Post # 1
We just got a new cat about a month ago – adorable 9 month old siamese mix – and we loved her at first. Now we mainly fear her!! We play with her regularly with a feather wand toy and a catnip mouse toy, but apparently it’s not enough because she has been attacking us with increasing frequency throughout the day, randomly biting our feet and ankles hard enough to leave marks. She always wants to sit near me while I do my homework, but will claw my hands while I type on my computer and “stalk” my fingers from behind the laptop. Lately, she hasn’t even tolerated ANY petting or picking up, which she used to enjoy – she bites or swats, claws bared, practically every time I try to pet her (I only pet her when she approaches me first, and I’m not overdoing it). What gives? We yell and clap at her every time she bites or claws, but the problem hasn’t gotten any better. Vet said she’s perfectly healthy. Any cat/pet owners have any advice for us?
Post # 3
Well, your main clue is that she’s new. Cats aren’t like dogs in the slighest. Most dogs will settle down in a new home fairly quickly, whereas cats need time. Plus, she’s still a kitten! A lot of what you’re describing sounds like kitten behavior.
Give her more time to adjust. She’ll come around. In the mean time, buy a lemon or an orange and put a little bit of the juice or steep some rind zest in some water. Put it in a spritz bottle and spritz her when she’s being naughty.
Cats don’t tolerate the scent of citrus very well.
Post # 4
@CandieC88: That’s a tough one. :/ Our little black kitty used to do that (and also try and climb us) and she would always attack fingers and toes. But then she grew out of it. So… maybe time will fix it? She is still VERY active and probably our most intelligent cat but no longer tries to constantly attack our extremities.
Post # 5
@CandieC88: never had that probelm with a cat but did with a dog..i would try treats, start giving them to her to see if she likes them the shake a bag and have her run to it kinda thing…after she gets use to hearing the shake then she gets the treats have the treats near you soffa desk, as shes eating them pet her, maybe if your on the sofa put them on your lap so she has to be near you but try to foce it to pet her. do you have other animals? if so i may thing she is trying to be domanate…good luck
Post # 6
I have no advice but me and my husband just got a kitten about a month ago (now he is roughly 4 months old) and I’m trying to get him to not bite us anymore even though he is just playing. Wanted to comment on this to follow.
Good luck with your kitten! They are annoying sometimes but you’ve gotta love them.
Post # 7
OP she is just in the kitten phase. I have been around cats all my life, she eventually will grow out of it. Maybe also get her toy mice to play with or try laser pointer to get her tired out.
Post # 8
@CandieC88: We got a 6 month old kitten about a year ago, and he still plays quite rough, so there’s that. But, my momther, who bred cats for about ten years, told us that if regular discipline (clapping, shouting, spraying with a vinegar-water mix) isn’t working, pick the kitten up by the scruff gently and carefully and speak loudly and sternly in the cat’s face. They apparently don’t like getting up-close-and-personal and loud, so.
It sounded a little mean to me, but my FI has started doing it when Beemo is playing too hard, and since then he’s really toned it back.
Post # 9
kittens go through a phase around this age where EVERYTHING has to be stalked down and killed, including your extremities. Give it some months! It’ll probably wear off. Even our kitty – we got her at 4 months and she was extremely timid and shy – went through this for a while. 😀 I wouldn’t worry too much, but oh my god, it can be terrifying lol.
Post # 10
I’d also like to add that my cat is 5 years old. She’s just now going through her kitten phase because she had some very serious health issues for the first three years of her life. She’s only now feeling good enough to do it! It’s just something they have to get out of their systems. She’ll grow up and get bored of making you bleed, I promise. Kittens need to learn how to be hunters. Unfortunately, you’re the prey.
Post # 11
Thanks to everyone who has responded thus far! It’s easy to forget she’s just a kitten since she looks practically like a full grown cat, but this really helps to put it in perspective.
Please keep the discipline/reward/other tips coming – we are woefully inexperienced cat owners!
Post # 12
She’s probably bored in her kitty world. I saw an episode on Animal Planet once with a cat/kitten who did this…they set up random areas where she liked to go and made fun things for her to play/jump on that were safe. I’d look into that!
Post # 13
When we got our boy kitten around 3-4 months he liked to bite hands all the time. Not feet or ankles, but he would always be biting your hands unless he happened to be sleeping. Often times they will just grow out of it.
We decided to get another kitten (I had wanted 2 to begin with) and it worked wonders because they just chase each other around and chew on each other. He’s still not a year yet (I think he will be in February or March), but he will still try to bite every once and awhile if he’s in a really playful mood and you try to pet him but it decreased dramatically.
Once they get even older it should decrease as they don’t want to play near as much.
Post # 14
My mom’s 7 year old cat still gets aggressive sometimes when she’s bored, we picked up a scratching post (well, we picked up a few different ones) she likes a lot and move it to the center of the room when she gets like that.
She usually just attacks that instead (especially if we toss cat toys at her, then it becomes her fort) but will nab feet if we walk too close, haha
Post # 16
+1 to whoever said something about a spray bottle, although I never knew about the citris part!
My 9 year old man cat will attack my hands or ankles every so often. Most of the time he’s a perfect fluffy cuddly thing but then his inner tiger comes out and he feels like biting me. He hates the spray bottle though. Just bringing it out when he gets rough stops him from bad behaviour now.