I bite because I'm too happy?!

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!


YOLO Binx- Don't let 9- lives stop you!
Purred: Wed Oct 9, '13 8:33am PST 
First, please understand that I know cats can get overstimulated. I know to watch for the ripples down the back, and the ears going back. My other cat does this and if the petting stops he’s perfectly content to stay in your lap. My 7 month old cat is very sweet and affectionate. My husband and I have had him since he was 8 weeks old – and he’s always done this. He’ll come up to me either in bed or on the couch, and he’ll be purring very loudly. The purr is different too – it’s like an excited purr. I’ll pet him and he’ll rub his face on me, lavish in the pets, purr even louder, and then he’ll just start biting. Usually they start as soft little bites, just kind of touching me with his teeth, but then he’ll bite HARD, and just latch on… usually to my face. He usually only does this to me – not my husband.

I know what’s coming because the excited purrs, and I’ll usually remove him (putting him down on the floor), but seconds later he’s right back in my face doing the same thing with a constant purr… We’ll repeat this process probably about 10 more time until he’s bit me hard, and I put him in his kennel or another room. I’ve tried:
1. Playing with him or giving him toys when he does this (however he usually saves this behavior for bedtime or my morning greeting).

2. Completely ignoring him, he’ll still bite my face or hand when I ignore him.

3. Squirting him with water, which works for a minute, but then he’s wet and right back in my face purring and biting.

4. Moving him and still giving him attention – he’ll then wiggle and strain trying to get to my face.

5. Hissing / growling at him.

6. Gently blowing in his face doesn’t deter him.

7. Screaming out does nothing.

8. Popping him on his nose (like another cat would do).

9. I’ve even bitten him back a few times (Don’t guilt me about this! I’ve seen my cats play… there’s no way I’ve hurt him when I’ve bitten him. If my other cat can give a warning bite to signal he’s not in the mood to play, then so can I.)

Has anyone else had this problem? It doesn’t seem like he’s overstimulated, because he does this to himself, and is persistent about being with me. It almost feels like he’s just too happy and can’t control himself. I’m usually pretty patient, and I absolutely adore my cats… But biting my face and drawing blood is a bit much for me. Don’t get me wrong – I would NEVER get rid of him and that is NOT an option. I really just want to fix this behaviour. I probably wouldn’t care at all, except for the fact that he’s biting my face, often while I’m sleeping. eek

Thanks for any ideas! cat on moon