Kittens are fun and adorable pets, learn to use the litter box quickly, and most cat owners find that they barely have to do any real ‘training’. The one area that many cats owners do have issues with is their kitten biting.
Sometimes, kittens bite because they are scared. Your kitten is a new member of the family and he won’t really know you yet. Because of this, he will bite when he gets nervous. He isn’t actually trying to hurt you: he is just scared.
But actually the main reasons they get their teeth out are to play and to explore their environment. Play fights are common amongst cat litters, but when a kitten directs its tiny wrath against a human it’s easy to feel aggrieved at the little chaps. Their bites can actually hurt, and their scratches can sting (and even get infected).
Very rough play is normally drummed out of a kitten by its peers and mothers, but if that doesn’t happen you might want to step in – to protect your fingers and furniture. It’s best to train your kitten how to stop biting at an early age, if possible.
Below are a few tips.
When your kitten is about to bite you or when he is biting you, it is a good idea to interrupt him. One good way is to make a “SSSST” sound. To your kitten, this sound imitates his mother. Since a cat’s hiss means to back off, your kitten should stop biting when he hears it. This often works when your kitten is under 4 months old. For older kittens who are between 6 and 7 months old, a short scream is a great interruption. The scream will show the kitten that he is hurting. Also, it should startle him enough that he forgets that he wants to bite you in the first place.
Another good way to teach your kitten not to bite is to teach him that biting equals consequences. If your cat is biting your hands, moving your fingers and trying to get away will only make the kitten think that you are playing. If your kitten is in the middle of biting you, push your hand toward the kitten’s mouth. This will make him let your go. Next, put your kitten in a timeout. A timeout can mean getting up and walking away, ending your play time. You could also put your kitten alone in a room for a little while as a form of time out.
If your kitten is always biting at your hands when you are trying to play, you should give him something that he actually can bite without getting into trouble. If you put the toy in front of the kitten enough times, he will realize that if he wants to bite, he needs to be biting on his toy. If you are able to train your kitten to chew only on his toy, you might mot even need to use the “SSSST” or the short scream to get your kitten to stop biting.
If you have tried everything, but you cannot get your kitten to stop biting, just be patient. You should continue to follow the steps listed above to get him to stop, but don’t lose heart. It won’t be long before you cute, hyper little kitten turns into a lazy cat. One day, you will wake up and your kitten will be a cat and he won’t want to pay and bite anymore. If you can just be patient with the little guy, eventually he will calm down and he will prefer snuggling up with you and sleeping to biting and playing.
Kittens bite instinctively, not out of spite. If you can understand this and you know the best ways to stop your kitten from biting, it shouldn’t be long before he learns to behave himself.