If you are here in search of ways to stop a kitten from biting, then the chances are that your little feline buddy is becoming a little bully. And the victim? Well, you. And since you cannot order your kitten to stop biting you, you are probably in search of solutions on how to get a kitten to stop biting. Well, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will talk about the reasons why kittens bite their humans (or other kittens) and ultimately discover how to stop a kitten from biting. Plus, we will go through some of the things you can try to stop your little feline buddy from bullying you. One thing you need to note before we proceed is that kittens biting at a very young age is very normal, and as a result, very common.
Why Do Kittens Bite
First things first. Let’s try to answer the question, why do kittens bite? Just like their cousins in the wild, even domesticated kittens have a natural predatory and hunting instinct. Even at a very young age, kittens have the urge to sharpen their hunting and predatory skills instinctively. If you have a number of active kittens at home, the chances are that you may have observed the little guys going at each other a number of times. This act of playful aggression is very normal and, indeed, very common. As mentioned earlier, it is all as a result of their natural instinct to sharpen their hunting and predatory skills. When kittens engage in this type of playful aggression with each other, they have the comfort and protection of their fur coats.
The only problem is that your kittens live with you. And as their owner or caretaker, you will often come into direct contact with them. You may even do so for the sheer delight of petting them. In such instances, this mock fights or playful aggression will be redirected towards you. The bad news is that you do not have the luxury (in this case) of a fur coat to protect you. Aside from sharpening their hunting skills, kittens are naturally very curious. And at that young age, they learn more about their surroundings and environment by using their mouth and teeth. The good news is that your kitten will grow out of that habit as it ages. The bad news is that it might take more than 18 months to grow out of that habit. So, if you cannot wait that long, here are a number of things you can try at home to stop your little feline friend from biting, not just you but any other thing they shouldn’t be biting.
How to Stop Kitten Biting
So, let’s take a look at some ways to stop kitten from biting.
The whole idea with using toys is to help redirect their aggressive playtime to something else – something safe, something not your finger. Every kitten loves to play. Thus, it is best to offer it something soft and safe to play with. Your kittens will pay less attention to your fingers when their attention and energy have been redirected to their toys.
- Ending playtime
Toys may not always be the best of solutions. There are days when you will not be able to resist the urge to pet these adorable little creatures (and who can blame you?). As a result, you will be spending some time playing with your kitten. One of the effective ways of discouraging playful aggression is to end playtime immediately after your kitten turns it into a mock fight with your finger. Doing this will help to teach your kitten that biting goes with a loss of attention. It will not work immediately, but over time, your kitten will get the lesson.
- Another playmate
When a kitten has company, the chances of it acting rough with you are reduced as it will instead focus on its playmate. However, you have to be very certain that you have the capacity to take care of two kittens before considering this as an option.
A lot of patience is required in helping or training your kitten to grow out of the habit. If nothing seems to be working, you can always seek the assistance of your local vet or cat trainer. If you choose to train your kitten by yourself, then you are going to need a lot of patience and treats. The latter is to reward your kitten for good behavior. That is to say that, whenever your kitten does not bite you, give it a treat or give it its favorite cat toy. Again, this will not work immediately. Patience is the key.
When Do Kittens Stop Biting?
Perhaps your attempts to stop a kitten from biting have not been yielding the results you want, and you will rather prefer to wait for your little guy to grow out of the habit. In this case, you may be asking yourself this question, when do kittens stop biting? As mentioned earlier, your kitten may take up to 18 months to grow out of this bullish behavior. But that is a long time to wait, isn’t it? Well, the good news is that it does not always take that long; it could take as little as 12 months. And, in some cases, it could take even 9 months. How long it will take your kitten to stop biting depends on how often it is able to get that habit out of its system. In other words, the more your kitten has outlets to release its hunting instincts, the less time it will take for it to grow out of that habit. This leaves you (as the cat owner) with only two choices – keep trying to train your kitten to stop early, or just wait it out.
In summary, a biting kitten is still a normal kitten. This behavior is only a natural channel of sharpening their natural hunting instincts. A kitten will naturally grow out of that habit in a matter of months. It could be as little as 9 months or as many as 18 months, depending on the training it receives. You can follow the options given in this article to help train your kitten to stop biting.
- Debra Horwitz, DVM, DACVB, Preventing and Punishing Undesirable Behavior in Cats, VCA Hospitals
- Matt Wildman, Teach Your Kitten How To Play Nice, The Humane Society
- Correcting Unwanted Cat Behavior, The MSPCA–Angell
- Aggression in Cats, The ASPCA