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We rescued an abandoned male kitten about a year ago. He was just a month old then. The last year has been very good for us with him and he is happy too. It's just that he is very bitey-bitey with us, especially me. He has super sharp canines and he usually starts biting when our fingers go near him. He grabs the arm and starts biting. It's not deep bites but more playful bites. He usually holds them within the canines, bites softly and then let's go. Rinse repeat. He also has a fetish for toes. We cannot seem to sleep without our feet uncovered. He starts biting the toes and other fingers.

It's not that he doesn't like being petted. He loves it when we scratch under this lower jaw. He loves being petted to a certain extent and usually shows signs when he is done being petted.

I'm told that cats usually bite to show affection but this guy's bites hurt and my mom has stopped visiting us because he does this with her too. Can anyone recommend any solution?

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To me this sounds like a kitten who may have been taken from his mother/siblings too early and never quite learned play-limits.

To start with I'd start yelping/yelling (OUCH!) and walking away whenever this happens, to teach him that it actually does hurt. This should over time help (might take days, weeks or even a couple of months). Also make sure that you try to play with him with safe toys he can chase and attack, though not after biting (wait at least 30 minutes or so), so he'll have an outlet for his instincts.

If this doesn't help, then you could try a water-sprayer bottle when he bites, though this has a chance to backfire on you and make the cat associate the unpleasant event with you and not the biting.

edit to clarify in regards to comment:

Should probably express pain whenever he bites, rather than only when it hurts. Also to make sure it sounds more like how cats would sound, rather than something that could be misinterpreted. Also the walking away and ignoring him part is important, as scolding isn't something that cats in general associate with something bad.

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  • Thanks. His mother had abandoned him and his sibling. Someone else adopted the other sibling and we took him in. So yeah, I guess he didn't really get that education with his mother. We do express our pain when his biting hurts. My wife more than me. It's when you try to take your hand/arm away that he bites harder. And we do scold him and we've been doing this for about a month now but I guess he has not yet made the connection between the scolding and his biting action. We did try the sprayer bottle and he now actually likes the water being sprayed on him :) – electrophile Apr 3 '17 at 19:22

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