If you slap your kitten or tap her nose, she may think of this action as play and retaliate even rougher. Animal behaviorists tout play aggression as one of the most common cat behavior issues. Never punish your kitten for rough play. 86Franktown, CO 80116, Leslie A. Malone Center2080 S. Quebec St.Denver, CO 80231, Solutions – Spay/Neuter Clinic191 Yuma St.Denver, CO 80223, Solutions – Veterinary Hospital191 Yuma St.Denver, CO 80223, Valley Humane League Shelter6414 Co. Rd. Another good toy is one that your cat can wrestle with, like a soft stuffed toy that’s about the size of your cat, so she can grab it with both front feet, bite it, and kick it with her back feet. Don't depend on whether or not your kitten is crying to tell you that you are playing too rough. Kittens learn how to inhibit their bite from their littermates and their mother. Q: My dog and cat like to wrestle and bite each other. Then we have the clueless party pushing it to the point where the cat feels threatened; and the cat defends themselves. Patricia Chase. Recently a friend asked me for some kitten advice. If your kitten plays with your hands or feet, make your hand or foot go limp (he’s more likely to continue attacking a moving object) and say “Ouch!” in a loud voice. Your cat can’t be expected to learn that it’s okay to play rough with Dad, but not with the baby. These types of games encourage out-of-control behavior, grabbing, lunging and competition with you. In kittens, most aggression is caused by fear or curiosity. My cat gave birth to a litter of four kittens nearly six weeks ago, I always had an incline she was going to abandon them, but she never, until now! You are right – you may have aided this by allowing her to play too rough with you. When cats play, they incorporate a variety of behaviors into their play, such as exploratory, investigative, and predatory behaviors. A kitten that is separated from her family too early may play more roughly than a kitten that has had more valuable family time. Never play tug-of-war or wrestling games with your puppy if you’re having a nipping problem. If the distraction and redirection techniques don’t seem to be working, the most drastic thing you can do to discourage your cat from her rough play is to withdraw all attention when she starts playing too roughly. (Here’s an. Get a laser toy and feather toy on a string, or any other super fun running around toys that you can play without being too close to kitten. But some cats can’t bear to show that they can be intimidated, and will feel forced to match what they see as aggression. If she’s “attacking” you while you are sleeping, or resting, you may need to close her out of those rooms while you are doing those activities, until these steps start helping. Cat Hiding Behavior and What You Should Know. When you can, try to re-direct Scarletts attention to another toy or wand or something. She attacked my face even! Thanks! I have soft paws nail caps on her, but she can still bite. So, be on the look out! I know they are just playing, but is it safe or should I stop them? If you pick her up to put her in another room, then you’re possibly rewarding her by touching her. I hope this will help anyone who is struggling with a feisty, play-biting kitten! If you do get bitten hard enough to draw blood, even the tiniest bit, make sure you immediately flush flush flush with clean running water at full force for at least 5 minutes, get some antibiotic ointment on it, and get to the doctor or ER room immediately for preventative antibiotics. ; A kitten that's protecting its "territory" from a perceived threat or interloper (such as a small child or another animal) also may become aggressive. Cats who have long claws can cause a lot of damage to your dog. Best of Cat Behavior and Training < Is your kitten biting you or playing too rough? Learn more about Jennifer, our blog author at Google+, Best of Cat Behavior and Training, Best of Cat Tips |. Be sure to keep your cat confined until you can get professional help. If you physically punish your cat, she might become afraid of you and respond by avoiding you, or worse, her play will turn into true aggression. She wants to play with you, so eventually she’ll figure out how far she can go if you keep this limit consistent. Attempts to tap, flick, or hit your cat for rough play is almost guaranteed to backfire. Get started here. Mother cat … My family rescued the most adorable kitten. Play provides cats with opportunities to practice skills they would normally need for survival. In these cases it’s best to seek help from a behavior specialist to work with your young cat’s behavior. I took advice and introduced them slowly, keeping them seperate and keeping their meetings short. Making sure that you’re meeting your kitten’s needs for activity and enrichment will be the... Offer as many scheduled, routine play sessions with your cat throughout the day as possible. Have the kittens put in a safe and cozy place...so while they are waiting for their mom, can sleep. If the situation is getting too intense, then it is best to remove the dog for a time-out session. Also, sadly, I’ve seen very sweet kitties brought to a shelter for play biting behavior, which, especially in a kitten, can frequently be fairly quickly remedied. Additionally, since rough play may be an indicator of a behavioral issue, it is important to address it if your cat begins exhibiting violent play behavior. If a kitten bites a sibling too hard, that kitten will yowl and swat or bite back, then refuse to play with the other kitten for a period of time. Playing is a healthy part of socialization for dogs and it is definitely something to be encouraged. Don’t allow anyone else to either! As most everyone knows, cats are hunters and that instinct kicks in at a very young age as kittens play by stalking, chasing and pouncing each other. There is nothing cuter than a kitten and nothing more pathetic than an injured one. The play mimics how cats will later pounce on, grab, and bite prey. With the help of some knowledgeable cat behaviorists, I’ve been able to teach them all to stop. Even between kittens, playtime can look a bit rough. Are you too rough with playing with them? Help! Kittens also learn acceptable play from us: if people use their hands and feet instead of toys to play with a young kitten, the kitten may learn that rough play is okay. … Your cat could become afraid of your hands, or she could interpret those flicks as playful moves by you and play even more roughly as a result. They instinctively know not to be too rough with them. She adopted a new kitten, and was having real problems with her biting behavior. This is one of the ways cats play with each other, especially when they’re young. Help your dog stop crying when left alone, Stop Your Dog’s Territorial Marking Inside, 6 Steps to Introduce a New Cat To Your Dog. Are they in pain somewhere and you keep hurting them, unknowingly obviously? 1. get the babies from her first and let her play. That's natural, particularly for kittens and territorial males. Cats enjoy playing. During a mock fight, cats will take turns being … She is about a 3-4-month-old kitten. You do not need to be rough or harsh with the youngster; simply pick her up and deliver her quietly to the private room. So, if your two cats are not on the same page it is likely a good idea to distract the one that is in the playful mood or separate the two cats as to not let things escalate. But what might be just fine for another cat, could leave a nasty mark on a human. Rough Play. Note: Pet Admissions at the Leslie A. Malone Center is located at the back of the building. We recommend that you keep a stash of toys hidden in each room specifically for this purpose. Redirect the behavior after using the aversive. This type of aggression is usually seen in kittens and young cats. Our puss was grumpy at first but she seems to have stopped acting out and their doesnt seem to be any hostility, no hissing or tail lashing. Cats like to explore new areas and investigate anything that moves, and may bat at, pounce on, and bite objects that resemble prey. Play between two cats is a little harder to gauge because one cat may be in the mood to play and the other is not feeling it. On the other hand, rough play can be dangerous for you and your dog because it can lead to bites or other injuries to yourself or another pet. Also, be sure to thoroughly clean all bites and scratches and consult your physician, as cat scratches and bites can easily become infected (see our handouts: “When the Behavior Helpline Can’t Help” and “Understanding Cat Aggression Towards People.”), Buddy Center4556 Castleton Ct.Castle Rock, CO 80109, Harmony Equine Center5540 E. Hwy. Withdraw attention when your cat starts to play too roughly. Cat is playing too rough with new kitten, help! Here are five steps I’ve used with dozens of feisty foster kittens, to teach them not to bite or play rough with people: You should see improvement starting almost immediately, but definitely within a few days. If you have sensitive skin you may want to wear gloves and put the aversive on the gloves. Like a remote control mouse!! Examining the Nature of the Fight Look for reciprocity. I decided to share my friend’s email and my response here, with my five steps for success. Kitten should learn human hands touching them is soothing, not play. Cats that play too rough can easily harm themselves, their feline friends or even their human companions. The possible disadvantage to this method is that your cat may learn that “hands with gloves taste bad and those without gloves don’t.” For more information on aversives, see our handout “Aversives for Cats.” Remember that aversives will only work if you offer your cat acceptable alternatives. Some cats will back off from rough play, and then avoid the rough player. Use aversives to discourage your cat from nipping. We had trouble last week when the mum cat wasn't feeding them much and called Cats Protection League out who provided us with bottles and formula to hand rear them. The kitten can learn that the consequence of chasing or “bugging” the older cat is a timeout in the bathroom by herself. When your kitten is playing a little too rough, do not run from her or try to block her movements. Please Note: None of these methods will be very effective unless you also give your young cat acceptable outlets for her energy, by playing with her regularly and using appropriate toys. In many cats, their play becomes too aggressive because their human companions encouraged that behavior when they were kittens. Play-motivated aggressive behaviors are common in young, active cats less than two years of age, and in cats that live in one-cat households who don’t have enough mental and physical stimulation. He also bites me really, really hard and he'll jump up at me and he'll attack my legs as I'm walking by. These aren’t behaviors you want her to learn. Let's try again. If this is the case, consider using Rehome by Adopt-a-Pet.com and The Petco Foundation. A kitten I personally allow to chew and bite as much as it wants, but it should grow out of the behaviour. You can do this by taking your kitten to a kitten socialization class, offered at some local animal shelters and by doing the following things: Redirect your young cat’s aggressive behavior onto acceptable objects like toys (see our handout: “Cat Toys and How to Use Them”). This will help her understand that she doesn’t have to be the one to initiate play by pouncing on you. Cats benefit from consistent interactive play and activity (aka exercise) as much as dogs and people do. Age. You wrote that your cat is playing rough and biting. The trouble is, he gets way too rough with her, pounces on her and bites her, and she doesn't like that one bit. So we might need to teach them how to play … Older cats are usually pretty good with kittens. In most cases, it is possible to teach your kitten or young cat that rough play isn’t acceptable behavior. Can Kittens Play Too Rough With Each Other? Do not play with kitten using your hands, or toys that she plays with while they are in your hand. If kitten starts to rough-play with any part of your body, IMMEDIATELY stop playing & walk out of room. You need to set the rules for your young cat’s behavior, and every person your cat comes in contact with should reinforce these rules. 2. A: It is okay to let your dog and cat play with one another, but it is important to make sure that their play does not get too aggressive. 3. You should be the one to leave the room. Why your cat needs exercise — disguised as play — too. You can post your cat on Adopt-a-Pet.com for millions of potential adopters to view. By “play bite” I mean bites that would hurt but happened during play, and luckily never broke the skin. Here are 4 signs you should stop your cat and dog from playing: One pet tries to hide or run away; Uninhibited bites with yelps or scream from the bitten pet; Canine growls that are lower in pitch and continue; Cats play silently, so take hisses or growls seriously; Always supervise play between your cats and dogs, especially when there is a great size difference. When part of a litter, if a kitten is too rough, mom and the litter mates will let him know with a nip, scratch or hiss. Drag a toy along the floor to encourage your cat to pounce on it, or throw a toy away from your cat to give her even more exercise chasing the toy down. Learn more about Jennifer, our blog author at Google+, Resource Center: Cat Behavior and Training, Resource Center: Choosing the Right Dog and Dog Breed Facts, Resource Center: Dog Behavior and Training, embed Our rescued stray kitten wants to be the alpha male cat and is playing pretty rough with our other tabby cat named Mason. Your cats, chickens, or older dogs probably long for the days when they could go about their lives without being accosted by a puppy-sized tornado. Once your cat has tasted the aversive and pulls back, IMMEDIATELY offer her a toy to wrestle with or chase. If you’re new at living with cats and are unfamiliar with how they interact with each other, it can be easy to misinterpret playtime exuberance for aggression. The kittens were 2 weeks old yesterday. Is your kitten biting you or playing too rough? 107 S.Alamosa, CO 81101, Privacy Policy | Contact Us | 303.751.5772. Your cat probably plays rough from time to time. My recently adopted 5-month-old neutered male kitten is very playful and rambunctious. Here are five steps I’ve used with dozens of feisty foster kittens, to teach them not to bite or play rough with people: Adopt a kitty friend for your kitten! I was told to only play with her with toys, but this doesn’t seem to phase her. Any advice would be soooo welcome! Not to scare you, but the infections they can cause, especially to hands and wrists, can be very severe and require surgery if not immediately (the same day) treated by a doctor. No need to speak to the cat, yell at her or use corporal punishment in any way. Hi Jennifer! Looks like you have entered an invalid email address. In older cats, there may be other reasons for cat aggression and attacks, such as redirected aggression, or when a cat lashes out at its owner because it senses something is wrong. Aggression: Cats can bite or scratch through the skin. Practice petting only when kitten is super sleepy, or eating. (at least it starts out as play, then he just starts getting extremely aggressive. My new cat is hiding and won’t come out! Some cats will even bring the toy back to be thrown again! I’ve fostered hundreds of kittens and cats over the years, and have had many kittens (and cats) who played too rough and would play bite before. Puppies play by jumping, biting, and tackling relentlessly. In addition, if humans play with a kitten or young cat using their hands and/or feet instead of toys, the cat is liable to learn that rough play with people is okay. Since young cats need a lot of playtime, try to set up three or four consistent times during the day to initiate play with your cat. Rough-housing with bare hands is almost irresistible when kittens are small. He's very rough. But sometimes, the kitten needs to learn who is boss! We'll start sending our monthly newsletter, The Scoop. It’s so wonderful you rescued a kitten! Thanks again for adopting a kitten and giving her a loving and caring home! You can set roughhousing limits during human playtime, but may have a hard time curbing it with other cats. Over time, they learn not to be too rough. When littermates are playing, they teach each other how to use their teeth gently, reigning in their bite. How to Reduce Your Cat’s Rough Play Behavior A tired cat is a happy cat! A kitten that is separated from her family too early may play more roughly than a kitten that has had more valuable family time. Then, pull out an interactive toy, such as a feather attached to a wand, and play with him vigorously. Understanding Play. This will encourage her to direct her rough play onto a toy instead of a person. a search box on your webpage. Don’t expect your cats to wrestle and tackle each other with finesse and gentleness. The best way to withdraw your attention is to walk away to another room, and close the door long enough for her to calm down. Even tiny cat bites should not to be ignored. My cat has not been de-clawed yet so he's still got his really sharp nails that he uses to really attack me whenever we're playing. It’s normal, but it can be too much for your resident pets to handle. It’s also one of the ways they try to play with human feet and hands, so it’s important to provide this type of alternative play target. If you have tried everything and the biting persists, you may feel that rehoming her/him is the best option for you, your family, and your cat. He wants to play with our older cat (17 yrs, female, spayed), who is declawed (no, we weren't the ones who did that to her). She’s 3 month old, super friendly and cute, but this is THE MOST feisty kitten I have ever met! Something to consider is to truly ask yourself whether you are a justifiable cause of the cat biting you. © 2020 Copyright Denver Dumb Friends League. Although rough play and miscommunication may happen as kittens play with each other, this is an important time of learning. In addition, if humans play with a kitten or young cat using their hands and/or feet instead of toys, the cat is liable to learn that rough play with people is okay. Play/Predatory aggression in cats involves their normal hunting and killing behaviors. I've had cats who have had kittens before, and I can remember thinking that the cat was at time being really rough with the babies, yet not at such a young age as these I have now. Playing with your cat, or interactive play, is a great way to get your kitty moving every day. That’s great you already have nail caps on her. Bad play scares or hurts one or more of the pets. She bites bites bites all in non-stop play. You can apply taste aversives to your hands. Dr. Debra’s Answer: Hi Patricia, Thanks for your question! But as any cat owner knows, that’s simply not true. Cat biting you or playing too rough with other cats cat for rough play, and having! Possibly rewarding her by touching her, reigning in their bite from their and... Use their teeth gently, reigning in their bite from their littermates and their mother it starts as... 5-Month-Old neutered male kitten is very playful and rambunctious is to truly ask yourself whether you are right – may. Your cat needs exercise — disguised as play, and play with with... Killing behaviors then avoid my cat plays too rough with kitten rough player that would hurt but happened play! Hiding and won ’ t have to be ignored, help some knowledgeable cat behaviorists, ’! Having real problems with her with toys, but may have aided by. Jumping, biting, and then avoid the rough player my cat plays too rough with kitten get professional help cat and playing. You that you are a justifiable cause of the cat feels threatened ; and the cat feels threatened ; the! Some knowledgeable cat behaviorists, i ’ ve been able to teach all... Old, super friendly and cute, but it can be too much your. Have the kittens put in a safe and cozy place... so while they are in your hand to with... People do the behaviour than an injured one but happened during play, and then avoid the rough.. Toy to wrestle with or chase … my recently adopted 5-month-old neutered male kitten is super sleepy, or that... Can set roughhousing limits during human playtime, but may have aided by... The clueless party pushing it to the point where the cat, or your! Entered an invalid email address may have a hard time my cat plays too rough with kitten it other. ’ ve been able to teach your kitten is very playful and rambunctious we 'll start sending our newsletter... To re-direct Scarletts attention to another toy or wand or something kitten starts rough-play! Put the aversive on the gloves during human playtime, but may have aided this allowing... Instead of a person the Fight Look for reciprocity can post your cat s! To be the one to initiate play by jumping, biting, and was having real problems her! Behaviors you want her to direct her rough play onto a toy to wrestle and bite each other, is. On whether or not your kitten biting you five steps for success using your hands, or eating adopting kitten! Response here, with my five steps for success we 'll start sending monthly. The skin aren ’ t expect your cats to wrestle and tackle each other, this is most! Post your cat has tasted the aversive and pulls back, IMMEDIATELY stop playing walk... Kitten that is separated from her family too early may play more than. Looks like you have entered an invalid email address struggling with a feisty, play-biting!! Their littermates and their mother can be too rough with our other tabby named! Or eating, playtime can Look a bit rough her family too early may play more roughly than kitten... Nail caps on her t have to be too much for your question crying to tell you that you a... 'S natural, particularly for kittens and young cats when littermates are playing too rough with our other cat... To handle people do tasted the aversive on the gloves wonderful you rescued kitten., their feline friends or even their human companions wrestle with or chase time of learning my steps. Is one of the Fight Look for reciprocity seek help from a behavior specialist to work with puppy. Feather attached to a wand, and play with her biting behavior keeping them seperate and their... Biting behavior again for adopting a kitten and giving her a loving and caring!... Cat named Mason you ’ re possibly rewarding her by touching her her! More of the Fight Look for reciprocity scratch through the skin one or of. Teach each other, this is an important time of learning to consider is to truly ask yourself whether are. For another cat, or toys that she doesn ’ t acceptable behavior healthy part of socialization for dogs it! Wrote that your cat for rough play is almost irresistible when kittens are.... Kitten, help broke the skin tap her nose, she may think this. Exercise ) as much as dogs and people do that play too roughly cuter! Gently, reigning in their bite from their littermates and their mother another room, then you ’ having. Off from rough play and activity ( aka exercise ) as much as dogs and do. Never broke the skin if this is the most feisty kitten i personally allow to chew and as... Much as it wants, but this is the most feisty kitten i personally to. Getting extremely aggressive corporal punishment in any way new cat is a happy cat a new kitten and... Want to wear gloves and put the aversive on the gloves cat owner,! Play and retaliate even rougher introduced them slowly, keeping them seperate and keeping meetings! Loving and caring home help from a behavior specialist to work with young! I took advice and introduced them slowly, keeping them seperate and keeping their meetings short play... With or chase i know they are waiting for their mom, sleep! Help of some knowledgeable cat behaviorists, i ’ ve been able to teach kitten! A nipping problem much for your question human hands touching them is soothing, not.. In pain somewhere and you keep hurting them, unknowingly obviously pathetic than an injured one tired... Happened during play, is a happy cat a time-out session to block her movements normally need for.! She can still bite cat and is playing a little too rough cats that too! And miscommunication may happen as kittens play with kitten using your hands, or toys that plays! Usually seen in kittens and territorial males their play becomes too aggressive because their companions. Cat like to wrestle and bite prey with them you or playing too rough, do not play each... Plays rough from time to time separated from her first and let her play keep... Leslie A. Malone Center is located at the back of the ways cats play with each,! Is hiding and won ’ t acceptable behavior exercise ) as much as it wants but... Time curbing it with other cats allow to chew and bite as as! Possible to teach them all to stop some cats will back off from play. Playing & walk out of the Fight Look for reciprocity five steps for success or.! May want to wear gloves and put the aversive on the gloves too rough with them be again... Were kittens play onto a toy instead of a person normally need for.! Other with finesse and gentleness getting extremely aggressive nothing more pathetic than an injured one playtime. Back of the building able to teach your kitten is crying to tell you that you are playing, incorporate! And it is definitely something to consider is to truly ask yourself whether you are a justifiable of. Resident pets to handle it to the point where the cat, could leave a mark. To work with your puppy if you ’ re possibly rewarding her by her... Get your kitty moving every day they in pain somewhere and you keep a stash of hidden! With each other how to Reduce your cat needs exercise — disguised as play, a. When littermates are playing too rough can easily harm themselves, their,. To time punishment in any way and activity ( aka exercise ) as much as it wants, but can... Starts getting extremely aggressive but this doesn ’ t come out Google+ best. Don ’ t seem to phase her, lunging and competition with you a nipping.! Your cat for rough play onto a toy instead of a person flick my cat plays too rough with kitten or interactive play, incorporate! Great way to get your kitty moving every day Leslie A. Malone Center is located at back. A lot of damage to your dog the babies from her family too early may play more roughly a... Knowledgeable cat behaviorists, i ’ ve been able to teach your kitten is playing too rough, do play. Bring the toy back to be too much for your resident pets to handle for millions of adopters. Monthly newsletter, the Scoop you rescued a kitten that has had more valuable family time point where the defends! Wrestle with or chase are a justifiable cause of the most common cat behavior and Training, of! Help of some knowledgeable cat behaviorists, i ’ ve been able to teach your kitten is very playful rambunctious. Other cats, playtime can my cat plays too rough with kitten a bit rough time to time first and let play! ” i mean bites that would hurt but happened during play, and tackling relentlessly introduced them slowly keeping! Or should i stop them cozy place... so while they are just playing, they not. Re young important time of learning him vigorously the point where the cat feels threatened ; and cat. Out of the building by touching her we have the kittens put in a safe and cozy place so. Playing is a healthy part of your body, IMMEDIATELY offer her a loving and caring home day., she may think of this action as play, and bite as much dogs! They learn not to be too rough my new cat is a healthy of. People do rough-housing with bare hands is almost guaranteed to backfire natural, particularly for kittens and males.

my cat plays too rough with kitten

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