Biting cat

@ElicBxn (61143)
United States
June 12, 2008 7:58pm CST
I have a 2+ year old cat, a BIG cat, who bites. I have no idea how to stop this bad habit. He doesn't bite with the fangs, but works the finger/s back to his molars and that's where we have to yank our fingers out. I didn't raise this cat, he came to me at about 10-11 months, already HUGE. He's a really nice cat, except for this habit - well, he does bully a couple of other cats, but that's not uncommon. So, I hope you guys could give me some advice how to handle/correct this bad habit.
6 people like this
20 responses
• Canada
13 Jun 08
Keep a spray bottle or water pistol near by, and very time the cat does this, squirt him with water.
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
13 Jun 08
That might work if he wasn't doing it when I'm in bed and stuff. He is always trying to bite us.
1 person likes this
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
13 Jun 08
I've already responded and saw your response here, it sounds like he's trying to get your undivided attention. He doesn't want you to go to sleep but stay awake and pet him. Maybe if you have a toy in the bed with you and him he'd learn to bite that instead? It's the only suggestion I can come up with.
1 person likes this
@katemeow (847)
• Singapore
13 Jun 08
my 6 year old cat is also a biter! he bites me on my feet, arms, shoulders but most of all on my ankles. he does this when i am walking and wants me to give him attention. this happens a lot when he is hungry or wants me to help him go outside. i find it hard to stop him because the biting happens real fast but one way is by saying NO in a firm voice. another trick is to rub his fur or carry him. he gets distracted and forgets to bite. but i do find his biting habit a bit endearing at times though :)
2 people like this
@jdyrj777 (6541)
• United States
13 Jun 08
I have 3 cats. The mama and i kept 2 of her kittens. They are almost 1 yr now. Bubba and Sissy like to nip too. I heard when they do that they are putting their sent on you. They have sent glands on the roof of their mouth. Sissy will also lick you. But you have to watchout for that nip. She really likes to nip my toes. Bubba is a nipper too. But the Mama Miss Kitty can be visious. She intents to sink her fangs into and take a piece of your flesh. i read in a book that i you stick your finger in their mouth and gagg, they will stop. I have found this not to be true. I wish i knew the answer to this myself.
@snowy22315 (97580)
• United States
13 Jun 08
i have a cat who always want to nip me when he is hungry. I always tell him "no bite." He seems to be doing it less now. I dont always have a squirt bottle handy when he does this. He is a really sweet cat, and I know he means no harm but it does hurt alittle bit.
2 people like this
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
13 Jun 08
First question is "Is he neutered"? Sometimes cats get very aggressive if they are still fully functional. Next, you might want to use something foul tasting on your fingers so that when he takes them in his mouth he won't want to do it anytime again soon. Wintergreen might be good. It is recommended for use when you are trying to deter a cat from going places you don't want him to go. It doesn't sound like it's love bites, where they use their fangs and bite lightly on your hand or fingers then rub their heads against the area they nipped. Do you wrestle with him? Sometimes this is also a signal that they want to play...or that you annoyed him and he wants to fight it out with you. Squirting him with a spray bottle is fine, except that you will have the left over water to clean up, and it doesn't always work. Then there is the fact that if the cat is sitting in your lap, you're also squirting yourself. You might try a loud noise (Like pennies in a soda can) and a firm "NO" when he does it. I have had my Maine Koon cat bite me, but that usually in his language is that he wants to wrestle and work off excess energy. You could try playing with him (not wrestling as this will increase the biting) and see if that will ease the situation.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
13 Jun 08
Yes, he's fixed, but only after we got him at about a year. Its not play biting, I do know what that is, and how to correct that. I know which cats I can wrestle with, he's not one of them, he really doesn't enjoy it. I can pet him just about any part of his body, he's really a nice cat except for this one habit. I've done all the tricks that I know. He's not a lap sitter, fact is that I don't have much of a lap and he's a HUGE cat! I was petting him the other morning and he was trying to catch my hand in his mouth. I was keeping it away from him, but he kept trying.
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
14 Jun 08
It sounds like he is expressing his dominance. I had that problem with the Maine Koon cat when I first got him. He would attack me when I was petting him, I tried everything to gently let him know that it wasn't acceptable behavior. It didn't sink in and one day he bit me so hard that it drew serious blood. Mind you I don't hit my animals and they are normally trained with love, but this time it hurt so badly and I squirted blood across the bed that I smacked him rather firmly across the head. He sulked for a couple of days, but it cured the problem. I don't recommend it unless it gets to the point of seriously injuring you, but you might have a loosely rolled up newspaper handy for the next time he starts to offer to bite like he has been. (Oh, by the way, I don't mean a whole New York or L.A. Times. I use a section of about 7 pages that I roll up loosely. I don't want to hurt the cat, just rattle their cage a bit. I don't believe in abusing or hitting animals, but sometimes just sitting and talking to them is as effective as sitting and talking to a brick wall! LOL) The first time, just smack the floor. With some cats the noise is enough to cure them of the wrong behavior. If it doesn't work, you might have to rap him softly on the head with the rolled up newspaper. It doesn't hurt them (it would like our getting hit on the head with a pillow) but the noise reinforces the firm "NO" that you express while you are using the newspaper. Again, I will state that I don't beat or hit my animals as a way of life. My animals are trained with love and respect. I only will use the newspaper as a last resort. The time with the Maine Koon cat was at the point of a last resort. He has been treated with kindness and respect ever since, as well as my two dachshunds and three other cats. I add this so that other animal lovers won't get upset and decide to chew me out for smacking the cat with a rolled up newspaper (fortunately I had one beside my bed.)
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
14 Jun 08
that sounds like the time Taj nipped me so hard I just reacted and slapped back, got him on the nose. He sneezed several times. I picked him up and put him out of the room. He still nips, but he's never nipped me that hard again. I also don't believe in hitting or striking an animal. I normally use negative reenforcement when I'm not happy, but Booboo is doing this when he's in a happy/excited mood, and I'm just afraid that he's not getting the negative reenforcement in this state. It hasn't worked yet anyway.
• Australia
22 Jun 08
It sounds like he is teething! This can go on until they are about 4!! lol. Did you think of that? lol. Other than keeping your fingers well away, there isn't anything you can do to stop this behaviour.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
22 Jun 08
He's over 2, so he's not teething. I've been jerking my fingers away and kind of gently slapping at his forehead. He's really cut back on the biting.
1 person likes this
• Australia
11 Jul 08
A water pistol might help too! Unless he is used to getting wet of course.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11837)
14 Jun 08
It doesn't sound to me as if he's biting maliciously? Is he cross when he does it, or is it his way of interacting with you? My two cats both attack me with their claws and teeth from time to time, in the same way as they attack each other. They don't stick their claws or teeth into me hard, although I guess it would be a bit of a shock if you weren't expecting it. I know it's their way of playing though, as they never do it to my toddler. I expect they know I'd skin them if they did it to him! I'm sorry, I've no idea how to stop your cat biting you though other than just showing your displeasure at the time in whatever way you normally do.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
14 Jun 08
He does it when he's "happy/excited." He was happy/calm yesterday and no biting. He was playing a few days before, no biting. Weird.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11837)
14 Jun 08
Sounds just like mine then. I think they think I'm another cat and enjoy a bit of rough & tumble with them!
1 person likes this
13 Jun 08
I had a rescue cat that had a habir of biting, one minuite he was fine nect he would bit for no reason, we were told to put him off the chair and ignore him, not to even look at him. You say he rolls your finger to the back of his mouth, have you checked his teeth? he may have a bad tooth and it makes him chew
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
13 Jun 08
If he had bad breath, or anything he'd be at the vet. He's done this for over a year, inspite of our basically trying to put him down and ignore him. I think he wasn't probably trained as a small kitten to not bite fingers, since he was almost a year when we got him. The lady we got him from isn't the best cat mother either. We're wondering how he and his sister turned out so well.
13 Jun 08
my boy never had bad breath but he did have bad gums and would chew on hard twigs which seemed very strange. maybe you should coat you fingers in that stuff that stops you biting yur finger nails, the taste may put him off after a while
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Jun 08
Ouch... are they love nibbles or is he doing it aggressively? Have you tried the spay bottle routine? Or a can of rocks or marble? We trained our dog with a can of marbles... We would take an empty soda can and put a few marbles in it, then when she was acting bad either shake it or toss it in her direction. It scared the crap out of her. She still to this day hates any soda cans.. All I have to do is pick one up and get her attention.. LMAO
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
15 Jun 08
He doesn it when he's happy/excited and when he tried it last night I said a loud "no" and with drew my hand. He did it again and I gave him a little thump as well, he then got me with the tips of his fangs - something he's never done before - and I yanked my hand back with a yelp and he ran.
@checapricorn (16049)
• United States
15 Jun 08
Hello ElicBxn, I remember my parents cat, she is like that and my dad made her stop the habit when dad started to bring stick and scare her, but not to hurt her of course, just every time she bites, then after those training, she was able to behave and every time she will see the stick, she will close her mouth. But, I know dad was able to hit her mouth several times but not too hard, just to correct her!
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
15 Jun 08
I really don't hold with hitting cats. I really don't think Booboo would respond well to that kind of correct, I think he'd turn and attack, that's just the kind of thing he'd do.
@Loverbear (4928)
• United States
14 Jun 08
AHHH, that explains a lot! In the wild, if you watch the Animal Planet, the cats will bite hard when they want to play; especially when they are happy and feeling good. What I would do is have a small stuffed toy available to substitute for your hand when he is about to bite. Hopefully you will have some warning before he gets to the point of sinking his teeth into you. I have done it with other male cats that I have had, and pretty soon they stop chewing on me and take out their feeling of happiness and desire to play out on the stuffed toy. If he likes cat nip, I would rub some on the toy so that he is more attracted to it than you! I grow catnip for the four fiends that I own. They won't touch the dry nip, but love the fresh leaves and stems. (They get a better high too! LOL) Cat nip is soooo easy to grow in a pot and it repropigates it self so that you don't have to keep buying the seed or plants each year. It is also very safe for them to eat too, and provides the grass that they don't get in the wild. Since you don't know his total background, you don't know what he was allowed to do. But hopefully using a stuffed toy will curb the desire...I get my toys for my dogs and cats at the thrift shop for a dollar or less. (Not only does it help the budget but it also helps the causes the thrift shops are working towards.) I have had my best friends dog for the past 3 weeks, the dog is well known for being a cat hater...in the space of a week and a half I have gotten the dog to the point of not chasing the cats. In two weeks the cats can go up to the dog and rub under her chin. Now, at three weeks the cats will lay beside the dog without fear! It just goes to show that if you set your mind to having your furry friends fit into your life, they will. I just wish I could be there to help out with BooBoo I am sure he is a wonderful cat and he just kind of needs redirection in his life. (by the way, it was the name of my BF's horse...the horse passed away two years ago and he was heart broken...my BF's nick name is Boo Bear! Kind of interesting-at least to me!)
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
15 Jun 08
Well, Boo came with the name "Kaboodle" and his sister was "Kit'N" Cute, but really, Booboo isn't a "Kaboodle" he's too cute and funny. "Kit'N" was an adult cat, and didn't need to be called Kitten anymore. We changed it to Cookie. I'll see if I can find a small toy to give him.
@tessah (6621)
• United States
13 Jun 08
umm.. how bout not leaving yer finger in his mouth to give him time enough to work it back to his molars where you know hes gonna bite you?
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
13 Jun 08
hard to do when he does it while I'm asleep
@applefreak (3131)
• Singapore
13 Jun 08
hmm this is a pretty bad habit. it doesn't help that he is a BIG cat. my local longhair boy has this nasty habit too. he'll start by licking you and purring. without warning he just nip at us. he also has this habit of chewing on toes covered by blanket. i will issue a stern 'warning' by raising my voice and saying NO! it's importantly that you lower your pitch of voice. if he continue to do it, use your finger and flick his head between the eyes. not too hard but enough pressure to cause discomfort. he will learn to associate the unpleasant feeling with his biting. hope it helps.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
13 Jun 08
I know the pepper won't work, and honestly, I'd probably end up with it in my eye! I have seen that a "thump" on the nose can work on some cats. I'm going to see what I can do, I didn't have his attention last night, its not a constant thing.
@raydene (9874)
• United States
13 Jun 08
Hi Hon I think I would do something to startle him every time he does this I think he will bget the idea shortly. xoxoxoxoxoxox
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
13 Jun 08
Honestly, Raydene, I've never seen this cat startle, he is the most laid back cat I've ever seen!
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
13 Jun 08
I think one way to correct this habit is to tap him on the nose and say "at! at!" in a firm way not in a mean way but firm so he'd understand that it's a no no or it's a habit that's not to be tolerated by you or anybody else. Maybe if you gave him a toy to chew on and pet him so he'd get the understanding that he's to chew on the toy and not you. Worth a try anyway. Another idea I just thought of is to put something such as pepper or something that isn't hurtful to cats but they don't like the taste of might do the trick too. Good luck!
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
13 Jun 08
That might work, I'll give it a try
@blackbriar (9080)
• United States
14 Jun 08
Yikes! That sounds really painful. I've never heard of any animal doing this type of biting before now. Unless I've already been there/done that, I can't help with advice. Sorry Elic. Will read others responses in hopes of learning what to do if I ever encounter a cat that does this.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jun 08
I definitely use the "NO" in an assertive deep voice, but another thing that I do if/when the cat already has your finger in his mouth, is to gag him. I know this sounds kinda mean (not really any more mean than 'flicking' really) but whenever he does get your finger in his mouth, just stick it way back there til he's making a gagging sound, he'll try to spit your finger out. Then every time he goes to do that again, gag him again, and he'll get the idea that "gee, maybe I better not do this." It takes a few times, but it's worked every time I've had to train a cat not to bite.
1 person likes this
13 Jun 08
My old cat, Biscuit, used to bite my fingers when he wanted my attention all the time. I found the best way to stop him was to remove him and say *no* in a firm voice. He soon got the message that biting was unacceptable and understood that *no* meant stop it
1 person likes this
@fundose (41)
• Pakistan
13 Jun 08
HI friend, I have a cat who bites me everyday and i like when i feel that smooth pain just enjoy playing with you sweetttttttttttttttt cat and dont worry about biting
1 person likes this
@mcat19 (1357)
• United States
13 Jun 08
Don't "tap" him on the nose. Don't use pepper. When he bites, say no in a sharp loud voice and remove him. Pick him up and put him somewhere -- down if he's on your lap or a few feet away if he is somewhere else. After a while, this technique will probably work. You have to be consistent. Giving him something else to bite on is a good idea. Our Peaches snaps when she doesn't want to be petted. So we don't bother her too much.
1 person likes this