Your kitten can use different ways of expressing herself. As they navigate in their new environment, they can also start biting or scratching. Some kittens may choose to bite and scratch furniture, objects and people. You may think you're asking, but, "Why do kittens bite?" In fact, your kitten may bite for several reasons. We sat down with Trupanion veterinarian, Dr. Sarah Nold to learn more about why kitten behavior and tips to help your best friend.
Why do kittens bite?
Taking the chance to play and interact with your kitten is one of the best ways to bond and get to know your furry friend.
In fact, you may find that the more you interact with them, the more your new kitten may try to scratch or bite. Nold points out a reason for your kitten's behavior.
"Biting can be a way for your kitten to get your attention. Some cats will bite with fear or avoid something, like a nail. Biting can also be part of hunting behavior. Biting young cats is rarely associated with aggression. Biting when your cat is small can be cute, but it gets smaller as they get older. For this reason, it is best to avoid playing rough with your kitten in the first place. If your kitten bites to get your attention, you should not reward them with paying attention. Bite should never be encouraged. However, keep in mind that a little biting or scratching is a normal part of the kitten game. "
Playtime for your kitten should be a chance for your pet to grow, develop, learn and explore, give them a chance to interact, but just be mindful if you notice anything abnormal.
Consider talking to your veterinarian about your kitten's behavior and they can determine the next best step for your pet.
How to prevent your kitten from biting
Your kitten is growing and developing so fast. As part of the development, your kitten may start scratching or biting during play time. As mentioned earlier, you may want to help limit that behavior by not encouraging them with attention. Nold points out a few additional steps to help your hairy family member bite.
Consider the following:
- Talk to your veterinarian if your kitten bites excessively, even if the pieces do not break the skin.
- Your veterinarian can help give you tips on how to try to redirect and provide safe outlets for biting.
- Try to avoid beating or pushing your kitten off when it bites, as this direct contact can only encourage more rough play.
- To avoid the fingers or toes being the target of biting, make sure your kitten has a variety of toys to play with. For example, having a toy at the end of a string that they can chase and throw.
- Your kitten can enjoy having something like a little plush toy that they can wrestle, bite and kick with their hind legs.
Tips to help your kitten play
Your kitten may be happy to play with family. In addition, each kitten can react differently whether they interact or learn to play.
Consider providing additional enrichment and interactive toys to keep them busy. For example, items such as a cat tree, scraping post and cat ladder and help them get involved safely.
Fortunately, there are many ways to interact with your kitten, for an additional resource check out this DIY homemade cat toy guide.
Why do kittens bite? It can depend
on your furry friend
Your kitten may be full of energy and ready to explore her new home. As they begin to become familiar with their new environment, they may also react differently. Just remember to provide enrichment, interaction and a safe place to play is good for their overall well-being. But by looking at your kitten's behavior and talking to your veterinarian, your cat can release its playful pinch habits in no time!
Have you recently brought a new kitten home? Tell us more about your experience in the comments below.
To learn more about cat care, read
Bathe a Kitten: A Kitten Owners Guide
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