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Discussion Starter #1
My cat is very familiar with the no-no rule of biting. He still does it though. Ive tried a firmer no, but still no improvment.He tries to nip at my hand, and when I move it, he runs off because he knows what happens if he does it. He gets a firm smack on the butt now, but I dont want to have to keep having to do that! What can I do?
 

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Well, a smack on the butt isn't going to be successful anyway. It's absolutely normal for young cats to bite but you need to teach them by being consistent.
The most effective thing I've found is, when he bites, instead of puling away, gently press the body part he has (hand, leg, foot) towards his mouth. Then say "no!" and completely ignore him for a few minutes. Moving towards them instead of pulling away confuses them and just isn't as fun. Prey is supposed to try to run away!
Also, make sure he's getting tons of play time too!
 

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Never encourage any sort of playing with any body part, and don't let other people do it either.

Some ideas:
-As already suggested, push towards him instead of away.
-Yell "no!" or "ouch!" loudly and sharply, then push him away.
-Growl or hiss at him, then scruff & hold for a few sec and set him away from you, or put him in the bathroom.
-Spray bottle.
-Redirect his attention to something that is okay to play with.
-Time outs in the bathroom when he's all wired up and won't stop. 20 min to an hour to give him the chance to chill out.
-When he bites your hand, stick your thumb in his mouth (carefully, and only attempt this with a young kitten otherwise you may end up with a nasty puncture wound)

Its also important to make sure he gets enough positive play and attention. A few times a day, play with him with a toy wand (DaBird for instance) or laser pointer until he's completely worn out.
 

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By play I mean with an object, not your hands! Da Bird is fantastic toy and so is Cat Dancer. Never ever let him use your hand as a chew toy, even if he is being gentle. If he tries to bite, stop all play and ignore him for a few minutes, or give him a time out in the bathroom.
Personally, I would not scruff and hold or use a spray bottle because those things, although they are effective with some cats, can backfire and cause aggressive behavior. I think the best way is calm, firm, positive reenforcement. If, every time he goes to bite he gets ignored or put away for a few minutes, he will soon figure out that biting is not getting him the attention he wants. Cats are really smart and they will do what they need to to get what they want.
They train us well!
 

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I have had this experience too and I was given some advice which works well if you can predict when your cat is going to bite. Because it is playful and not agressive, more inappropriate than anything, if you can work out when he is going to cross the line, then take him off your knee or whatever and basically stop the play session. My cat Mandy was hand reared and has always been more bitey. I can usually tell when she is going from playful rolling around to biting and the back legs come up for a proper raking too! So stopping the interaction at that point ie before it gets to that means there isn't any perceived reward or progression to it.

I think this is quite difficult to achieve and as other people have said consistency is vital but it can be a good long term solution. Soon the undesirable behaviour will not be as naturally sequential as before and (we hope) will phase out altogether. If you can't tell I have heard that making a rough note of how long it takes for your cat to cross the line is effective because that might indicate his threshold and you can do your bit after that amount of time.

Anyway good luck, I have referred to your cat as he throughout, sorry if he is a she!

Let us know what happens! x
 

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I've found stopping the play session when biting happens and walking away/ ignoring helps alot. I felt horrible at first ignoring but Bodhi really did seem to understand after awhile why it was happening. I can definitely vouch for consistency. If I forget and let him bite several play sessions he goes back to it again.

Watching the tail helped me the most as far as knowing when he was about to cross the line. The more his tail moved/ jerked around etc. Their eyes can tell alot too. If Bodhi walks up to my chair pupils dilated and stares at me non-stop it means I probably missed a scheduled play session and there will be **** to pay...lol...time for the catnip mouse on a string....lol.
 

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My cats have never bit hard or anything more than a couple times, but when they get excited while playing they might get their teeth around my finger and chew on it. I just always say firmly, "Heeeeyyy" real drawn out like that. Then they stop and their ears prick up and they look at me surprised. After a while they learned not to do that anymore. Still happens every once in a while though when they get real wound up lol. They won't bite down though now, they'll get the teeth on there and then stop real quick.
 

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A little bit of hot sauce on your finger can help your cat decide real fast that he doesn't want them in his mouth anymore. My friend's cat had a bad habit of using his teeth to get his way, as well as using them inappropriately during play. He'd actually seek out hands to bite. So it basically took one day of having a little bowl of hot sauce on the table to dab on our fingers whenever he'd come around. I felt so bad though :? He's run away all startled when he'd get the taste on his tongue! It sure stopped him though, he hasn't bitten anyone hard since that day, just careful mouthing if he does bite.
 

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I'm not sure how old your cat is, but my little guy used to bite like crazy all the time when he was a kitten. I would always give him a firm "no", and sometimes a push or a little swat on the butt if he was being particularly mean.

But he's just passed a year old and now he only bites if you're poking him in the belly...If your cat is a kitten it might just be because he's a baby; I'd give it some time!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Probie is about 1 yrs old. The biting does not occour around play time. It occours around petting time (which happpens 12/7 lol)He gets a little rowdy when i pet him.
 
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