Why does our cat bite and hold?

catwonderwhy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jan 18, 2022
Messages
1
Purraise
1
Why does out cat just randomly bite and hold it's teeth in us? It might happen maybe 1-3 times a week. He's a tux about 4 yrs old that we just recently adopted after spending about 4 yrs outside. We know when he wants to play he does this cause we are petting him and we get that but to sit there and randomly lock his teeth into us and not let go till we have to grab his head and pull him off is unacceptable. What's going on and how do we stop it from happening?
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
16,199
Purraise
21,750
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
Hi. I would guess it is to get attention - either to play or elicit some sort of response from you - and it could even be a sign of boredom. You said he spent 4 yrs outside, but did he have a caretaker or owner? If so, he could be reacting in a fashion to some sort of interaction he was accustomed to with that person or persons. Grabbing him by the scruff - but also saying "ouch" might be effective in getting him to realize he is getting a bit rough with his 'love bites'. He may just not realize it yet.

Maybe you can glean some ideas from this TCS article?
How To Deal With Cat “love Bites”? – TheCatSite Articles
 

Caspers Human

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,903
Purraise
3,012
Location
Pennsylvania
Cats don't have hands. ;)

If a young child wanted to play, he would use his hands but your cat can't do that so he uses his mouth like a kid would use hands.

You'll have to teach your cat not to use his mouth to play with you just the same way you might teach a kid not to punch and poke you with his hands.

When your cat plays too rough, tell him, "No bite!" then stop playing with him for a few minutes. You can try to play with him again, after a couple of minutes' "time out" but, if he gets to "three strikes," playtime is over.

Some people like to yowl or hiss when a cat plays too rough. That often works well. Try it if you like.

However, the main thing is consistency. WHENEVER your cat plays too rough, you have to do the exact same thing, the INSTANT he acts up.

One bite = Verbal warning + Time out.
Two bites = Another warning + Another T.O.
Three bites = "Game Over!"

The thing is that, if he lived outdoors for all those years, he never had anybody to play with who gave him good rules to play by.

You're his new human so, now, you have to teach him the "house rules."

The good news is that, if you're consistent with him, it probably won't take long for him to learn how to "play nice." :)
 

danteshuman

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
4,545
Purraise
5,191
Location
California
I did the very high pitch oooooooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!! Then blatantly ignored them for 5 minutes! The high pitch ow works well because high Mitch meows are how young kittens say “ow that hurts you jerk!” Plus it helps startle them out of the behavior. At the slightest hint of fang or claw give a high pitch ow. If they really bite you or hurt you give a bigger ow. This helps teach cats to be gentle (& that humans are furless wusses.)

At the same time try getting your cat in a daily routine of play & food. That way your cat will learn when it is play time. I like to get my cat jumping and climbing up/down on furniture with wand toys to tire him out. Plus a good game of fetch is always good. I would suggest real rabbit fur toy mice that you can toss around the house. (Cats go nuts for rabbit fur.) If you see your cat hunting you, toss a toy away from you. You can never go wrong with toys like the cat dancer or pole toys or things like da bird. Also I have rainy day toys. Try things like 2 hexabug mice to entertain your cat. You can never go wrong with a box or a paper bag with a few small toys in it.

You can watch your cat for signs it is wound up & play with it. So redirect it to toys. A good kicker toy may give your kitty something to bite instead of you.
 

Caspers Human

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
1,903
Purraise
3,012
Location
Pennsylvania
A good kicker toy may give your kitty something to bite instead of you.
Casper has lots of toy mice to "kill." When he gets all full of pi$$ and vinegar, we can tell him, "Go kill the mouse!" and he'll go get one and go to town on it!

If you toss a mouse and your cat chases it, you can tell him "Kill the mouse!" After a many repeats of this, your cat should start to make the association.

Then, when he learns that, you can use this to distract him when he starts playing too rough and biting.
 

danteshuman

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
4,545
Purraise
5,191
Location
California
My guy (& my mom’s 3 cats) love the fur weasel. I suggest mice because they are small and easy to toss.
Though Jackie does play fetch with his weasel. He prefers attacking it over his kong kickeroo.

If I spray fresh catnip spray on it, he will play with it. I included a picture of Nick with his pink kickeroo; to give you an idea of how young hyper cats attack kicker toys. You can tossing it away from you when your cat wants to play.
 

Attachments

vansX2

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
1,762
Purraise
1,203
Location
Iowa
Why does out cat just randomly bite and hold it's teeth in us? It might happen maybe 1-3 times a week. He's a tux about 4 yrs old that we just recently adopted after spending about 4 yrs outside. We know when he wants to play he does this cause we are petting him and we get that but to sit there and randomly lock his teeth into us and not let go till we have to grab his head and pull him off is unacceptable. What's going on and how do we stop it from happening?
My older boy Miles is 3.5 yrs. He doesn't play well with the Fur tail attached to a fishing pole line. He grabs the tail with both teeth and claws and won't release it. He wants to try to rip the tail. Thats unacceptable as the tail isn't inexpensive . I apply the Mother Cat move on his neck and in most cases he really the tail. Consequently he isn't offered the Fur tail to often.
 

vince

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
2,172
Purraise
3,523
Location
metro Detroit
Does he bunny-kick with his back feet while biting? That's common behavior along with the biting. Sounds like he could use a kicker toy. You can redirect him to one of those when he gets into the biting mood. If you don't want to buy one, they're easy to make out of a couple dirty sweat socks, one inside the other and tied into knots. You can put some catnip inside if you want. Mine like the homemade version just as well as the commercial one.

You can also tie the kicker to a cord and try it as a substitute for the fur tail.
 

Bolts

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Jul 5, 2020
Messages
44
Purraise
48
Does he bunny-kick with his back feet while biting? That's common behavior along with the biting. Sounds like he could use a kicker toy. You can redirect him to one of those when he gets into the biting mood. If you don't want to buy one, they're easy to make out of a couple dirty sweat socks, one inside the other and tied into knots. You can put some catnip inside if you want. Mine like the homemade version just as well as the commercial one.

You can also tie the kicker to a cord and try it as a substitute for the fur tail.
My ex feral Len does the same, if it’s a attention bite its gentle, the want to play is not, tried a kicker toy..not interested. My flesh is much more appealing lol, so I’ve made padded sleeve for my arm and it’s his favourite game, but now if he wants to play he don’t bite, he rolls on his back..I know it’s probably wrong but it works for us and saves a painful nip.
 
Top