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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
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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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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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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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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 :p 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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Braxen, there's another method you might try with a bold kitty like you have, but have your shoes on for this one. When he looks like he's going to attack your feet, stamp your foot hard on the floor and say "No". If he actually does attack your feet, say "No" sternly and tap on his toe, firm enough that he pays attention but not enough to hurt him. After a bold kitty gets his toe tapped a few times, he usually decides biting feet or legs isn't much fun. Think about it.....if his momacat had her foot or leg bitten, she would bite him in the neck to discipline him, hard enough that he would think twice before doing it again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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, lol...kinda like her Momma :p 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!
Finnick is super cuddly, and it's towards everyone. I had friends over last night who he's not seen since he was super little, and he willingly slept on one of them most of the night. He loves cuddles and attention. It doesn't matter who gives it to him, though he's closer to my SO than anyone. Finnick's not moody, but he is definitely whiny and chatty. I've never had such a talkative cat who enjoys telling me his exact emotion at that time.

I intend to try the water bottle thing. I just have to go get a water bottle first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Braxen, there's another method you might try with a bold kitty like you have, but have your shoes on for this one. When he looks like he's going to attack your feet, stamp your foot hard on the floor and say "No". If he actually does attack your feet, say "No" sternly and tap on his toe, firm enough that he pays attention but not enough to hurt him. After a bold kitty gets his toe tapped a few times, he usually decides biting feet or legs isn't much fun. Think about it.....if his momacat had her foot or leg bitten, she would bite him in the neck to discipline him, hard enough that he would think twice before doing it again.
Oh, I'd be so afraid I would hurt him. We already step on him accidentally thanks to his need to always be underneath our feet. I will think about it. If all else fails, I'll try it, but I don't want to do anything that could potentially hurt him.
 

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No you don't want to hurt him, just want him to back off. Of course if you do step on him accidentally, you should always apologize profusely and give him lots of loving. Believe me, they do learn the difference when you mean business and when you've made a mistake.
 

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I don't know how old he was before separated from him mom/litter. But the kitten needs to be trained the way his mom would teach him. One or any of these things should work.

1- Give out a very loud high pitch yelp when he bites you. This is part of the training him mom and litter mates teach each other that biting hurts.

2- Scruff him (I'm new here, do we allow that?) the way his mom would, and take him a short distance away to re-direct him to a toy.

3- Make a hissing sound at him.

4 -Scolding "NO" in a deep growling sound.

Never any physical punishment of he will learn to be fearful and not trusting

1 or 2, or in combination, should get his immediate combination
 

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I actually stared scruffing him last night, so I'm glad I did something right! I was worried it was being mean to him, but I just got tired of him attacking me and read somewhere that mothers scruffed their kittens for time outs. I hold him by the scruff for a few seconds, tell him no, and then redirect him to a toy. So far, it's been working. He still does it a bit, but the aggression level has gone down remarkably. Now, when he does it, it's just to pounce at my leg and then sit down and stare...much better than the all out war he was doing before.
 

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Remember a deep, growling "no", too

I think I read somewhere that scruffing is controversial according to some people, but I'm not sure why.

BUT, REMEMBRER - scruffung should not be hurting the cat, and you should not actually be carrying him around that way. Always make sure he is well supported and not carried around that way.
 

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Oh, of course not. He's not hurt in the slightest, and I only do it on the floor. I don't enjoy carrying cats around like that. It looks painful to me. If it were to hurt him, I would immediately stop. I don't want him terrified of humans. At the moment he loves people - anyone and everyone. I would hate for him to lose that. Right now he just has play aggression as he was taken from his mother at 4 weeks and is still being properly socialized.
 

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my husband and i have a new kitten and he´s having some eating issues at the moment, constantly wanting to attack our dishes, hungrily, and at times he nips.

i was at a loss for how to handle this and checked out some websites. i came across the advice to grab them by the scruff of their neck (gently, but firmly) and say NO. while taking their bodies to the ground and holding him there for a few seconds... it made perfect sense to me. acting like a mother cat would and asserting dominance!

i have persistently done this, and noticed almost an immediate change. instead of lunging at my dish, he slowly creeps up and meows, he has become very hesitant.

my husband on the other hand does not practice this persistently, and our kitten lunges at his dish and has even nipped him!

we have only had him about a week and i am sure there are going to be other issues we will have, but this technique really seems to be helping me, and i am sure my husband once he sticks to it lol.

good luck!
 

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O Right now he just has play aggression as he was taken from his mother at 4 weeks and is still being properly socialized.
As I understand it, this is likely the reason. As I mentioned, their mother teaches them the limits, that biting hurts, buy scruffing or letting out growls and their litter mated let out yelps. Try to imitate the yelps very loud and sudden
 
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