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Naughty Kitten!

Have a naughty kitten?

Kittens are so cute and not to mention a ton of fun to have around.  However, sometimes they can be quite a handful.  With sharp little razor like claws and needle teeth, it can be painful being a new kitten owner.  If you have a kitten that seems to do this a lot, you may want to consider these things.

WHY they scratch and bite…

  • They might just want to play.  This is how they would play with their litter mates if they were still in a group setting.
  • They could be angry about something.
  • They could be in pain. (Wouldn’t you be mean if you were in pain?)
  • They could be frightened.

Key pointers to remember:

  • Avoid petting and touching paws, stomach or other vulnerable areas.
  • Check to make sure there are no injuries, which may be why they are acting out.
  • Notice if there is a relation to something environmental (another animal, object, person, etc.)
  • Don't hit or yell at your kitten when they nip or pounce. This will only make them fearful of you and they may start to avoid you. The idea is to train them, not punish them.

 If you want this type of behavior to stop you can:

  • Substitute cat toys instead of your fingers.
  • Trim those claws
  • Yell “Ouch!”
  • Try scratch posts (If they are scratching your furniture.)
  • Keep them busy

Most importantly, ALWAYS ignore the behavior and redirect. Everyone in the household must be on the same page, too; your kitten can't be expected to learn that it's okay to play rough with certain people but not with others. When they pounce and jump at you, ignore the behavior or distract them. You can always put a bell around their collar so that you can keep tabs on where they are if they plan to pounce and bite your ankles!

If all else fails, we recommend giving us a call for a short consultation on what you can do to tame your kitten’s scratching and biting.

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Juniata Veterinary Clinic

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