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Scratching and biting

Why the scratching?

It can be extremely frustrating, seeing your new kitten try to sharpen their claws on your best furniture. Unfortunately, cats and kittens alike will instinctively scratch, not only to sharpen their claws, but to get rid of dead nails.

Get a scratching post

With a little bit of encouragement, a scratching post will keep those claws from digging into your table legs or arm chairs. Once your kitten learns to use this essential piece of furniture, yours should be safe!

A few things to consider when looking for a scratching post:

  • Get one that is relatively tall. When your kitten grows into a cat, they will love to stretch as they scratch
  • Make sure your post has a ledge at the top. This provides a spot from which to hang toys and they'll love batting them with their paws
  • If the ledge on top is wide enough, your kitten will love to sit there and watch the world go by. You can also place your kitten here when they try to scratch the furniture

If the scratching just won't stop

If your kitten is still doing things it shouldn't to your furniture, get some special, double-sided sticky tape made especially for kittens, called 'Sticky Paws.' Alternatively, kittens hate the sound and feel of both aluminium foil and bubble wrap. Wrapping these around the furniture in question will make your furry friend think twice about digging those claws in.

Another fantastic product designed to protect 'out of bounds' items is Soft Paws. Soft Paws are vinyl caps that glue to your cat's claws, thus preventing damage to surfaces while still allowing the cat to display natural scratching and pawing behaviour.

Why the biting?

A cat or kitten will use their teeth to bite, as will any animal. Usually when a kitten bites, it is often a self-defence mechanism if the kitten feels threatened. A lot of the time, kittens will bite during play. This is an important and normal part of kitten behaviour. However, just because this can be a normal behaviour, it is important to curb and prevent inappropriate play of any kind.

Careful, controlled playtime and lots of love and encouragement, can help prevent any nasty habits developing. Just remember, negative reinforcement/punishment usually results in a fearful cat and therefore will not teach your kitten good behaviour.

Scratching and biting children

If your kitten is sinking claws and teeth into young children on a regular basis, this could be the result of rough play on the child's part. The kitten will do whatever it takes not to feel hurt and scared, and therefore they may scratch and bite as a form of self defence. Encourage children to play gently, and if your kitten is behaving in turn, get the children to reward her with treats. Your kitten will soon learn that gentle play is a good thing.

It is also important to teach children to watch for cues from the kitten. Common cues that your kitten has had enough interaction include swishing/flicking of the tail, meowing, growling or hissing. As soon as the kitten has had enough, play should cease.

How to stop inappropriate behaviour in your kitten

  • Introduce your kitten to lots of toys and encourage it to play with them. This is a lot of fun for both parties and will also teach your kitten lessons in pouncing, jumping and running
  • If your kitten hisses at you, sternly but not overally loudly, say 'No' and place them in a safe, isolated 'time out' location. This will help them learn that you're in charge and hissing will not be tolerated

If you have a question on anything from parasites to pet health, ask us we don't bite!

Call The Advantage Pet Care Line on 1800 678 368.

Advocate for Cats

Advocate not only treats parasite infections, but monthly treatment can help protect your cat against fleas, heartworm and gastrointestinal worms.
Treats
Fleas, Worms

Cat Grooming

Cats love to groom. Give them a helping hand.

- ↓ -

If you have a question on anything from parasites to pet health, ask us we don't bite!

Call The Advantage Pet Care Line on 1800 678 368.

Advocate for Cats

Advocate not only treats parasite infections, but monthly treatment can help protect your cat against fleas, heartworm and gastrointestinal worms. Treats
Fleas, Worms

Cat Grooming

- ↓ -

Cats love to groom. Give them a helping hand.