My kitten nips! Cat experts help!

posted 3 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
472 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Commenting to follow. My kitten is doing this too! 

Post # 5
Member
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Sometimes cats nip for attention. Sometimes they nip to let you know they’ve had enough, or if they get really excited when you’re petting them. Sounds like he’s looking for attention. If you pet him after he nips does he still attack?

You have some options. I’d google it and see what comes up. What has worked for me in the past:

Snapping my fingers and saying no as soon as it happens. Clapping can work, too… most cats don’t like the noise.

If it’s agressive behavior I have some other techniques, but it sounds like he’s being a kitten. He may just grow out of it.

ETA: Sometimes cats will give little love bites, too. He also might need a little more play time if he’s being hyper and attacking your foot. I had a cat that attacked feet (when we were in bed) from when she was 6 months (age I got her) to a year old, but she grew out of it. Having enough toys and dedicated play time helps a lot, too. Is he a mix or a specific breed?

Post # 6
Member
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

One of ours did this. We said “No!” and then picked him up and put him outside of the room. It didn’t make much difference since they just outgrow it, but we got to the point where we only had to say no and he wouldn’t do it. 

 

I know some people have used water bottles with success. We have one – actually for ironing heavy linen clothes! – but the cats hate it. We have never sprayed them intentionally but they have had the occasional “misting” whilst being underfoot near our ironing. They know when we get the water bottle out to run for the hills! 

 

Post # 7
Member
1779 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

One of our kittens used to do this with feet, fingers, and also climb our legs. She is still incredibly active (at 2 yrs) but seemed to grow out of it. Good luck!

Post # 8
Member
802 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015 - Backyard Forest

My cat is four and she just has an attitude… that’s the way cats are, you can’t really train them like a dog.

When my SO came along he had never had a cat before (used to be deathly allergic) and he would start ‘discipling’ her… and I would laugh and laugh at him scolding her for being scratchy or biting.

But to my surprise….  we do have some methods that make her leave the room when she’s being sassy.

He’ll snap his fingers and say no stearnly… I also blow on her if she’s being really bad. Cats HATE when you blow in their face. 

I don’t think you can ever stop them from doing it in the first place, but you can get them to stop continuing! 

Post # 9
Member
1768 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

My cat (about 18 months old) does this – it’s never painful, per say, just…strange. I could see how it’d be painful with a kitten, though – those teeth are like needles! He does it when we’re playing, or while I’m petting him. He definitely doesn’t do it to be mean/aggressive, because he’d use his claws for that! It’s just little love bites, I think. I just ignore it.

A coworker’s cat, on the other hand, bites as a defense mechanism. Her cat is declawed (the adopted him that way) so he bites since he can’t use his claws.

Post # 10
Member
132 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I’ve had several kittens and they’ve all done this. Very normal kitten behavior in my experience. I’ve found it’s usually from an excess of energy. They want attention and to be played with! (When I got my current cat I couldn’t take a picture of him doing anything except sleeping until he was over a year old. He wouldn’t sit still!) And since you say he attacks your foot if you don’t respond sounds like he’s playing and not just being a jerk.

 

Try playing with him more. Buy a laser pointer or one of those little electronic mouse hunt toys. And keep telling him no when he does it. He probably just needs to burn off some more energy!

Post # 11
Member
11300 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

He’s a kitten, that’s what they do. He’ll grow out of it eventually. When we got my younger cat, she used to CRY all night long (like a baby). There were nights that I got no sleep because she wouldn’t stop crying or bringing us toys. She grew out of it after a few months.

The best thing that works with animals is positive reinforcement (ignore bad behavior and reward good), though honestly, that has yet to work on my cats. An immediate and very sharp reaction (cats react to air or loud noise) usually works across the board. We have a can of compressed air that we use, but a few pennies in a can (and you should only shake it once or twice, loudly) works, too. 

Post # 12
Member
1067 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@MrsJenBee:  Mine used to do that, but I just ignored it until he stopped.  He’d lose interest, and them I spent some time playing with him or petting him.  It seemed like once he realized he wasn’t getting a reaction, he didn’t try to do it any more.

Post # 15
Member
1067 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@MrsJenBee:  It was tough, especially when his kitten teeth were so sharp!  Good luck! 🙂

Post # 16
Member
201 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@MrsJenBee:  Dang he’s cute! His behaviour sounds pretty normal though. (Some breeds, like Bengals or Bengal mixes need a TON of play time or they can develop behaviour issues, but I don’t think American Shorthairs need more than the norm.) If he’s getting excited you can also try talking to him in a calm voice… some cats respond well to talking, particularly if they’re chatty cats themselves. Also, a PP mentioned blowing in his face, which works well, too. Good luck!

 

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