Cat behaviour advice?

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by PotteryWalrus, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. PotteryWalrus

    PotteryWalrus halfway hideous and halfway sweet

    Okay so, as some as you know I have two four/five month old kittens who I got from a rescue. Their origins are unknown - they were found by the side of the road at about 6 weeks old, and I suspect at the very least they spent that period of their life without much, or any, human socialization.

    They're both doing pretty well despite this - they like playing and being pet, but since Jet has a sensitive belly, they're on wet food only for now (if there's a UK-available grain free kibble out there I'd love recommendations!) three times a day, a pouch each each time.

    Cinders is affectionate and talkative, and chirps and mews whenever you come near her, with an expressive tail and sleek, soft fur. Jet is quiet compared, but loves sitting near you and watching the world go by. He also... Has issues.

    I'm wondering if its because he's anxious - he's nearly always second in line for treats because he seems to need Cinders to show him I'm safe - but twice now he's bitten my finger so hard when taking a treat that he's drawn blood. This is the first time I've ever been bitten so hard by a cat, and I do the usual 'go OW and stop all play/treats' but I'm worried that if its based in anxiety that might only make it worse.

    Any advice on how to teach him to be gentle would be appreciated!

    TL;DR - kitten bitey plz help

    Also have a couple picture of the Miscreant in question, helping me clean out their litter tray this morning:
    Photo editing_Cloud20190712_1.jpg Photo editing_Cloud20190712.jpg
  2. TwoBrokenMirrors

    TwoBrokenMirrors Merely a whitebait in the mayo of life

    I don't know that I can help with the biting, though you're right that it sounds like anxiety and therefore it may go away on its own if you continue to make yourself a Safe Person, which is not very helpful. But! I know that James Wellbeloved the pet food brand does grain-free cat kibble, and it's available in the UK because I'm there and it's what my parents' dogs have been fed since the word go and they're exceedingly healthful animals. It's a more expensive brand, but it is good.

    ETA: Here's a link to their kitten food on Zooplus; it's not specifically grain-free but it's hypoallergenic, and they do a specifically grain-free adult food.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    • Winner x 1
  3. Key

    Key never make a triangle

    The thing that got my cat to stop biting as much was hissing at her every time she did it. She’s an adult cat so she’s having a much harder time un-learning the habit, so hopefully with a kitten it’ll be easier.

    You want your only reaction to be hissing; try to keep as still as possible so you don’t make sudden movements and scare him. He won’t understand that and it’ll just freak him out more. But he’ll understand the hissing means he’s hurt you.
    • Winner x 3
    • Agree x 1
  4. PotteryWalrus

    PotteryWalrus halfway hideous and halfway sweet

    Thankyou! Its been so long since I had a difference cat than my Lupin, I'll definitely try that next time :) And @TwoBrokenMirrors, thanks for the rec and I'll definitely cross-reference it with what I know about Jet's dietary needs and see if its right for him :)
    • Like x 3
  5. aetherGeologist

    aetherGeologist Well-Known Member

    One of my dads cats was really bitey as a kitten and I did something similar to Key - keep very still and make a squeaking noise. It didn’t stop him biting altogether but he became far more gentle when doing it
    • Like x 2
  6. Deresto

    Deresto Foolish Mortal

    The hissing or squeaking thing is good advice, especially for young cats. Kittens in particular don't always realize how hard they're biting, and will probably grow out of it after a while if you keep giving cat social cues that it's Not Okay
    • Agree x 2
  7. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    one of my cats bit me unexpectedly hard when he was a kitten, so i yanked my hand away. his tooth was still in the finger. he did a triple backflip, unintentionally. that was the last bite from that cat. i think he realized we were Too Big.
    • Witnessed x 7
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