Love Bites? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2007, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Love Bites?

My calico foster kitty is a doll. She loves me, love attention, and purrs like a maniac. She also somehow kneads without extending her claws, so that you think you've got a declawed cat on your lap, but they're all there. Unfortunately, when she gets too happy and/or excited, she bites. Not hard enought to break the skin, but definitely hard enough to hurt.

Big problem is that the home I have lined up for her has two children. Nice children who've been taught to handle smalle animals since they were tiny, actually, as usually I'd be hesitant to home an animal somewhere they might get mauled. (Not a fan of children, lol) But while I can deal with the 'love bites' for lack of a better term, biting children is never a good thing. So I really need to try and curb this behavior in the next week or so, if possible.

It's stressful on both of us, because she'll be up on my lap or otherwise close by, kneading like a dream cat, purring up a storm, and BAM the pain of a bite shoots through, and she's just as happy as can be - this is not a warning 'I've had enough' bite. If I say a loud, firm NO she jumps and looks like I just smacked her. And does it again next time.

Any other ideas?


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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2007, 12:13 PM
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Chloe was a big biter when we got her. She wasn't doing it to be mean, she would just get excited and playful and bite us. When she bites us, we just hold our hand still and say "Chloe, NO!" in a stern, but not loud, voice. We just hold our hand still until she lets go or starts licking us. Then we say good girl and go back to petting her. If she does it again, we say No again, and then pull our hand back and walk away and ignore her. It took a couple of months, but she hardly ever bites us now. She hasn't bitten my daughter in a while, and she used to bite her practicly every day! (My daughter would walk up and put her index finger up to Chloe's mouth. Umm, yeah, she's going to bite you, kid! )


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2007, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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She doesn't hold on, though... Suddenly bites and goes back to being a happy, kneading kitty, so by the time I'm able to react, she's stopped biting me and seems not to know why I just told her NO.


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2007, 12:43 PM
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You have to react faster. React like you're hurt. It does hurt, doesn't it? What would you do if you were poked with a pin? Do that so she'll know that her bite hurts you and that you don't want her to do it. I've noticed with my cats that unless they get really excited and forget their "manners", they take care not to hurt me with their teeth or claws. And that's because they learned early on not to do that, and get reminded anytime they might temporarily forget.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2007, 01:50 PM
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How old are the children? That makes a difference.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-09-2007, 02:54 PM
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Arianwen was bad about getting overexcited and biting/clawing when I first got her. She wasn't being mean, just joyful and engaging in instinctive cat-play. But it hurt.
She has gotten much better about that lately because I do as the folks here have suggested. When she forgets and starts hurting me I flinch and say, "Ow!! Stop it Arianwen!", for the first bite, then play stops if she does it again. But it's much more effective if your reaction is almost instant, because cats think very quickly.
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