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Unread 12-16-2008   #1 (permalink)
cedaley
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Question play biting/scratching...problem?

Hi, I'm a first time cat owner and I have a question about cat playing behavior. When my cat Sophie and I play, she will roll around and we just kind of bat at each other, me with my hands and her with her paws. She doesn't put her claws out when we play and scratching has never been a problem. But, she will lick my hands and bite them when we play. She is about 6 months old so she is not little anymore, and is almost full grown. Her biting doesn't hurt, though I'm sure it could if she wanted it too. It never breaks the skin or leaves scratches. I was just wondering if this playing is encouraging behavior that will be a problem later. She is VERY friendly and doesn't bite or scratch anyone, my roommates or people we have over. She also doesn't bite when I'm watching TV, sleeping, doing homework, etc. Only when we play. I'm just concerned because I've read online that this is bad behavior, but it doesn't seem to be a problem. Any advice would be awesome! Thanks
 
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Unread 12-17-2008   #2 (permalink)
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Hi & welcome,

I'm Maya, the Mom of 6 lovely furkids you can see in my gallery
What's your name?

Sophie's behaviour is completely normal for a kit of her age. I remember all my babies doing it when kittens
I understand it's annoying but it will be over when she became an adult cat. My Dino is also 6 months old & he's doing the same thing you described. He will be fixed at the enf of this month or next & then he will be more calm.
So, you need to be patient...

Hope to see Sophie's pics soon!

Good luck,
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Unread 12-17-2008   #3 (permalink)
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hi there we are owners of two cats rubi my husbands cat does the same but she also bites, scratches, she does this to me and the kids but not him as he is the dominent one to her on the other hand my cat cassi is so laid back we forget we have her half the time x
 
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Unread 12-29-2008   #4 (permalink)
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I don't allow the cats or kittens to bite or scratch me at any time.

If you have a kitten or young cat that does this.. just say No and refuse to play or... you can make sure you have a cat toy ready and any time they go for you put the toy in your hands place. Either way they will learn people hands and fingers are not toys.

Mia loves to fetch... both paper airplanes and her toy mouse head. Have a number of cat safe toys for them all to play with.
 
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Unread 01-01-2009   #5 (permalink)
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Number one rule of playing with cats. Never ever use your hands. Always have a toy of some kind, string on a stick, stuffed animal, whatever.

And biting should not be allowed under any circumstances, because yes it can be a problem later. Sophie is treating you like a litter mate, and needs to learn that you are MOTHER not sibling.

When she bites you, regardless of how soft or hard, you make a sharp OUCH! type sound, say No! Sophie and turn your back on her and ignore her. Resist the urge to peek and see how she is taking it. When she comes around to see what you are doing, look away.

After a few minutes resume play as normal. Again, as soon as she bites, repeat above. After the third bite, say no Sophie again, and get up and walk away from her. Resist the urge to peek and see how she's taking it. If she follows you ignore her.

After about five minutes go to her and love her up and reassure her you love her.

Ignoring is how a mother cat teaches her kittens to behave. The mother might hiss, swat and/or bite the kitten before ignoring, but of course you can't hit or bite. You can hiss, if you prefer that to "no!" always use her name.

This method requires absolute consistency and it may take time a week, two, or even longer for her to really understand and stop doing it.

I have trained two (adult cat) biters this way. One learned in only a couple of days. the other sent me to the ER twice with bites, and took almost two years to completely stop biting, but she's a nice lovey cat now. She has boundaries though that I have learned to respect.

To help with Sophie's success, try to recognize the signs that she is about to bite, and stop the game BEFORE she bites. Then praise her and tell her how clever and wonderful she is. Indications that a cat is getting over stimulated and about to bite can be: tail lashing, ears going back and watch her eyes. Often her eyes will be looking at that nice tender spot she's planning on nipping at.

It really is important to stop this now. Nobody likes a cat who bites.

Welcometo life with a cat. /they make the best roommates, ever!
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Unread 01-01-2009   #6 (permalink)
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I used to do it & I'm doing it with Dino now; it really works.
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) and Domino (1997 - 2009)
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