How to Train a Cat to Stop Biting
It is important to be patient with cats. Be realistic with what you are expecting your cat to do or with changing behavior and don’t push your cat and even yourself too far, too fast. It’s very easy to get frustrated.
Some points to remember:
>Pay attention to your cat’s body language. Often the cat gives other warning signs that she’s about to bite.
>Over-stimulating your cat by petting or vigorous rubbing could make her bite — back off on the length of time you pet her.
>If she feels threatened, she’ll want to defend herself.
>Sometimes the handling of the cat is irritating to her and she could lash out with her teeth or claws. It’s her way of saying, “stop it.”
>If your cat is used to a quiet lifestyle, and suddenly kids are screaming around her, expect her to react in a negative way.
Training Plan: Play sessions are the best times to teach your cat not to bite or claw you. Cats will want to bite and claw as they play, it’s natural, but they need to learn to be gentle with you.
As you and kitty start playing, praise her for being gentle. Play fight (rough-house) with her a little by rolling her around, being silly, teasing her belly, etc. Keep praising for good behavior. Keep your eyes glued to your cat, though. The second your cat gets too excited, shows its claws or starts nipping/biting that hurts, tone down the play session or simply freeze. Your cat will usually relax and you can continue playing then. But is she’s still too wild and her claws are out, do not play with her until she becomes calm. If your cat bites hard or scratches you, loudly say “Ouch”, declaring you’ve been hurt by her and immediately stop playing, get up and walk away.
Abruptly ending a play session sends your cat a powerful message. If this happens a few times, your cat will learn that the reason the enjoyable play session stopped was because of her rough behavior.
Give your cat toys that she CAN pounce on, grab with her claws and chomp into. She learns it’s OK to bite those items and NOT your fingers. Be sure to have interactive play with your cat and her toys. She wants to play with you too, not just her toys!
Two 15 minute play sessions a day should do the trick in releasing your cat’s pent up energy. See my Cat Toys Page. If your cat is famous for sneak attacks, fill a squirt/mister bottle with water and blast her with it if she attacks your legs. A few times getting drenched and she should learn a lesson to not attack you!
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