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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Disciplining a kitten

Finnick's new game is to attack my legs and feet. It's not fun for me, but he seems to enjoy it. I've been trying to discipline him for doing it because I really don't want this to become a habit. Thus far, every time he's done it, I've locked him in his carrier for 30 seconds. It doesn't seem to be working though. The last time he just jumped out and immediately bit my foot again, so I put him back in there. I realize that he's probably bored, but I can't spend every minute entertaining him. We just moved, and I'm trying to get the house fixed up, so I'm pretty busy with that. He still gets a lot of attention. We play fetch with his paper ball for at least an hour, and then later play with the laser pointer. Plus, he gets special times for pets and cuddles, grooming, and he sleeps on me no matter what I'm doing (except standing, of course).

I just don't know what to do to make him understand that biting my legs and feet are a big no-no. Any suggestions?

Oh, and he's 12 weeks now...almost 13. My SO is hoping that when he gets fixed (at 16 weeks), he'll calm down...but I don't see that really happening...
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 01:51 AM
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I wouldn't put him in his carrier for two reasons.

First, he'll think of it as a bad place and he'll hate going in it when he really has to.

Second, he won't understand. When he does the biting thing, push him away, say NO! and don't play with him. Rinse and repeat, as often as necessary.

It won't happen over night, but eventually he'll learn. Kittens do NOT like being ignored. Cali was my biter. Yup, don't let the sweet face fool you.

P.S. He's still a little baby, so he doesn't really know any better until you teach him.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 09:43 AM
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Yes I have an excellent idea for you (if you go barefoot in the house like i do). This worked for me huge!

Maxie was a foot biter when I first got her, lol. To the point where I did get a spray bottle, even though they said NOT to use one as the kitties think the spray bottle is a type of aggression.

BUT, what I did, just out of the blue one time, is spray MY FEET and bottom of my legs. ROFL, it stopped Maxie in her tracks and instead she started licking my feet and licking my legs. I only had to do it a few times.. Maxie hasn't touched my feet for eons.

Go barefoot perhaps a few times.. give it a try and I hope it works!


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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 10:57 AM
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Whenever mine would do that I'd just freeze in place and wait. They get bored and move on. You have to persistent, but they soon realize your feet are boring.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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I walk around barefoot all the time (I'm a Southerner, it's genetics), so I can try that. He hasn't really decided the cat carrier is bad for him. He sleeps in there and plays in there still, so it's not a bad place. The thing is that I don't move my feet. He attacks them when I'm not moving too! I'll just be sitting there, not doing anything, and he'll come at me. But I will see if those work. I understand he's a baby still, which is why I'm not too mad at him. I'm just tired of my feet looking punctured and scratched (plus, it's hard to move them sometimes as he scratches my ankle).
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 02:22 PM
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One of the first battles I had with Bentley was him jumping up to greet people. I had to learn fast and be an expert at negative punishment to break him of it.

Negative punishment is great and it REALLY works and lasts in their brain forever.

When he bites your toes, within that very split second of him biting, get up and move quickly from the room. Do not make eye contact, do not give any physical response at all. He needs to feel like he is in Siberia. Feel free to shut a door behind you ... but in a way that makes him feel cold and alone and not like its a punishment. Do this for 30 seconds to a minute and then go back and love on him.

You have to have 100% consistency for it to work.

He is biting your toes to get a reaction from you. He wants to play. Any reaction you give him ~ either bad or good~ is what he is looking for. Picking him up (to put him in his crate) is his reward. He can't make the jump that crate = punishment for biting because you have the pick him up step in there beforehand. So in his mind, biting toes = being picked up

If he bites your toes and you quickly leave the room, giving him NOTHING he will say to himself, "Well crap that didn't work.."

Sometimes squirting your feet with water can be its own reward and toy. Not always but sometimes.

At the same time your using this negative punishment you have to be extremely aware of any proper greeting or mannerly signs he wants to play and go hog wild over praise and make sure to respond positive to those actions.
Example ~ if he looks at you and Meows ... get down on the ground with him and right away give him attention. While training him to learn the proper way to get your attention you can't ignore these small steps ~ even if you are cleaning the house for company and can't play at that moment. LOL still take a moment to reward his effort.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-30-2011, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by praline View Post
you can't ignore these small steps ~ even if you are cleaning the house for company and can't play at that moment. LOL still take a moment to reward his effort.

savor those looks you will get. you will never live it down...
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-31-2011, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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I do try and give him attention when he meows. Only time I don't is in the morning because I value my sleep (although it is really hard to ignore a cat that is walking all over you and meowing).

He's a very needy cat and must be in the same room as I am. He HATES closed doors. If he knows a person is in the room closed off, he makes this yodeling meow that has become his "Oh please, let me in!" noise.

You're right. I've been pushing him away from my feet and sternly saying no, but it's just a game to him. Getting up and closing the door behind me just might work. Thank you
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 04:17 PM
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Hey, I was just wondering how the spray bottle (on your own feet) has worked? Have you tried it yet? Any positive results?


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Last edited by marie73; 08-05-2011 at 11:27 PM.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-05-2011, 04:22 PM
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Was also going to say that wow, he sounds alot like Maxie. She loves to play, and wants to be in the same room. Though I loved when Maxie wanted to be in the same room as me. She's not that cuddly (only sometimes, and for a very short while, and then she gets a bit crabby)
She's VERY moody,...kinda like her Momma Though she is way more calmer now than she was even 6 months ago.


Yeah, the no and moving them away doesn't seem to help. I sure hope you tried the spray bottle on the feet thing... would love to hear the results!


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Last edited by marie73; 08-05-2011 at 11:28 PM.
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