How do I stop this kitten from biting me all the time????

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13 years 3 months ago #17395 by ronnie
Ok cat people, this ruddy kitten has taken to biting me every time I try to pat her, or pick her up, or when she is on my knee - she just has to bite.
Am getting heartily sick of it. I growl her every time she does it, and she does stop - eventually, but I want to stop her from even thinking about it. When she is tired and in need of a sleep, she is at her worst - almost like she is possessed [}:)]

In the evenings, when we have some "quiet time" she settles on my knee and is happy for a pat and cuddle with no biting, but can turn on you at any stage of this.

As yet, her wee teeth have not broken skin, but not for lack of trying.
She usually does not use her claws on us - just paws, which is good, and it is me who seems to wear the brunt of the biting thing. She does not bite OH nearly as much.
Can't seem to pick her up to move her without her having a major bite of me. Even when she is almost asleep and I pick her up quietly to put her into her bed, she manages to latch onto my hand.

We got the toileting issues sorted, now just need to stop this biting business before it gets really serious.
We already have one cat you can't pat for fear of being savaged - we certainly don't want two of them.

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13 years 3 months ago #258987 by Kalmara
Could try giving her a bite on her ear :) never tried it on a cat, but have been told it works !

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13 years 3 months ago #258990 by bridgierapa
Hmm. I wonder how old she is. If she's quite young, then biting is easiest responded to by rejection, which seems to have a result and is in line with YOUR human nature: if she bites you, dump her on the floor, rather unceremoniously, and get on with your day.

To bop her could increase the biting, as it increases the fight instincts. A mother cat would chomp down on her neck and dominate her like fury but mums spend the rest of their lives having to fight their own kittens as the power battle rages: you don't want a power paradigm, it's too much work.

Just reject her. Personally reject her. Then (a) she has nothing to bite and (b) she learns that being near you does not equal biting. It'll go in time (she says hopefully) but if she's still only learning to go toilet correctly I think you have time to make an impact.

There you go, that's me.:)

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13 years 3 months ago #258991 by bridgierapa
Oh: more. When you pick her up, do it by the scruff of the neck. If you pinch the nerve right she will curl up. No biting.

If she bites when patted, don't pat. in short, work out what sets her off, and for now, don't do it. This goes together with my other old trick which has always tamed cats: if you do have to hold her, hold her rather firmly. If you're too tender she'll be insecure and bite, so it has to be firm and bear-huggy without of course throttling. If she does bite you when you can't let her go, put your hand over her face and hold her mouth shut quite firmly, and hold it for maybe 10 or 15 seconds. Beady eye her: get her face right up close to you and stare at her for that long. She'll either look at you, and then look away in which case you can put her on the ground and leave her to it; or she'll avoid your eye, in which case you have to hold her head until she's forced to look at you, and then hold her view for a few seconds before dumping her and walking away.

If this sounds a bit like positive parenting: it sort of is. Positive parenting is very good on husbands and cats: doesn't work at all on dogs or children. I think they have too high an IQ.

Which? I reckon I've said enough! ROFL

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13 years 3 months ago #258992 by bridgierapa
You'll be sick of me shortly...

Is there someone in the house 'playfighting' with her? Give them a boot up the wotsit. No more violent play with humans, it will have to be with pompoms and bits of string. Did you get this cat from a house full of rowdy ten-year-old boys?

It's curly because you don't want to stomp the hunting instinct but you don't want to be on the receiving end of it.

Oh: and final 'oh' - when she actually bites, do nothing. sit there with her teeth around your finger, and do absolutely nothing. Be boring. Don't tug away, don't fight, don't make a song and dance: be still. You want her to take her mouth off your finger willingly. you want her to feel ever so slightly embarrassed. Be passive when bit.

I think all those together have either made a heck of a mess, or made it all quite clear. Sigh. I'll stop now.

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13 years 3 months ago #259000 by Valmai
What I have done in the past is, when she latches on, I do too! Hold firmly onto her lower jaw (hey your finger is already in the neighbourhood LOL). Mine hated that so much they got out of the biting habit very quickly.

Carbon-based biological unit.

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13 years 3 months ago #259002 by maggies mum
My wee girl has gone through a stage of doing that! Seems to be doing it less now though, I do the grabbing the jaw thing and flick her on the end of the nose saying NO! then dump her on the floor by the scruff of the neck.

In her defence, she has had to become a toughie as she has rough and tumbles with the foxie and is constantly herded by the BC. So when I go to stroke her when she's not expecting it she thinks I'm the dog and latches on!! :D:D

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13 years 3 months ago #259006 by jeannielea
I've found the flick on the end of the nose works well too. Maybe that's like with cattle - telling her whose boss without hurting her.

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13 years 3 months ago #259025 by ronnie
Thanks guys - will try some of your suggestions out. She is such a wee cutie, it's a shame she has this nasty habit.
And no, there is no-one here that terrorises her, or plays scrag or anything else to give her the idea it's OK to bite.
She is happily asleep in the box at present, as she is at this time of day, so I had best get some work done before she wakes up and is all go again.

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13 years 3 months ago #259031 by Stu_R
:) ronnie, are you sure shes not a puppy ? been there done that with Akita puppies ...lol savour the quiet moments :)

5 retired Greyhounds ( Bridgette , Lilly, GoGo,Sam and now Lenny) 15 friendly sheep all of whom are named and come when you call them :) , 2 goats, Mollie and Eee Bee :
Olive trees , .. old bugger doing the best he can with no money or land :)

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13 years 3 months ago #259033 by moggy
I agree with Valmai. One of ours when through a biuting phase and if he bit, i pushed my finger further into his mouth which forced the jaw open and it is not nice. It took a while but he eventaully learned that biting hurt him as well.

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13 years 3 months ago #259040 by Birman Babe
This is a very common with kittens who are on their own. Its the form of play they would use when playing with their mother or siblings. Kittens play very rough and, in this case, you're it !! Hurts huh? Now people know why I am always covered in bites & scratches..the worst is when they bite you on the end of your nose & draw blood. Man, that hurts like hell !!

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13 years 3 months ago #259104 by clowder
is she teething?
I have recently welcomed a backyard manx into the fold...and she is full on growing and teething and manic biting, racing about and falling sound asleep, all in the space of a few minutes. she has won over all but one of the other cats and has been biting them...mostly. I make sure she gets a good bit of gristly raw meat and bones to chew everyday. much like a puppy.
if she starts biting me too much I just gently pop her outside on her own for a bit and she's always much better behaved when she comes back in. or I screw up a wee bit of newspaer and send it off mouse fashion across the floor to distract her.

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13 years 3 months ago #259129 by bridgierapa
Hi, I can't get this issue out of my head for some reason: and I'm so glad Clowder said what (s)he did. Biting isn't punishable, because it's part of a cat's nature. It's just something to be mildly deterred. Cats aren't like dogs, one can't train them the way one trains dogs because they're not the bottom of a hierarchy, they function like a separate autonomous friend, ie one's equal. Dominating them doesn't work without unwanted side-effects and can foul up their natural catness. (Sorry, you can see i"m getting a bit intense but I've raised cats all my life and if one gets the hang of their nature, the rest sort of makes sense.) As such, any deliberate act of naughtiness which they can choose not to do, like jumping on benches and eating your food - ie something they considered, and then chose to do using the intellect - that sort of thing is to be trained, ie punished for, to stack the deck for the future decision the cat will make.

Genuine acts of mere catness however, like chomping or pouncing on anything that moves at more than a certain speed can't be helped and so really can only be manoeuvred subtly (like potty training for a toddler): which is to say, like Clowder, getting chompy things to eat to use up that chompfactor, playing dead when they bite your hand, and not moving your hand too fast when you come to get them, and leaving them alone when they're in a wild mood because to involve yourself with them is to encourage it and yourself as a target.

Also, little kittens don't like being stroked or touched too much as a rule: they don't get cuddly till they're over one or maybe 2 and can actually die from overhandling when they're little. One thing you can do with kittens is hop into bed with them on the odd afternoon, hold them under the covers against your tummy (without stroking, it's too much sensory input) till they fall asleep; when they wake they're more bonded and more aware of how big you are and what you are - and more comfortable with you, but it does mean that they will hop in at night and snuggle when they're older. (This isn't a problem for me.) Once they're used to the idea they like it, although I wouldn't do it more than a few times. Just enough to break the stranger factor.

That's definitely the last I'll say on this. I don't know why this has got to me like it has, but the idea of bopping them on the nose really bugs me because they aren't in a position to stop doing it as a result; they didn't do it "on purpose" in the first place, they were operating on an instinct which will actually be redirected to bugs and moths in time and will leave you alone naturally. Punishment has to influence outcomes to be justifiable.

Whew. [:I]

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13 years 3 months ago #259132 by eelcat
excellent answer B.

1 Border collie, 1 Huntaway, 2 Lhasa Apsos, Suffolk and arapawa ewe crosses, an Arapawa ram,an East Friesian ewe , 5 cats, 42 ducks , 1 rooster and 30 hens, 5 geese, 12 goats, 2 donkeys, 2 house cows, one heifer calf, one bull calf, 3 rabbits and lots and lots and lots of fruit trees...

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