Kittens that Bite: Why does She Bite Me?
Today we are going to discuss Kittens that Bite: Why does She Bite Me? Sadly, this happens to the best of us and although I/we try super hard to stop her biting her nothing works!
For instance, when we first brought my new kitty home, she kept biting us and scratching and was very protective of herself.
At first, we thought it was because she was so small, only 6.5 weeks and we thought she would stop, but she never did and that is how this article was born!
There is a lot of information that I agree with and some that I don’t. No matter what, I will present all the information and let you decide for yourselves what you want to do and what you believe is true for you and your kitten.
If you have a new furry addition to your family and she keeps biting, you may be asking yourself, “How do I stop my kitten from biting and scratching me?” And “I must stop this behavior before it becomes a bad habit?”
Albeit, she bites and scratches while playing, while she’s purring and while horsing around and how do I know if there is something wrong with her and lastly, how do I make her stop?
Well… while searching, trying to find the reasons, I found out a few reasons for this terrible habit!
Purring: Your kitten may become overstimulated while petting her. She can only withstand so much of the petting that it starts to hurt her and then she will give you a warning bite or scratch.
According to Cat whisperer Jackson Galaxy
“It’s called petting-induced over stimulation. The hair follicle receptors in a cat can only take so much petting before it hurts.”
Biting Kitten – What Are The Signs to Look For?
With all things considered, try looking for universal signals such as how her tail starts to flick. Did you know that when a cat is wagging its tail, it means the exact opposite of what a dog is telling you when it wags its tail?
Also, if the ears start to flatten, the eyes start dilating. ” Cat whisperer Jackson Galaxy
Firstly, your kitten can and will get overstimulated when you pet her too much if she starts to bite you just stop petting her and walk away. Secondly, keep an eye out for the signs stated above and react before, not after.
Hence, if for some reason she doesn’t get the difference between what a love bite is and what isn’t. The result of her biting, one thing you can do is ground her for a day.
No treats or snacks and then explain why you are doing this. Yes, I am serious 🙂 That’s what we do at our house.
For instance, Connor (our doggie) got into some trouble the other day for being defiant and he was grounded for the weekend from treats.
And when I would bring him in from going outside to do his business, if he was good, he would get a treat but if he was bad and didn’t listen to me then the treats would be withheld.
It really does work. Unquestionably, cats are smart and they know what you are saying when you talk to them, I firmly believe this.
Kittens that Bite: Why does She Bite Me?
Play aggression: It’s part of growing up for your kitten. Right? But only to a point of course!
Overall, when kitty is practicing her hunting skills and stalking her prey, the result is they can get a bit overly aggressive.
However, it’s important for cats in the wild to learn this type of play and it’s handed down from generation to generation.
Since it’s part of the big cats in the wild and thus our domesticated fur baby’s got it passed down through the gene pool! Some cat personality traits are inherited read my article on this here
Just like their cat parents, certain cats may be predisposed to aggressive behavior thanks to their parents.
*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I will make a commission at no extra cost to you should you click through and make a purchase
Age: Young kittens will bite and scratch each other and their parents as part of playing. Usually, this will stop anywhere between 4 to 12 months and it depends on the individual kitten.
Kittens Love to Play
In spite of this behavior, it is natural for kittens to act this way and isn’t a sign that they’re mad at you or upset with you. Unfortunately, this is how they learn to socialize when interacting and playing with their littermates and with their Mama’s by
- Chasing/play hunting with one another
- Roughhousing/play fighting
- Attacking/Biting and scratching
- Social interaction and sparring partners!
And when they play too rough, mama gives a nip indeed! She does this to train them when to hold back and when the kittens are biting too hard.
According to an article by Catster
“It turns out that kitten biting is part of the play behavior kittens learn when they are with their littermates. “This is the time when each kitten learns how to use an inhibited bite so as not to cause injury,” explains Pam Johnson-Bennett, a certified cat behaviorist and owner of Cat Behavior Associates. “A kitten who bites too hard is either reprimanded by the queen or gets a very negative reaction from a littermate. This social play is important, and each kitten soon learns the rules.”
But, what if my kitten didn’t get a chance to experience this with her littermates or her mom? What if my kitten was taken from her mama too soon and didn’t get a lot of this needed interaction while growing up with her littermates?
I know this is the case for me. I got my kitten when she was 5.5 weeks old. So, now it’s up to me to provide the teaching and it’s up to her to learn it!
Consequently, it does take a lot of patience when you are training your kitten not to bite.
When she is learning to socialize, she will test her boundaries with you. On the other hand, is roughhousing with your kitten the same as roughhousing with a puppy?
No, this isn’t what we should be doing with our kittens.
Experts say that when you roughhouse with your hands, fingers, your kitten will associate them as toys and it can be confusing for a learning kitten.
But I play with Sammie with my hands and so does my son! I didn’t know NOT TO! All this time I’ve played with my cats this way. And now lo and behold now they say not too?
The Kitten Bite Test
So I decided to do a bite test with Sammie. she just woke up from her nap. I started petting her and she was in a playful mood, I started playing with her and she started to bite my hand.
Ouch! I didn’t yell as articles had suggested! And they said really loud to startled them and I disagree with this method. Anyhow… I didn’t yell at her, I simply…
In a very soft voice, “Sammie please don’t bite me, it hurts when you do that.” At first, she ignored me and bit me again this time kicking me with her back legs.
“Sammie, why are you biting me again?” “It hurts mama when you do that”, she did it again and I said, “Ow that hurts! easy… easy… no biting”
And then she stopped! I had to repeat this repeatedly until she gets the hang of it and she does.
Now all I have to tell her is “ow that hurts”… I said “easy” or, “I ask her why she is biting mama and she stops!”
Clearly, she is learning and it will take a lot of patience and discipline on my part. However, don’t forget to reward good behavior, that’s important too.
Now If She Gets Too Rough
And she won’t listen to me then playtime is over and she will go to time out! I’ve put her in her room when she won’t listen or if she runs in there when I am going out the door.
“Fine, you want to be here, then that’s up to you. But, I’m closing the door” (Because the wall unit air conditioner is on and we just cool down the front of the house) Within a few minutes she cries to be let out and then I get her.
Do you talk to your furry children just like you talk to a human? I obviously do 🙂
One more thing for you to consider, when your kitten won’t stop biting you, hiss at them. This is what their mama does to them and their littermates when they get too rough with mama.
This means in cat language “back-off!” (yes, I am fluent in speaking cat! haha)
What are the Factors? How To Stop A Kitten from Biting You?
According to cat behaviorist try switching from using your hands or fingers replacing them with toys. Ultimately this can help them stop their biting and they won’t mistake your hands or fingers for toys
Importantly, if we understand why kittens bite and learn what to do about it, that’s the first step. Secondly, we need to consider a few other factors that play into all this.
Cat parent’s behavior: Undoubtedly, our cats are especially sensitive to their human emotions. without a doubt, they can feel and sense when emotions are high and when emotions are low and even when there is laughter or crying, your feline will react.
The cat just knows indeed! Have you ever been crying and your cat will come and sit with you or how about when you are sick? During these times have you noticed that your cat will stay by you and lavish you with love?
Dogs Do This Too As Well As Felines
Now, we all know dogs can do this too as well as cats and kittens. For example, when I was frustrated and upset and the tears just rolled down my cheeks, and as little as Sammie was, she came running up to me to comfort me and it made a big difference.
What about if there’s arguing in the home or someone angry? Your cat will feel it and may even act out or run and hide. Before I left my husband and we would get into an argument. Sparrow would run and hide or at bedtime, he would sleep between us to protect me and not let my husband near me.
So, be careful my friends, animals know and feel and sense what we as their cat parents do and say and feel.
- Trim their claws: Just trim down their claws or if you don’t know how or are too uncomfortable in clipping your cat’s nails, take them to the vet and they can do it for you.
- I clip my cat’s nails and it does help quite a bit. I teach Sammie to let me clip her nails. It’s a challenge but if I train her now it will be easier for her in the future.
- Click here to read an awesome article about the “During this very important time window for your kitty is teaching him/her what you want from her/him.” Ideal Age for your Kitten – 7 Weeks to 6 Months
- Buy a scratching post: Teach good behavior by rewarding her for scratching the post. This will encourage her to stop scratching you or your furniture. Purrfect solution! Right!
- Interactive play: A teething kitten playing with their toys with their cat parents helps them work out excess energy, learning toys are for biting not mama’s fingers.
Also to develop her balance and strength then she will be less likely to chew on you. This will also bond the two of you together!
Teething Kittens – How Long Does it Last?
Kittens go through a biting stage when they are teething. Just like a human baby is teething, they bite on everything! It’s kinda the same thing.
Except human babies don’t bounce off walls and put everything they find on the floor in their mouths as kittens do…
Wait! Nevermind… babies do that too! Haha
Your kitten will start losing their baby teeth around 12 weeks/3 months old. The timing may vary, depending on the kitten.
They will have lost all their baby teeth by the time they reach 6 to 9 months old. During this time, you Kitty is in pain from teething.
What Can You Do To Help?
Offer her chew toys for teething kittens, cold wash clothes to bite on and binkies made for teething animals. They do have animal-specific chew toys for your teething pet. Which is a great relief for your fur baby!
ASPCA – has said that kittens started losing their baby teeth at around 3 months about the time their adult incisors began to erupt.
Their first set of teeth is called “ow that hurts…easy” naw… I’m just kidding they are called deciduous teeth and there are 26 razors er. I mean baby teeth and they start coming in at 2 weeks old!
Adult teeth, on the other hand, start erupting around 6 to 8 months old and by one-year-old her adult teeth will all be grown in. They have 30 adult teeth.
The teething process takes 3 to 6 months to complete depending on the individual cat.
Teething Kittens Need
- Chew toys: Chew toys made specifically for teething kittens.
- Teaching No Biting: Some say yell NO! I say speak gently and lovingly and you will have a loving gentle kitten
- Playing Nice: Reminders not to bite, hiss at her if you have to do this tells her to “back off”
- Reward good behavior: With treats or goodies. Extra play time, lots of hugs and love!
Patience and love throughout the entire process of growing from a kitten into adulthood. I have been watching Sammie begin to have the traits of a cat. What do I mean by that?
Well… she is starting to rub on my legs when I am in the kitchen, she is learning what her wet food bowl looks like. She is starting to knead her blankets. And so forth.
Conclusion for Kittens that Bite
I am watching my baby grow up. She keeps getting bigger by the day. She is learning new things and becoming even more loving.
I would rather teach her and correct her with love. gentleness and kindness go a very long way. I suspect that one day we’ll wake up and our rambunctious, biting, ball of energy will become a very lazy cat…
Until that day comes… I will enjoy and cherish her kitten for months and grow up with her… However, she will always be my baby kitty! What did you do to help your teething kitten?
What was her/his favorite chew toy? How did you get through this stage of their lives? We would love to hear about it, please feel free to share your ideas and pictures with us.
We thank you for stopping by and hope to see you soon!
All my best,
Donna Rayne & Sammie Mae
Copyright © 2019 Donna Rayne’s Blog, All rights reserved.
Founder of mrsparrowshealthycat.com
Writer and member of the partnership program at Quora.com