How to Train a Kitten Not to Scratch & Bite

How to Train a Kitten Not to Scratch & Bite

Biting and scratching are constant complaints among many new kitten owners. They are not attempting to attack you, but rather are amusing themselves. This is a behavior that kittens exhibit when they are learning the ropes of the later role in the hunt. This cat behavior is also observed in wild cats as a way for them to interact with their peers while learning how to become skilled hunters.

Sometimes the behavior is initiated by the owner, who is unaware that petting their kitten's face, mouth, or other areas where cats do not want to be touched is inappropriate. Cats, like dogs, require enrichment and exercise, so this "play with me" scratch or bite could be a request for your attention.

Sometimes, a cat will bite or scratch out of fear, pain, or behavioral issues, but this is more common in older cats than in kittens. However, if you suspect your kitten is biting due to a medical condition or fear, please contact us for an examination.

How to Train a Cat Not to Scratch and Bite

Many of the behavior patterns we don't like in our pets are often the result of being rewarded in some way. Whether you scold or laugh, your reaction can encourage the pet to repeat the behavior because our pets want to please us. Another reason your cat may want to fight with your hand is that they've been taught to roughhouse with you or other family members.

Here are some suggestions for reducing this

1. Focus solely on the toys rather than your arms and hands. Give your kitten a variety of toys to attack, such as stuffed animals, catnip mice, and other fun things to play with like interactive balls and other things.

2. Trim your kitten's nails on a regular basis. To avoid injury or cutting into the quick, use a guillotine set of clippers for kittens or cats and only cut the very tip of the nail (the white portion of the nail). 

3. If your cat is being too rough, yell "ouch" or "hurts" get up and move away.

4. Ignore the behavior. Give your kitten something to do and walk away for a while if they want to play rough. They will realize that biting or scratching does not get them the attention they seek.

5. Make sure there are plenty of cat trees and scratching posts. As your cat grows, he or she will need to scratch as part of their instinct and self-grooming. Scratching both releases the old sheath from the nail and expresses territory. They will resort to the couch and chair if these vital scratching posts and pads are not available.

6. Redirect your kitten's attention to another activity. If your cat is becoming a terror, get them involved in something else, such as teaching them commands like "sit" and "come".

Hope this few things helps you with the scratching and biting journey!