How To Train A Cat Not To Bite Your Hand Or Skin
How to train a cat not to bite? Cats and kittens naturally bite, pounce and claw, it is not always because of their aggressiveness, rather its their natural instinct. Cats are felines and by-born predators bite and scratch. It is the cats biological habit to explore their world by biting things. Therefore, biting does always not mean their aggressiveness and attacking attitude. Rather you will find playfulness and affection in many cases.
How To Stop A Cat From Biting
When you think of a cat, your initial image may be of a soft, peaceful animal purring quietly in your lap like a little furry engine of contentment. Unfortunately though, cats can pack a painful bite. Hopefully your cat reserves his or her chomping for toys and food, but if your cat starts biting you, theres usually a reason for it.
Cats dont bite any more than any other animal, said Marilyn Krieger, certified cat behavior consultant and author of author of Naughty No More. Aggression depends on the circumstances, history and personality of the individual animal. Behavior doesnt happen in a vacuum. Theres always a reason.
Theyre In The Mood To Play
Not only is it a healthy release of energy, but it also prepares them for the real world. Not that indoor cats have much to worry about in that regard!
If youre not a fan of having an arm gnawed at during playtime, try responding with a firm no and withdrawing from playtime for a few moments when they bite you. Dont wiggle or pull, as this will likely excite them and therefore exacerbate the biting.
Alternatively, you could substitute your flesh with a chew toy or wand toy. This way, your cat can use their jaws and claws to their hearts content. And you can spare yourself from a couple of scratch marks in the process.
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Redirect Your Kittens Attention
Another way to train a kitten not to bite is to redirect their attention to a toy. Get into the habit of carrying a toy with you all the time.
When you notice that your kitten is about to bite redirect their attention to the toy.
This method is simple, but it requires consistency. Its not enough to do it every other time you have to do it every single time the kitten tries to bite.
Otherwise, your kitten wont get the message.
The secret also lies in choosing a suitable toy that your kitten will love.
Think about kittens as children. If they dont like the substitute, they will be back to their original target.
Usually, kittens are fascinated by anything with features, plush mice, or strings.
But youll have to discover what appeals to your kittens senses by trial and error.
You can also check out these fun ways to play with kittens without toys:
Set Up A Consistent Schedule
Like most mammals, cats go through cycles of activity and rest throughout the day. And, if you can give them a consistent schedule, youll be able to predict when theyre most active and playful. This will allow you to schedule their playtimes when theyre most energetic while also phasing out surprise attacks.
Heres an example. Say that your playful kitty always interrupts your midmorning video calls with a staged attack. You may be able to avoid the painful and perhaps embarrassing interruption by playing with your cat directly before the meeting. If the play session was a success, you kitten may just curl up and snooze through your presentation.
Consistency is important, here. You want your cat to play at around the same time every day. If youre not going to be home to provide your kitten with this essential playtime, you might consider having a friendly Pet Sitter come over to help out.
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Kittens Need To Bite Something
The reason kittens bite us is simple: theyre natural predators and they want to practice their attack on a moving object. In fact, kittens are biologically wired to attack an object that moves, so its important to teach them how to play with toys–not fingers or feet–from a young age.;Actively playing multiple times a day before meals is a great way to help kittens develop their motor skills, learn appropriate habits, and get out pent up energy.
Training Cats Not To Bite
Training your cat not to bite is largely a matter of discouraging aggressive behavior. Make a note of the circumstances under which your cat’s biting occurs, so that you can nip his aggressive behavior in the bud.
If your cat’s biting occurs during play, turn down the intensity of play when he gets excited. If he bites anyway, make a loud noise to get his attention, and end the play session. Training your cat in this way can help him understand that rough behavior is not acceptable during play.
If your cat is fighting with other cats, use a thick towel to separate him. Punish the aggressive cat by withdrawing your attention.
If your cat is aggressive towards humans, and especially if he fears humans, he’ll need to be resocialized. Handle such a cat regularly, but briefly and gently. Speak softly to a fearful cat, offering rewards and praise when the cat refrains from biting. His biting problem should resolve itself as he becomes more comfortable with people.
To stifle redirected aggression, remove the cat from the upsetting situation. Often, cats redirect their aggression when they are so upset that they do not know what to do with themselves. Remove the cat from the situation to help it calm down.
To prevent maternal aggression in mothers, give the mother a safe, secure place to care for her kittens. Intruders, such as dogs, may be seen as threats. Keep them away from the mother and her kittens.
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1. Experiment with lower valued foodHave you ever had trouble concentrating when your favourite food is on the table? Sometimes good food can be very distracting. When people first start training they may think they need to use the best treats. Ideally, we want to use the lowest valued foods to teach the basics, and reserve the best treats for the challenging training tasks, like nail trims. Experiment with different foods for different jobs and find something that brings out your cat’s best behaviour.
2. Use propsUsing props is an excellent strategy to take the focus away from your hands. Working with a target stick can help teach your cat how clicker training works while preserving your fingers. Click for touching the target stick and place the treat on the floor or toss it away from you. My fist bump tutorial is an excellent beginner exercise because your cat learns to target a container .
3. Treats don’t come from the hand that cues themTeach the cat that the treat doesn’t come from the hand that presents the cues. Let’s consider what happens when you teach your cat to target your finger. Initially, you may have a treat in your hand to lure them. Click, before the cat makes contact with your finger and surprise them with a treat that comes from your OTHER hand. “What there are treats in both hands now?!” This exercise will teach your cat that treats come from where they least expect it and encourage them to work even when they don’t see a treat.
How Can I Train My Kitten To Stop Biting
Now that we know all the reasons why kittens bite, lets explore ways that we can stop them from biting. Or at least, stop them from biting us!
As mentioned, a big mistake many people make is using their fingers, hands, and feet as a part of playtime. This is a big no no. As tempting as it is, you absolutely must resist the urge!
Instead, invest in some fun and interactive toys to stimulate your kittens predatory instincts while at the same time directing all that energy in a suitable and appropriate direction. Away from you!
There are tons of great cat toys on the market that you can try. Some cats will like everything, some may be pickier. But the earlier you introduce a variety of toys, the more success youll have.
Toys with feathers and strings are often a huge hit with kittens. So you might want to look into natural options for interactive toys.
Another fun option, for human and kitten alike, are plush toys which can easily absorb a bite much better than your skin can.
Proper and consistent play with the rights toys is absolutely essential for a kitten. And you can coordinate that play as well to coincide with meals or treat time.
When you finish playing with your kitten, reward them for their good behavior. By giving them the satisfaction of something tasty, youll really bring that predator instinct full circle and signal that playtime is over.
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Give The Kitten A Time
You can either leave the room or take your kitten to a small quiet room and leave it there with the door closed. Your feline may just be overstimulated and in need of some quiet recovery. Open the door after 15 minutes. If the kitten is asleep, which is often the case, leave it alone for a while. If it is awake, the cat may be needing some loving attention. Forget the play for now: just pet your kitten and tell him or her how loved it is.
Stop Playing With The Cat
Once your kitty bites you, your first reaction should be to remove your hands away and stop touching them. If it doesn’t understand or continues to try to engage you, remove the cat from your lap, stand up, or just walk away.
Repeat this method every time your baby cat tries to bite. Removing attention, reward, or a desirable reaction will help her associate her unacceptable behaviour with your ignoring her.
Never try to soothe your furry friend after biting because it probably will not understand your signal. However, if you walk away in the middle of the play, your kitten will know that something is wrong.
Also, avoid cuddling and petting your kitten for a while. If you start with this right away, it will confuse your kitty, and she may learn to bite you just to get attention.
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Using Toys As Distractions
If your kitten is bound and determined to attack you, your feet, your shoes or shoelaces, use a cat toy as a distraction. For example, when putting on your shoes, have several cat toys at hand. When your kitten is eyeing your shoe laces, take one of the toys and toss it across the room. When your kitten is chasing that toy, he isnt attacking your shoe laces.
This isnt rewarding the kitten for attacking your shoelaces; instead, its distracting the kitten. Preventing bad or unwanted behavior from occurring is good training.
Getting Your Kittens Biting Under Control
A biting kitten will soon grow into a biting cat. And most people do not like a biting cat. Even if you do not mind playfully biting kittens, consider others who will interact with your kitty. Visitors to your home may not appreciate being bitten by your kitten, and if you have children a biting kitten is definitely not a good thing!
Some kittens are born biters, some are not. If you have a biting kitten here are a few things you can do to help minimize kitten bites:
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This article is written by Pet Circle veterinarian, Dr Belinda Stancombe BVSc
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How Do I Stop My Kitten From Attacking Me In A Timely Manner
As we said, kittens are at their prime learning phase, so you should be able to curb this behavior more quickly than you might with an adult cat. But still, lifestyle changes take time! Some kittens will learn in the matter of a few days, while others may not fully understand that your shoe is not something to hunt until youve been working on the behaviour for a few weeks.
So, stick with your consistent play schedule, make sure to stock up on exciting cat toys, and remember to give your kitten plenty of praise when they stop treating you like live-in hunting practice!
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Choose Your Toys Wisely
As stressed above, dont pick out cat toys that encourage kitty to bite your hands. It will be hard for them to understand that playtime gloves mean they can bite your hand, but when theyre off, you do not want to be bitten.
Dont encourage them to play with rings, shoelaces, bracelets, or other items on your hands or feet, and stay consistent with your message of what they can and cannot play with.
Also understand that kittens do enjoy biting things as part of normal play, so do provide appropriate soft cat toys that are large enough for them to hang onto and bite, such as stuffed mice.
Redirect The Kittens Attention
Often playful biting of hands or feet occurs simply because your cat is bored, and is looking for a play object. Give your kitten 15 minutes of active play several times a day with an interactive toy. Da Bird or other teaser toys are;a great choice. Alternatively, try a laser-beam type toy that kittens can chase and pounce on, or even commercially available gloves with very long dangling fingers. Once youve taught both yourself and your cat that hands are not toys, your play sessions should be more enjoyable for both of you.
In addition to the active play, a scratching post are a positive addition to your home. To the kitten, these are now places where scratching is encouraged. Try both horizontal and vertical posts and ones with different textures to find the type your kitten likes best.
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Kitten Biting: Why Kittens Bite
It turns out that kitten biting is part of the play behavior kittens learn when they are with their littermates. This is the time when each kitten learns how to use an inhibited bite so as not to cause injury, explains Pam Johnson-Bennett, certified cat behaviorist and owner of Cat Behavior Associates. A kitten who bites too hard is either reprimanded by the queen or gets a very negative reaction from a littermate. This social play is important, and each kitten soon learns the rules.
How To Stop Scratching And Biting
When kittens scratch and bite, it’s likely that they’ve been encouraged to do so at some point in the past. This is especially common if you or your children thought the behavior was cute when the kitten was very small.;It is very important that you do not “roughhouse” with your kitten and allows them to bite or scratch at any age. This teaches the cat that hands are toys, a lesson that will be harder to break later on. Try substituting cat toys for your fingers when you’re playing and save your fingers for gentle petting.;Make sure all family members are aware of these guidelines so the cat will receive a consistent message.
You’ve checked and are sure your kitten’s biting and scratching is not a sign of any physical problem, you’ve minimized rough-housing with your bare hands, but you’re still winding up with kitten scratches and nips. Here are some tips for managing the problem and training your kitten to stop this behavior.
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