My 6 wk old kitten will not stop biting fingers! He's getting so awful that you almost can't pick him up- what do I do?

I just adopted him from some friends that were fostering him, and unfortunately one of the girls thought him trying to bite was "cute" so she encouraged him to attack her fingers. I know all kittens go through a bit of a "fingers move and therefore are fun, I should attack it" phase, but I've helped raise several of my parents' kittens and they just haven't been this bad. Is there anything I can do, or do I just need to wait for him to grow out of this?

Asked by TJ on Nov 9th 2007 in Behavior & Training
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When he bites, don't even say no. Make your hand go stiff, as if it is angry and ready to pounce back, and when he releases, walk away from him. Wait until he is calm again, and go back. Repeat as necessary.

Since he's already received reinforcement of a bad habit from the foster family, it'll take a while for extinction to occur. He might get worse before he gets better. But do persist. Once the behavior stops escalating (you have to punish with loss of attention less), start rewarding him for being good. If you have been able to hold him for a few minutes without him trying to bite you, give him a little treat and coo at him. This tells him that not biting means good things.

One thing you can do is make sure he is tired before you pick him up If you don't have one already, get a feather wand, so he can get his biting and chasing needs met with that toy instead of your hands. Then, when he is kind of tired and sleepy, pet away.

Boris answered on Nov 9th.

Other Answers


Lucy Belle

Hiya TJ~

I have a habit of biting too since I am raised as a single kitten. Mommy has been very firm with me and always admonish my biting behavior. I always know when to stop when mommy said *NO* loudly and calmly remove her hand from me. If mommy were to pull away her hand and yell, I would think it's a fun game and would never stop playing.

Well, for me, biting is an instinct which I cannot control but with mommy's help, I know when not to bite too hard. If your person just say NO firmly every time and be consistent in this, I am sure you will also get the message and try not to bite too much. It also helps if your person allow you to bite on another snuggly friend (stuff toy?) or your blanket. This way, you can channel your need to bite onto other things.

Good Luck TJ!~

Lucy Belle answered on 11/9/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


This is a very common problem among kittens, do not feel alone. At a young age when bites and scratches are harmless, they are often taught that it is an acceptable behavior, therefore they bite... A LOT. And when their adult teeth and claws grow in, this can be an extremely painful experience for the owners.

But not to worry, this is a pretty easy habit to break. There are several ways you can go about it depending upon what you think would work best.

1) The ignorance tactic. While playing with TJ, it's best if you use toys and not your hands. While playing with the toy, if TJ tries to bite your fingers, say "NO!" in a firm voice and end the game immediately, walk away and ignore him. Try playing again. The moment he bites, repeat the process.

2) Yuck factor. Cover your hands in citrus juice or some other unpleasant smell (to a cat!). Your kitten will soon find that biting fingers or hand is not an appetizing experience and will probably stop biting within a few days.

Good luck!

Member 409208 answered on 11/9/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


He is getting his first teeth.Let him do it a little bit but not all of the time.PS.If You do not like it do not pick him up.

Angel answered on 11/9/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer