Biting behavior in older kitten?

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


All of the noms!
Purred: Sun Apr 7, '13 8:33pm PST 
We adopted a rambunctious kitten about two months ago. He's eight months old now, and he's a great boy- so affectionate and so full of life.

The problem is his constant biting. It's definitely play... He doesn't mean to hurt anybody, but he's a big, strong boy (10 pounds already)! He likes to nip at us when he's being affectionate, or latch onto hands and arms while we play.

The adoption center warned us that they'd had trouble training him out of this behavior (which is why it was hard to get him adopted). He spent ages 1-6 months in a cage, which makes me think that having the run of an entire house may still be a little overstimulating for him.

We've tried saying "NO" loudly, which doesn't faze him at all. We've tried stopping all play/affection and leaving the room when he bites (which works for a little while). We play with appropriate toys (not hands) ALL the time. I don't want to be harsh, because I know he's just playing, but it drives us nuts!

Does anybody else have any tips?

EDIT: I just realized that this likely belongs in the "Behavior" forum. Sorry! Does anyone know how to delete/move a thread?

Edited by author Sun Apr 7, '13 8:36pm PST



I fetch,- therefore I am.

Purred: Sun Apr 7, '13 9:33pm PST 
Hi, West! Your wish is my command! haillaugh out loud

Ben was a biter in his youth, too. I'd respond by yelling, "OWWWWW!" really loud (loud enough to startle him) and then refuse to give him any more attention for a while afterward. He did eventually learn or at least grew out of it.

The funny thing is, sometimes when he gets high on the 'nip, he seems to revert back to an earlier kittenish state and will sometimes bite. I forgive him that, since I'm the one who gives him the 'nip. laugh out loud

Good luck! hug


Monster of- Mayhem
Purred: Mon Apr 8, '13 12:44pm PST 
When you play with the kitten, you may want to try some wand toys. They are a) great for draining energy. Even my laziest cat goes crazy for them. And b) they keep your hands at a safe distance. The other option is something like one of the long Kong Kicker toys. They bring out the hunter instinct and allow cats to bite and kick at something other than your hand. If he starts to get rambunctious, try to redirect him to toys like that and see if you can't divert his attention away from you.

Claude- Hoppurr - Master GR- Com

Claude NOT- Clod!!!
Purred: Mon Apr 8, '13 6:47pm PST 
I agree with Trek - use wand toys or throw toys without allowing your cat to use YOUR HANDS as a toy. Avoid using your hands to stimulate rough play.
If I try to bite my mumma, she places one finger on my forehead and says "no biting" then moves her hands away from me and won't pat me again until I have calmed down.
by the way - I am 11 months old and weigh 16 pounds - big enough to hurt someone very seriously.