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Unprovoked biting...

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I just don't know what to do with my Toby any more. He's 8 months old and neutered. Here's the story.

He bites me all the time. Usually my hands/arms, sometimes my feet/legs. I have never play-fought with him or rough-housed with my hands, so I don't think he is trying to play.

Usually he just walks up to me and bites. He knows he's not supposed to do it, so sometimes he's really sneaky (sometimes pounces and sometimes he just gently puts his teeth on me and then starts increasing the pressure). I'd say it happens more at night, but it does happen daytime too.

I try to be consistent. Every time he bites or is about to bite, I sternly say "no biting". If it's at night in my bedroom I immediately put him outside and shut the door. I've tried having a toy to throw. I've tried squirting water. I've even tried tapping him on his nose (something I really don't want to do).

Nothing seems to stop this behavior...

I'm at my wits end. It does hurt me and I'm a little bit afraid to close my eyes when I know he's on my bed.

Any thoughts????
post #2 of 20
Have you noticed if there's any pattern? Anything consistently going on in the house at the time he bites? Anything you or someone else is doing?

Also, does he give any signs that he's "worked up" -- skin twitching, tail swishing, eyes staring? Going into a "prey sighted" posture?

Cats rarely bite without some kind of trigger. It may take some time and some close observation, but hopefully you can discover what sets him off and then work from there.
post #3 of 20
i would confine him into one room and go in there on several occassions during the day and play with this cat interactively. Let him get it out of his system use a toy like Da Bird or a cat teaser and let him get his prey mode going. Follow up each session with a tasty meaty treat, one that he gets no other time. When he bites you draw your hand into the bite, don't pull away and do a gutteral hiss at him. Let him know that this is unacceptable in a language he understands, not in one you do. I had one kitten that would not stop biting me, and I tried everything I could think of. One afternoon she latched onto my wrist and wouldn't let go, so I leaned over and I bit her. She let go and never bit me again.

Biting can also be a response to pain- has your cat been to the vet recently?
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
In hindsight, I think it might be a play issue. The behavior seems to gradually decrease when I've been home a lot and increase when I've been gone more.

I'm going to try some extra-interactive play with him - more mental stimulation (especially close to bedtime).

thanks!
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
OK, this is driving me nuts! I've been reading and reading old posts and have tried everything. I've been paying extra attention to the pattern and here is what he's doing that's the biggest problem:

He bites my arms/hands at night. He doesn't stalk or pounce. He just comes into my room, jumps on the bed, walks up to me, and sinks his teeth in. He gnaws at me and is biting hard enough to almost break the skin.

Nothing I do seems to stop it. And it's really only a problem at night (for the most part he's cuddly and doesn't bite during the day). Hissing will make him stop - but only while I'm hissing (as soon as I stop he's right back at it). He also doesn't seem all that phased by water.

I put him out and shut my door. 10 minutes to an hour later I let him back in for a "second chance" but if he does it again, he's out for the night.

Is this something he might grow out of??
Anyone have any other ideas??
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hs4816
OK, this is driving me nuts! I've been reading and reading old posts and have tried everything. I've been paying extra attention to the pattern and here is what he's doing that's the biggest problem:

He bites my arms/hands at night. He doesn't stalk or pounce. He just comes into my room, jumps on the bed, walks up to me, and sinks his teeth in. He gnaws at me and is biting hard enough to almost break the skin.

Nothing I do seems to stop it. And it's really only a problem at night (for the most part he's cuddly and doesn't bite during the day). Hissing will make him stop - but only while I'm hissing (as soon as I stop he's right back at it). He also doesn't seem all that phased by water.

I put him out and shut my door. 10 minutes to an hour later I let him back in for a "second chance" but if he does it again, he's out for the night.

Is this something he might grow out of??
Anyone have any other ideas??
Could he want something? When my cat was a kitten, he would wake me up by biting my feet when he was hungry.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yeah I've thought of that... but I play with him and feed him before bed. The only thing I'm thinking is maybe he doesn't want me to sleep (ie. usually *he* sleeps and I pet him).

I don't know what else it could be. I'm just hoping he grows out of it because I don't like locking him out of my room - but nothing else seems to work.
post #8 of 20
do what hissy did and bite him back
post #9 of 20
Has he always did this biting, or is it new? My church would bite me when she wanted attention, and wanted played with . She had a litter of kittens, and I still have one name Snuggle bunny(kids named her) And she does the same exact thing! If i am relaxing somewhere she will come over and bite me, I pet her and she stops, then as soon as I stop giving her attention she bites me again . More so at night when the kids have gone to bed. When I was pregnant I would get up for my nightly bathroom run, and she would be meowing at the door, Iwould let her in and she would bite me until i picked her up! Maybe your cat is lonely at night and wants your attention!
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by hs4816
Yeah I've thought of that... but I play with him and feed him before bed. The only thing I'm thinking is maybe he doesn't want me to sleep (ie. usually *he* sleeps and I pet him).

I don't know what else it could be. I'm just hoping he grows out of it because I don't like locking him out of my room - but nothing else seems to work.
My cat has completely stopped biting. Now, when he wants to wake me up, he licks my feet.
post #11 of 20
You're right - he doesn't want you to sleep. They're nocturnal animals, and get into the prey/fight mode more often at night. Give him something to work it out with...let him fight a stuffed animal, hang something bouncy on a door, something which moves that he can attack and bite and challenge. And not your feet or hands. A feather wand is something Simon adores!!! as long as it's moving. He catches it, we wrestle over who gets it, and he'll snatch it away from me and run off, meowling his victory through the feather firmly entrenched in his mouth.

Just because *we* sleep at night doesn't mean they're going to. And it really just sounds like 8 month old kitten behavior. Simon (just over a year) attacks often, as well, but has learned how and when to do it...

Best-
Michele
post #12 of 20
At 8 months, he's probably teething.
post #13 of 20
My cat just turned one. We have the exact same issue. When I was reading your post I felt like I could have written it myself! We're thinking about getting another cat - it does seem that he's just a hyper guy who likes to chomp. One person also thought it might have to do with the fact that we found him at about 6 weeks, so he never learned proper play behavior from his family....From a guy who has scars up down the back of my legs and hands, you have my sympathy!
post #14 of 20
I have the biting problem, with my oldest cat, ever since he was young. He won't bite anyone else in the house. But my conclusion is he wants attention or wants to play. However I didn't know it was a sign of pain, he is getting older, around 11 years old. Maybe I just give off a bad smell or something
post #15 of 20
Story sounds familar might i know who you are i wont say names heh but if so..nice to see you made it here..if not...your not alone!

I was thinking on this, and I agree with the poster who suggested giving him something to do at night....maybe a cat dancer toy fashioned to the wall or the door? My cats go NUTS for that thing. I have one fashioned to the dresser picked it up at Petsmart (man i spent to much time there lol)
post #16 of 20
This is very familiar tome. Sasha is 13 but when he was a jr. cat he did this. I got my snow gloves on and "boxed" with him at night or at the same time every day. He learned that when the gloves went on, he could be as aggressive as he wanted to be - hissing, kicking, biting, slapping - the works. When the gloves came off, it was Game Over. I did it in the same room about the same time of day. After many years he became a champion..... and the bad habit was long gone. We still box to this day, just maybe 1x per week as he's a senior now and doesn't crave it as much I have learned that some kittes are just plain wired differently. It's like the synapes fire different stimuli to the brain that's slightly out of whack just a tad. They react to "normal" stimuli, like seeing you sitting there doing nothing with very different reactions than the majority of kitties.
post #17 of 20
I have 1 year bitting persian cat. I put my post about "spoiled kitten" couple of months ago, she did not eat, play, no talking. When she got healthy started to bite and play a lot, talking. The most favorite time to bit at night, without any reason she will jump on the bed and bit sheets, legs, very strongly. Also, she like to go and purr close to face in order to bite neck, chin, nose, sounds funny. I hope when she grow up no bitting any more, at least she is healthy, I can handle bitting.
post #18 of 20
I have bite marks up and down my hands arms and about 3 new little scars on my feet. I dont know why CJ feels the need to bite me all the time, but I do know that sume of it is he wants me to play with him. I have hissed at him, and it sometimes helps, and I push down instead of pull away when he bites my hands. It does get very frustrating when you get bitten for no reason, with no real reason as to why. Sometimes I will be putting on makeup in the morning and get a bite on my ankle. I think Sashacat had a good idea with the "boxing mittens" I may try those, but I will have to wait until winter since I have no gloves! Maybe if I put on like 3 pairs of socks on my hands.........


Forgot to add, he also bites to show affection he will be all purry and cuddly and be giving me kisses, and then bite me on the chin. Sometimes kinda hard. When he does this I put him down, and he jumps back up and starts loving again, then a couple of minutes later a bite on the chin. No clue why he does this.
post #19 of 20
I have never had a cat who would like to bite chin. I did not expect bitting from persian cat who is known as mild tempered. I hope she will go over with bitting.
post #20 of 20
Sophie is at the biting stage right now, at 3 months old. I'm hoping it is just play and that she will soon realize it is inappropriate, not to mention painful! My problem is that she listens when I say NO! in a very stern voice and get my hand from her, but she has taken to attacking my husband, my 13 year old son, etc. I try to tell them to react the same way I do, but they're "boys" and they think it's funny when she does this. Seems like the behavior training needs to be readjusted towards a different subject!!!!

Good luck with your little biter!
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