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Have you recently adopted a kitten? Congratulations! You’re certainly in for some adorable moments as you start out on this beautiful journey of friendship with your feline pal. You’ve also got quite a bit of pet parenting in front of you, as you’ll want to be sure to teach your little furball good manners. One bad habit that is fairly common in kittens is biting. In this article, your Leesburg, VA vet offers advice on stopping little Fluffy from biting!
Kitties are predators in the wild, and are hard-wired to pounce, scratch, and bite. Little Fluffy is going to act mostly on instinct, especially as she’s learning the ropes of being a pet cat. This is why most, if not all, of our feline friends’ play activities involve mimicry of hunting techniques. How you react to your tiny furball’s aggression will play a huge role in shaping her behavior as she ages. Be sure to nip your kitten’s chomping habit in the bud: it’s much easier to train a kitten than to try and correct a bad habit in an adult cat!
First and foremost, make sure little Fluffy has plenty of fun toys, like catnip mice. If you use wand or string toys, always put them away after playtime, so your kitten can’t get tangled up in them. Offer lots of fun things to explore, like paper grocery bags and boxes. You’ll also want to spend time each day playing with your tiny feline to burn off some of her excess energy. The more energy your furball spends attacking her toys, the less she’ll spend attacking you!
Never punish your kitten for biting. Little Fluffy won’t understand what she did wrong, since she’s acting on instinct. As a result, your baby cat could end up feeling frightened, anxious, or angry, which can lead to more behavioral problems. Instead, reward good behavior with treats, toys, and cuddles. When your furbaby does bite you, walk away and ignore her.
When trying to teach kittens proper manners, consistency is very important. Don’t let Fluffy bite you one day, then reprimand her the next. You’ll also want to avoid tempting her: don’t wiggle your fingers or use play gloves.
Do you have questions about kitten care? Contact us, your local Leesburg, VA vet clinic, anytime!