How to Get Kittens Not to Bite You?

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on effectively teaching by answering an important question How to Get Kittens Not to Bite You?

As adorable as those little furballs are, their natural instincts as predator species can lead to unwanted nibbles and playful attacks on our hands and feet.

But worry not! With the right techniques and a little bit of patience, you can redirect their playful energies onto appropriate targets and save yourself from those accidental scratches.

In this guide, we’ll explore the reasons behind kitten biting behaviour and provide you with practical tips to steer them toward more acceptable play habits. Let’s dive in!


Kittens Need to Bite Something – Diverting Their Playful Energies

Excited and playful kittens may tend to grab onto your hands and feet during playtime.

While this behaviour is quite normal for their age, it’s crucial to teach them that toys, not human body parts, are meant for attacking.

This distinction is essential to prevent accidents and ensure your safety as the kittens grow bigger and their bites become stronger.


The next time your furry friend jumps at your ankles or decides to chew on your hands, react swiftly by saying a sharp ‘no!’ in a firm but gentle tone. Immediately redirect their attention towards an appropriate toy and temporarily halt the play session for a few minutes.

This way, they will understand that engaging with toys instead of hands or feet is the desired behaviour.

Remember, never using your hands or feet as playthings for kittens is important. Instead, always opt for toys that are held at a distance from your body, such as feathers on a string, balls, or stuffed toys.

You can effectively train them to focus their energy on more suitable targets by offering them an alternative outlet for their instincts.


Understanding the Root of Kitten Biting Behaviour

To tackle the issue of biting kittens, it’s essential to delve into the underlying reasons behind their behaviour.

Kittens bite because they are natural predators and have an innate desire to practise attacking moving objects. It’s a part of their biological wiring.

Therefore, we must teach them the appropriate way to play, ensuring they understand that fingers and feet are off-limits.


One effective strategy is to engage in multiple play sessions daily, especially before meals.

Doing so provides an avenue for kittens to develop their motor skills, learn appropriate play habits, and release pent-up energy.

These sessions help them practise their natural instincts and contribute to their overall growth and development.


First Step: Rewarding Good Behaviour

When it comes to training kittens, rewarding good behaviour is key.

To begin, use an interactive toy to engage your kitten, encouraging them to stalk, chase, pounce, and catch.

Allow them to bite and “bunny kick” the toy before moving it again. This mimics the experience of hunting and capturing prey, offering them a satisfying playtime session. 


It’s important to resist the temptation of wiggling your fingers or tickling their bellies during play.

While it may seem harmless and fun, this teaches kittens that practising their hunting skills on your skin is acceptable. Even if you don’t mind the playful attacks, it’s crucial to consider the perspective of prospective adopters, especially as the kittens grow larger.

A 12-pound tabby stalking your ankle might not be as endearing to others! Therefore, as caregivers, we are responsible for helping kittens establish good biting behaviours from a young age.

After all, it’s easier to build a good habit than to break a bad one.

If a kitten attacks your hands or feet during movement, disengage and redirect their attention to a more suitable object or toy.


Redirecting to a Scratching Post

Scratching is a natural behaviour for cats of all ages.

It allows them to stretch their claws, mark their territory, and engage in play aggression.

However, it’s essential to redirect this practice away from your body and onto appropriate surfaces, such as scratching posts or designated toys.


Observing their body posture, you can easily identify when your kitten is about to pounce and scratch.

Dilated pupils, a tail moving back and forth, and ears flat to the head are all signs of an imminent kitty attack! By recognizing these cues, you can proactively redirect their attention to a scratching post or a toy.

This ensures that their natural instincts are satisfied while protecting your limbs from unintended scratches.


Make it a priority to train your kitten to use their scratching post early on.

Every kitty in your household should have access to at least one scratching post (ideally, one extra) to meet their needs and keep their claws in check.

By providing them with appropriate outlets for their scratching urges, you’ll be able to maintain a harmonious living environment while saving your furniture from becoming their unintended target.


Use your Voice – Pets do recognize their owner’s voices

Your voice can play a significant role in communicating your feelings to your pet effectively.

When discouraging biting and scratching behaviour, use a firm and sharp command like “no!” or “ouch!” whenever your cat nips you. This vocal cue, combined with ignoring the unwanted behaviour, helps reinforce your dissatisfaction.

However, it’s crucial to maintain a calm tone and never shout at your cat. Losing your temper or reacting angrily can make your cat nervous or fearful, potentially worsening their behaviour.


After a few minutes, when you feel it’s time to resume play, use your voice to reward good behaviour and promote gentle play.

Remember to reward positive actions and stop playing if your pet becomes overly excited and rough.


Effective Strategies for Engaging and Training Your Kitten

Here are some quick tips:

1. Provide Plenty of Stimulation

Make sure your kitten has access to various toys such as plush toys, wand toys, crinkle balls, tunnels, and other enrichment items.

These toys should mimic different types of prey, offering a diverse play experience.


2. Engage in Daily Play

Actively play with your kitten multiple times a day using toys that can wiggle and flutter. Avoid expecting the kitten to play alone.

By making the toys move and enticing them to hunt, you provide appropriate targets for their hunting instincts, reducing the likelihood of them targeting your hands and feet.


3. Reward Good Behaviour

Allow the kitten to catch the toy and engage in natural behaviours like biting and bunny kicking.

Reward them with a treat or a meal after playtime to let them know they’ve done well.

This positively reinforces their hunting instincts.


4. Redirect Biting Behaviours 

Whenever the kitten exhibits biting behaviour, redirect their attention toward an appropriate target.

It’s crucial to provide an alternative that is equally or more appealing than what they were originally targeting.

Instead of focusing solely on saying “no,” understand that the kitten seeks a particular stimulus and offers them a suitable alternative.

Doing so will satisfy their natural urges, and you can eliminate biting behaviours more effectively.


Give time to your pets

Play with your kitten every day to establish a routine.

Regular play sessions of 10-15 minutes, two or three times a day, help your cat bond with you, feel relaxed, and release excess energy or aggression.


Teaching your kitten to play calmly and not to bite or scratch during play is vital to your journey together.

Your pet will learn appropriate behaviour over time by reinforcing positive play behaviours and ignoring unwanted ones consistently.


Lastly, if your kitten is alone, consider getting her a companion.

Kittens are happiest and better behaved when they have a friend.

They can engage in play-hunting with each other, expend energy together, and learn important boundaries regarding biting from their playmate.



Teaching kittens not to bite requires redirecting their playful energies onto toys and appropriate targets.

By understanding the natural instincts of these adorable predators, rewarding good behaviour, and providing them with suitable alternatives, you can successfully guide them away from attacking your hands and feet. 


Remember to engage in multiple play sessions daily, encourage interactive play with toys, and redirect their scratching urges toward designated posts.

You can establish healthy play habits and foster a strong bond with your furry companion with consistency, patience, and a little understanding. 


So, let the journey begin, and enjoy the wonderful experience of raising a well-behaved and loving kitten!


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