bite when scared or annoyed. You have a little kitten who is just learning. All of my cats hate the vacuum. They run like a freight train had passed through my house. There have been quite a few times when I was holding one of my cats and they got so scared of something that they jumped and scratched me. Definitely not done to hurt me.

I guess what I am trying to point out is that your cat doesn't seem to have a behavioral problem...it is just being a cat...a new kitten in your home.
And what if we're just holding him and he's happy one moment and the next hes biting nd scratching?
post #11 of 20
How long have you had this cat?
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
about a week
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaTwOmAn
Hi, I recently bought a 2 month old persian kitten named Kenny. He's having some behavioral problems. He scratches (we've bled a few times now) and he bites us. WE're thinking of getting him declawed if this problem persists. Does anyone else have this constant problem?
I have two persians and they don't scratch or bite. But when one of them was a kitten, he would bite my feet when he was hungry. Every morning he would wake me up by biting. But as he grew up, he stopped biting. I didn't do anything at all to stop the behavior, he just stopped on his own.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaTwOmAn
I really don't want to have him declawed, it's definately a last resort to us, I'm not trying to sound evil for saying that, now I feel evil. You could be randomely holding him, one second he's very happy and purring and the next he scratches your arm until you bleed. I was washing him and he scratched and bit me then ran away, he has a severe fear of water. YES HE HAS A HAS A 5 FOOT TALL CAT CONDO WITH 2 SCRATCHING POSTS THAT HE USES AND ITS IN HIS ROOM ALONG WITH EVERYTHING ELSE THATS HIS SO HE KNOWS THE LOCATION. But he still continues to bite and scratch. Is there anything else we could possibly do to stop this behavior? If so PLEASE respond!
Yea, my cat doesn't scratch or bite. Except for when I tried to give him a bath, and he freaked out. I haven't given him a bath since. Cats don't need a bath all that often. But I got a waterless shampoo from my vet and you don't need water. You just put it on and then brush. It's special for cats.
post #15 of 20
One week is not very long for your kitten to adjust to you and it's new surroundings. I would take the kitten's behaviors as a warning. Once you see the signs that the kitten doesn't like being held, I would suggest simply putting the kitten down before the kitten gets into a frenzy state of mind. I know you probably want to hold the kitten, but kittens like humans, need their own personal space too.
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaTwOmAn
about a week
One week only!!
I've only had one cat before this one, and with this one (if you read my other post) I have been really, REALLY careful with her. Mind you, they were adult cats. But I haven't even picked her up, let alone bathed her!

I would just leave him alone. Maybe you're bugging him too much by picking him up and bathing him, etc. Leave him alone until he comes up to you, and if he looks like he wants pets then pet him for a bit but then just leave him alone!
Eventually I think he will just get used to you and stop biting/scratching. He's probably just mad cause you're not giving him his space that he needs to adjust.
post #17 of 20
Look for the skin along the back to twitch and the tail to swish. That tells you he's getting overstimulated and is about to bite or scratch. Stop whatever you're doing with him and leave him alone before he gets to that point. If you always stop short of him acting out then gradually he'll become desensitized and allow you to handle him more and more.
post #18 of 20
When I first brought Ellie home (she was 2 years old), I would hold her, and rub her belly and head, there were A LOT of times she held on to my arm scratching and bitting, then my husband told me "cats are sensitive to touch" I didn't know LOL. She is use to it now, and loves it. Believe me my arms were messed up.

You have only had that kitten for a week. It needs to adjust, and it may not be use to all kinds of attention. Wait until he comes to you. I know he is so cute and you just want to hold him, but that is not what he wants right now. When they don't want to be held they will let you know and that is how they do it.

Please do not declaw that kitten. Do you know what the procedure is to actually declawing them? I would post a link for a site that shows pictures in detail but I am not. If you go on google and do a search for " declawing picture" you will see for yourself. It is really disgusting.

Give that kitty and yourself time to adjust. Just lay on the floor, don't move and let him explore you. Just remember everything takes time.

Take care
post #19 of 20
It's still a kitten, so your baby is probably just getting overstimulated. Some cats are more sensitive than others. Plus, kittens aren't very good at controlling their claws. Since you've had him only for a few weeks, there'll be a bit of an adjustment period.

I know that I can't pet one of my cats for too long before he bites me. I've used toys exclusively for play to prevent the hand/playtoy association, and it just didn't change his biting behavior while being petted. He's just sensitive to petting and bites when he wants you to stop. So I just hold him instead, which is all he really seems to want anyways.

My other cat can be petted for hours, but does not want to be held for long in your lap. So he'll squirm and struggle to get away.
post #20 of 20
Bathing is an unnecessary ordeal for you and the cat. A bath rarely does anything positive and if anything might give the cat some skin problems.

As for scratches, even if you out of desperation began to think declawing was a feasible solution -- you are forgetting his teeth. He'd just start biting harder and absolutely nothing would be solved.

To get to the core reasons, like several people have already said, (1) this cat probably needs some additional time to acclimate to you and (2) you need to learn how to read a cat's body language. Nearly all of these "attacks" were the result of you doing something bold without the benefit of having built a trusting relationship, or you inadvertently missed his signals telling you to "BACK OFF!" when he wanted to be left alone.

Here's an example of watching a cat's tail:

http://198.60.22.4/~emailbox/tailtalk.htm

(Nano is pretty much half-wild and more semi-feral than housecat, but by learning her body language/sounds and patiently letting a trust build over the course of time, I rarely get injuried even when I have to thoroughly handle her or get her to do some things she'd prefer not to do.)

So...here's a concrete example:

Let's say you can pet him for 30 seconds. He is purring for a while but then he suddenly bites you or scratches you. Well, it wasn't "sudden" -- whether you saw it or not, he started asking to be left alone around 15-25 seconds and you just kept right on going. Did the tip of his tail start twitching? Did the tone of his meows change? Great, so what is the solution? Pet your cat for half the usual time so you get the favorable interaction without going too far.

(If you are trying to make him into a big time lapcat, you can gradually increase the amount of time he is petted until he becomes more accepting and learns to crave the attention. There was a cat available at Petsmart that had belonged to an older woman who had died after a long illness. The foster family taking care of this cat said it would spend 14 hours a day in someone's lap -- nonstop wanting to be petted. So obviously the cat's previous owner had spent most of her waking hours providing a warm lap. So if that's what you want, prolonged affection can be built up over time...but it won't happen right away.)

Good luck with things!
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