So I recently adopted two new kittens, both of which are remarkably well behaved for their ages and breeds. The only real problem I have is with the male, a black cat that's a mix of Maine Coon and domestic short hair. He is obsessed with touching my skin, even burrowing under blankets to get a paw against me, which isn't bad except that he always digs his claws into me once he has contact. Everytime, without fail, he gets a paw on me and digs them in with a death grip. He isn't kneading; there is no release. It's more like he is trying to hold onto me to save his life.
I've been trying for three months to stop this behavior. I've moved his paws away before he can extend the claws, picked him up and moved him, squirted him, told him 'no' which is the word he and his sister are picking up easily for things like 'don't jump on the counter' and 'wait until I put the food in the bowl before you ambush me', and try to keep his claws as short as possible without hurting him, but he will not stop digging his claws in. I've done my best to keep every wound clean since he almost always draws blood, but a couple did get infected and I can't allow that because of a health issue. I don't want to get rid of him, but I am at my wits end with his claws. Is there anything else I can try to train him to not make me bleed just because he's happy we're cuddling?