Aggressive 6-month old kitten

LIL BEAN

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We just adopted an appx 4-5 month old kitten 4 weeks ago. He was neutered a few days before we picked him up. He was a transfer from another local shelter and we don't have any other history on him. He has been aggressively biting unprovoked for a few weeks. He had a vet visit and even attacked the vet and she had to scruff him. We've tried re-directing, different toys, being careful with when and how we pet him, time-out sessions or ignoring him once we could get him unlatched from our arms and legs and NOTHING is working. Another person posted on here in 2012 about their cat being like Jekyl and Hyde and that is a perfect description. He will be sitting on our lap, not even getting petted and he'll reach around and chomp on our wrist or arm. It's different times of day and night, sitting, standing, walking, on the couch, on the chair...there's no pattern to when he does it. Unfortunately we're not able to have another kitty as we do understand that might help, it's just not an option for us. We ultimately realize it's not the kitten's fault-especially if he was taken too early from him mom and siblings for whatever reason. But this is an upsetting situation that we're super frustrated about. :/ I'm curious as to anyone else on here that's had this happen and what the outcome was. Thanks!
 

ArtNJ

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I personally don't think anything you mentioned works. Time outs and redirection merely stop the behavior in that moment, they don't teach anything. To teach, make a loud noise. Some like "no!" some make a hiss noise, some clap. It just has to be loud enough to be slightly startling. This can work in time, but its not guarrantied.

Misbehaving at the vet is likely a different issue, but at home, assuming he isn't growling or hissing at you, its likely play aggression.
 
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LIL BEAN

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We have tried "NO", hissing noises and clapping and while in certain situations it will work, it won't in the ones where the biting is harder and you are unable to clap because he's chomped down on a hand. We have tried the not moving or pulling away and also pushing into his mouth to have him release our hands. Unfortunately the not moving away isn't always an option because it becomes painful as he is breaking skin. Also the rattle can method didn't work either. I've kept balls with bells and other toys in my pocket to throw out to distract him and none of it works.
 

silent meowlook

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Are you sure this is not play biting? What is his body language before during and after? Are you playing with him the same time every day until he is exhausted? Like with a wand toy? What are his routines? Do you have any other pets? Do you have children? What does your cat do for fun? How do you play with your cat?
 

silent meowlook

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Before any vet visit, you should talk to your vet about giving him Gabapentin the night before and 2 hours before the next visit. Make sure you give him a decent dose. Some vets give 50 mg which won’t help a cat like this. At the cat hospital I worked at we gave 100 to 200 mg. If that isn’t enough you can talk to your vet about trazadone being added.
 
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LIL BEAN

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Are you sure this is not play biting? What is his body language before during and after? Are you playing with him the same time every day until he is exhausted? Like with a wand toy? What are his routines? Do you have any other pets? Do you have children? What does your cat do for fun? How do you play with your cat?
I'm not a cat expert but when he does when we're not playing at all, it doesn't appear to be a play bite. One example is he was kneading and purring on his blankie. He walked over to me sat down and I gave him a pet and then stopped. He then layed down and a few minutes later he rolled over and clamped down on my arm. Last night he sniffed my face(he's done it before no problem, he will give "kisses" no problem with his nose all the time) and then he proceeded to bite my face. Yes we have a routine with playing and getting ready in the morning, coming home and play times about the same times every weekday and then additional times as well. There are no other kids or pets in the home. He has many windows to sit out and watch people and plenty of birds. His favorite and most used toy is The Bird, along with The Rat(until it fell apart), he only will play with kicker toys for a day and then he doesn't play with them after that. Also he enjoys the laser and we'll use this in conjunction with feather toys to satisfy his catching prey inclinations. He also has a puzzle toy that we'll leave with him as well. As a cat he loves a good paper bag, especially with a ball with a bell rolled inside for him to pounce on as well as the occasional toilet paper roll or random papers crunched up. He has a variety of toys we mix up, some with cat nip, some without. We have become very aware of watching his body language for how his tail and body are moving along with his ears and general disposition. Unfortunately we don't have any history for him from when he was transferred from one county shelter to where we got him. It's very possible he was on the streets and separated from his mama and siblings and never learned manners.
 

game misconduct

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will take time and patience on your part he probably never really learned good manners yet. also helps once you learn to read his attempts to play rough with you that way. a loud no biting and walking away to ignore him a few minutes will get the message across in time also a stuffed toy for him to beat up on/bite etc. helps alot make sure to praise him when he beats up on the toy and not you. so that he knows its acceptable to play rough with that. i spent better part of two years teaching graycie to play nice she came from a situation similiar to your lil guy seperated from her mom and siblings as they were adopted until she was left alone in solitary until. i took her home with me. the biting wont hurt as much once the kitten teeth are gone :lol:they are sharp! pic is of graycie beating up on her stuffed rabbit she knows that its ok to bite hard as she wants. the pic of me sleeping is the outcome of the time/pateince/love/ and effort i devoted to teaching graycie to play nice and not to bite a bond of mutual trust in each other
 

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silent meowlook

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What you are describing sounds like play biting. He is just playing rough and has some pent-up energy. You have to realize he is a very young cat still and has a ton of energy. You basically have the equivalent of a ten-year-old boy who doesn't have the ability to reason or think other than in the moment. So, tons of energy and you are asking him to be happy looking out a window, with a puzzle toy and 30 minutes of play a day. It just isn't enough. He is also getting confusing signals and doesn't know what he is doing is wrong.

First off, he is a cat and doesn't know what he is doing isn't acceptable. If you watch cats, if they are friends, they groom each other, focusing mostly on the head and neck. Then they will suddenly bite one another and that often results in either one cat having enough and running off, or a scuffle where both cats run off. Five minutes later they are fine, and don't have any bad feelings towards each other even when scuffling. It,s a cat thing.

So, when he went over to see you on the couch, he was just sitting near you, but not engaging, you engaged him by petting him. He reacted by biting so he could play rough with you. The fact that he rolled over on his back shows he is playing in his mind.

The biting your face is also him not knowing he cannot bite your face. You let him kiss your face so why shouldn't he bite it. Remember, cats that are friends groom each other and then bite each other. I would no longer let him touch your face ever. Also, make sure that nobody ever plays with him with their hands. No rubbing the belly or anything like that. If you pet him limit it to the top of his head only, or not at all until he grows up. You have to also respect what he likes and doesn't like. Don't pick him up or carry him around. I don't know if you do that or not, but if you do, stop.

With toys, you have to rotate toys or they get bored. The same toy he is sick of will be interesting again if you hide it for a week. A cat's natural instinct is to play excessively when young, usually with others in their litter. I know you can't have another cat and I think it is good you know your limits,

When cats become adults, their natural instincts are to sleep, hunt, often times unsuccessfully, eventually catch something, eat, groom, sleep, and then repeat the entire process a few times within 24 hours with most of the hunting being in the dawn and twilight times but cats will adapt to any schedule.

Try to recreate this at home by playing before feeding. He doesn't need food out all the time. At his age twice a day is fine. Canned food is better than dry food.

When you are around him, try not to look at him to much. He may see it as a challenge. This will change in time but for now since he is having trouble behaving appropriately in a household with humans, it is best to not do it for now.

Treats will help if needed. but don't feed out of your hand, just toss the treat so he gets distracted by it. This is good to do if you notice some of the subtle signs of him winding up. Toss a treat to reset his brain.

Cats are very different than any other species. They don't think like dogs or people. They also don't have as many facial expressions as dogs so they are often misunderstood.

Hope this helps some.
 
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