Help!!! Kitten Biting!


My little kitten, whose about 12 weeks has a little Jackle n’ Hide complex going on.

He’s absolutely adorable and snuggles with when I get home from work which is great! But he’s been scratching and biting a lot lately so we had Soft Claws put on him temporarily, and he seemed to adjust smoothly and doesn’t mind them now, but that hasn’t stopped the biting of course, can’t get Soft Teeth right lol kidding kidding.

He’s not biting to be aggressive, he’s biting to play and it bloody well hurts. I pick him up by the scruff of his neck, say no and place him on the floor.... And he jumps right back up and mauls by thigh, so I do it again and again and again.... He finally gets the point and stops biting only to do it again 30 minutes later when the man gets home from work.

The worst is when we go to bed, holy crap, it’s like the moment of the day he’s been waiting for.

It’s like a little black demon rabbit on our bed. He dive bombs my face, attacks anything that moves, borrows under the covers (that’s his favorite) and then bites his way down to my feet. We’re talking biting my back, my butt-cheek, my thigh, my calve and then finally my feet, but by that time I’ve taken him off of the bed and locked him out.

He doesn’t stay in our room now, but still... How do I stop this biting behavior? It hurts! We don’t play with him with our bare hands and we make sure to put him on the ground and stop playing with him when he starts up and I have even tried the limp hand... Nothing is working.

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by: Dustylylac

Thank you so much for the comments! I never once thought to check out how old he was when he left his mother, so I contacted his foster mother and found out :)

He was 3 months old when I adopted him from the shelter a month ago, he was 4 weeks when the foster mother received him and his sister and he was most likely around 3 weeks when he and his sister were without their mother (strays).

So you guys could be right about the behavioral issues from lack of "mothering" and I'm sure he might be acting out from not having 24/7 company anymore as they sold his sister off before I arrived. So the day I took him home was the day he suddenly was alone 5 hours a day and I'm sure pretty bored.

Thank you!

Thank you Kat.
by: Larry (editor)

Hi Kat,

The point that you make about the age that the kitten was when taken from its mother is a very good one, and is something that I should have covered in my comment.

It can indeed make a difference to a kitten's behavior.

Your comments are always so informative, detailed and helpful Kat. Thank you very much indeed for taking the time to post them.

Larry (editor)

by: Kat

I agree with what Larry said. Plus, kittens naturally are more aggressive and playful than adult cats. They haven't learned yet, and have all this extra energy. I just wouldn't yell at him (which could make him fear you instead of bring you closer) or encourage him (don't use your hands and wiggle them as toys, or he'll see them as appropriate to attack.)

He should outgrow the kitten behaviors if you keep dissuading him and switching his attention to the pole toy instead, or maybe a laser toy to chase and get energy out. I would also suggest wearing long sleeves while he is in this 'stage' lol. It will make pretending your hand is limp and ignoring him instead of encouraging the attack behavior easier too.

Was he weaned too young and didn't get enough 'wrestle-and-bite' time with his siblings? If they are taken too young from their mothers and siblings a lot of times they can develop a little more than the usual biting problems as kittens, but with work, it can be corrected as they get older. When they are weaning and teething they can be extra intent on gnawing on things.

Our one cat, Koga, I got as a 4-week-old kitten when someone dumped him with his brother, sister, and mother on the side of the road. His mother had been hit by a car, and I took to nursing the poor kittens, because my uncle didn't know what to do with them. My uncle took two and gave them to friends, but they didn't make it because they didn't know how to care for sick, young kittens. Koga made it just fine and healthy, but without his brother and sister to wrestle with and the trauma of losing his mother made him cling to me as if I was mom. He also used me as his potential wrestle and chew toy because he had no experience with 'normal' kitten behaviors. He didn't outgrow his excessive biting (he bit everyone and everything, feet, hands, the couch, the chair, the rug, you name it) until he was almost 2 years old. Most cats outgrow that stage at around 6 months. I think it was due to the traumatic experience as a kitten. He was dumped, and had almost died from a parasite infestation from the negligence of the people who dumped him. To this day, he still growls when he looks out the window at the road or sees a car go by. I think he remembers. But I've hand-raised nearly a dozen cats, no exaggeration, and it makes a huge difference when they lose contact with a cat mother or sibling too soon. I've never had any real biting problem with any other cat. He still sees me as mom, and is now the most lovable dog-cat anyone has ever met. He's a sweet heart now that he's outgrown it.

Every cat's different, but ignoring his attacks and only petting him when not in 'attack' mode, wearing long sleeves, and playing with the pole are great ways to switch his attention.

It can take time . . .
by: Larry (editor)


Thank you very much for telling us about your "little black demon rabbit" and I can understand your cry for help.

It does sound like you have a handful with him but I'm sure that he is adorable and that working to solve the problems will be worth it.

It seems that you are doing all the right things, stopping any petting at the first sign that he is going to bite and keeping him out of your bedroom at night. It may seem like your actions are not working but it can take time, sometimes a lot of time.

As you are both at work during the day, the little fellow is glad of your company when you get home and wants to play. And kittens play aggressively.

Do you have a fishing pole type toy that he can take his aggression out on? Of course, he has to know that it's ok to attack the toy but not people.

I'm sure that all will be well in the end, but I'm afraid it often takes time and patience.

You might find a few extra things you can try from this page Cat Attacking Feet

Good luck, I'm sure that you will end up with the perfect kitten.

Larry (editor)

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