To all cat lovers...I need advice
A little over two months ago I agreed to take in a kitten that had been abondoned by her mother. (Her picture is in my profile) Having her has been a great joy except for one thing....her biting. What advice do you all have in tryng to break her of it? I'm not talking about little tiny kitten nibbles. She bites hard enough to draw blood and does so dozens of times a day. I thought the vet was kidding me when she said torti kittens were a handful and was I up for the challenge. I've had many cats and kittens in the past but none of them has bitten like this. Is this just something she'll grow out of? I've tried misting her with a spray bottle but that doesn't work because she enjoys the water. The biting isn't anything that would ever make me get rid of her...if it comes down to it I'll live with it and the scars that I'll get (I've already gotten a few!). I'm just worried about having people over and her biting them. Plus my young niece is coming to visit me soon..she's autistic and I don't want to have her associate biting/pain with all cats because she doesn't necessarily understand.
Maybe naming her Atilla the Hunee was a bad thing?! She's certainly living up to the name. ::)
ETA...Atilla is three months old.
Well she is definitely a cutie! I've never had a problem with my cats biting but ever since I moved home we've been trying to integrate my cat with the one that was already here and it's been pretty tough. They get in this little spats and just won't stop and like you said they sometimes enjoy it when we spray them with water. What we've started doing, and this may sound crazy, is carrying around a whistle and each time they start, give it a good hard blow. It scares them just enough to get them to stop what they're doing. Maybe you could apply the came concept to the biting. :cat:
As you know, cats will have their own individual personality and some are more aggressive, intolerant and quick tempered. My one female, Kitty, is very loving but she also has a quick fuse when it comes to her kids(3 of them) and when not getting her way. She's the only one I have that hisses and cries in a mean way with me when she's mad, which for her, is often. I think the squirt gun would be a good idea as long as you make sure it's not necessarily a mist but more of steady stream to get her attention. Also, some cats are more sensitive to petting and overall physical contact. Most love it, but there are the few that find it irritating and will respond accordingly. Your's could be one of those types. In any rate, your cat is very lucky to have you because a lot of people would have resorted to other methods, like taking her to a local animal shelter for good. Hopefully, as you said, this may just correct itself in time as she gets older. Good luck!
DJ said what i was thinking - she might just have a low stimulation level. i would leave her alone/not give her attention with your hands when she is biting. use wand toys and balls for playing. i have a tortie (cory) who bites for fun/play sometimes when she wants to play and not be petted. other times she's an angle. hopefully your kittie will "grow up" and loose the biting. for now: wand toys!
cory also LOVES balls - all kinds of shapes, materials, and weights. and fabric mice. she likes the "fur" mice too but i have a harder time finding fluffy ones that are small, heavy and FAKE FUR that are like the "real fur" ones. she likes those but i won't buy them for her.
baypuppy took my suggestions. When we got Mojo, he was a farm orphan, and he bit a lot. Deffinitely give her lots of toys and NEVER use your hand or foot as a toy, they use their teeth and claws when playing, that's ok, she just needs to learn that hands are NOT TOYs. If you are petting her and she bites, I would do the same as I do with my toddler. Give a firm NO BITTING! and then stop the play session. She will catch on that if she wants attention from you, she can't bite.
I have had several abandoned kitties and they tend to bite more at first, its a survival thing. If they were raised by their momma she would keep her litter in line, but little ones often learn to grow up alone.
We had this problem with one of our cats and I agree with the other posted who suggested not using your hands to play and such. My other suggestion is that when she does bite you yell NO loudly at her and hide your hands she should catch on fairly quickly. My brother chose another route when training his cat. When she would bit him he would take her paw, ear or tail and bit it, not hard enough to do injury but hard enough for her to not like it. Apparently it can also be a dominance issue she may be trying to establish herself as the alpha female. I am not advocating injuring your cat and I am not sure I would bit my cat personally (really not a vegan idea I would assume) but hey it's an idea. My family are long time cat owners and we always tell people when they get a kitten that they should buy toys and never use their hands as toys.
In my oppinon it's similar to owning a dog, if you don't want the dog to think stuffed animals are toys then don't play with them using stuffed animals. Same with cats if you don't want them to think hands and feet are plaything then don't use them as such.
Good Luck the kitty is very pretty!
Nothing new to add other than to back up the 'no hands as toys' thing. One of my favourite pastimes at my parents' house is to persuade my dad to wind one of the cats up then laugh when he gets bitten. Grown man, should know better >:D
I agree with everyone else.
We treat Pouncival like a toddler. You can think I'm crazy if you want to (you may be right!) but it's really helped a lot in situation where I wasn't sure what to do. I've never had a cat before, but I've known lots of babies!
Pounce likes to bite if you rub his belly. BUT! He loves to have his belly rubbed. He just gets so excited about it that he bites. We just take our hands away and say firmly "NO. Ouch. No biting!" And then a few minutes later rub his belly again. If he bites, we repeat.
His bites are much gentler now, but we still tell him no. He's slowly learning that just because he's feeling excited and rambunctious doesn't mean he should use teeth. Your kitty is probably not biting because she hates you, I'm sure she loves you. Which means she wouldn't want to have you take your hands away or sound disappointed and hurt.
ETA: I forgot to mention, she's so young! With any luck she's still impressionable enough to learn quickly... but then again she might not understand because she thinks everything is a game. Good luck!
I haven't read all the other replies, so sorry if this is a repeat, but she might be teething? I had a (tabby) kitten once who used to sit on my chest while I was sleeping and chew on my nose! It really hurt, but she grew out of it after a few months.
I agree with the other "hands are not toys" suggestions too, and to stop playing/petting when she bites.
mirrya. i cant help you with your kitty situation. but i just wanted to make a note here. i made another thread asking for your contact info or for you to email me. just wanted to make sure you saw that. ok yay. back to kitties.
I also have nothing of substance to add that is cat-related. But I wanted to comment that I think it is awesome of you to think of how this might cause anxiety/bad associations to your neice. I hope your visit with her is awesome!
Back to cats.