A kitten won’t stop biting if they are:
- Seeking your attention
- Playing in mock aggression
Don’t use your hands when playing with your kitten. Interrupt inappropriate biting, and walk away.
Create a calm environment to reduce biting.
Give them toys to bite, and adopt another kitten to be their playmate.
Kittens are naturally playful. They will either swap at your feet or do something to get your attention.
But it’s no longer amusing when your kitten bites. This article will help you know why your kitten won’t stop biting and how you can help them.
Kittens bite for many reasons. If your kitten won’t stop, set limits and try effective training methods.
Keep reading to understand the motives behind your kitten’s biting behavior and learn how to stop the behavior for good.
How to Get Your Kitten Not to Bite
Biting is acceptable behavior in a kitten. Their way of expressing their instincts is to attack, chomp, and gnaw.
But that doesn’t mean we want them to attack our hands or bare feet. Fortunately, you can encourage your kitten to practice these behaviors on an appropriate target.
Kittens are very adaptive and can quickly learn with a little assistance
1. Use Your Voice to Interrupt Biting
Kittens have a very short attention span. So, you must interrupt the biting action right when it happens.
A very effective way to interrupt your kitten from biting is to make a loud percussive “SSST!” hissing sound that imitates the mother cat.
This works especially with kittens under four months of age. Since a hiss in the feline world means “back off,” it’s very effective.
Another effective bite interruption is a loud noise like a shriek or howl. It explains that a bite hurts. Kittens are smart and learn quickly. They don’t want to hurt you during play but want the game to continue.
2. Play With Your Kitten Several Times a Day
It’s wrong for a kitten to bite you, other pets, or other household members. But they still need to bite something appropriate.
Kittens bite because they are natural predators and want to practice their attack on a moving object.
Actively play with your kitten multiple times a day to provide enough mental and physical stimulation.
This is a great way to help your kitten develop their motor skills, learn appropriate biting, and get out pent up energy.
Make sure your kitten has plush toys, wand toys, balls, and other enrichment toys to play with. Offer a variety of toys that mimic different types of prey.
3. Don’t Use Your Hands to Play With Your Kitten
It can be tempting to wiggle your fingers or toes for your cat to pounce on. However, this is rewarding the bad behavior. You are teaching your kitten it’s okay to practice their hunting on your skin.
Even if you don’t mind the playful attacks, as the kitten becomes bigger, its teeth and claws will be much sharper and hurt even more.
There is nothing cute about a 12-pound cat stalking your ankle. Help your kitten establish good biting behaviors from a young age.
It is easier to build a good habit than to break a bad one. When your kitten attacks your feet or hands, simply disengage and redirect them to a toy or object.
4. Reward Good Behavior
Make toys move, and entice your kitten to hunt. Allow them to catch the toy, bite, and bunny kick.
Let your kitten know they did a great job by rewarding them after play with a meal or treat. This tells the kitten they are a great hunter and attacking acceptable targets.
5. Be Consistent
Be consistent in how you react when your kitten bites you. End the game immediately and walk away.
Your kitten will realize that when they bite you, it means an end to their game session. Of course, they don’t want that.
Other members of the household should also react in the same way.
If others encourage rough play, and you don’t, it can be confusing for your kitten and make training more difficult.
6. Add Another Kitten as a Playmate
It could be your kitten has a lot of energy, and you may not have all the time in the world to play with them. Consider adding an extra kitten to be their playmate.
They will provide each other company, and this may reduce your kitten’s desire to bite you. However, before you go this route, ensure you are ready and able to properly look after two cats.
7. Check Your Kitten’s Health
If your kitten won’t stop biting and seems unusually aggressive, check with your vet. There could be something wrong with your kitten’s health.
Pain or illness can make your kitten feel defensive and constantly want to attack through a bite.
8. Create a Calm Environment to Reduce Biting
A stressed or anxious kitten is more likely to bite. To make your kitten calm, make sure their environment is just right.
Give them a comfortable, warm bed, food and water bowls, and enough toys.
Limit any noises or changes in the house that can stress your little furry friend.
Use a Feliway classic diffuser plugged into the place where your kitten spends most of its time. This helps support a calm environment.
Why Your Kitten Won’t Stop Biting
There are several reasons your kitten won’t stop biting. It all depends on your kitten’s personality, socialization, age, and other factors.
1. They Bite to Explore
By five weeks of age, kittens are confident enough in their newfound mobility. This makes them curious and want to explore.
Kittens don’t have hands. They use their mouth to explore everything surrounding them, including you.
When they bite you or objects, it teaches them how such things act and react. When they bite a toy, it squeaks.
When they bite your hand or ankles, you scream, “Ouch!” A bee stings them back, so they keep off. Every time they bite, your kitten learns a lesson.
Your kitten is experiencing unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells. This helps them grow into emotionally healthy, well-adjusted adult cats.
2. Your Kitten Bites to Seek Attention
When your cat doesn’t receive enough mental stimulation, they can bite you to get your attention.
Kittens learn a lot from interacting with you. If you spend little time with them, your kitten might feel you are ignoring them.
Biting could be their way of saying, “Hey, I’m here.”
3. Poor Socialization Leads to Biting
Kittens develop good manners through interaction with their mother and littermates. A well-socialized adult cat knows the rules of cat play and teaches the best lesson to kittens.
As Pam Johnson-Bennet, a certified cat behaviorist, explains, when a kitten is with their littermates, they learn how to use an inhibited bite so as not to cause injury.
When a kitten plays rough with the mother and bites, she quickly stops the game or reprimands them.
They also get a negative reaction from their littermates. This teaches the kitten to avoid biting.
However, too often these kitties go to new homes before they learn about these important issues.
Your kitten doesn’t know that their teeth hurt unless you explain it in the way a mother cat would.
4. Biting During Play Is Mock Aggression
It is very common for kittens to engage in rough, active play because all feline play comprises mock aggression.
They stalk, pounce, scratch, and bite each other—all in good fun. However, we often misinterpret this kind of behavior as aggression when our kitties direct it towards us.
Kittens display two kinds of play: solitary play and social play. They direct solitary play towards objects, like paper bags, boxes, toys, and toilet paper.
Social play is directed towards humans or other pets. The social play reaches its peak between weeks nine through to sixteen. The biting can be explosive.
Your kitten might go from sweet lap snuggles to biting in seconds.
Although your cat’s playful intentions are harmless, problems can arise when playing with your kitten.
They can easily injure you. Kitten bites are painful and can easily become infected.
5. A Sick Kitten Bites When Touched
Your kitten bites if they are sick. Intestinal worms cause a kitten’s stomach to be tender and sensitive. Or their paw could be sore from a bee sting or injury.
That means your touch hurts, and that’s why your kitten bites when you touch them. They feel pain and are stressed out.
Your kitten might also bite if they just feel grumpy, and don’t want you to mess with them.
If you suspect your kitten bites because of pain, consult your vet immediately. Remember these furry creatures are good at hiding discomfort.
6. A Fearful Kitten Bites to Protect Themselves
If a kitten perceives danger or faces a stranger, they are most likely to bite. This is their way to protect themselves and make the person they view as a threat back off.
Kittens who are shy and fearful can also bite to make you back off. This type of aggression is also called “stranger danger.”
Your kitten can develop a fear of people, places, odors, or other cats and react by biting. This is often caused by poor socialization, but it can also get worse if you punish your kitten.
A kitten can generalize one scary experience, such as a car ride to the vet, with all future car rides.