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Kitten Biting

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
I have an 8-week old kitten, Jedi. He has a habit of biting my hands constantly. I tried reprimanding him by saying "NO" sternly and moving him away from me when he bites. This hasn't worked very well. Jedi went to the vet today and I asked his opinion. He suggested picking him up by the scruff of his neck, saying "NO" and then putting him down away from me, spraying his face with water or giving him a "timeout" in his kennel for 15 minutes. Has anyone had this problem with their kitten? If so, what worked for you in detering this behavior? Thanks!

post #2 of 39
Yup, we had this problem when Casper and Kitty came here, they were then about 12 weeks and were biting us. We just started saying "no" with a bit louder voice than normally when they bit us, and after a while, they stopped. Using a water bottle... well not for biting, but for other things it's good, for example when the kitten likes to scratch the couch etc...

I said this on another thread already, but I will say it again, Jedi is adorable!!!
post #3 of 39
Another thing to try is when he bites your hand act like you are mortally wounded. Meaning make loud 'I'm in pain' noises. Most of the time they will get the idea. Also never play with your kitten with any part of your body, even if your hand is under a blanket.

BTW Jedi is really cute! He will be a beautiful cat.

post #4 of 39
Yes, Jedi is adorable. I shouldn't do it, but I let my babies play with my hands. They're always scratched up. HOWEVER, I do the same thing Safron does. I cry loudly if the kitten gets too rough. It has always stopped them in their tracks. No. 1, they don't like loud noises, and 2., they don't really want to hurt you. They know it's you under the covers, but they're having so much fun they hate to stop.
post #5 of 39
Jedi is so cute! The suggestions the others have posted have been really good, so I won't repeat them, however the one your vet gave you was not. Please don't pick this baby up by the scruff. Only Mom cat should do that. Good luck with the biting problem.
post #6 of 39
I don't have any great new answer to your problem, but I was very interested in reading your post and the range of responses to it, because I have a similar concern: 3-month-old Wiggles loves to chew, too, on fingers, knuckles, hair - sometimes he dives down under the covers and goes for the toes. What complicates things is that while I try to act stern and say "No", my husband and son thinks it's fun. (Is this a guy thing?) They say it's playfighting, and he's just doing what he would do with his brother or sister, if they were around. So my question, if any more experienced kitten owners happen to read this: Is this just a phase, or are we raising a psychopath?
By the way, I do have one suggestion. When my son was in his terrible two's, I often used distraction to keep him out of mischief, and I find the same thing helps with Wiggles. When he goes for my fingers or toes, I say No, put him down away from me - and give him a toy to chew on. (I now keep a bunch of his favorite "mice" in the drawer of my bedtable for when he gets the early morning munchies.)
post #7 of 39
Wiggles is acting like a normal kitten. However, you have to decide when and where the play has to stop. Your feet moving under the covers are her "prey." Chasing moving objects is instinctive. Yes, she is using you like a litter mate or mommy cat. Poor mother kitty has her tail attacked on a regualar basis. I enjoy watching kittens play, but, as I stated in an earlier post, I let them know when enough is enough. Otherwise, they could bite or scratch too hard. They will also want to eat the food off of your plate and jump on your table. I clap my hands to startle; you can shake a can full of pebbles, say no, no, or whatever is effective for you. Many people use a spray bottle of water to spritz misbehaving animals. Just be kind, but firm, and try to enjoy the play. They're not kittens long enough. All of us wish we had playful kittens. Find some fun toys for the baby too! Good luck.
post #8 of 39
I generally try not to play too much with my hands, and not make my hands seem like a toy. I also stop any play activity if it gets too rough. When my Spidey uses his nails instead of his paws, or bites, I say "Gentle" in a firm, even voice, and oddly, he seems to get it. I also never remove my hand from near him very fast, or he gets that 'attack' desire. I've tried making him smell the blood when he really gets me, that seems to have no effect.
Good luck!
post #9 of 39
At my house we try to discourage cats from playing with our hands. Occassionally when Snowball is being groomed he will start feeling really playful and he will grab my hand with his claws out and also with his mouth. The method I use is similiar to Alicia's. I use slower movements to get free and I say "Snowball no" in a calm firm voice, he never actually bites or scratches so there's no blood.
post #10 of 39
ok, so i'm glad i'm not the only catmom who's having trouble with this aggressive behavior in my kitten. boris is about 12 weeks. my husband and i adopted him from the humane society about 4 weeks ago and he's our only child. he is precious...when he's asleep. i'm concerned that he will grow up to be a rotten terror and in all of my cat history, i've never had a bad one.
i had read a couple of days ago that when he goes into attack mode and wraps his limbs, claws extended, around my hands and begins to bite like there's no tomorrow, that i'm supposed to pat his paws until he lets go!? geez, i'm lucky to have any blood left by then! when i can pry him off he gets even more vicious and comes right back at me full force. and if i try to walk away before he's finished, he runs after me and stabs my ankles!
he's getting to understand the word "no" and fortunately responds to a loud, sharp clap by the unattacked spouse. but when these tactics fail, it's off to the peroxide bottle we go!
will he outgrow this?
post #11 of 39
Several things you can do, because he is just being a kitty and is more than likely teething at the same time. You can give him an alternate chewing toy, I use a small beanie baby. You can blow in his face when he starts chewing and once he starts to chew on you, put him quickly on the floor and totally ignore him for 3 minutes. Everything else that has been mentioned works as well. Also, if you are rubbing his tummy as a form or play, I suggest you stop doing it for awhile because some kittens look at that as an attack and not a pleasureable thing. Once he has outgrown his biting, you can resume to rub him, but don't be surprised to find out he really does not like it much. I will say it again, he is a cutie!
post #12 of 39
Hissy sounds like a real expert, and I don't have much to add to her (his?) advice, but I will add one word of encouragement for "Imachewtoy" - something I keep telling myself: Kittens are like toddlers, and you don't expect instant obedience from a toddler. You have to be consistent & patient, and gradually they learn. If Boris already understands "No" and responds to a loud clap, it sounds like you're halfway there. (By the way - one thing you mentioned - patting his paws till he lets go - actually sounds like a rotten idea to me: Your moving hands may just inspire him to keep going. My son sometimes pats Wiggles' paws to encourage him to "playfight". They seem to have a grand time, but of course all my attempts at consistent firmness go out the window!)
post #13 of 39
Hey - if I ever got lost, they could identify me from all the little scratches and bite marks..... All of my cats have chewed on me at one point or another and have stopped when they got older.......
post #14 of 39
Hi! My two kittens are 9 weeks old, and they are awful about attacking my hands and feet. I read on this great website that when the kitty attacks your hand (or whatever) make a loud sound like you have been mortally wounded! I make like a mom cat meow sound. It is important that when they bite you, not to jerk your hand away (although that is what I always wanted to do!) Doing this makes kitty think it is a game. Now, I recognize the look in Scout and Sock's eyes, and when they start to lunge for my hands, I say NO! loudly, and then they start acting all innocent!!! Hope they grow out of it soon, for your sake. We will never be able to have a job in hand modeling!!!
post #15 of 39
The screaming like you are really hurt works very well for me. Leo, a huge 20 lb. kitty, sometimes gets excited and grabs my arm and bites me. He has the potential to do some real damage, so I get pretty drastic with him. He stops immediately and hangs his head like he is SO sorry.
post #16 of 39
Sounds like we need to form a "new mothers" support group!!!!

Oh, maybe we already have - hi guys - welcome aboard!!!

Reading jeff24girl's and imachewtoy's posts was like reading my own diary! Glad I'm not alone in this daily struggle - maybe my Kona really is normal after all.

If you haven't already read my post entitled "Water Gun Works" you might want to take a peek. I started using a water spray bottle on my 10 week old Siamese kitten last week and it works amazingly well - a firm "No" when biting and if he continues after that he gets a spray! Of course, we have lots and lots and lots of toys that we try and divert him too aswell.

Good luck - can't wait to hear of your progress!

post #17 of 39
hi there i am getting a new 8 week old kitty today to live with my 18 month old called jazz, after reading all these stories about biting and scratching i'm not at all sure i am doing the right thing!
i will post and let you know how i get on, his name is gonna be Buzz by the way
post #18 of 39
Finn uses me and hubby as a chew toy on a regular basis, and alot of I think is that he's teething! (Loosing his kitten teeth- I acutally found one.) Lots of drooling and knawing more than biting.
We keep several toys around specifically for biting. Bity-Fish, Bity-Towel, Bity-Belt... When he starts biting us, we give him a toy to play rough with instead. That seems to work and keep him happy.
post #19 of 39
Hi there everyone!

My youngest kitty, Shorty, likes to bite a lot, along with licking incessantly. Is she teething or what? It seems she has a lot of sharp little teeth at the back of her mouth. She is about 4 months old I think. We have tried to give her toys that are chewable, but she seems to like ppl better! I was letting her bite my fingers, as I figured if she was teething, that might help some, but after reading all the posts, I don't know if it's a good thing to let her do that. What do all of you think? And what about the licking thing? Is that ok, or does it mean something is wrong? I don't know really what to think, so I will just wait for all of you to respond and see what the general consensus is. Thanks all!


P.S. I was going to post a picture of a couple of my kitties, but the scanner wasn't working so when I get them scanned, I will post them!
post #20 of 39
ignoring the kitty does work. I have used that with all of my kitties and they don't attack hands anymore.

just get up and walk away- they are smart- they will get the picture FAST. there might be a little extinction burst where they do it more to get attention but if you keep ignoring it will stop the behavior for good.

charlottiek, Ninikitty, Lila
post #21 of 39
Pam, it sounds like she is teething. Try offering her drinking straws. For some reason teething kitties love chewing on these.

To be honest, I let my kitty Trent chew on my finger when he was teething and we don't have a biting problem. Maybe that's just his personality. Sometimes when we are loving he still wants to chew on my finger, not very often, and he has pretty much learned to just chew softly. Sounds strange, I know. I'm not advocating letting them bite you, but that's what happened with me. He never bit before he was teething, and he stopped after (except for the "comfort" chewing).
post #22 of 39
Thanks for all your help. I will probably just let her keep biting until she is finished teething, hopefully it won't be too long now! Anyone know how/where to post cat pictures? I finally got them scanned and now I don't know where to post them! Thanks again! Pam
post #23 of 39
We would love to see your baby in The Cat Lounge! Just make a new thread and post away.

To post your pics, they have to be smaller than 33Kb, and less than 400 x 400 pixels. At the bottom of the posting box, there is a little place that says Attach File: Just click the Browse button and attach a picture. You can only do one per post that way, and if the picture is too big you will get a message when you hit Submit. Also, there have been some problems with previewing your pictures. Don't worry about that. Just submit and they should show up!
post #24 of 39
Hey, angel, talk about good timing. You posted right after our computer whiz!
post #25 of 39
I posted this very type of thing about a month or so back. I tried all the tips and they didn't really work. I asked my vet and she said to give the kitten a light tap on her nose with one finger. This has worked wonders for Sarah. She no longer bites at all.

I also agree with everyone that suggests not to use hands as toys.
post #26 of 39
Thread Starter 
So sorry everyone...I actually forgot that I posted this way back!

Jedi is now almost 8 months old. He will bite on my hands on occasion, but nothing like he did when he was just a teeny tiny young Paduan (Star Wars lingo for young Jedi's ). When he does, "NO" seems to work most of the time, although on occasion he will continue to bite but if I say "NO" again, he stops and then starts licking my hand. Sooooo cute! :tounge2:

Now that he is a Jedi Knight (he earned his promotion after he was neutered...and took it like a man ), he responds much better to commands from the "Masters"..LOL! :laughing2 :laughing2

Pic below is Jedi at about 5 months old...
post #27 of 39
How long does it take for the kittens to not teethe anymore? She is getting really kind of annoying about biting! And she is drooling lots too! Ewww....kitty drool! And her breath doesn't smell very good (she likes to breathe in your face). Any ideas on how to freshen her breath? Thanks
post #28 of 39
It can take a while for all those baby teeth to come out and adult teeth to cut through. The drooling is probably part of teething - think of everything you know about babies teething and pretty much the same applies to cats. Some of them turn into little drool buckets.

Since she is so young, now would be a good time to work on brushing her teeths. Especially since she wants your fingers in her mouth anyway. Go slow and start by getting her used to you rubbing her teeth and gums with your finger. Then work on getting her to accept the brush or fingerbrush, then add some feline toothpaste then the whole shebang - brush with toothpaste! Good dental care will help her in the future and you will be well ahead of the game by training her young. They make the toothpaste in yummy kitty flavors like chicken and tuna (and others, too). You can get the supplies at any pet supply store or online.
post #29 of 39
Thanks! I will try to get some cat toothpaste and toothbrush when I get to the pet store next!
post #30 of 39
The tricky part is getting them to stand on a tall stool and spit in the sink! Yola's cat does that! Well......
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