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Discussion Starter #1
Over the last couple of weeks Finn has started biting. It's not like "leave me alone" biting, or aggressive, it's more of a play biting like young kittens do. I was a little thrown off since I got him at 5 months and he had never bitten, ever. He started trying to play bite me, now he's moved onto doing it to my 8-year-old niece as well (I babysit/watch her), which can't continue - my brother would kill me if his daughter was injured by my cat. He's started doing it a bit harder, and I can see if you jerk away, it'd definitely wound. I've tried saying "No! You don't bite" in a stern voice and then sitting him down and ignoring him for a few minutes, but it doesn't seem to work so far. I've had kittens that did that before, but when they were much younger, and they stopped by around 5 months.

Anyone else seen this? It's a bit strange that he's just now doing it.
 

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8 or 9 months are usually the worst time for bratty behavior, so I don't find it unusual. Suggest you get a wand or fishing pole type of toy and get him tired out. It sounds like he's either bored or has excess energy. The stern "No" is good and then ignoring for a while. Teach him to "come" on command either by using "clicker" training or voice. When he does come reward with a treat, and when he's doing it well, substitute a treat with a toy, or petting. You want to try and switch his thinking.....if he bites at all during this, then either pick him up and isolate him for 15 mins. or you walk away and isolate yourself. He should soon realize that biting isn't going to get him treats or play. It's just a teenage phase he's going through, and will grow out of it, so not to worry, but you'll have to work with him.
 

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Thanks for the ideas. Finn does know his name and almost always comes when I call - unless he is very interested in something, or has a wild hair, which is usually when he'd try to play bite. If I want him to stop something or move away from something, I generally say "no" and I snap my finger is a line motion of where I want him to go, and he generally does it. It's just these wild hairs. haha. I guess there was an advantage with past cats; they started young and I nipped it in the bud early and they stopped before getting this big. I guess I just thought since he hadn't had interest in it younger that it wouldn''t start this late on. But you'e right, teens are bratty. ;) I will try what you've suggested.
 

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Don't know really when it usually starts up, since I've had adult Tutu for 2 years, but she play bites when she's super excited during play sessions (or on the rare occasion she's actually not happy about being touched on her belly).

She's NEVER bitten any more than a play bite that is soft enough for a kitten, and often she licks me directly after or even stops mid-bite to lick me.

I know this is normal for cats (esp her since she was a stray for a while) but her human daddy doesn't approve. :-/
 

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Finn is feeling his grown-up male oats and is being more aggressive toward everyone. He needs to be taught that manners are not optional. I agree with the stern "NO" when he is acting inappropriately. Also, do has his own siblings and mother would, and refuse to play with him if he is going to bite and be too rough. The penalty for biting is no play. He will understand that message quickly. If you feel he needs a boisterous play time, use remote toys to allow him to bite and get out his aggression; like a mouse on the end of a wand toy, or a tackle pillow he can bite hard and clutch and rake with his back paws. But refuse to play if he insists on hurting you during the play.

I love adolescent kitties; they are so like young men with thier puffed up sense of self and their comical posturing. Hope he comes around soon for you and learns his manners easily.
 
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