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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know some biting and scratching is normal for a kitten but our 12 week old kitten constantly bites. Earlier today I was just laying on the bed and she lunged at my face and bit my cheek through the skin. Everytime we touch her (well except for maybe 2 30 minute segments) she bites us and it isn't just the little love bites she really seems to try to break the skin--it hurts. What can we do to get this to stop? Is this just something we need to wait for her to grow out of? Help, because today when she bit my face I really was pretty mad!!!
 

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both our cats did this as kittens and grew out of it. What we did was get lots of cat toys....even those cheapie 98cent feathers at the end of a pole things. They are just looking for a way to play. I bet having a second kitty the same age would take care of it. I would also give my cat a firm NO when he did it.
 

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Okay, we have tons of cat toys and we try to play with her as much as possible-but, it's really getting out of hand now. Today she attacked DS he now has scratches all over his face and he wasn't doing anything--she just ran up and attacked him. In fact, she is doing it again now--I don't know how much more of this we can take! I suggested to DH getting rid of her today but he says she will grow out of it. Honestly, I am getting to the point where I'm really not liking her, she's not even loving except for maybe an hour a day. We can't let her sleep with us because she attacks us all night long and not just our feet but our faces too--biting hard. It's really sucking!! Any suggestions?
 

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All of our kittens have done this too. It's important to never let them do it. The more they do it, as you can see, the worse it gets. Say a firm no when her teeth touch your skin and put one of her toys in her mouth. Same thing w/claws and your skin. Give her something right away that she can dig her claws into. Those little fake mice are great for playing. You just have to be very vigilant. It's going to take a while but the more consistant you are, the quicker it will go. If you don't intervene you can really end up w/an adult who bites.
Good luck.
 

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Ours was a biter and scratcher when she was young too, didn't help that she was wild when I got her. I just would pick her up by the scruff of her neck and give her a shake and a loud NO, then hold her on my lap that way, petting her as long as she was calm with another shake every time she tried to bite or scratch. Not enough to hurt her, just like the mama cat would. It also helped that my 4 yr old would let loose with her glass-shattering banshee scream every time the cat scratched her or looked likely to.
Cat learned to be gentle with her rather quickly. Now if only she would stop sucking my toes.


Oh and we did trim her claws when she was still learning, not as bad if you do get scratched. Ours is indoor though...might be a bad idea with a cat who goes outside.
 

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What your kitten is doing is both normal and healthy for it. Cats play like this. If you have a kitten and a young child, it is best to keep them separate until both are old enough to play nicely with each other. Supervised visits only for now. If you cannot do this, you might want to find the kitten a better home. The kitten is not attacking but playing and I am afraid an attitude like yours might be an indication that a kitten is just not right for you. I am not shaming; a kitten would not work in my house right now for the same reasons. My dd cannot leave them alone but at least my cats are old enough and smart enough to run from her. She is 3 and they are 16 and 6 and we still do supervised visits.

Another option would be to get another kitten so this one can have a playmate.

If you still want to try to help the cat play safely, here is my suggestion. When my first cats were kittens and did this, I sat down and thought long and hard about why they were doing this, even though they had so many toys. I realized that none of them were anything like what they would play with in the wild. Since play is instinctive, I needed to make toys that were like what cats in the wild play with. In other words, I needed really tough stuffed animals for them. So, I got some denim and made some really tough stuffed animals for them, the size of a real squirrel or rat. They loved them! They could chew and kick them at the same time and bite them and they never fell apart. I used strong denim and sewed the seams three times for strength and durability. I stuffed them with pillow stuffing and some catnip. Whenever they started to bite or scratch me, I gave them a toy. I made three or four so there were always some around. They always lasted at least a year and the cats played with them constantly. I started making them for friends and they are always a big hit. Toy makers just don't make their cat toys large enough or durable enough for cats to pretend that they have caught a rat or bunny. That is what they want to play at!

As with cat scratchers, whenever they were doing some wrong, we redirected them to a toy or the scratcher and eventually they stopped biting us. As this was 16 years ago with the one and 6 years ago with the other, I cannot recall how long it took exactly but not long. A few months, maybe. Just always redirect them and say nice things to them while they play appropriately. They will learn.

Trimming claws on a regular basis is good for both indoor and outdoor cats and does help minimize human injury. Trimmed claws can still function the same way as untrimmed.

I would not pick a kitten over the age of a few months up by the neck as they are too big for this and it will hurt them. Their own mother will stop this after a few months. Also, never shake an animal, especially in front of a child. You are just asking for the child to mimic you and hurt or kill the cat when you are not looking.
 
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