Post # 1
So recently, my kitten has decided to become very rebelious. He’s about 10 months old, so we’re figuring it’s his ‘teenage’ attitude.
Anyway, he has been biting us lately for absolutely no reason. We go to pet him, and he bites. I go to pick him up, and he bites. He also does not listen…just completely ignores when I tell him ‘no’. When we first had him, he responded well to ‘no’.
He also cries in front of our door all night long, and messes up our sleep. We would let him sleep with us, but he wakes up at 4am and wants to play/eat.
When we first got him, we had a problem with him scratching us, but that stopped pretty quickly when we started trimming his nails regularly.
I’m starting to get really fed up with his biting..I actually cried last night because I feel like he hates me 🙁
Anyone else run into this problem? I hope I’m not the only one!!
Post # 3
I have an 11 month old kitten who’s the same with us some of the time. He does have phases and we’ve taken to calling him Jekyl & Hyde! We got him from a reputable breeder and he’s a breed (Burmese) which is supposed to be very friendly and affectionate, at least past the 1 year mark. We’ve had alot of the issues you’re having, and this is what our breeder has said:
1. With the biting, if you’re okay to do this, a firm slap on the bum and a loud “NO!” will scare the kitten, and if you’re consistent with it every time he bites, he’ll get the message eventually (She reminded me frequently to remember that his brain is about the size of a walnut, so don’t expect miracles!!) If you’re opposed to slapping, yelling “OOOWWWWWW” or “NO!” very forecefully every time he bites is another option, though not quite as effective.
2. We definitely had issues with crying, and the breeder said basically the only thing you can do is to NOT respond to it. Get on a feeding schedule and stick to it, and try not to be too affectionate with the kitten when you first wake up on weekdays, else he will start to expect company and cuddles every day at that hour, whether its saturday morning or tuesday! Save the real, extended play and cuddle times for the afternoon and evenings when you’re likely to be able to do it every day. Whatever you do, don’t respond to crying and begging at the door. Again, it takes a few weeks of repetition but when the kitten realises its not going to get anything from you, he’ll learn to keep quiet til you get up.
3. OUr kitten used to jump up on the counter and dining room table all the time, and the breeder recommended that everytime we caught him in the act (he’s home alone all day so who knows what he gets up to then!), to pick him up, yell a forcefull “NO” and drop him to the floor in the middle of te room. Repeat as necessary! We tried spraying our cat with water but he LOVED it – freak cat!
Mostly whats important is that you play with your cat as much as possible and cuddle him as much as he lets you. Cats need alot of stimulation and alot of their bad behaviour is caused by boredom. We were told not to consider getting a cat unless we were committed to actively playing with him at least an hour a day – which we mostly do but its a struggle sometimes! We do notice that when we don’t play with him as much he gets cheekier and cheekier.
Good luck!!!!!! I think they grow out of most ad behaviour, so your last resort is to wait, i guess!
Post # 4
My kitty likes to bite sometimes too. That is their way of showing love; they are love nips. When she does this I just bop her lightly on the nose and tell her “no biting”. And I stop loving on her. She knows exactly what I am saying and she stops the biting. If she does this to someone else while I am around, I can say “no biting”, and she will stop.
Post # 5
I’ve got a biter too. I don’t feel like he hates me but more that he is actively trying to scratch my hands off. I too tried the water bottle but that didn’t seem to work. We have since bought a kitten carrier and when he bites me we put him in there and he knows he’s in trouble because he goes right in and watches us with his sad eyes. I have no advice only sympathy. I hope mine stops biting too.
Post # 6
Oh god, I totally remember this. It’s a stage when they do the “attack for no reason and bite constantly”. Seriously, my cats were SO MEAN during this time. They grew out of it and only give little love nips on occasion. I taught one of them not to bite by biting her ear a little when she bit me.
Post # 7
If you’re able to get another kitten, that may help your kitten with boredom. Plus, he can take all of his fiesty-ness & play with the new kitten. I orinally got 1 kitten to keep & 1 to re-home, but ended up keeping them both due to a lot of others telling us 2 kittens are better than 1 because they keep each other company & because they bonded so much, we couldn’t seperate them & another reason is we got really attached too. So my suggestion is to get another kitten around the same age as yours. I recommend getting one from the animal shelter so you don’t bring home a sick kitten.
Mine are about 6 months old now (wow that’s it? lol) & they play bite & fight & run each other around the room. I imagine if we only had 1, he would be taking that fiesty-ness out on me & DH!
Post # 8
Oh I’ve had trouble with this too! First of all my 2.5 year old cat still sometimes play bites – he knows not to but still does it if you play rough with him – or annoy him. Also we had terrible troubles when we moved in with DH and our sleeping arrangement. When I lived alone with kitty I slept with all doors open and he did fine. Now in our new bigger place he would constantly crawl on us/wake up up at 4-5am or do things to make noise to wake us up. We couldnt close the door since he’d scratch/paw at it for hours. Thus we now put him to bed in the 2nd bedroom. We had to move his litter box & food in there since he couldn’t (and it’s cruel making him) hold it all night. After a while he’s gotten very content with him going to bed in his room at night. He doesnt scratch at his door and goes to bed each night easily without fighting. I’d recommend something different if what you’re doing isnt working.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2011 - Sydney, Australia
Our kitty Oscar gets REALLY evil – this whole LOOK comes over his face when he’s in MEAN-BITE-MAIM mode. It’s different to the PLAY-WITH-ME-NIP-BITE that he does .. it’s a whole nasty side.Lucky it doesn’t come out often – though he’s nearly three now, so maybe he’s just grown out of it?
Oscar doesn’t get frightened by water (he likes it!) but we did start locking him in the bathroom for five minutes if he was really bad. Just like a kitty time-out. (His food and biscuits were in there, of course.) Just being bored for five minutes was usually enough to mellow him out and he’d have completely forgotten about it when we let him out again.
Unfortunately for me, the whole 3am wake-up thing didn’t stop. He’s so needy. We’ve taken to sleeping with our door open (we used to lock him out of our room) because he was worse if he couldn’t see us. Cats. They’re hilarious, kind of evil & completely precious.
Post # 10
@jaguar: Bruce is the same – Jekyl and Hyde! Its a common refrain in our house “uh oh – here come the evil eyes”
Post # 11
Anyone who hits a kitten should have it taken away. All hitting does is breaks the bond between you and your pet. Anyone who tells you to hit a kitten..well, I’d like a few minutes alone with them. Animals do not understand hitting.
A biting kitten is likely a teething one, or playing. As soon as he/she bites you, I would stop ALL playing, shout a fimr NO! and walk away. You could also try a gentle squirt of water, and a no. ALL PLAY must cease as soon as he/she bites. Get up, walk away. Eventually the kitten will get the message.
Truthfully this sounds like a phase.
Post # 12
Thank you so much ladies!
I think it’s a phase, so we’ll see.
@ScarletBegonia: I have tried patting him on the butt, but it just makes him more pissed, honestly.
@MsBrooklynA:About putting him in his crate – we plan on traveling with him quite a bit in the next few months (driving down for the wedding, etc.) so I don’t want him to associate his crate for when he’s bad.
@jaguar: I seriously feel like he is trying to BITE MY HAND OFF! I feel like I’ll have to wear gloves for a month before the wedding!!
@SBourgeous: biting his ear? I have thought about biting his paw to see if he gets it, but I’m afraid of him biting my face!!
We tried the water spray bottle – all it really did was get everything all wet. He didn’t respond to it at all 🙁
And I’ll definitely try to not respond to his crying. We’re thinking of putting him in the spare bedroom with his bed overnight…but I’m worried about him needing to pee. I just don’t want the room to smell like kitty litter. If ignoring him doesn’t work for the next few days, I guess I’ll have to do that, and put him in the room with his litter.
I just went out to give him love and play with him, and he sprung up trying to bite my face. EVIL kitty!! I locked him in the bathroom. 🙁
Again, I really think it’s a phase…
Post # 13
Our cat is almost 5 and he still play bites or sometimes actually bites if he’s really pissed. He’s a Himalyan and I swear he’s got two personalities. We’ve come to embrace this about him and just accept that he can be sweet and loving at times and nasty at others. Your cat is younger so this may be a phase or may be his personality.
As for the crying, our cat cries all the time if he’s left alone. Sometimes he cries for no apparent reason. My point? Cats are odd creatures!
Post # 14
@menobride: um, okay. I don’t think i should have my kitten taken away, but thank you for the judgement. I’m passing along advice from a very reputable breeder who has couselled hundreds of owners in matters like this, which are nearly universal to kittens. I used the advice, and I’ve found that it is very effective, and i disagree completely that it breaks the bond between you are your cat, in fact now that our cat is less nasty after these discipline measures we’ve been taking, we cuddle and play much more and he’s much more affectionate with us. Your further advice is dead on that all play should stop at the point of biting, and seeing as our cat was biting constantly, we rarely were able to play with him for any length of time before we started with the advice from the breeder.
Out of curiosity, what would you say to the award winning breeder that counselled us to swat our cat on gently on the bum if he bites, if you had those few minutes alone with her?
Post # 15
- Wedding: June 2011 - Sydney, Australia
@napabridekelsey: Good luck with it! And if you put the litter in the room with him overnight but then move it back to its normal place during the day/air the room out, it shouldn’t smell too bad. We keep ours in the open hallway when we’re home with him, and then in the laundry when he’s in there. 🙂
Also, give him lots of love when he’s doing the RIGHT thing and is settling down. Reverse psychology.. it can’t hurt!
Post # 16
One thing that isn’t on this thread of sugggestions is blowing in your kitty’s face.
I have two cats, with very different personalities. One of them will randomly bite or scratch (HARD) if you pet it too much or too forcefully. The SECOND she started to swat or bite me, I blew in her face. Not hard, just a little puff of air. She didn’t like it, and it surprised her. I did it for about a month straight, and she never bites me. The air doesn’t hurt her (obviously) but it is uncomfortable, and since it catches her by surprise, she stops in the middle of what she is doing.
With my second kitty, she playfully bites my husband on the nose. He asks for it, and just keeps annoying her until she does it. But she started randomly biting ME when I put my face up to her. So I tried the blowing thing with her… she HAAAATES it. It’s like the worst thing in the world for her– worse than a spray of water or anything. So it works!! She NEVER bites me anymore. (Although she still bites my hubs when they are playing… I finally gave up on that one. She is smart enough not to bite me!!)
The other thing is that my second kitty sometimes chases and pounces on my first/older cat. The first time she does this, I yell her name and say NO! She understands. But if she is being annoying and keeps doing this, I grab her and put her in the bathroom. I say “NO” forcefully before closing the door. I only leave her in there about 2 or 3 minutes (I set my microwave timer so I don’t leave her in there too long). When I let her out, she has totally calmed down and stops annoying my other cat. Cats are definitely very smart, so you have to figure out what works for them.
As for the middle of the night thing– my cats still do that occasionally. The BEST thing you can do is ignore it. If you wake up and stop her or pet her, she will keep doing it. My younger cat (six years old, so she’s not a baby), goes into the bathroom and knocks things around. I used to wake up and go to her, but then she started doing it more and more to get my attention and get me out of bed. Now we just ignore it, and it happens once every few weeks or months.
If ignoring it doesn’t work, maybe try leaving your bedroom door open for the night? That way the cat could get in and out, so she wouldn’t wake you up crying, but could also wander around the house if she gets bored at night.