Today’s question: How to stop a kitten (or an adult cat) from biting your hands and other inappropriate things? Cat biting is a common complaint among feline owners. If you’ve ever owned a cat, you know how difficult it can be to eliminate this behavior. Dealing with a biting cat can be both annoying and frustrating. Kittens especially love to play and nibble on objects. Shoes and curtains can be easy targets for playful and fun-loving kitties.
So, it’s up to you as a kitten owner to train your little furry friend not to continue this potentially destructive and dangerous behavior. But how to stop your cat from biting?
To stop a cat from biting, we need to understand why cats bite in the first place.
Why Do Kittens Bite?
It’s Natural for Cats to Bite
Kittens and cats bite for a wide variety of reasons. In general, biting and chewing are natural predatory activities for kittens. Biting and other predatory behaviors are what cats would do in the wild to catch prey. When hunting behavior is misdirected, it can become quite problematic in the home.
Your Cat Might Be Bored
Boredom is a key reason for biting. Imagine having lots of pent up energy, but only a few ways release it. Kittens feel this way a lot of the time. Few novel activities equals bored, chewing kittens.
Not Enough Interesting Toys
Not having enough toys is another reason for kitten biting. When kittens have few options in term of toys, they turn to the next best thing: your curtains or your feet.
Not Enough Human Interaction
Do you set aside playtime with your kitten? Do you have little time to spend with your kitten? Kittens that have little interaction with their owners may feel neglected and act out by biting and chewing inappropriately.
The Kitten Was Removed from Her Mom Too Soon
Often, kittens that have been removed from their cat mom too soon display chewing behaviors. Orphaned kittens or kittens weaned too quickly miss out on crucial socialization time with their siblings and mom cat. Socialization enables kittens to learn how play without causing injury to others.
The Kitten or Cat Is Hungry
Hungry kittens and cats will do just about anything to get their paws on food. I once owned a cute kitten that would nibble on my toes every morning to let me know that he was hungry and wanted his breakfast!
Sick or Angry
Sick or angry felines will often bite, hiss, and spit. If you see a cat in an aggressive posture, back away and give them space.
How to Stop a Cat From Biting?
While kitten biting is not the easiest behavior to correct, you can train your kitten to stop the chewing. When training your kitten, remember that persistence and consistency are the keys to success. Cats are notoriously stubborn and strong-willed so keep up the training.
Luckily, most kittens will outgrow biting and mellow a bit as they age. However, some adult cats will maintain biting behaviors. So, it’s best to stop kitten biting as soon as the behavior appears.
Here are 10 important tips to stop your cat from biting:
1. Don’t reward unwanted behaviors
Don’t treat or reward your kitten while she’s biting or after she has already bitten. Otherwise you will encourage this unwanted behavior and your cat will keep on biting you.
2. Use a spray bottle filled with water to spray your kitten when it bites
Most cats don’t like to get wet, if you’d always spray some water on your cat after she has bitten you, then she will start to associate biting with getting water sprayed on and will stop biting in order to avoid the water.
3. Use objects when playing with your kitten; never use your bare hands
As I already said above, biting is a natural behavior for cats, and they are bound to do it while playing. So, the best way to stop your cat from biting you while you play with her is to always use a toy and never your bare hands.
4. Mix up kitten toys to prevent boredom
I also said above that a cat, especially a kitten, might start to bite simply because she’s bored. To keep that from happening, make sure your cat always has some interesting toys to play with.
5. Distraction works to redirect your cat’s energy away from biting
If your cat is tired from playing or learning new tricks, she simply won’t have energy for biting.
6. Use cat repellent such as bitter orange to discourage object chewing
If your cat likes to chew inappropriate items, then you can use cat repellents such as bitter orange to stop your cat from doing that.
7. If you get bitten, relax your hand while it is in your cats mouth and never remove it suddenly
This is important because if you remove your hand suddenly once it’s in a cat’s mouth; it may cause injury to your hand.
8. Get two kittens to keep each other company
Don’t have enough free time to keep your cat occupied with play time? Consider getting a second cat, so the cats can play together and keep each other away from the unwanted biting behavior.
9. If all else fails, move the biting kitten to a safe area for a “time out” period
Even if you always use toys and not your bare hands, your cat might still try to bite your hands. If this happens, pick your cat up and take her to another room and leave her there for a while. This will teach your cat that if she bites your hand, the play time is over.
10. Do not hit your cat after it has bitten you
It can really hurt when your cat bites your finger or hand, but please do not hit your cat. For one, you are a lot stronger than your little furry friend and you may seriously injure her. For two, this won’t stop the biting, in fact, the cat is likely to scratch or bite you again in self-defense.
Do you know any additional tips on how to stop a cat from biting? If you do, you can share them in the comment section below.