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New Kitten Owner - HELP :(

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the semi-long story, if you just wanna give some advice, skip to the end where the questions are.

So my wife and I got a new kitten around December of last year. The original owner had adopted the mother and wasn't really sure of his age--but he was very young (too young I'm told) at probably 4 weeks.

He came from a pretty messed up homelife living in filth with tons of other cats. We've spent about $1k going through vet visits and medicine to get this thing better...and he finally is. When we first got him, he started to decline fast (unfortunately, after my wife became attached to him...hence the 1g). He had all kinds of diarrhea and health issues. But anyways...the fact is, he's better now

But...we have another (and in my mind, bigger) problem.

The little fella bites.

He's a very playful and active kitten (at about 5 1/2 - 6 months old now). But he loves to bite when he plays. So much so...that if you go to touch him and he's NOT just waking up from a nap, he nips at you or attacks your hand. It's not a mean thing, he just thinks he's playing. It's just a bite and let go real quick. It's cute at first...but then it get SO annoying. It's now to the point where it's hard to find a time when you can just pick him up and pet him b/c he'll start either writhing around or trying to grab and bite your hand. If he's just laying on the couch and you go to pet him, he'll often pin his ears back...wait a sec...then kinda open his mouth and give you a nip....and then jolt up and run without you ever doing anything.

I should also mention that he is NOT neutered, yet. He's pretty much been too sick thusfar, but we've scheduled to get it done in 2 weeks.

So I really need some advice. I've owned dogs my entire life and this is our first cat. What the heck do we do?

Do I spank him like I would a dog? I've heard that this is not the right way to approach trying to "train" a cat.

Do I spray him with a water bottle? This is the suggestion we've gotten from vets, but we've been doing it for about a month and it doesn't seem to help much...just makes him stay away from us.

Is this a normal thing for kittens to do?

Will it go away?

Does it have anything to do with him not being neutered?

Will he calm down after he's neutered at all?

Or are we just out of luck? Did we just get a hyperactive cat and this is a part of his personality?

Thanks for helping out. Any advice is good advice right now.
post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
Let me also add that he loves the "bunny kicking" (as I've heard it refered to here), ankle nipping, and leg attacking when you walking.
post #3 of 10
YIKES, he is not being very nice I've never had a cat behave like that except for the biting. I thumped him on the nose a few times and it stoped (not really hard but enough to startle him). Good luck and don't give up.
post #4 of 10
My guess is that neutering will help decrease the biting and with time, patience and never using your hands to play with him, he will learn proper manners. Just be consistant and if he pins back his ears, get your hands out of the way.

As for petting, let him come to you on his own terms and at his own pace. Don't pick him up or move him from a comfy place. Just sit quietly and allow him to make the choice as to whether or not he wants attention from you.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Oh...and since this is my first post here...let me introduce the source of our empty wallets: Simon

post #6 of 10
OH MY GOSH He is adorable.
post #7 of 10
oh goodness he is "that age" ...the age my two boys Nightcrawler RIP and Samuel were when I swore I would kill them if I could catch them and that I would never have another male cat ever ever ever!

From my experience as a dog person jumping into having two un-neutered male kittens the same age at the same time with no real knowledge of cats here is what I have to offer.

1) Neutering will help with agression always. Sam is a changed man since he was neutered.

2) Teach kitty how to play.. others will have good ideas about this. When ours try to bite which they do when they get too excited I blow in their face and stop the interaction right then and there. They usually get the point.

3) Don't ever hit kitty, they just dont understand it. I don't agree with hitting dogs either but that is a whole other topic and I understand you looking for help with kitty. It may help to go to the library and check out a few books on feline body language so that you can read your cat and know when to pet, when to play and when to just leave him be. They are very different from dogs who if they see us they want our attention.

Anyway that is all I have to offer. Others with more cat experience will have tons more to offer. Good luck with your little guy.
post #8 of 10
awwww he is sooo sweet sleeping! Totally spoiled too I can tell.
post #9 of 10
Sounds like it's about time he got un-aquainted with his "landing gear". He is a gorgeous boy.
post #10 of 10
The naughtiest kitties always seem to be the cutest.

(I agree. Its time to neuter the little guy.)
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