13 week old Kitten Biting

by Linda
(Leetsdale, PA)


I recently rescued a 10 week old male kitten (he is now 13 weeks) who was abandoned outside by his mother.

He had roundworm and tapeworm so I have had to keep him separated in the basement from my other two cats.
I should be able to intoroduce him to them and the household this week.

I frequently go downstairs to play with him or let him out on my closed in porch so he can get sunlight, fresh air and a change from the basement.

He is a biter though. At first, I thought it was because he is baby and is teething. But now I am not sure. He wants to bite me. I tried tapping his nose gently with my finger and this made him angry and want to bite more. I can see in his eyes that he is looking at my hands and feet as prey. He has lots of toys that he does play with.

I don't remember ever having a kitten that bit like this. Is this normal, will he outgrow it? Is this related to the fact that he was outside alone for the first 10 weeks of his life?

Thank you for your help


Hi, Linda,

Biting is normal in many kittens, but some will go on to get worse instead of better. To discourage that, you need to put him down immediately when he bites you.

Do not tap him on the nose or yell or give any negative reinforcement. Cats just get worse when you do that. Instead calmly put him down or carry a soft small toy around with you and if he starts to bite you, put that gently in his mouth instead.

The less you react and calmer you stay, the better. Every time he bites and you either put him down or give him something else to bite, I cannot stress enough the important of not reacting negatively.

Try not to jump, say ouch or anything. Act as if nothing happened. Even talk with an affectionate, positive tone in your voice as you put him down or give him something else to chew. You will get much further that way than anything else you can do.

He is still very young and he has grown up essentially alone as far as other cat playmates go. I understand why you have him separated from the other cats and you are doing the right thing. However, when he is able to be around others, he will play and wrestle and bite at them instead of you. He has a lot of kitten energy and is directing it all toward you right now.

He also is still teething so you have several factors at work here. It will all work out.

The most important thing you can do to curb his biting is to follow my advice about how to react and what to do when it happens. It works!!

Thanks for writing,
Dr. Neely

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