Can I stop my cat from biting so hard / help with a high-energy cat!

catqs

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Hey all, back again with another question about my foster fail!

Everything she bites she bites hard. The only exception seems to be when she's wrestling with my other cat and it looks like she understand how to control her bite pressure but that's about it. Normally it wouldn't be an issue, but it extends to hands with treats. I think I mentioned in my last post that she bit through a bag of treats while my hand was still in there. I've tried a few times to get her to be more gentle—ignoring her when she's mouthy and trying to grab food, giving her treats from a metal spoon instead of my hand so she can't bite down, only letting her have a treat after she's approached gently, etc. I'd be okay with just dropping treats and not letting her take them from hands, but just in case people come over and for whatever reason decide to feed her, I want to try everything before giving up.

I got her a tiny Kong toy (the one that looks like a hollow snowman) and fill it with wet food from time to time to help her get biteyness out. She managed to chew off the top within a week or so which should give you an idea of what an intense chewer she is. She enjoys it regardless and carries it around with her, chewing on it whenever she gets a chance. (I almost wonder if this is counterproductive? Associating chewing so hard with food... But she's extremely high energy and I feel like she needs to get it out somehow.)

I hide kibble around the apartment for fun every once in a while so she can track it down and get some of her energy out that way too. She's harness trained and when I'm at my relatives' (who have a backyard) she comes outside to run in the grass. She and my other cat chase each other around several times a day and she also hunts flies whenever they get in. When she's not asleep she's on the move.

I've been around and taken care of lots of cats but I've never, ever met one like her. Everything about her is intense. When she walks around, she knocks things over with her tail because she rubs up against every surface in excitement. When she decides to lie down, she just does it right there, flopping over like a dog. She's really vocal and always has something to say. She's super muscular too... While my other cat climbs up the cat tree like a squirrel, she climbs it as if she's walking, but vertically—smooth and controlled. She's such a funky little gal and I adore her quirkiness but could definitely use some help with the biting and the intensity.

Does anyone have any advice about getting her to stop biting so hard? Or any advice about helping her with her energy? When I had a dog getting his mental & physical energy out helped with so many little behavioural things and I was hoping the same might apply here lol. She's a bengal cross estimated to be around a year old if that matters. Spayed but had a litter before coming into the rescue and she'd been living with a family beforehand.
 

Furballsmom

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Hi! I read your other thread Impossibly snacky cat goes after any food in the house

and I was wondering, have you had her in to a vet? Does she have all her adult teeth in, and did they come in correctly, --in other words did the baby teeth fall out as they were supposed to?

Oh, here's a tip from Mamanyt1953 Mamanyt1953 about saving breakables - try using museum putty.
 
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catqs

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Hi! I read your other thread Impossibly snacky cat goes after any food in the house

and I was wondering, have you had her in to a vet? Does she have all her adult teeth in, and did they come in correctly, --in other words did the baby teeth fall out as they were supposed to?
Hi! Thanks so much for reading the other thread too, these are both long posts so I appreciate the time that went into it :')

She's been to the vet several times as part of the rescue intake process and every time they saw her they pronounced her healthy. A few weeks ago since she threw up a few times, I took her in and her bloodwork (hematology & chemistry) came back normal. (The conclusion there was she'd eaten something that didn't agree with her... we were at my relatives' house so unfortunately things aren't as secure as they are at my place.)

Her teeth look fantastic, very clean, perfectly aligned. My other cat had his adult teeth come in crowded and unevenly spaced so I actually paid special attention to her teeth lol.

Oh, here's a tip from Mamanyt1953 Mamanyt1953 about saving breakables - try using museum putty.
Thanks for the tip about museum putty! Will definitely be looking into that.
 

Furballsmom

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With such a self confident cat I don't know if a loud hiss for unacceptable behavior will work but it might, she's smart enough to catch on, and a hard shake of a metal can half filled with coins. You'll need to be consistent and repeat as much as necessary, with firmness :)
 

Silver Crazy

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Sounds like you got typical bengalcatinitus..lol.
With the play intensity you have is pretty normal with Bengals and Bengal crosses..they just dont stop and anything in their way gets knocked over or swatted out the way. That's why most people have 2..mere humans cannot keep up with them where if you have 2 they wear each other out. And they are super intense in everything they do...150% in everything.
For such high energy cats you need high energy games..a laser is a must so you can make them run and jump all over the place.
I wear mine out throwing a tennis ball around the yard and making him run as well as the laser. But even then the play actually extends all day with something always happening like the cat under mats or jumping out from under coffee table and beds ambushing you.
The biting I would put down to a bit of food anxiety as well as just pure over excitement with her being young. I doubt it would be anything aggressive
I will have a think on the biting and try and remember what I had to do with my younger ones I have had.
Talk to you soon.








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cmsandford

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So many good replies...I would add, and it appears you are doing this, always walk away silently when your cat attempts to bite. He/she will soon learn that they get no attention. Of course, never use your hands as a toy. I have one who wanted to bit after being stroked or petted...I taught her to "kiss" instead of bite by kissing my hand while saying "kisses, not bites". Problem solved. She now licks my hand to show affection.
 
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catqs

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Thank you so much everyone! Just thought I'd update in case anyone has similar issues. I noticed that she doesn't bite as hard (still hard but tolerable) when I have food in my closed fist, so we started practicing that she only gets treats if she licks my closed hand. If she puts her teeth on my hand I just ignore her. So far so good! She went from trying to place her entire mouth over my closed hand to giving one, determined lick to get treats. Soon we'll be moving on to opening up the hand a little bit and finally to treats being held at the fingertips.

In terms of her energy, I got her a bigger, sturdier Kong toy and kept going with the other things from before (hiding some kibble around for her to find, learning tricks, going outside, etc). She learns incredibly quickly so it's just a matter of giving her proper alternatives and telling her what I do want instead of what I don't. Thanks again for all the helpful advice!
 

Furballsmom

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Look at you!! This is wonderful, and bless her smart little heart :thumbsup:
 
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