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Will our kitten grow out of biting and scratching?

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Cat123, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. Cat123

    Cat123 PetForums Newbie

    Apr 11, 2020
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    We adopted a kitten in January who is now 10 months old from Romania into the UK.

    More and more, he is pouncing on and biting our ankles, feet, arms and then pouncing up at our face. He doesn't show aggression, more playfulness but he is biting harder and this is becoming more frequent.

    Very recently, he has started to scratch more when we try to stroke him. He has shown that he can be very loving, however.

    As a result of Google searches, we haver tried a spray bottle, hissing (which he has no reaction to), distraction, saying 'no' firmly and moving him into another room. We're currently trying to ignore it and walk out of the room to avoid the negative attention he might like to get. This is harder for my husband as he is more fearful and struggles to ignore it.

    I don't know if this makes a difference but he had his eyeball removed in February after he clawed a chunk out due to irritation and was in discomfort and wearing a cone for a while.

    We were wondering if he is likely to grow out of it as he gets older? In the meantime, do you have any tips to train him to stop doing it. I'm worried that if this continues, my husband won't be able to cope with him anymore and will send him to a rescue centre again.

    Thank you in advance x
  2. tyg'smum

    tyg'smum PetForums Member

    Aug 14, 2018
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    It sounds as if he wasn't fully socialised before he came to live with you: he's rather like a toddler testing the limits of acceptable behaviour.

    Try a Kong Kickeroo: they're easy to find online. When the little one starts to bite or claw, slip the Kickeroo between hin and the bit of you that he's attacking.
    chillminx and Summercat like this.
  3. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

    Oct 8, 2017
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    It seems he is trying to play.
    As @tyg'smum said, try substituting a toy like a kickeroo when he tries to play bite and 'bunny kick'.
    Wand toys are great for keeping play to a distance. The 'Da bird' is well liked by my cats.

    I would not use a spray bottle. I would end the play or get a substitute such as a cat toy kicker or wand toy. Walk away if needed and into another room and shut the door to show that play is ended.

    He is at an age of high energy and without a playmate is looking to you and your husband for play. It is possible when he was younger he was played with by people with hands and sees them as toys.
    Try to wear him out with balls to chase, wand toys etc.

    Here are a few ideas:



    Our cats favorite type balls:


    Things to scratch and bite:


    Can you add any advice?
    chillminx likes this.
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Nov 22, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Hello @Cat123 and welcome :)

    Very good advice from Summercat and tyg'smum.

    I echo Summercat's advice - please do not spray kitty with water, it is counterproductive. Either he will see it as a game or he will become scared of you. You do not want him to associate you with fear. Instead use play substitutes such as kicker toys or arms length wand and fishing rod toys. Keep kicker toys near to hand at all times when you are with kitty so you can grab a toy as soon as it is needed and slip it between his front paws.

    If he is getting so overexcited he is attacking you, do as you have been doing --- say nothing to him, do not touch him, just walk away and leave the room.

    Try and schedule in periods of vigorous arms length play throughout the day so he is using up his energy and has none left for attacking you. Use rod toys and throw balls for him to chase. If you have stairs in your home , throw the balls up the stairs for him to chase. All my cats loved this game when they were kittens.

    Give him climbing opportunities, such as a tall cat tree, or shelves fixed up a wall like steps leading up to the top of a cupboard. Put a fleece on top of the cupboard for him to rest on.

    In every room of the house where he goes provide him with plenty of safe scratching opportunities - a cat scratch post covered with sisal in every room, and scratch pads made of cardboard. I have these pads in every room of the house, + the hall, and they are used all the time by my cats.



    Note the times of day when he's getting most over-excited and start scheduling play periods before those times of day, so the over-excitability is kept at bay.. Play with him for about 30 minutes a time maybe 4 times a day. Vigorous play about half an hour before bedtime followed by a tasty supper of wet food will help him settle and sleep all night.

    He will have a big appetite at his age as he is growing. Feed him 4 meals a day so he is not left too long without food. Feed him wet food only, high meat protein. No dry food, except as maybe a few in a puzzle ball. Dry food is very high in carbs and cats do not need carbs. They cause peaks and troughs in blood sugar levels and in a kitten can result in erratic behaviour. High meat protein wet food is digested more evenly, which is more natural for a cat.
    Summercat likes this.
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