Why Does My 4 Month Old Kitten Keep Biting?

My question is about my 4-month old kitten - she constantly bites when she is playing. She has broken my skin on many occasions and this morning she broke the skin on top of my right hand and that hurt!

I keep telling her "no" and point my finger at her and that seems to encourage her more. I even have a spray bottle of water that I will spray her with when she starts doing that, that will stop her for awhile but hasn't broken her of it yet. Any suggestions?

Reply from Liz (Editor): This cat behavior problem is common, and it's a good idea to sort it as soon as you can in kittens, otherwise it can become a very annoying (and painful!) habit that is difficult to overcome. This page gives some more background:

Angry Cat Behavior During Play

The way to deal with this is to let her know, in no uncertain terms, that this behavior isn't acceptable. Saying "no" to her in a strong voice, as soon as she starts, is a good thing to do. If the water squirting is working, I'd continue this too (though some cats seem to become immune to this after a while). However, what I wouldn't do is wag a finger at her... she'll see it as a toy that she wants to attack!

The other thing you can do when she bites is to scruff her. This is a really effective form of chastisement, as it's the way mother cats discipline their kittens. This page gives more advice on how to do this:

Cat Problems - Our Kitten Keeps Attacking Us!

Basically, every time she bites, if you say "no", scruff her then don't give her any attention for a little while she will learn that this cat behavior isn't acceptable and that it won't get her the sort of attention she wants. If you're consistent ad persevere, she should learn not to do this fairly quickly.

Best of luck!

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