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Hi,

We have this routine that whenever I or my boyfriend get home, I/my boyfriend sit down on the rug behind the door with Ruby and we cuddle for a few minutes. She's an affectionate cat and gets very purry and cuddly especially when she hasn't seen us for a while. She's been living with us for just over 3 months now. For the last month or so, she's been getting a bit bitey during this. I don't think it's vicious and she's all purry while she does this, but she'll grab our arm tightly with her arms and start biting it and kicking it with her back legs. It's only lightly at first, but she gets a bit carried away after a while and bites a lot harder then. Is this normal? We usually wear a jacket these days so it doesn't hurt, but I think she would really hurt me if I was only wearing a t-shirt with my arms exposed. I don't want to tell her off because I think she's just being affectionate, but how can I get her to be a bit less rough? If I pull my arm away, she'll keep trying to reach for it. I usually just get up if she's getting too rough with me.
 

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When she does that in a firm louder (not yelling) voice "No." or "Ouch." Then get up and walk away. Give her no attention for a little bit.

Soon she'll learn that when she gets rough with you the love and fun is over.
 

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When she does that in a firm louder (not yelling) voice "No." or "Ouch." Then get up and walk away. Give her no attention for a little bit.

Soon she'll learn that when she gets rough with you the love and fun is over.
This is probably the best and perhaps only way. It's the sort of method I use with Missy, but, she does forget at times. How much is a 'little bit'?
 

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When she does that in a firm louder (not yelling) voice "No." or "Ouch." Then get up and walk away. Give her no attention for a little bit.

Soon she'll learn that when she gets rough with you the love and fun is over.
This is what I did with my Mia when she started doing this around 10 months old. She eventualy stopped but it took time and effoert on my part. Now that I have Mac (have had him 3 1/2 months) when she wants extra attention, she nips lightly at my leg or pants for me to pet her if she wants/needs some time. If I give her some attention, (doesnt always have to be alot) She wont do it again. Well until she thinks little brother is getting to much attention. lol
 

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angel gives us "love bites" as we call them. she sorta gnaws on our fingers only. whenever she does it, though, we just go completely limp and she becomes very gentle or stops. (no use continuing to bite dead prey we suppose) luckily she does not try to "gut" us with her back legs, though.

we're very lucky that both our senior cats know not to get too rough with the biting. even when we have food on our fingers, it's so funny how they basically just scrape the food off with their whole mouth without biting down.

good luck with your ruby. i'd just say if you haven't necessarily tried it yet - to just go limp and dead as soon as she starts biting. that is, if the "ouch" thing doesn't work.
 

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Maybe it's just me, but this doesn't sound affectionate. It's certainly play behavior, but for most cats play and prey are the same which is why we try to avoid "playing" with our hands/fingers.

I'd get her a nice big stuffed animal for when she does this again. that instinct to grab on with the front paws and teeth and disembowel with the back feet is totally normal but it should ONLY happen on toys. You should redirect with an appropriate toy and withhold attention until she's calmed down.

Keep in mind that some cats purr when they're distressed to calm themselves down. She may be telling you she doesn't want to cuddle. She probably is just playing though and as cute as she is, you need to reinforce that this is not acceptable play with the people in the house -- only with the approved toys
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for these suggestions! :) I'll give that a try.

@rightsaidfred - she's not really in a playful mood when she does this, it feels like she just gets a bit overexcited. She still likes my attention and she never bites me when we play (I never use my hands when playing with her). It starts very lightly, she holds on to my arm and rubs her head on it, grooms it and bites lightly, then after a little while the kicking starts (it's never very hard though and I don't mind it) and then she starts biting harder. If she doesn't want me to pet her, she usually just walks away.
 

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It's just over excitement. I agree with the others that going limp or walking away are good choices, but you also need to watch your own behavior when this happens. If you're talking in an excited voice, rubbing her tummy quickly, or even moving your hand and arm at all you might be encouraging this behavior.

Doran and muffin both LOVE tummy rubs, but we have to pet solely and calmly while speaking on a calm voice or they get over stimulated and do the grab and bunny kick thing. So we know how to act to encourage good behavior.

It's a major peeve of mine when people get their pets, especially young ones, all crazy and riled up then get excited when they inevitably give you a chomp. It's just not fair! I'm not saying that's what you're doing on purpose, but it's always important to make sure that the way you are acting helps them to make the right choices. :)
 

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Thanks librarychick, that's a really good point. I was quite tired when I got home yesterday and was quite calm myself and she didn't bite me at all. I'm quite a calm person in general but maybe I got a bit excited as well when seeing her and it affected her. I'll try and stay calmer from now on. :)
 

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Ethan does this as well. He really likes to lick and will eventually start to chomp. He does this to my husband on weekends when we sleep in and he's ready for breakfast. We have a video of it from about two weeks ago and he did this until my husband got up and put food in his bowl.

I don't tolerate it. I'm trying to break him of this before the baby gets here. I will pull my hand away and give a firm "no" and that usually does the trick.
 

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As the others have said, pulling away and giving a firm "no" will do the trick.

I go one step further, though, and point my finger like a "mother" while saying "no." Everybody knows, even little cats, that when Mom points her finger, you're in trouble!
 

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Murphy does the same thing, although rarely, when I get home from work and we're sitting on the living room floor. I've always chalked it up to over-stimulation. There's a look in his eye when it's coming on . . . sort of that surprised, about to go sprinting into another room look, so when I see that I just stop petting him.
 
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