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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-10-2005, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Biting

I've noticed that with my cat that sometimes when shes sitting on me, purring, and when im petting her that she will lightly bite my hand.

what would the reason behind this be?

Thanks
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 10:56 AM
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this is kitten play behavior. you should begin to discourage it NOW, because you're not a kitten and she needs to learn the difference, that she's not to bite you, because sometime she might accidentally do it harder when she's angry or excited.

you MUST be consistent; no exceptions, otherwise she'll get mixed messages. and this will take a while. don't give up after a couple days.

the best way is to immediately say "NO!" in a loud voice and take your hand away and stop playing until she stops biting. if she keeps biting anyway, then put the cat down and walk away. she's got to learn that she won't get any attention or positive feedback from you when she does that.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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shes like 7yrs old
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 04:56 PM
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they retain some of these behaviors into adulthood, esp. when associating with humans, who sometimes think they're cute. knowing your cat is that old, I can only say it will be more difficult to teach her to stop it, but you should still try.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 05:28 PM
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Assumpta is very good about giving warning bites to my husband and me if she's getting ready to go into a full-blown biting episode, and they're pretty gentle (usually ). Some cats get easily overstimulated by petting and it may be her way of saying "Okay, I'm done."

OTOH, lot of cats get so zoned out from patting that they revert to kittenish behavior and will kind of gnaw gently on your hand in a really tranked-out, groggy sort of way. Other cats bite as part of playing.

The difference can usually be found in the cat's other body language. Look at the whiskers, eyes, ears, tail, body posture, and facial movements to see what the cat's overall mood and likely course of action is.

If you decide to discourage it, do NOT yank your hand away, make fast movements, or raise your voice a lot...that can easily escalate an aggressive episode. Go limp, and say something like "No Bite" in a quiet, yet stern way. If that doesn't work, try following this treatment by physically turning your back on the cat and ignoring her for a couple of minutes, that usually seems to get the message across. I ended up having to use cat vocalizations, followed by ignoring because Assumpta was completely ignorant of "No," but seemed to understand a cat yowl very well.

Also, make sure that you're not inadvertantly causing the cat any pain or discomfort while petting...a lot of times, older cats may have dental or ear problems that make facial petting painful and cause a reaction. Some others just have places thay don't want people touching (bellies, paws, and tails are common), and will react if touched in a "no-fly zone."
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gudewife
Some others just have places thay don't want people touching (bellies, paws, and tails are common), and will react if touched in a "no-fly zone."
that's why I'm glad my cats are young, and I've gotten them used to being touched and handled all over. I'm sure vets will appreciate this.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-11-2005, 06:13 PM
 
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Re: Biting

Quote:
Originally Posted by PC
I've noticed that with my cat that sometimes when shes sitting on me, purring, and when im petting her that she will lightly bite my hand.

what would the reason behind this be?
"I'm done with the petting. Quit touching me. However I will still lower myself to use you as a heating pad, so that's why I'm still on your lap."
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Well when she does bite it does not hurt so i dont yank away. just let her do her thing and carry on with what i was doing.



I still just think shes half brain dead.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PC
Well when she does bite it does not hurt so i dont yank away. just let her do her thing and carry on with what i was doing.
this is why she will never learn that it is not acceptable for her to bite humans.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 03:29 PM
 
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Like you said, it doesn't hurt, because it's a usually just a nip. It's good that you don't yank away, and stay still so she won't cause any accidental real damage. But make sure you stop petting her immediately.

You can prevent it from getting to the nipping stage. The bite is usually one of the last warnings you get, because you didn't read her other warnings. First the pupils go real big, the skin twitches a little, the tail starts twitching, then swishing, then whipping. The ears may start going back too. So she's wondering why you don't get it, and probably figuring you're half brain dead too.
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