How to teach kitten not to bite? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2014, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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How to teach kitten not to bite?

A few weeks ago, I picked up this abandoned kitten from the street, estimated to be about 5 weeks old. Boots has started playing roughly by biting and scratching, especially after feeding. She's quite hyper and loves to run around and wrestle. Problem is, humans are the only ones she seems to want to play fight with, I don't know how to teach her not to bite too hard, or not to bite at all. I've tried the following methods whenever she starts to bite, but none have worked to stop her behavior:

1. bringing over a cat toy (fishing pole type) and moving it around in front of her
2. hissing
3. moving away
4. freezing until she stops biting
5. scruffing her (just once to see if this worked, since I was really frustrated already)
6. carrying her over to our other kittens (4-month-olds) so she could play with them instead

#1 (fishing pole toy) works but only occasionally. She starts to chase it and swat at it, but eventually goes back to me. The rest don't work at all. Scruffing made her stop for about a second; she stopped for a while when I put her down, then a second later she resumed biting me, trying to get me to play with her.

I don't want to stop her being playful; I just want her to play with the cat toys or the other cats--and not with our fingers and hands.

I've seen her playing with one of our kittens, Lychee (equally hyper), but only once. She tried playing with another kitten, Rainbow, by biting her, but Rainbow got mad and scratched and bit Boots.

Should I use the spray method? Should I lock her in her cage for 15 mins whenever she does this? Any other ideas?

Last edited by miatetangco; 01-11-2014 at 12:30 PM.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2014, 01:50 PM
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I think this is normal kitten play behavior. She's very young, ideally kittens should stay with their mom until at least 12 weeks of age. Mom and litter mates would let her know she's playing too rough. That's how they learn. I'd say keep using pole type toys to play with her. Don't use your hands or fingers. How about a laser pointer? If she starts biting, then stop playing with her and walk away. She'll eventually make the connection between biting and ending the play session. I'm sure others will have more experience and suggestions good luck with your new baby!


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2014, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki'sMum View Post
Mom and litter mates would let her know she's playing too rough. That's how they learn... How about a laser pointer? If she starts biting, then stop playing with her and walk away. She'll eventually make the connection between biting and ending the play session... good luck with your new baby! Sent from Petguide.com Free App
Yes, that's why I was hoping she would start playing with our older kittens, so they'd be able to "teach" her. I have actually walked away and stopped playing before, but I feel so guilty afterwards because she runs away and hides when I stop, like she's sad or mad that no one will play with her But I guess it's for our own good. I'll just make sure to cuddle up to her more while feeding LOL

Thanks!
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2014, 10:37 PM
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She's pretty young still, so it'll be a combination of practice, patience, and time. The other kittens may help as she gets older.

Personally I'd grab a stuffed animal by its back and then use that to wrestle with her. If you're not using your hand she'll associate the toy with wrestling and biting rather than your body.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2014, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by librarychick View Post
Personally I'd grab a stuffed animal by its back and then use that to wrestle with her. If you're not using your hand she'll associate the toy with wrestling and biting rather than your body.
Yes, that sounds like a great idea! I used to use an empty rat toy that can hold catnip but it's gotten too small for her lol... I was hedging on the idea because I wasn't sure she'd play with it. I'll go out and look for a small stuffed toy. Thanks
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2014, 11:41 PM
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Hi, I'm experiencing something similar with my 8-week-old kitten Felicity. I found her on the street at 3 weeks old.

It does take time and patience (like many here have already said). With Felicity, she still bites but not as much. Luckily I can distract her by using toys and sometimes even her own tail.
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