While it is perfectly normal for kittens to bite their owners, you should not tolerate this behavior.
There are a number of methods that can be used to stop your kitten’s biting, but some are more effective than others. In this article, you will learn how to put a stop to this behavior in your young cat.
Reasons Why Kittens Bite
Kittens bite for numerous reasons, which you will want to know if you own one. This will give you valuable insight into the behavior of these animals.
1. They Are Testing the Boundaries
When a cat is still very young, they are discovering new boundaries with their littermates. One of the ways in which they do this is by gently biting at them. This is something that they will probably do with you as well sometimes.
2. Being Playful
Light biting is definitely one of the ways in which a kitten plays with its human owner and other cats. While it shouldn’t be encouraged, it is quite understandable.
How to Stop Your Kitten’s Biting
There is more than one way to go about putting a swift stop to your kitten’s biting, and it is important that you are aware of your options.
1. Distract Them with a Toy
One of the best ways to go about putting a stop to your kitten’s biting is to distract them with a toy they really like. This will almost certainly provide you with instant results. Make sure that you choose one of their favorite toys when doing this. It will teach them that they should chew on their toys and not your fingers.
There are lots of great cat toys that you can get for your kitten, so you need to consider your options. For example, a fishing pole style toy is a great choice. These toys tend to do a great job of distracting cats.
Make sure that you do not choose any toys that pose a choking hazard to your kitty. You want to review your options carefully before making any final selections. When you are training your kitten not to bite, you want to focus on getting toys that you can dangle in front of them far from your body.
2. Startle Them
You can also try yelling loudly (but not too loudly), saying “ouch” or something else when your kitten bites your fingers. You don’t want to actually pull your fingers away from them, as they could think that you are trying to play with them. Just slowly remove your fingers from their grasp.
A startled cat will almost always stop what it is doing immediately. Just make certain that you don’t yell too loudly, as you could damage your kitten’s delicate ears. Despite what some people believe, this is not actually a form of negative reinforcement.
3. Use Positive Reinforcement
You should also consider using positive reinforcement with your cat. This typically involves rewarding your kitten with a treat and/or verbal praise when they do not bite you. When your cat manages to sit on your lap and let you pet it without any nibbling, let them know they are a good kitty.
The fact is that positive reinforcement can be extremely useful when it comes to getting your cat to do when what you want it to. It is rarely, if ever, a good idea to use negative reinforcement. You definitely don’t want to hit your cat when trying to get it to do what you want.
4. Only Resume Playing Once They Stop Biting
When your cat learns that their biting stops the game, they will be more motivated to not do it in the future. Kittens naturally want to play a lot, so this is a great way to get them to stop this particular behavior.
Once your kitten has calmed down, you can begin playing with them again. It shouldn’t take very long for your kitty to get the message. This is just a part of it discovering its boundaries, which is important while they are young.
You’ll want to stop playing with your cat only when they have started biting you too hard. A little bit of light nibbling is acceptable, but nothing beyond that. You need to draw a firm line with your cat so they understand what is not acceptable.
In fact, you shouldn’t give your cat any attention at all as long as they keep trying to bite you. This will only encourage them to keep nipping. While it might be difficult to pull off at first, it is important that you do this.
5. Be Patient
It might take a little while before your kitten finally understands that biting is not acceptable behavior. The fact is that some cats learn faster than others. It is incredibly important that you are patient when training them in this way.
Losing your patience and screaming at your cat or hitting them will only cause major setbacks with their training. You need to remember that you are dealing with an animal that is only acting out their natural instincts. There is nothing malicious about your little kitty’s biting.
- It is natural for kittens to bite, as they are testing their boundaries to see what is and what isn’t acceptable.
- Biting is also a form of playing for very young cats.
- It is important that you make a point of discouraging biting in your kitten while they are still young.
- One of the best ways to get your kitten to stop biting you is to startle them.
- Say “ouch” loudly but not too loudly, while pulling your hand away from them slowly.
- Do not play with your kitten or give any attention to them whatsoever until they have stopped trying to bite you.
- Once a kitten knows that biting stops playtime, they should learn pretty quickly not to do it.
- You should make a point of rewarding your cat with treats and verbal praise when it does not bite you during playtime.
- Make sure that you are patient during this process, as it can take a little bit.