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crocoduck_hunter 14 December 2015 04:42 AM

Cat behavior question
 
Hey, River is a great moggie, but she has a habit I'm finding problematic.

She likes biting. Not hard enough to break the skin, but it's not something I want to encourage. Anyone got advice for how to break a teenage kitty of such a habit?

Thank you!

Gutter Monkey 14 December 2015 08:49 AM

Aversion therapy? She'll eventually learn that bad things happen when she bites and stop it. Eventually. :lol:

I don't mean smacking her or anything like that (which is a bad idea on its own but a really bad idea when the cat is already got its teeth in you) or punishing her afterwards (she won't associate that with the biting and it won't help at all, it'll just maker her miserable) but just making it an unpleasant experience. I've found that the best way to break out of a cat's playful bite is to push into it. Never try to pull away from it, that just makes the game all the more fun as far as the cat is concerned.*

Cats also really hate it when you poke a finger into their mouth when they're trying to bite you. It doesn't hurt them at all and if you do it just right they won't be able to chomp down on your finger.



* Also the cat holds all the cards if you try to pull away. I once knew a cat who was really affectionate but would WHACK you with his claws if his mood changed and he'd usually draw blood. If I tried to pull my hand away he'd usually get me because he's a lot faster than I am but if I moved my hand closer he wouldn't have room to maneuver and would calm down almost instantly, letting me move away without blood loss.

Keket 14 December 2015 10:39 AM

I'm a fan of stopping all attention when they bite. So if she's on your lap, she goes on the floor. All petting ceases. No more play.

You can also try to redirect her to toys she can bite.

Lainie 14 December 2015 11:45 AM

What Keket said. I've successfully used that technique to significantly reduce play-biting in adult cats.

GenYus234 14 December 2015 01:23 PM

I've used Gutter Monkey's technique (or GM has used mine, not sure who did it first) with one modification. After the attempt at biting, I push down on the cat's tongue with my finger and keep doing it until the cat disengages. IMO it works because the cat associates biting with unpleasant mouth sensations, a very direct association.

overyonder 14 December 2015 02:06 PM

I had a black cat named Guinness that would do fly-by-bites. A water spray bottle cured that in no time.

OY

Beejtronic 14 December 2015 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keket (Post 1899585)
I'm a fan of stopping all attention when they bite. So if she's on your lap, she goes on the floor. All petting ceases. No more play.

You can also try to redirect her to toys she can bite.

This is the recommended technique for human babies who bite, as well! :lol:

Ariadne 15 December 2015 04:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Keket (Post 1899585)
I'm a fan of stopping all attention when they bite. So if she's on your lap, she goes on the floor. All petting ceases. No more play.

You can also try to redirect her to toys she can bite.

Yes--this is your best course of action. You can also try hissing at her when she bites, like another cat might do to tell her that playtime has gone too far.

LyndaD 23 December 2015 06:47 PM

I've used the wrong-answer-buzzer sound (ank-ank!) with cats, dogs and kids to stop unwanted behaviors. It's worked well with the pets, and DS, who is 24, still responds to it, much to his fiance's amusement.

Elkhound 23 December 2015 07:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LyndaD (Post 1900700)
, and DS, who is 24, still responds to it, much to his fiance's amusement.

Has the fiancée picked up on the technique?

Horse Chestnut 23 December 2015 08:26 PM

A horrified gasp (Kind of like if the Queen Mum found a streaker running around the grounds) can also work on some animals. It's more reliable on dogs. It works very well on my male cat, Pooka. My Hazel Lee, however, is beyond shame. If she bites me, then I must have deserved it.

Em 23 December 2015 11:45 PM

I've heard that a high-pitched squeak is recommended when it's play biting being discouraged; it indicates (in cat) that you've been hurt, which lets kitty know to tone it down.

crocoduck_hunter 24 December 2015 12:58 AM

Well, that would be helpful if high-pitched anything was within my vocal range.

I've been trying out hissing at her, which seems to have limited success. Now I just need to figure out a way to keep her from jumping on my shelves in the middle of the night.

Horse Chestnut 24 December 2015 03:01 AM

Haven't tried it myself, but I've heard double-sided tape can discourage that. You don't have to put it directly on the furniture. Lay a cloth or paper on the shelf, then stick the double-side tape to it. The cat will dislike the sticky feeling on her paws and will stop jumping up there. Spray adhesive can work too, if the surface is plastic, glass or other non-porous material.

crocoduck_hunter 24 December 2015 03:32 AM

Don't think that would work on my particle board bookshelves, then.

Lainie 24 December 2015 04:33 AM

Home improvement stores sometimes sell runners/carpet protectors like this one by the foot or yard. Putting them on the shelves upside down, with the cleats up, may discourage her from jumping on them.

Maybe. ;)

LyndaD 25 December 2015 06:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elkhound (Post 1900711)
Has the fiancée picked up on the technique?

I shared it with her ;)

DS came over with his dog, Gambit, today. When Gambit jumped into a chair, both DS and myself made the buzzer noise, and Gambit immediately got out of the chair. He didn't try to get back on the furniture for the rest of the visit.

Sylvanz 26 December 2015 02:31 AM

Did DS stay off the furniture too? ;)


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