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F2 male - 3.5mo - biting problem

l.i.t

Site Supporter
Hey you guys,

I am having a problem with my f2 boy biting - really just starting this week....and I have tried everything I could find on this board to stop the problem. I've tried shrieking, growling, hissing, scruffing, firm voice, even tried the finger down the throat - he actually LIKES that one because he gets to chew! So far, the only thing that has worked was the combination of scruffing him, lightly bopping him on the head, yowling like an angry cat, and then holding him down in place for about 5 seconds. And when I do that one, I feel like an abusive mother!

We have two other cats who occasionally play with him - but he usually gets too rough for them, or ends up doing something they don't appreciate....they hiss, and he runs off. He has tons of toys - balls, wand toys, da bird, feathers and balls dangling from the cat towers, kitty kopters, etc. I play with him every morning, about twice during the day, and every evening. Both my husband and I work from home, so we are around a lot.....and, yet, he doesn't do any of this to my husband.

I imagine since I'm the most interactive with him - both for play and being his bed during naps - that he really thinks he's just playing with me. I don't think he has a mean bone in his body.

The only two things that have changed since we got him about 4 weeks ago is that his....ahem....testicles are growing.....and that it's my time of the month this week. Those two things may have nothing to do with it, but I figured I'd put it all out there.

Please help me figure out what I'm doing wrong. I would try treats and positive reinforcement, but so far, all he will eat is his dry cat food, and mango nectar. He doesn't seem to like wet food, human food, meat, or any kind of treat - human or otherwise. And before this, he was a sweet, sweet little guy - never bit, never used claws when playing. I can't figure out what I have done wrong, or what to do to change the behavior.

Any help would be appreciated.....

Liz
 

l.i.t

Site Supporter
Hi there. He was about 11.5 weeks when we got him. I also forgot to say that I've also tried getting him to bite or play with a toy instead - and the water bottle doesn't seem to work because he thinks it's fun and more play time.....
 

l.i.t

Site Supporter
Oh, AND I've tried ignoring it and stopping interaction, as well as scruffing him and taking him to a different room for a time-out. He just seems to think that it's all 'play time'.
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
So he is not 3.5 months old, correct? You got him at almost 4 months old...just trying to figure out his age and what stage of development he is in.
 

l.i.t

Site Supporter
No, he was almost 3 months when we got him (11.5 weeks). His birthday was March 14th. He is about 3.5 months now
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
I'm sure others will have suggestions also...and you can always contact Marilyn, the Cat Coach...
 

l.i.t

Site Supporter
Yes, he is definitely teething. I noticed him biting the kitty tower ledge, and then the vet confirmed it when I took him in for his checkup right at his 3 month birthday. And you may be right about the hormones. When we got him, he did not bite us at all, or use his claws, for that matter - he was, however, biting toys and the kitty tower and the corners of computers, etc....
 

l.i.t

Site Supporter
Thanks, Paige. I really appreciate your comments. I'm just mainly concerned about my behavior, and how to avert this from becoming a long term learned habit. I can take a few scratches and puctures - particularly if it's likely related to hormones, because at least there will be an end to that in a couple of months. But he was such a sweet boy and I'd hate to be the one who inadvertently trains him to bite.

And I could force myself to do the combination that worked.....but I just feel horribly abusive and guilty - and don't want to train him to be afraid of me, or be aggressive.

We did have 'make up time' afterward, though, where he sat in my lap and I rubbed his jowls and stroked him gently. He purred and even started to go to sleep....until he got another burst of energy!
 
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