Looking for the best ways to train a kitten not to bite?
Maybe your new kitten keeps nipping you, and you’ve tried everything you could think of with no results?
Don’t worry, we’re coming to the rescue with 8 proven and simple tips to stop your kitten from biting!
Just keep on reading.
8 Best Ways to Train a Kitten Not to Bite When You’re At Loss What To Do
“Help! How can I train my kitten not to bite when we’ve tried everything?”
I came across this plea for help from a first-time cat owner on Reddit, and I couldn’t resist writing about it.
Let me reassure you first. Your kitten is the only one that turns into a little monster out of a sudden and starts attacking your legs/hands.
That’s pretty much how every kitten behaves at one point or another.
Since it’s not pleasant to walk around covered in bite marks, training your kitten to stop biting you is vital.
You just need to know a few secrets to survive kitten biting, and we’re here to reveal them to you.
#1 Understand Why Your Kitten Bites
You can’t train your kitten not to bite because biting is as natural for kittens as playing for children.
Instead, you need to teach your kitten to bite on appropriate objects and leave your hands and body alone.
To achieve this seemingly impossible task, you have to know why kittens bite to avoid making mistakes:
- Overexcitement. The kitten is so caught up in the game that they can’t stop biting and attacking the “prey.” Trying to move away or leave the room is likely to get your kitty even more worked up.
- Teething. Around the 3rd month, kittens start teething and will gnaw on everything in sight, including your hair. Having appropriate teething toys at hand can make all the difference.
- Petting aggression. Sometimes kittens get overly stimulated when you pet them and react by biting.
- Illness. Rarely, kittens might also bite when you touch a tender spot on their body or when they’re ill and in pain.
#2 Play With Your Kitten
Rule number one when it comes to training kittens not to bite:
Play with your kitten as much as you can. It’s an excellent way to bond, establish trust, and prevent biting.
Bored kittens are bad news because they have too much pent-up energy.
Such kittens get overly excited when you finally start playing with them and are more likely to bite.
If you try to leave the room, they might follow and keep “attacking you.”
Moreover, unlike adult cats, kittens like to have company and prefer to have a play buddy.
Having mock fights is a favorite pastime, so when there’s no other cat around, you’ll have to do it.
That’s your kitten’s logic.
To train your kitten to stop biting, you have to exhaust them until they don’t have the energy to gnaw on you.
Get toys and make your kitty run and jump as much as possible until you see that the little one is tired. Then you won’t have to worry about biting.
#3 Redirect Your Kitten’s Attention
Another way to train a kitten not to bite is to redirect their attention to a toy. Get into the habit of carrying a toy with you all the time.
When you notice that your kitten is about to bite – redirect their attention to the toy.
This method is simple, but it requires consistency. It’s not enough to do it every other time – you have to do it every single time the kitten tries to bite.
Otherwise, your kitten won’t get the message.
The secret also lies in choosing a suitable toy that your kitten will love.
Think about kittens as children. If they don’t like the substitute, they will be back to their original target.
Usually, kittens are fascinated by anything with features, plush mice, or strings.
But you’ll have to discover what appeals to your kitten’s senses by trial and error.
You can also check out these fun ways to play with kittens without toys:
#4 Reward Good Behavior
Many owners have trouble getting their kitten to stop biting because they’ve encouraged bad behavior for too long.
Allowing the kitten to jump on your hands or attack your pant’s strings is cute while they’re as big as your palm.
However, you’ll regret it later when an adult cat thinks your fingers are suitable gnawing toys.
You should establish that body parts are off-limits while the kitten is still young.
Move your hands away when the kitten wants to play with them and leave the room when you notice that the little one is getting too excited.
Moreover, provide plenty of toys that your kitten can bite and tear apart.
Reward your kitten with treats and meals after playing to establish that toys are appropriate biting objects.
Be prepared that it will take time and that you have to be persistent.
Want to try making our own tasty nibblets for kitty? Check out this easy homemade salmon cat treats recipe!
#5 Get Another Kitten
When kittens play with their siblings and mother, they learn to control the strength of their bite. Otherwise, the other kittens or the mother retaliates with a slap or ignores the offender.
Unfortunately, abandoned kittens and those separated from their mother and siblings too early don’t get to learn this valuable lesson.
So, they attack and bite with all their strength, even when they’re merely playing.
In such kittens, the usual methods for training them not to bite don’t work so well because the kittens don’t have the experience of being “punished” for biting.
What works when all other methods have failed is getting another kitten to teach your kitty manners.
A new kitten is a more exciting chasing target, and your kitten will quickly learn not to bite when they get slapped repeatedly.
#6 Play Hurt
If your kitten has learned bite inhibition from their siblings, you can use it to train your kitten not to bite:
- When your kitten nips you, give a loud squeak and play it as if you’re severely hurt.
- Usually, kittens will be startled from the noise and look up at you to check what’s wrong.
- Don’t move your hand until the kitten lets go, or you’ll trigger their hunting instinct. Freeze and wait so that you’re not mimicking prey behavior.
- The moment the kitten releases your hand, stop paying them attention or turn your back to the kitten.
- The point of this exercise is to show your kitten that biting equals no fun and no play buddy.
You can watch this video for more information:
#7 Use Time Out
Besides playing hurt, you can use time-out to train a kitten not to bite and teach them what’s appropriate during a play session and what’s not.
When you notice that your kitten has the “I’m about to attack” face, you should stop playing.
Leave the room, turn your back to the kitten, or don’t pay them any attention. You want to send a clear message that you’re not interested in rough games.
The secret is to do it before the kitten becomes too excited and starts biting and clawing.
Otherwise, the kitten is already worked up and will follow you when you attempt to leave the room.
#8 Don’t Punish
Many cat owners recommend slapping the kitten, using a rolled newspaper, getting a squirt bottle, or biting the kitten in return.
I don’t support such methods because physical force never works for training cats.
It’s never a good idea to startle a kitten because you don’t know how the cat will react.
The kitten might become so frightened that they become aggressive or hide under the bed for weeks.
Moreover, for your kitten to get the message that biting is bad, you’ll have to slap them every time it happens.
That’s going to damage your relationship and might make the kitten shy of human contact.
It’s possible to train a kitten not to bite, but it’s not going to happen overnight.
You’ll have to be consistent in how you respond to biting so that your kitten gets the right message.
Be gentle, patient, and talk to your vet if your kitten seems too aggressive.
What do you think about these 8 best ways to train a kitten not to bite? How did you teach your kitten to stop biting? Share your experience in the comment section.
I’ve grown up surrounded by animals – dogs, cats, cows, goats, sheep, and horses and that has shaped me into what I am today – a crazy cat lady who always has a place for one more cat (or a dog). I’ve got two female cats – Kitty and Roni, and two tomcats – Blacky and Shaggy, but I also feed my neighbors’ cats when they come for a visit. I just can’t say no to them.
I discovered that writing is my vocation early in my school years. Since then I’ve taken part in several literature contests – writing horror and fantasy short stories and novellas.
For the past three years, I’ve been an ELS teacher, pouring my heart into showing children and teenagers how important English is for their future and trying to educate them how to treat their pets with care.