How To Make Your Cat Stop Biting

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How To Make Your Cat Stop Biting

All kittens and young cats need to play. Play is normal behavior that provides young animals with opportunities to develop their physical coordination and problem-solving skills. It also gives them a chance to hone their social skills with members of their own species. It’s very common for kittens and young cats to engage in rough, active play because all feline play consists of mock aggression. Cats stalk, chase, pounce, swat, kick, scratch and bite each other-all in good fun. However, people often misinterpret this kind of behavior as aggression when it’s directed toward them. Cats display two different types of play behavior: solitary play and social play. They direct solitary play toward objects, like toys, skeins of yarn, paper bags, boxes and rolled-up paper. Social play is directed toward fellow cats, people or other animals. Unfortunately, problems can sometimes arise when feline play is directed toward people. Despite the playful intentions of a cat, he can cause injury to his human playmates. Cat scratches and bites are painful and can easily become infected. Other Behavior Problems to Rule Out Aggression Cats occasionally display aggression toward people. True aggression is most likely to occur in cats who are easily frightened or when they react to the sight, sound or scent of another cat outdoors. If you live with a cat who’s under one year of age and you’re his only playmate, it’s likely that he’s playing roughly with you rather than actually behaving aggressively. However, it’s sometimes difficult to determine the difference between feline play and real aggression. It might help to observe your cat’s body language. Two behaviors that cats frequently display when playing are the “play face,” where a cat holds his mouth half open, and the sideways pounce or hop, which a cat often does with his back arched. Cats also tend to play quietly. During aggressive encounters, however, they often growl, hiss and spit. How to Reduce Your Cat’s Rough Play Behavior Provide a variety of toys for your cat so you can determine his preferences. In general, cats seem to enjoy batting at small toys, like balls and fake mice. They also like to stalk, chase and pounce on things that move like prey, such as toys with feathers attached to flexible rods that you can dangle and move about. Try getting your cat a Kitty Teaser™ or some other kind of toy that dangles. Please see our article, Cat Toys, to learn more about playing with your cat and choosing the best toys for him. Frequently give your cat new objects to investigate, such as paper bags or cardboard boxes. Twice a day, spend at least ten minutes playing with your cat. During playtime, don’t encourage him to bat at your hands or feet. Instead, direct the play away from you by using a long dangly toy or throwing your cat’s favorite toys. Schedule play sessions to coincide with times when your cat seems most active and playful. If your cat likes to grab your feet as you go up and down the stairs or hide under things and ambush your ankles or legs as you walk by, carry toys with you and toss them ahead of you to redirect his attention. Try to get him to focus on chasing the toys instead of attacking you. Consider adopting another cat as a playmate. If you do, choose a young, playful cat like your current cat. Build an outdoor enclosure for your cat, complete with branches, boxes, shelves and perches for him to navigate. If you can provide a more complex environment for your cat, full of opportunities to hunt insects and chase leaves, your cat will be less motivated to play with you. Consistently give your cat “time-outs” when he plays too roughly. The instant he starts to bite or scratch you, end the game by leaving the room. Don’t attempt to pick up your cat and put him in another room for the time-out as this could provoke more bites.
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How To Make Your Cat Stop Biting

Manuel Breva Colmeiro / Getty Images Cat bites are a normal part of having a kitty, because cats mouth and paw objects to explore their world. You can't stop it. But kitties can learn to inhibit the force of the bite and to use soft paws without claws. She won't know that teeth and claws hurt, unless you explain to her in kitty language the way Mom-cat would. She can still play-smack you with a soft paw, and enjoy a kitty-correct game without drawing blood. Kittens develop good manners through interaction with other kittens and their mother, because other cats won't put up with being hurt. Too often, though kittens go to new homes before they've learned these important lessons and you need to teach them. Begin training as soon as you get your kitten or cat. A well-socialized adult cat teaches the best lessons to kittens, but you can help, with these tips.9 Tips to Stop Cat BitesNever allow your kitten or cat to play with your bare hands, fingers or toes. Kittens and cats should be taught that hands are not toys. If you offer your hands as toys, you are encouraging a risky habit. Offer a legal toy for the cat to bite and bunny kick. Stuffed animals are a hit with many cats.Gently praise Sheba for soft paws (claws withheld) or a soft mouth, saying, “Good paws, good mouth!”HISS! if the claws come out or the mouthing hurts, just as another cat or kitten would to stop the games. Use this as an interruption to stop the behavior, not as a punishment. Used too often, the HISS will stop being effective. If she bites and won't let go, grit your teeth and push your hand and arm IN toward the bite to prompt Sheba to release you. Pulling away from the bite stimulates her to bite even more.Treat your clothing as an extension of skin and make it off limits, or the kitten won't learn the difference between clawing jeans and nailing your bare legs. If the kitten bites or claws during play, and doesn't react to a HISS, instead use a very short, loud, high-pitched EEEK! Warn the rest of your family before doing this, though, so they won't call for help. WARNING: A high-pitched shriek could trigger an aggressive reaction in an adult cat so reserve the EEEK! for kitties under a year of age.Physical punishment only makes cats more determined to fight back and protect themselves, but they often understand the emotion of hurt feelings. Tell Sheba, “You hurt me,” with as much angst and tears as you can muster.Very friendly cats understand a “time out.” If Sheba can't contain her teeth and claws, send her into a room alone for five minutes to tell her she's exceeded the proper bounds.Cat bites are dangerous to you and to other cats. A cat bite can cause serious infection, and, as such should be treated immediately.  All households should have complete first aid kits within easy access in the event of serious cat bites or scratches, as well as other injuries. Two friends were bitten by their own cats within a two month period. Also, about 18 years ago Jan was attacked by her declawed cat  The cat tore up the backs of her legs with his rear claws and bit her several times. That one merited an immediate trip to the ER. So even front-declawed cats can do considerable damage.Alissa spent three days in the hospital with cellulitus after her cat Murphy bit her on the leg.  Fortunately, both cats had current rabies vaccines. Had they not, they would have likely been impounded in an animal shelter for observation.  Teaching bite inhibition to your kitten helps not only today, but in the future when he's an adult. And the kitty able to pull his paw-punches and play nice avoids causing injury to others–or instigating reprisals. And that ultimately keeps the peace.Edited by Franny Syufy Read More
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How To Make Your Cat Stop Biting

Cat bites are a normal part of having a kitty, because cats mouth and paw objects to explore their world. You can't stop it. But kitties can learn to inhibit the force of the bite and to use soft paws without claws. She won't know that teeth and claws hurt, unless you explain to her in kitty language the way Mom-cat would. She can still play-smack you with a soft paw, and enjoy a kitty-correct game without drawing blood. Kittens develop good manners through interaction with other kittens and their mother, because other cats won't put up with being hurt. Too often, though kittens go to new homes before they've learned these important lessons and you need to teach them. Begin training as soon as you get your kitten or cat. A well-socialized adult cat teaches the best lessons to kittens, but you can help, with these tips.9 Tips to Stop Cat BitesNever allow your kitten or cat to play with your bare hands, fingers or toes. Kittens and cats should be taught that hands are not toys. If you offer your hands as toys, you are encouraging a risky habit. Offer a legal toy for the cat to bite and bunny kick. Stuffed animals are a hit with many cats.Gently praise Sheba for soft paws (claws withheld) or a soft mouth, saying, “Good paws, good mouth!”HISS! if the claws come out or the mouthing hurts, just as another cat or kitten would to stop the games. Use this as an interruption to stop the behavior, not as a punishment. Used too often, the HISS will stop being effective. If she bites and won't let go, grit your teeth and push your hand and arm IN toward the bite to prompt Sheba to release you. Pulling away from the bite stimulates her to bite even more.Treat your clothing as an extension of skin and make it off limits, or the kitten won't learn the difference between clawing jeans and nailing your bare legs. If the kitten bites or claws during play, and doesn't react to a HISS, instead use a very short, loud, high-pitched EEEK! Warn the rest of your family before doing this, though, so they won't call for help. WARNING: A high-pitched shriek could trigger an aggressive reaction in an adult cat so reserve the EEEK! for kitties under a year of age.Physical punishment only makes cats more determined to fight back and protect themselves, but they often understand the emotion of hurt feelings. Tell Sheba, “You hurt me,” with as much angst and tears as you can muster.Very friendly cats understand a “time out.” If Sheba can't contain her teeth and claws, send her into a room alone for five minutes to tell her she's exceeded the proper bounds.Cat bites are dangerous to you and to other cats. A cat bite can cause serious infection, and, as such should be treated immediately.  All households should have complete first aid kits within easy access in the event of serious cat bites or scratches, as well as other injuries. Two friends were bitten by their own cats within a two month period. Also, about 18 years ago Jan was attacked by her declawed cat  The cat tore up the backs of her legs with his rear claws and bit her several times. That one merited an immediate trip to the ER. So even front-declawed cats can do considerable damage.Alissa spent three days in the hospital with cellulitus after her cat Murphy bit her on the leg.  Fortunately, both cats had current rabies vaccines. Had they not, they would have likely been impounded in an animal shelter for observation.  Teaching bite inhibition to your kitten helps not only today, but in the future when he's an adult. And the kitty able to pull his paw-punches and play nice avoids causing injury to others–or instigating reprisals. And that ultimately keeps the peace.Edited by Franny Syufy

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How To Make Your Cat Stop Biting

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