You Ask: Why Does my Kitten Bite so Much? My kitten is 5 months old and while I know biting can be a playful thing for them at this age and she’s absolutely adorable but she seems to display more kitten aggression lately.
She likes to “pounce” on us and she likes biting our toes but not in a cute way. Is there anything I can do to make her stop?
p.s. she has not been neutered yet, does this make a difference with their behavior?
We Answer: You are absolutely right that she is at the age where play biting (play aggression) becomes a normal behavior.
You can’t stop the behavior, but you can redirect kitten aggression. When she bites you tell her firmly “no” and walk away, or try play with her with an appropriate toy, like something on a string she can chase and attack.
Spaying and neutering will not necessarily make her calmer, but it is a very good idea for her health and to protect against her having kittens.
Kitten Aggression With a Shelter Adoption
When I pet my cat, she will often go after my hands and try to nip them. She doesn’t do this with my husband. I usually feed her.
She would rather stalk and pounce on toys than be a lap kitty. We adopted her from a shelter at 4 mos. of age. She is now 8 mos. of age.
I guess my question is, how to prevent bites and encourage more affection.
Rest assured that for her age, your kitten is behaving completely normally!
Kittens in this “teenage” phase are trying to hone their hunting skills, which unfortunately can make us the targets sometimes!
To address the kitten aggression and biting issue, as soon as she starts to get a little impatient when being pet, stop and let her play. Sometimes her body language may be a bit more subtle, like her ears may start to lie flat, her body may tense up, and her tail may twitch.
If it really seems like she gives no warning before abruptly ending a petting session, the best thing to do is say firmly “no” and walk away from her or put her on the floor, if she’s on your lap.
It’s great that she already has toys to pounce on, definitely encourage this! Give her a variety or rotate toys so they always seem new to her, and keep her interested.
This may be going a bit overboard, but getting a 2nd kitten would also help her to have a playmate to burn off all that extra energy, plus they could keep each other company when you’re away from home. This option isn’t for everyone, but it’s something to think about.
Another thing to be aware of is the fact that she’s lived in a shelter for her first four months, and you may not know how much interaction she had with people during her crucial development stages, or for that matter, if she was with her mother long enough to learn “cat manners!”
If she seems to be relatively social and not skittish, your kitten is probably pretty well-adjusted.
As far as being more of a “lap cat,” its possible that she may just have a more independent personality. At this age however, most kittens are just pretty rambunctious and don’t like to be still for too long. She may become more affectionate as she gets older and more mature, and the kitten aggression will subside.
Do you have a kitten aggression issue? Read our article on kitten biting for more tips, or post your questions in the comment section below.