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The biting question ~


Savannah Kitten
Hello all,

I've been reading the forums and it seems like everyone has been through a "biting" phase from SV. My question is does all SV start biting at some stage of their life and you have to train them not to or is it a cat by cat basis.?

Do you think generation has anything to do with it?? It seems like it doesn't .

I normally hear cats claw their owners but rarely do I hear biting.

My last question is, has anyone had a SV that never had a biting phase, and pls state generation pls.

Thanks everyone, just trying to gauge the possible things that a owner should be prepared for.


Staff member
My two F2s never bit as kittens and neither did my F3. One of my F2s is 4 yrs old and has begun giving me love bites just these past few months. He just takes my nose or hand or someplace on my arm when we're in full cuddly mode and gently takes a hold for a second or two.

This type of biting isn't confined to SVs. DSHs do it too.


I don't recall Duma specifically going through a "biting phase" per se but I had a feral that did. For him, he was biting my face, because in his "language" that meant I was part of his family. Realizing that all I had to do was communicate to him that he was actually hurting me made a huge difference in our relationship. (Someone on one of the forums said that you learn a lot from fostering ferals, whoever said that couldn't be more right!)

Duma is almost 6 months and is an F3. He has done a "fly by" bite in the past, but only a few times, and it was more about him playing and me being the object of his playing than him actually biting me. I gave out a sharp, high pitched (and I'm a soprano lol) OUCH! and moved away from him the couple of times he did it and he hasn't done it since. Duma has never aggressively bit me; actually, he is the most well behaved cat I have ever had. I actually call him my little gentleman lol

Brigitte Cowell

Staff member
I don't think it is a general Savannah thing. I find the kittens all go through a phase which is normal kittenhood learning when it is appropriate to bite...their siblings and mama teach them that, but humans sometimes get involved and we yelp when they try biting us.

But our older cats don't do this, the only one that nips sometimes is Baz...he loves to lick lick lick then bite preferably my face and lips but usually I put my wrist in front and that is what he licks then bites...he's purring the whole time and I have no idea why he needs to do this. He's done it since a baby and we tried long and hard to dissuade him. It's just him.

I think kittens are like puppies in terms of training them, they try out things and we need to teach them as they grow what is acceptable and what is not. Positive reinforcement and redirection are good techniques.

Trish Allearz

Lol. I have dealt with kittens nipping my entire life. Kittens, all kittens, love to play and biting and using their claws is normal play for them. You just have to teach them it is not acceptable for you :) this is definitely not savannah specific.

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