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Can\'t stop the play biting/scratching!

lexi connerlexi conner Member Posts: 4
edited 24 January, 2011 in Behavior & Training
Hi all! I really need help with my 11 week old kitten Yoshi, who despite my efforts, keeps biting and scratching. (I have numerous scars on my hands and legs!) I have tried scruffing, I yelped and showed pain, clapped and said NO in a firm voice, tried saying no and walking away, but he follows behind nipping at my legs! Growling and hissing; doesn't work :| [sighs] I have used a stuffed doggy that he play fights to direct his play biting to it, but then he comes back to me! Any OTHER solutions I could try? I've had him since he was 7 weeks old and he's my first kitten. I know it could become worse when he gets older so I gladly appreciate any help! ^_^


  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 29 December, 2010
    Welcome to the board! :-h This is very very normal for kittens, you just have to teach and train them, and it doesn;t happen overnight, mol, and it takes alot of patience. :)) First, no more scruffing, that is a punishment tool, he doesn't understand why he is being punished. :D Kittens are very very energetic, mol, he is just playing, and he just has to learn, that is not tolerated. I have 2 kittens, so it was easier with them, they had each other to play and wrassel with, but they had to learn too. Your on the right tract, use a firm, but not yelling voice, and use the same word, or words, each time, you have to be consistant, and they don't learn overnight. :D I used the words - no biting, in a stern voice, its the tone of your voice, that clues them in, mommy is not happy, and they are doing baddy boy stuff, mommy is not talking to them in a baby voice, per say. Then its the words, they listen to. Mine know a plethera of words, and they know what each one means. Make sure you are never playing with him, with your hand or fingers. Use wand toys, throw a squishy ball, use a laser light, mine love the laser light. When he starts biting or playing too rough, say - no biting, in a stern, but not yelling voice, stop all play, walk away. Then go get him one of his toys, and use that, the wand, the ball, the laser light, and praise him. If he starts again, repeat the process. He is just a baby, and it takes awhile, for it to sink in, mol. I went thru it with Bump, I went thru it with the kittens, they learned. :D Best of luck, he is a cutie little boy, and I love red, mol, as you can see, mol. :)) :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
  • Linda AbramsLinda Abrams Joanna, SC 29351Member Posts: 555 ✭✭
    edited 29 December, 2010
    I was bad to nip when I first came to live with Mom. I'd get so excited when she played with me that I'd nip; I didn't mean to hurt her. She'd say "OUCH" in a voice higher than normal and then "NO TEETH", and she put me down and not play with me for a long time (30 minutes or so). It didn't take too long to make the connection. Now I lick her hands or maybe a very light love nibble and then a lick. Mom's happy so I'm happy.:)):))
  • lexi connerlexi conner Member Posts: 4
    edited 1 January, 2011
    Thanks to both of you for your insight! I've been consistent with the firm 'no's' and stopping all play which seems to be slowly working, he forgets every now and then but I think he'll come around soon enough :) thanks again!
  • Linda AbramsLinda Abrams Joanna, SC 29351Member Posts: 555 ✭✭
    edited 1 January, 2011
    He\'s young yet. It\'ll take some time and he\'ll have relapses. You know how kids are. Glad to hear things are going better:)):))
  • Carrie NelsonCarrie Nelson NorwichMember Posts: 45
    edited 9 January, 2011
    Yeah, my lovely little two year old Rhoda still does it. If you go to scratch her belly she'll hold your hand with her front paws, scratch back and fourth really fast with her back paws, and bite all at the same time. We're working on stopping that, though. When she starts, I end the game and stand up and ignore her for a while. She doesn't have an account so I'm using Milo. He's ten and lazy and grumpy.
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 9 January, 2011
    Milo's mom, maybe your girly cat is saying "No mom, don't pet me there!" in as emphatic a way as she can. I am a sweet and loving kitty, and love to be petted a lot. But one area where I will not tolerate petting is on my belly. I do much the same thing that Rhoda does (except I don't scratch, just hold mom's hand firmly and then give a quick bite), and mom has learned to just resist the urge to pet my belly. My sisfur Gracie instead loves belly rubs, and when mom goes for them she purrs and purrs. Mom says if she does this every single time, maybe you can just focus your petting elsewhere, and that would essentially eliminate the problem. I approve of that solution, certainly.
  • lexi connerlexi conner Member Posts: 4
    edited 12 January, 2011
    yoshi does it sometimes, using paws when I pet his belly, but a majority of the time he loves to be petted there and anywhere else lol
  • Barbara StachelekBarbara Stachelek Member Posts: 3
    edited 13 January, 2011
    Also another way to stop this which I've tried with my 3-month old kitten who started doing this is to gently (preferably wearing soft slippers) push against her forehead area each time she attempts to attack you. I read this recommendation in the website and it helps. Supposedly this is what kittens will do when they are playing roughly to let each other know that the behavior is not accepted. Also a tap on the nose with your finger works also. I did the slipper push and she will lie back like in a I surrender position. Also use the "No" word repeatedly loudly and also ow! ow! Ow! Hope this helps!!! She is almost 4-months and even though tries once in a while is so much better. I just have to say No! and she is down.
  • lexi connerlexi conner Member Posts: 4
    edited 24 January, 2011
    that sounds like a good technique! Im on here again because Im considering calling it quits with yoshi, even though I love him so. Today as i was lying down, he jumped up on the couch near me and BIT me in my face, making it bleed. Im so angry with him right now, but I'll give it a week and see if your technique does any good. If it doesn't, then I can't keep him anymore. I posted help on other forums also and they said that I should've gotten him when he was 12 weeks old, that way his mother wouldve had time to teach him how to behave and maybe he would've responded to my "tapping him on the nose" (which only makes him bite me harder) and hissing, etc.. They suggested that I get another older cat to teach him but im unable to do so at the moment.
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