How can you keep a kitten from scratching and biting people

@suspenseful (40316)
Canada
August 28, 2011 8:35am CST
My renter has a kitten and she has been biting and scratching people, me and others. My renter thinks that is because someone hit her on the head. I usually just pick her up by the scrap of her neck and move her someplace else, the kitten I mean. And I will say no as does my renter. Now I was a dog owner and what we used to do was to hit the dog on the nose and say ,no bad dog in a loud voice. I never hit the dog with the newspaper, I just said the bad dog. But with cats it is different. I also wonder if it is normal for kittens to scratch and bite or whether it is something happened.
3 people like this
12 responses
@schulzie (4064)
• United States
31 Aug 11
Cats don't like loud noises and your kitty will pick up on your body language right away if you ignore her or act detached. Kittens will instinctively try to scratch and bite as a form of play, but it should not be in an aggressive manner. Also, cats need to release energy by scratching so it wise to have a scratching post handy so they can relieve their tensions by scratching. It is amazing but they instinctively know what to do when presented with a scratching device. Here in the United States at Target Store they sell a corrugated cardboard scratching slab. My cat took to it instantly and he does not scratch my leather sofa or carpet, etc. He knows that is his and that is what it is for. Included in the package is a little bag of catnip. What he usually does is he goes and eats some food and then scratches or after we finish petting him he goes and scratches. You should have your renter try that out. I think you might be pleasantly surprised with this contraption. And by all means please have your renter get her the stick with the feathers, etc. attached. That should do it.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
31 Aug 11
I did not know about loud noises. I talked to my renter about a scratching post, and there is a pet store nearby so will talk to her about a stick with feathers attached. The kitty already has a mouse stuffed with catnip and a mouse in a cage that we put on a string, and a belt to play with, but that is all.
@jwfarrimond (4474)
28 Aug 11
As others have already said, scratching and biting is pretty normal behaviour for a kitten. It is actually just treating you as if you where it's mother and play fighting with you. A kittens claws and teeth won't hurt an adult cat (much) but your bare skin is much more vulnerable as I know very well from two years ago when a kitten that I was bringing up took to climbing up my legs at every oppotunity. He was on his own, (there was no other kitten that he could play with) so he looked on me as "mother" and all that he was trying to do was to get up to my head so that he could greet me properly. (nose touch and face rub ) He is now 2 years old and almost never tries to climb up my legs now! Last year I was bringing up two more kittens, and since there were two, they were able to direct their play fighting at each other and leave my legs alone! Part of your problem is that the kitten is on it's own and has no-one but you to play fight with. Providing toys that it can play with is OK but it would be better if you spent as much time as you can playing with it.
1 person likes this
@redik11 (131)
• Norway
29 Aug 11
or you can wear thick pants. and it would be funnier for the cat if you took some time playing with the cat and give it toys. my kitten never bother me now. mostly because of the pants, he found it quite boring to attack me when i didn't care ;)
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@redik11 (131)
• Norway
29 Aug 11
jeans work well btw
1 person likes this
29 Aug 11
Sure, I wore jeans a lot that summer Playing with him was one of the joys of bringing up a kitten and he is now a 2 year old affectionate cat.
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@GardenGerty (99184)
• United States
28 Aug 11
Kittens just scratch and bite. If you play games that encourage chasing they do it more. I would have to see what you mean though, as they do it in different ways. I have been known to use a spray bottle and spray them lightly and say "no" but some people do not agree with that. I have also had good luck, if the cat is scratching, with folding my hand around his paw and moving it and saying no. I do not hit or slap because they think that is a game and hit and slap back and claw you at the same time.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
31 Aug 11
I have been petting and stroking her and giving her something to play with. That has helped and she is getting better. I would not use the spray bottle either because cats really do not like water, not because of being mean. I wish there were a better way to get her from well scratching my sandles though.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (99184)
• United States
4 Sep 11
Cats love the smell of feet, and if your sandals are leather that is that much better. I guess if you could find her an old leather purse or some old shoes she might like that better.
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@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
4 Sep 11
I will have to go and get that broken purse from downstairs. I am a hard size to fit so do not have any throwaway shoes for her to lay with.
@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
28 Aug 11
It is normal, but if it continues, a flick on the nose with a finger will discourage her. Not real hard, but try your best to get right in the area around the nose, it stings and makes them back off. I've finally had to resort to doing this with Booboo who is nearly 6 years old.
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@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
29 Aug 11
I may try that. It seems yelling does not work as well. Of course, I will not do the flick when she is bothering the dog next door.
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@ElicBxn (60879)
• United States
30 Aug 11
yeah, yelling really doesn't help at all, unless they know you are willing to go the next step and get them and break up the fight (which is when we are generally yelling)
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@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
30 Aug 11
Not good at flicking. The kitten is a bit too small now, but I will be careful about yelling since she probably does not understand human talk too well.
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@salonga (27993)
• Philippines
13 Sep 11
Cat - Will you bite or scratch?
No it is not normal for kittens to scratch and bite if they are not being threatened or violated. In normal cases kittens are actually well behaved. I believe that kitten is a bad kitten and must be isolated because kitten has rabbis and I've heard the rabbis of cats is even more dangerous than that of dogs. I don't know if this is true but it is better just take the necessary precaution.
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@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
13 Sep 11
I suspect that she was too young when she was taken from her mother. She does not search or bite me as I just say no and tap her on the nose as well as put her in her room. She is a female kitten so she is learning how to hunt. I do not think she has rabbis, I was told it was a natural thing for them and that they needed to have the mother to give them a scolding and pick them up by the scuff of he neck or growl at her. But not knowing cat talk, it is hard for me to do.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
13 Sep 11
Actually I do not want to know why a kitty bites. I do not want to know it is because someone hit her, someone scolded here, someone said no, someone hit her on the nose. etc. The reason is that I am the type of person that if I feel I caused the biting, will not ask about it. I assume it was the kitty learning how to defend herself an also since she is still a kitty, having what would be compared to a child screaming and throwing a fit. What I am interested in is how to keep her from scatting and biting me and anyone who comes into the house. I am also a dog person, and I suspect that the kitten suspects that.. So please no speculation on why the kitten bites and scratches. Just what do you do to stop that so she will go after the mice outside and not attack people.
@whatrow (793)
• United States
28 Aug 11
Scratching is one thing. It is normal. Kittens learning to climb have to dig their claws into something to pull themselves up. In an older cat, it would be helpful to have her nails cut. Biting is a different problem. I once had a cat that bit me so hard and so often that I finally had to have her put to sleep. The vet says that some cats are just like that. Even medication won't help.
• United States
29 Aug 11
I'm sorry you had such a problem with your cat biting. It's sad when all medical measures do not find reasons or present results. It sounds like you tried a lot. Many medical conditions can cause aggressive behavior, but sometimes there just isn't an answer! My condolences on your loss.
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@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
1 Sep 11
The kitten is climbing up on the furniture, trying to remove a string from the carpet under the piano, attacking belts, seeing her reflection and thinking it is another cat. I think she is normal. She is not biting as much now. For what row was that a wild cat before you got her?
@dawnald (84148)
• Shingle Springs, California
14 Sep 11
It is very normal. Is there another cat or kitten? They teach each other, and if the kitten grows up alone, it won't learn to not bite and keep its claws in.
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@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
14 Sep 11
Well I did catch the big fat orange cat who lives in the neighbourhood in our house when I came back from taking out the garage. So maybe I should leave the door open more often. I do not think the kitten is old enough to have kitties.
@redik11 (131)
• Norway
29 Aug 11
use jeans, you will not feel the biting then
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@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
1 Sep 11
I can never find jeans that exactly fit me and what do I do in the summer? Should I move to a more moderate climate so that I can wear jeans all year round? Then the kitten will just keep scratching and biting people. Do not want that.
• Canada
28 Aug 11
Yea. This is normal for kittens. My cat did that alot when he was a kitten and would sometimes get very agressive but i would just look it in the eye and say NO! in a very firm voice and now he doesnt do it anymore. But you must make sure you let it know it is wrong or else it might still do it when it is an adult and when cats are fully grown their bites hurt!
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@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
31 Aug 11
The no does not work. It would work if it were a dog, but vats must be different. Now I just try to distract her.
@bunnybon7 (36447)
• Holiday, Florida
28 Aug 11
if he had another cat to play with, kitten that is, he would probably get out a lot of this aggression and be able to be more calm with people. are you sure the renter is not playing rough with him and causing this also? cat toys would probably help. he will eventually grow out of this i think.
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@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
31 Aug 11
She did have a lot of brothers and sisters but they have been given away too. And my renter just wanted one kitten. I do not think we are playing rough with her. I do have a couple of cat toys, but that is all. So have to pick up some more. I do not know when she will grown out of it. She is only a few weeks old now.
• United States
28 Aug 11
I am a registered vet tech and have had cats my whole life. Not only have I raised my own cats to be good house pets, I have guided others over the last 15 years to do the same. First of all, you are handling it correctly, by Scruffing the kitten and moving it away. Better than a firm "No!" would be "OWWW!" and pull away [nearly] dramatically pulling your arms and legs close to you. Then ignore them. This body language tells the kitten that the behavior is painful and unacceptable. Kitten play, by nature, is rough, it involves grabbing, biting, scratching (unintentionally), etc. As it is this play that prepares them for life as an adult because, by instinct & design, they are predators. Discourage rough play because, as funny and cute as it is as a kitten, it will encourage this throughout life. I don't need to explain how it is not cute when they weight 13 lbs. Encourage play with toys, especially the interactive type. Wands with feathers, toys on strings, a ball in a track that they can spin around, are all available at local pet stores. They encourage natural play and the interactive play strengthens the bond between cat and the people around it. Also the rings from gallons of milk and the like make great toys for cats of all ages. And they come free with a product you need anyway. Some cats learn to play fetch with them. Hope this helps!
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
29 Aug 11
Thanks for the information about the toys. I knew about picking her up b the scruff of her neck. She is getting into trouble, hiding under the sofa, getting pin the piano, getting n my tray. I have to get her another toy. She has a mouse in a cage but it is a bit too bit an a pink catnip mouse. But use gets a bit bored.I did not know abut the rings from milk gallons. I will have to see if it is still around. And I will have to train her to be a little rough. The neighbourhood dog keeps barking all the tile.
• Ireland
28 Aug 11
Dont worry, it's just behaving as a kitten should. I too was a dog owner and never had any experience of having a cat, until last year. When we first got this kitten he would bite and scratch us all the time, never stayed still either. He is a year old and is a totally different cat now, he only bites the dog now ha. I think they bite as they are teething and scratch as they don't even know the sharpness of their claws. Also try blow air into the kittens face if it bites or scratches, our cat hated this, so whenever he misbehaved we blew in his face to try stop him from biting again...it worked somewhat! Best of luck.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
29 Aug 11
I thought that the bite and scratch meant hostility. I did not know about the blow in the face thing. I was told somewhere about snarling, but not that good at that. I have been moving her and closing the doors as well as pickling her up by the scuff of the neck.