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Kitten always biting ankles and going for hands

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Essential93, Nov 8, 2018.


  1. Essential93

    Essential93 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all,

    I'm a newbie to this forum. I have a kitten of 7 weeks old, nearing 8 weeks. I need advice on how to handle a really bad behaviourial habit of him going for my ankles and hands when he is up and about. Hes always wanting to scratch or bite them. Any tips truly grateful.

    We do have our play time with him and so on, and when he is tired it's lovely as he does sometime lay in my arms or lap and rest, even licks my hands purring away.
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello @Essential93 and welcome :)

    Your kitten is too young to have left his mother and his litter mates. It is the weeks between now and the age of 12 weeks when he would have been socialised by contact with his mum and his litter mates and learnt to control his bite instinct.

    Now you will have to act as his substitute mum and take over the task of socialising him.

    Re: the scratching - do not let him play with your hands. It may seem cute at this age but won't be when he is an adult with bigger claws. ;)

    Re: the biting, train him as follows:

    1/ first buy a few kicker toys. Kong Kickeroo toys are good, this one is suitable for adult cats, but there is a smaller version for little kittens.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/KONG-Kicke...763658&sr=8-1&keywords=kong+kickeroo+cat+toys

    2/ keep a kickeroo toy with you, or leave them around the house so you can grab one whenever your kitten bites you.

    3/ do not scold him for biting but instead when he bites you, squeal "ouch" in a high pitched voice (as his litter mates would have done) and keep still. Do not pull away from him or he will think it's part of the game.

    4/ gently push one of the kicker toys between his paws and when he has hold of it slowly remove your hand or ankle from his grip.

    5/ if he won't release you gently push your trapped hand or trapped ankle against his teeth and he will let go.

    6/ he attacks you because he wants to play (as he would've with his litter mates). So play with him for several hours a day, divided into periods of 30 to 40 minutes, using wand toys, rod toys and throwing little balls for him to chase. Then he will use up all his energy and not be asking you for more play.

    7/ feed him a high meat protein wet food diet. Dry food is not good as it contains too many carbs which cats and kittens can't process. It causes peaks in blood sugar levels and can result in periods of erratic hyper behaviour.

    Good luck, photos would be nice, :)
     
    lorilu likes this.
  3. Essential93

    Essential93 PetForums Newbie

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    Unfortunately yeah, the owner first let him go to my aunt, who unfortunately didn't have the time for him, so we took him in and he was young at the time. I'll look into those toys for sure, they do seem like a good benefit for him. I have used the method of shouting 'no' at him the moment he does go for my ankles or hands. It seems to work a bit, but most of the time its difficult to get him off. I'll definitely give it a try to push my hand or ankle against his teeth of he does decide to not let you. What are your views on spraying water?

    As with the play time, ill definitely try getting more time in to play with him seeing as this is the cause for him going for my ankles.

    I appreciate your advice on this :) As for the food, he's just turning 8 weeks tomorrow so we are looking into slowly introducing wet food without upsetting. Are there any particular brands you recommend?

    20181016_211203.jpg 20181104_211655.jpg IMG-20181013-WA0006.jpg

    There's the cheeky rascal :) His name is Fanta.

    Asif
     
    chillminx likes this.
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Aww, he is immensely cute, bless him! :)

    Please don't spray him with water, it will either make him fearful so he loses his trust in you, or he may be a cat who doesn't mind water, and if so he will see it as part of the game and it could make him be more aggressive with you. Either way the outcome won't be what you are hoping for.

    Shouting "no" is OK, but I think a little squeal like he and his litter mates would have done if play got rough, has the edge on "no". Plus he is hard wired as a predator to know what a squeal of pain or fear means. If you were his prey he would carry on in spite of your squeal, but he knows you are not prey, you are his special human and he doesn't want to hurt you. He just needs time and consistent, patient training to learn. :)

    Food wise: Natures Menu, Country Hunter, Lily's Kitchen, Meowing Heads, Little Big Paw, HiLife The One Chicken are all foods that are grain free, high in meat protein and low in carbs. All from pet stores such as Pets at Home.

    If you want cheaper options of very good quality foods, then have a look at Zooplus Uk online for foods such as Feringa, Catz Finefood, Bozita, Grau, Wild Freedom, Granatapet, all good foods that are grain free.

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches
     
    #4 chillminx, Nov 10, 2018 at 12:15 AM
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018 at 2:17 PM
    lorilu likes this.
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