My kitten is driving me insane!

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Lucky87, May 15, 2018.


  1. Lucky87

    Lucky87 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all... Through sheer desperation I've checked out this forum to ask for advice. My kitten is male, a house cat and 13 weeks old. I got him at 8 weeks. He is crazy! He bites and scratches me and no matter what I do he keeps doing it. Its getting sore now and he's drawing blood with his claws and teeth. My hands and arms are covered in bite/scratch marks. I shout no, he doesn't listen. I spray him with water spray and this just angers him even more. I give him a time out by putting him out in the hall for 10 minutes and I end up having to so that throughout the day because he just won't stop. He has plenty of toys, which he does play with but sometimes (most times) he just wants to bite me. He can be so sweet and loves his cuddles, but I can't take it anymore. Will getting him fixed calm him down? I need suggestions, and I know most of the suggestions will be to get another kitten for comfort but that just isn't an option right now.
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi @Lucky87 and welcome :)

    Your kitten sounds like a lively little fellow with bags of energy! He is probably biting and scratching you because wants to play with you, and is frustrated because he is not getting enough playtime.

    If he had another kitten to play with they would entertain each other. But as it is not possible for you to get another kitten, then you must be the kitten's substitute playmate yourself. :)

    Solo kittens of his age need about 3 hours of interactive play a day with their human companions. The 3 hours needs to be divided up into sessions of around half an hour. Keeping a young kitten occupied and entertained is time-consuming but it is very important as a means of raising a contented well adjusted adult. Play is also a very bonding process between kitten and human.

    Buy a rod toy like the Da Bird and use it to get your kitty leaping and racing around after it. It will soon use up plenty of his energy.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_7?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=da+bird+cat+toys&sprefix=da+bird,aps,130&crid=1EKVRMF5S0KUI

    Throw ping pong balls for him to chase. If you have stairs throw the balls up the stairs and get him running after them.

    Throw pieces of scrunched clean baking foil.

    Buy him a couple of play tunnels and fasten them together, and throw toys down the tunnel for him to chase. My cats adored these tunnels when they were kittens.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Popamazing...d=1526415190&sr=8-10&keywords=cat+play+tunnel

    Or make some tunnels for him using brown cardboard boxes and sticky tape.

    Buy some Kong Kickeroo toys and keep one always handy near you. if he goes to bite you, slip one of these toys between his front paws and he will enjoy kicking it like mad!

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/KONG-Kicke...415345&sr=8-1&keywords=kong+kickeroo+cat+toys

    Give your kitten plenty of daily challenges in the form of things to climb safely e.g. tall cat trees, or put shelves up the wall to the top of wardrobes and cupboards. I had to do this for my two girls when they were kittens as they were so lively and playful.

    Here are some ideas you can adapt cheaply:

    https://uk.images.search.yahoo.com/...g&fr=yhs-Lkry-SF01&hspart=Lkry&hsimp=yhs-SF01

    When your kitten bites, screech "ouch" quite loudly and keep still. Do not snatch away your hand or he will think it is a game. If he won't let go of you gently push the hand he has hold of against his mouth until he releases you.

    Never spray him with water, or he will become frightened, aggressive, or think the water spray is part of the game. So it will not have a good effect on him.

    If you have just had a good play session with him and he is still wound up, ignore him and leave the room, and go and do your own thing. But if you walk away when he needs and deserves your attention then he will get frustrated. It is a question of sensing his mood and then judging when it is OK to leave him to play on his own.

    Feed him a high meat protein wet food diet. Dry food or wet food with grains in is high in carbohydrates causing peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels which can in turn cause errratic behaviour in kittens. A high meat protein diet is digested more slowly as nature intends for cats, and makes for a calmer kitten.
     
  3. Lucky87

    Lucky87 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi and thank you for your suggestions. I forgot to add he already has a large tunnel which I throw toys down, gets him running around. I also have a laser pen, but I've found he gets too Iver excited and when I put it away he goes for me again. I have a Teddy that I use for when he bites me, I try to replace my hand with it which doesn't work he just keeps biting. I do have stairs, I could try throwing a ball down. He has a climbing frame, which I throw toys on also. Just keeps coming back to me. I do screech ouch when he bites, but to be honest it does nothing. I could try pushing my hand towards his mouth, bit tricky when his teeth are sinking into my skin though. I would like to say I do play with him quite a lot during the day. When play time is over he gets tired, but still attacks me. I'm at my wits end with it
     
  4. Bertie'sMum

    Bertie'sMum PetForums VIP

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    Has he been neutered yet ? That usually has the effect of calming them down a fair bit !
     
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  5. SuboJvR

    SuboJvR Joey’s Mummy

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    If the teddy isn’t working, please please buy some Kickeroos if nothing else from @chillminx excellent list.

    They are perfectly designed for exactly this purpose. He is seeking the sort of stimulation he would get if he were playfighting with another cat. These toys are fantastic for this, and they are laced with catnip so extremely satisfying!

    My kitten does still do this from time to time - only on me, mind - BUT he never really hurts me. He never draws claws and he just tries to nibble. Regardless I continue to dissuade him but it will take time for him to stop completely I know. If I give him the “look” and/or squeal or just try and talk him down softly, those nibbles turn to licks and he eventually doses off so it’s very sweet. But naughty!

    The Kickeroo toys however distract him immediately, in fact he likes to go and take them to his den after he’s “killed” them...

    You need to understand that he isn’t attacking you - he is trying to play. Unfortunately, when they want to play and when we want to play doesn’t always coincide...!

    Cats are hunters. Some are moreso than others, in some cats you can see their instinctive behaviour at play, and we as human slaves must follow through...

    So he’s been chasing a laser pointer around for ages - then what! He doesn’t get the satisfaction of the “kill”, or indeed the tasty meal.

    In your shoes, I would engage with the toys you have that work BUT get some Kickeroos for after. For example you play with the laser pointer until he’s had enough, and then put the Kickeroo in between his paws and he will be able to feel the sense of achievement from his “hunt”. And if he’s a good boy and stays off your arms, give him treats to reinforce the behaviour. They do learn, it just takes a little time :)
     
  6. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Wear leather gloves ;)

    That way he can’t hurt you so you can calmly (and painlessly) stop play and wait for him to release and quit being rough so you can remove your hand.
     
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  7. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    @Lucky87: How much company does he have during the day? I've never had a solo kitten so not had this problem. The fact is though that they are ''kittens'' for quite a long time so you need to get him lots of stimulation (you've had some good advice from previous posters). My most recent was ten months when I got her and immediately attached herself to the youngest boy and insisted that he roll around and play-fight with her (she's a bit of a tomboy). Fortunately he is happy to do so. She is two now but still instigates rough play with him. :Cat
     
    #7 Calvine, May 16, 2018 at 8:51 AM
    Last edited: May 16, 2018 at 8:56 AM
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  8. Calvine

    Calvine PetForums VIP

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    @Lucky87: This sort of reminded me: a friend of mine had a cat toy which was essentially a glove with things (feathers, mice, bells, balls etc) hanging off each of the elongated fingers which you could wear when the cat was in ''attack the hand'' mode. Never saw one on sale, but they must be on Amazon or the like.
     
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  9. SuboJvR

    SuboJvR Joey’s Mummy

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    The only problem with wearing gloves (especially with toys), is that it doesn't really dissuade them from using our hands/arms for play and nibbles. I agree it can be very helpful whilst they're still learning not to, though - I personally go for a hoodie with sleeves long enough to cover my hand! ;)
     
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  10. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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    I saw those glove things with bells, ribbons etc in a pet shop. I was a bit shocked as I think it would encourage the cat to think your hand was a toy, despite the jangly things not always being there.

    @Lucky87
    Get a Da Bird or Go Cat wand toy as mentioned, they are great. Remind yourself you are currently your cats sole source of entertainment. Teaching how to play requires patience but is worth it. Make sure everyone is doing the same and not using hands as toys when playing with your kitten.
     
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  11. Lucky87

    Lucky87 PetForums Newbie

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    I have bought the king kickaroo toy.. We shall see how it goes. He did still try to attach me after he was playing with it. Thanks for all your replies. I also got him a chew toy.. Anything to let my hands and arms heal!
     
  12. Lady Marmalade_MaineCoon

    Lady Marmalade_MaineCoon PetForums Newbie

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    @Lucky87: I'm a pretty new parent to a kitty. I grew up with dogs and am more familiar with their behaviour and training needs. One huge mistake that I made was in thinking that, like dogs, cats/kittens like to have their tummies rubbed. I may be telling you what you already know but I've done some research on the topic. Kitties may roll over onto their backs and show you their tummies but that is apparently a sign of trust. If you go in for a tummy tickle (as tempting as it may be) they will grab hold of you with claws and teeth. I learned this the hard way! I'm not sure if this is relevant to you but my arm scratches are slowly healing not that I know what to avoid.
     
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  13. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    True, but it enables the human to not pull back because of pain and leave the hand still until the kitten realises “game over” and releases claws and teeth - then human can withdraw hand without getting punctured ;)

    I found the same trick helped with our rats when they were getting used to us and being handled. Sometimes they had to be picked up, but getting a nip off a rat is enough to make me withdraw my hand - so they learn “nip and the hand goes away” which is counter productive.

    Both my own two cats were extremely gentle in play and always sheathed their claws, and just weren’t “bitey” I’m happy to say :)
     
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  14. Rhea mother of Zeus

    Rhea mother of Zeus PetForums Junior

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    Welcome, Lucky. I totally sympathize. My Zeus (4 months) was the same. Sweet and cuddly one minute, then he'd become Wolverine. He has periodically SHREDDED us.

    Zeus learned what no, down and a good loud OUCH means eventually, especially if we walk away and withdraw attention until he settles down.

    All play at this age is hunting practice but not malicious. We think of this as similar to a human toddler trying to kick or hit, and teach him accordingly.

    We also keep his favorite toys to "beat up" handy and throw it to get him off us if he's bitey, then ignore a bit.

    Your new baby will calm down, especially with lots of play and consistency and, as has been said, after he's fixed. Good luck.

    Edited to add -- your kitten will also be learning to ask for attention appropriately. It took Zeus til almost 4 months to start using soft paws to reach for us, when ambushing to get us to play, and to rub against ankles.
     
    #14 Rhea mother of Zeus, May 17, 2018 at 4:23 AM
    Last edited: May 17, 2018 at 4:32 AM
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  15. Lucky87

    Lucky87 PetForums Newbie

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    So the kickaroo toy thing isn't working .in fact while he plays with it he eyes up my arm, or hand, or leg and goes for me. I've played with him half an hour at a time today, and still I'm the toy. I don't use my hands or fingers to play, I use toys and throw them in his tunnel and all over the flat.i just had to put him out my room as its bedtime and he went for Me... The bigger he's getting the more painful it is. Am I doing something wrong?? Only thing next is to get him nuetured.
     
  16. Lucky87

    Lucky87 PetForums Newbie

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    I don't tickle his tummy, wouldn't risk it with how sharp his teeth and claws are lol
     
  17. Lucky87

    Lucky87 PetForums Newbie

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    I hope he calms down, I'm tearing my hair out!
     
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  18. Lucky87

    Lucky87 PetForums Newbie

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    Right now he gets all my attention as I'm off work.. As of next week I'm back at work. He is in on his own from 9am till 2:30pm.
     
  19. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Sorry to hear you are being hurt. It sounds as though he still has loads of energy left to burn.

    Have you yet acquired one of those Da Bird rod toys I linked for you, to get him leaping around. I have never known a kitten not be totally exhausted after half an hour of play with that!

    You can retrain him with a rod toy to keep his distance so he stops seeing you as a playmate.
     
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  20. Lucky87

    Lucky87 PetForums Newbie

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    Not yet. He is due to be fixed in June sometime.