Kitten the biter

(20 Posts)
Stars66 Wed 07-May-14 21:50:23

We've got a 14 week old kitten, she's very sweet but she gets a bit too rough.
I know I need to grow a pair and just deal with her biting and scratching, but my hands are in shreds! She has a scratch post, toys to bite and play with, and plenty of space, although I've not let her out yet, as don't want more kittens!

Stars66 Wed 07-May-14 21:51:09

What I meant to say was how can I stop being a wimp!! wink

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 07-May-14 22:03:51

When does she bite? Mine was a biter & I never dealt with it so he still sees me as a chew toy.

weeonion Wed 07-May-14 22:12:23

watching with interest. We took in a stray kitten who was always been a biter - he's now 6months and it still goes on. We followed advice from vet with plenty of toys, active play, saying no loudly and walking away / ignoring him. none of it seems to have worked and if anything - it has got worse. DP doesnt see it as that much of a problem but I do - especially as a couple of DD's friends no longer want to visit due to his aggression and with DC2 on teh way - I want it dealt with!

Lonecatwithkitten Wed 07-May-14 22:13:55

When she bites withdraw from the game and ignore her. When it suits you restart playing, but using something like a fishing toy. It is normal at this age. In all, but one of my cats this method has been successful the one it failed in is just an evil b*****d.

bonzo77 Wed 07-May-14 22:21:43

You must avoid all play activities that involve rough housing, tickling etc. don't give her the opportunity. It feels like fun, but they get wound up very quickly and it turns to aggression. Eventually it is aggression only then it will happen unprovoked. Try non-contact play with lasar pointers, ping pong balls and toys on strings. Also try not to initiate any contact, even affectionate. You can present her your hand, let her snuff it, than try to stroke her, but don't surprise her by just going in for a stroke. I find this works for very aggressive cats (my SIL gets ripped to shreds by her cat, he's fine with me) and very scaredy ones (mine for example). I think all cats need to be able to determine when the interaction starts and ends, or are happier if they can.

weeonion Wed 07-May-14 22:27:51

bonzo77 - our cat will bite totally unprovoked - he will come into the bedroom when we are asleep and go for us. have been woken up numerous times by being bitten. He will launch himself from high places (bookshelves etc) at us and as for actually walking through the flat - well - our legs and feet are open targets!

i will only do non-contact play with him and DD wont really go near him any longer as she gets cuts to shreds. DP doesnt mind as much as i do - a point of contention...

cozietoesie Wed 07-May-14 22:40:15

I've noticed much difference between the NO used by me - which is a sort of reasonably modulated but sharp/firm 'Do that again you little hellion and I won't be responsible for my actions' and other members of my family. My mother, for instance, was given to saying NO at the same volume but in a lazy indulgent tone of voice along the lines of 'Who's a gorgeous naughty little pusskins with those big blue eyes looking at me'.

As a result, Seniorboy ran riot over her house for years and it took me about 2-3 weeks to get him to shape up when he came to live with me. He's as happy if not a happier cat now than he was with her, I think - rules and routine are things that seem to appeal to cats.

I don't think too many people really mean it when they chastise a cat - if you notice cats and their kittens, the kits are incredibly alert to the tone/type of meow from Mom and they really notice when humans are serious.

I guess what this boils down to is - the usual rules of

No over stimulation by humans or over eye-contact
All playing to be with objects divorced from human bodies - so wand toys, laser lights, teddies, boxes and so on
NO and strict putting down/exclusion for bad behaviour

but the last one has to be forceful, consistent and genuinely meant.

Maybe the most important thing for me though is to let kittens and cats be themselves when they want to be, right from the start. Sometimes they want to be petted and stroked and sometimes they don't. (Like us.) You have to learn to read their body language and until you can, it's best to assume they want to be left alone and let them make the running.

I've never had a biting cat.

cozietoesie Wed 07-May-14 22:40:59

Sorry for the tome. I'm stuck upstairs with only the laptop within reach.

Queenofknickers Wed 07-May-14 23:29:26

Ours stopped biting after neutering....

RubbishMantra Thu 08-May-14 01:02:26

My three y/o is a hideous biter, so I too am watching this thread with interest.

I have taken cozie's advice from other threads, placing him in another room with a firm "NO" when it occurs. When this happened yesterday, I opened the door to let him out after the prescribed time (20 mins). I found him in a compromising position with DH's discarded trousers.blush It felt like he was flipping me the finger sad

cozietoesie Thu 08-May-14 01:15:04

grin

But I bet he stopped biting? wink

cozietoesie Thu 08-May-14 01:20:57

(Sorry - I'm laughing here.)

Remember that when the exclusion period is over, you should ignore them. So no going into the room specifically to get them out - or opening the door and calling them to come back. As far as they're concerned, they should have simply been excluded from normal life for their particular sin so they should simply be allowed to creep back in and treated as normal or ignored. No special treatment.

(I'm still laughing!)

RubbishMantra Thu 08-May-14 01:30:06

I discretely opened the door to the spare room; as I opened it, I saw he had DH's trousers in his mouth, hunched over them, doing the horizontal Rhumba!

Ah well, at least he used the time constructively grin

cozietoesie Thu 08-May-14 01:31:01

Oh please don't start me off again!

cozietoesie Thu 08-May-14 01:32:59

PS - next time, barge in as if with some purpose (go to a window and adjust a curtain if you haven't got one) and ignore him. Just happen to leave the door open on your way out.

RubbishMantra Thu 08-May-14 01:40:28

It's just that he was molesting the trousers right in front of the door.

Next time i shall shuffle in sideways, averting my gaze, ignoring his subversive behaviour grin

I make him sound awful, but he really is the Best Cat Ever smile just an arse-hole sometimes! grin

cozietoesie Thu 08-May-14 01:40:53

PPS - and attempting a serious note for a second? I'd see that as a clear sign that he was over-stimulated and when you shut him away, something had to give. (A pity it was DH's trousers.)

If he's a consistently real bad biter, he might have a very low threshold for interaction stimulation and need much more ignoring than you're doing.

Just a thought to consider - and now I'm off. (Still laughing.)

RubbishMantra Thu 08-May-14 02:00:35

Thank you cozie smile

Stars66 Thu 08-May-14 07:52:42

Thank you guys. I'm new to this kitten parenthood, and didn't realise I needed to treat her with rules like my dd! She doesn't bite my parter like she does me, so I guess I need to start getting tough!! And so far she hasn't bitten dd.
Will be back with how it's going! X

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