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Old 11-13-2011, 07:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Kitten Biting Us While We Sleep!

Hi everyone!

I'm a new member here with a 4-month old sable Burmese male named Max, and he's an adorable love bug who is bright, bold and affectionate. He does have a bad habit of biting on occasion (not too hard) but I want to train him to stop biting at all (at least, to stop biting humans). I've read this forum on this topic quite a bit and although I have a good idea how to deal with biting when I am awake. How do I respond when my kitteh decides to bite me while I am sound asleep and not moving?

The issue is that little Max likes to sleep under the sheets with us at night which is fine, but he'll start to paw at my calf or ankle and then *chomp* on it, kinda hard and enough to wake me (and I am a very sound sleeper). Last time he did this I gave him a firm no, but I realize I can also put him out of the room if he does this.

I would love to hear advice about this issue and how I can train him to stop randomly biting us when we sleep. He's also been biting my girlfriend's hair and seems obsessed with it...so much so that we had to put him out of the bedroom (with access to the house) at night. We've been giving him plenty of attention and exercise, and he's never caged. It's a single-cat household with two adults and no children. He's only been here a week and this behavior started around the third day when he started feeling more comfortable, I'm guessing.

Any ideas or tips are welcomed.

Thanks a lot!

Max
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Old 11-13-2011, 10:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hello!

I had that problem too when I wanted my Beatuy to sleep in bed with me. At first I thought it was because I startled her when I moved during the night which is a possibility. I've only had her 3 months and I'm discovering that cats can take a long time to get used to their surroundings and feel comfortable and safe. Just yesterday, she slept on my bed and tried to chomp on me, but this time it wasn't hard at all. I just felt her grab a hold of my leg and I think when she realized it was me moving out of the bed, she let go and got off the bed too. She's more gentle with her play biting too. I have 2 canine kids and no homosapien children, but I'm hoping that we'll be able to all sleep "loose" in the apt. at some point - that's my goal anyway.

When she would bite too hard, I'd also say NO and react to her biting, but soon after I'd place her in the bathroom (where she usually sleeps). She's growing so I think she's calming down with that kitty energy and rambunctiousness (don't know if that's a word). I don't know whether there is a way to train other than to respond to his biting and remove him from the bed or the room. I think that will let him know that the behavior is unacceptable. Same thing with the hair biting - say NO. I'm sure someone else will come by and give you advice on that too because I have not encountered this. My Beauty does know what NO means now. When she's about to climb my bedroom curtains (which are more special than the living room curtains) she will turn around and look at me with this annoyed "What?" expression and she won't climb the curtains.

Does your cat have a set feeding schedule? My brother in law told me that sometimes cats who don't have set schedules will wake their owners to eat. I was afraid BEauty would wake me up with her claws to my eyes while I slept, but that hasn't been the case. And, maybe he wants to play - he is kitty after all. Just be consistent in the correction of the unwanted behavior (that's what I'd say). He goes away (out of the bedroom) or you go away and the "fun" stops. They'll put 2 and 2 together soon enough.
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Old 11-14-2011, 01:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Agree with Beauty Betty Berry. Be consistant in your actions and soon enuogh kitty will realize that he's not getting what he's looking for by using such a method. Milky used to wake us up at all hours of the night to play or whatever and after a series of scolding/closing him out from the bedroom etc, he now is able to sleep almost until morning or at least he will try
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Old 11-14-2011, 02:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Great advice and thanks for the thoughtful responses. Her feeding schedule is somewhat loosely based on wet food in the morning with dry food (and less wet) at night. Litter box is kept clean and he gets tons of affection and play. I've been putting him out and saying 'No' when he bites, so he might be getting it. He's a very smart kitty and I noticed his bites don't come as often or as readily...almost as if he's hesitating. He's also not biting quite as hard but still, I don't want him biting at all.

I'll definitely keep up with the regimen of putting him out if he bites...he's a smart little guy and I think he'll learn but ah yeah, he's definitely rambunctious!

Also, his food drive isn't too strong right now...he eats, but he doesn't go nuts when I am prepping his food. But, he's only been here a week as of today and I think he might still be getting comfortable. He's also easily distracted...so I think he forgets to eat if he has a chance to be on top of one of us purring away (or playing) hehe. So, I don't think he's waking us up to eat just yet (tho he might try that later).
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The meowing for food will come soon enough, after he's tried it once he'll keep at it, if you've been routinely giving him food at the same times everyday. I had a lot of questions too when I just had Milky for a week. Take your time with everything, it's all a matter of trial and error! Good luck!
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milky's Mammy View Post
The meowing for food will come soon enough, after he's tried it once he'll keep at it, if you've been routinely giving him food at the same times everyday. I had a lot of questions too when I just had Milky for a week. Take your time with everything, it's all a matter of trial and error! Good luck!
Thanks! He stopped biting our legs in the bed after being sent out a few times. Woot! Now we're just trying to nail down a proper diet.
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