11 week old kitten - play biting

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Cecil20

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Thank you Blob.

He does it when he wants to play or when he is hungry I think. Aside from the biting it's quite cute how he runs after me and jumps in the air with his little arms out wide and hugs my leg.

I tried the frozen cloth and he doesn't seem too interested in it. Chewy treats seems a good idea so I'll try those next. I feel like he's been a little bit better with the biting recently. He doesn't do it all the time just sometimes, so I am hoping he does grow out of it.
 

siamesecat108

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Have you tried shaking a can with some coins in it? I recently started this. I keep it nearby and I shake it very softly and briefly because I don’t want to scare my cat too much, and I only do it at the moment when he bites me. I also don’t shake it AT him or in his face because I do not want to be threatening, I just jingle it when he gets too rough.

It has worked very well as a deterrent- he still jumps on me to play with me but without getting to the point of biting me most of the time.
 

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Just wanted to give my two cents — my rough play biter Finn never grew out of the ankle-attacking behavior. I tried everything. Shaking cans, distracting him with toys, hissing, telling him no, ignoring him... he was determined, and it really started to affect my relationship with him because it was painful and frustrating for me, and also an issue because he'd go for the ankles of visitors I had over or people who were catsitting him. I really think the issue was that he just had too much energy no matter how much I played with him and just wanted to play with me. It's completely normal cat play to pounce like that and lightly bite.

The only thing that helped my situation was getting another cat. He hasn't chased and bitten my ankles literally since the DAY I got him a playmate: they really are great for wearing each other out and communicating boundaries in cat language (and reciprocal play with her was probably much more fun than me getting upset when he'd pounce on my ankles...). If you're able to get a second kitten it might be something to consider. Two kittens seems like they'd be double trouble, but they're so easy to introduce at that age and really do wonders with entertaining each other, leading to less surprise attacks on you and other issues like being woken up in the middle of the night. And they usually grow up to be bonded which is so sweet :redheartpump:
 
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Cecil20

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I'll try the can with coins in it next, I keep forgetting that as the hissing stopped working so I was thinking of methods that didn't involve noise.

Would a grown up cat be a good idea or would it have to be a kitten?
 

littlecatt

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I'll try the can with coins in it next, I keep forgetting that as the hissing stopped working so I was thinking of methods that didn't involve noise.

Would a grown up cat be a good idea or would it have to be a kitten?
If you want an older cat, I wouldn't get one older than a year. Kittens (as I'm sure you realize) are menaces; some older cats are happy to play with them but some absolutely aren't. For example I have one adult playful cat and one adult cat who's only 2.5 years but does NOT play with other cats, she hisses if the kitten so much as bats at her. Temperaments of adult cats can be hard to tell in the shelter and honestly you just don't know how they're going to react until they're home and comfortable. It's also going to be very stressful for an adult cat to adjust to a brand new home as well as a crazy kitten (and stressful for you, now having to deal with slow cat introductions and helping along cat dynamics!). My best suggestion would be to get another kitten who can match yours in energy, but even a young "teenager" cat (6-10 months or so) should be a good play companion.

Also I'm sure I'm biased but two cats are so much fun! They're really not that much more work than one unless there's some medical issue and of course if introductions are done right (which is never a problem with kittens!). I love watching them play and cuddle, there's always antics going on! Additionally if you know you're going to someday want a second cat, it's better to get in there early. There's a few threads from members wanting to adopt a second cat but realizing with their first older cat's temperament, it's just not going to work. Whereas if you adopt two as kittens, there's not going to be any issue introducing them and you'll have two cats who were playmates from the beginning and might end up a bonded pair.
 
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Cecil20

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Another kitten wouldn't be an option but my sister has a cat she may need looking after so I wondered if that would be alright, the cat is a fully grown cat. To be honest I don't like that cat as she isn't friendly so I'd rather not introduce her to Cecil.

Cecil has been better with the biting by the way. Been trying the cloth again but he doesn't use it, but he has calmed down a bit.

I thought I would attach another picture of him. I love my little friend so much, he is insanely friendly too and lets me massage his paws for him, front ones and back ones 😍

Thanks for all the replies everyone.
 

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Cecil20

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I just thought I would give everyone an update.

Cecil has been doing very well and has nearly stopped biting now, he does very occasionally do it but it's not for long and it is becoming rare. He does bite to initiate playtime sometimes as well but it's easy to avoid and/or stop.

I was a bit disappointed that early on his didn't seem to like being picked up but he's really changed toward that now. I regularly pick him up and sniff his fur. He lets me hug him and he loves being touched and sitting with me. So he's getting on very well now and I'm happy with how well he's settling. His temperament is lovely and he's probably the friendliest cat I've ever met. He even lets me hold and massage his front and back paws 😁

Here is another picture of Cecil.
 

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Furballsmom

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I'm thrilled beyond words, what a fantastic update!! And although his natural temperament is a big part of this, it's YOU that has been key to bringing it out. I'm so glad you have each other!!

. I regularly pick him up and sniff his fur
Oh, awesome, another cat huffer has joined the club! :thumbsup:
 
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Cecil20

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That's so good to hear. :catlove:



Does this mean you're able to trim his claws? If so, even better. :thumbsup:
I have actually been looking into that. I believe he would yes. I hold his little paws all the time and he doesn't mind, he's never bitten or scratched. I've practised gently inspecting each claw to get him used to the feeling of it. I haven't attempted to trim his claws without speaking to a vet and getting some expert advice first though, what do you think? Is it pretty straightforward to just take the tips off? How much of a difference would you say it makes?
 

rubysmama

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TCS has this article that might be helpful: How To Best Take Care Of Cat Claws – TheCatSite Articles

You do have to be careful not to trim too much, or you'll cut into the quick, which will cause bleeding/pain. So if you're not comfortable, do wait till you can talk to your vet or vet assistant. But if his claws get really sharp, and you are getting scratched whenever he just touches you, clipping just the tips will help.
 

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Not biting requires training, because for our cats, we are play buddies and they are not aware at first that our skin is fragile.
For teething, find something like the suggestions above and make it accessible at all times. For preventing play bites, be firm, offer alternatives, redirect.

Firm: don't let yourself be bitten. whenever you are bitten, stop engaging (no loving words, no playing..) + hiss, remove him from the room, remove yourself from the room. It takes 1-2 weeks for the kitten to learn fun ends when human is bitten (or clawed)

Alternatives: For hand biting, offer a plush toy so that he can wrestle with it instead and don't touch his belly however cute :) for feet biting, offer things for him to pounce on (balls, wand toys, a string dangling after you as you walk around the house..etc)

Redirect: offer the alternative before being bitten and a lot. kittens have unlimited energy. better make them spend before they put themselves in trouble
 
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Cecil20

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Is it alright to keep updating this thread or is there another place I should be posting?

Cecil went to the vet for the first time on Friday and had some injections. He will have his second lot in three or four weeks.

He's been really good for the most part and the biting has really calmed down.
 

Furballsmom

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This is a terrific update to this thread!

Since the biting has decreased that much, you could begin another thread if you like, in a forum where you could keep a diary.

Maybe here The Cat's Meow
 

danteshuman

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The goal is to teach your new toddler that human skin is super fragile! That the slightest hint of fang or claw HURTS You & ends all play.

Besides a second kitten I suggest a 3 prong system. 1) extra extra play that you make them climb up/down, jump & chase things forr 20 minutes 3 times a day...... this is their hyper-est time of their life..... as they age you can probably get down to 2 play sessions 10-20 minutes long when they are 6-12 months old. 2) a high pitch owwwwww or hiss at every slight bit of teeth or claws followed by ignoring the kitten for a few minutes. 3) When you see a kitten starting to hunt you, distract the kitten by tossing a small toy in your pocket away from you.

I did the high pitch wailing oooowwewwww then ignored the kitten for 5-10 minutes. Like I won’t even look at the kitten and I play dead if they attack you again (let your arm go limp so it is boring), all play has ended, ignore the kitten!

⭐A strict toys not hands household policy is a must!
⭐When kittens injure each other they make a high pitch meow at each other. So the high pitch is recognized quickly as “Ow that hurt!” Trust me, I heard it for about a month when the 2.5 month old brothers kept nipping each other in the balls when they were play fighting! 🤦🏻‍♀️ They learned & stopped doing it though!
⭐Using interactive toys that you then rotate out (hide)for 2-4 weeks & give them new interactive toys helps tire kittens out. Easy puzzle feeders help to. A cheap interactive toy is a hex snug. Kickeroo’s are perfect for your kitten to bite & bunny kick. I buy the kong catnip spray to refresh them. (They make small ones and large ones for full grown cats.)

Hang in there! Take tons of pictures & videos, they grow up so fast! 😻
 

danteshuman

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Oh and buy him a couple teething toys and maybe some rawhide cat chews or silvervine sticks ..... he should be teething soon. The kittens loved to chew on the jumbo straws (replace when they start to get chewed up) Jackie had a favorite silvervine stick he picked out & chewed when he was teething. (We had a water loving kitten who waded in the fountain so this was the solution. The jumbo straws later worked as a floating toy in the shower for a few months...... they will still chase a jumbo straw.)
 

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