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lala1001's avatar

Alright, my friend's cat (just became a cat in August, but is not 1 yet) has a TERRIBLE biting problem. Any help?

Asked by lala1001 (40points) November 20th, 2009

Ok, my friends cat has a really bad biting problem. He is way past teething and things aren’t getting any better. We tried spraying him in the face with a spray bottle(standard) but that doesn’t work. Any other kind but firm ways to discipline him?

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12 Answers

Judi's avatar

He just became a cat in August? What was he before? and how could he have become one in August if he isn’t one yet?
By the way, cat’s have a mind of their own.

tinyfaery's avatar

DO NOT spray your cat in the face with a water bottle. That is an aggressive act. The only way the spray bottle is effective at shaping behaviors is if the cat doesn’t know you are the one doing the spraying.

My guess is you tolerated the biting when the kitten was young and now he thinks it’s okay. Never play with a cat with your hands. Hands are for loving and feeding not discipline and play. Cats do not respond to discipline.

When the cat begins to bite remove all of your attention. Do not talk to him or look at him, just walk away. Whenever your hands are near the cat’s mouth and he does not bite, reward him immediately with love and a treat (keep treats very close by). Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Beta_Orionis's avatar

@Judi a kitten of course!

lilfoxi's avatar

there are (generally) two reasons that cats bite people – as a defense or as play. If the cat seems to be trying to play with you when it bites, then try giving it other toys or cats to interact with. Inform the cat when it hurts you by making a loud “OW” right away, and the cat should stop instantly. this is particularly effective when the person who raised the cat does it. you will have to do this over and over.

If the cat is biting as a defense, it may be anxious or overstimulated. young cats (under age 2) are very easily overstimulated by noise, touch, and movement. the biting is a way to say “stop, i cant take anymore”. if this is the case, try to respect the cat’s wishes and remove the offending person or object until the cat calms down.

rooeytoo's avatar

A cat that bites and is not nice is eventually probably going to end up in a shelter or dead because most people want a sweet kind well behaved pet, not something that bites them or the neighbor’s kid (which will probably precipitate a law suit or the cat being euthanized).

Therefore when an animal bites me, the punishment is swift and sure, bring your hand up under the cat’s chin so its teeth clack together. If you do that every time the cat bites you, it will solve the problem quickly and simply. With a pup you squeeze the lips against the needle like canine teeth until it yelps once, you can do the same with a cat but it is more difficult because of the shape of their face so the clip under the chin works better.

This is not abuse, it is discipline for a completely socially unacceptable behavior. It will not damage the cat’s psyche or cause it to need counseling in its adult life.

That is what you do if you want to correct the problem quickly, if you want the training process to take months or years, try another method.

tinyfaery's avatar

Cats do not respond to discipline. Dogs do.

rooeytoo's avatar

I disagree.

How you decide to correct a bad habit depends on how long you want it to take for the new behavior to be learned.

rooeytoo's avatar

According to my personal experience in animal training.

Kraigmo's avatar

Each cat is different. But generally speaking, over-biting or over-fighting is due to someone rough-housing the cat during horseplay.

When a cat bites me too hard, I push the hand that’s being bitten further into his mouth (whether its human or animal that is the safest thing to do when someone’s biting you), while at the same time, grabbing the scruff and showing my dominance and displeasure at the biting. This has always worked for my cats.

YARNLADY's avatar

Nearly every cat can be trained, but it takes a lot repeat lot of patience. The best way to train not to bite is to use the avoidance method described above. Withdraw from the cat.

My sister found that putting her cat in it’s crate every single time it bit her worked after about a week.

anartist's avatar

@tinyfaery Squirting is not necessarily bad discipline. I bought a squirt gun to use with Jacky to get him to stay off the table when there was food on it. It worked for quite a while. He’d get one body shot and if he kept coming a squirt in the snoot. It worked until he realized that not only didn’t it hurt, but it was sort of fun, more fun than the food on the table even. It evolved into a ritual game. Move one, he gets on the chair opposite me and very gradually, like a submarine periscope raises his head, first his ears then his eyes. I pick up the squirt gun and lrvrl it at him. We both stare at each other. Move 2, he puts his front paws on the table. I shake the gun at him. Move 3, he jumps up. I squirt him. Move 4 he jumps over to the windowsill next to the table and licks his fur off. Move 5 he puts his front paws on the table again. I squirt him in the snoot. Move 6 he jumps down to the chair. Move 7 he raises his ears again and I squirt him under the table. Move 8 He jumps to the floor but stays there right next to the table. I squirt him again. Move 9 he runs about 4 feet away, stops and turns back to look at me. I squirt him again. Move 10 he runs out of the room game over until next time.

I really miss him and the squirt gun game and him turning on the radio and him walking along the 1” wide top of the Korean screen and sitting in the corner where it makes an L looking out the window from his perch.

Just needed to talk about him again.

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