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Cher, Cat Behavior-expert
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 20862
Experience:  40+ years Cat Behavior Consultant; Vol. Vet Asst.
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I adopted a 5yo spayed female from ARF 6 weeks ago. I wanted

Customer Question

I adopted a 5yo spayed female from ARF 6 weeks ago. I wanted an adult or senior, because they are often overlooked at shelters, etc. Chloe and I are gradually developing a relationship, but she often bites me, not always hard, has never broken the skin, but is definitely biting. I'm not sure what to do. I am in no way going to return her. I am her forever home. But the biting has to stop, or at least ease up. I've never had a cat that was a regular biter. She is having a dental exam and a few teeth extractions, so I wondered if her biting has to be related to tooth discomfort, or her nature. I really would like some sort of guidance. Thank you.
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Cat Behavior
Expert:  Cher replied 3 months ago.

Hello, and welcome.

My name is ***** ***** I will be glad to answer your question about Chloe. Kudos to YOU for wanting to adopt an older cat; you're right--almost everyone wants a kitten and the older cats are usually overlooked.

I see that you posted quite a while ago and wanted to apologize that you didn't receive an earlier answer. Various experts are online at different times and I recently logged in and was notified of your question. Your patience is greatly appreciated!

Sometimes, cats are biters because they were separated from their moms and siblings too early, and they were never taught the 'feline rules' of sociability. If Chloe had bit her mom or sibling too hard, they would have squealed and she would most likely have received a tap on the head from her mom. That's cat language for 'stop!'

What you have to do is, first, never play with her with your fingers as toys and keep her occupied with great toys that will hold her interest. I will include a great batch of toys that I love and what you can do, is put the toys into groups and then switch them out every few days. When you bring out a new group, she'll feel like she's getting more new toys!


Sometimes, if you pet a cat for too long, they become overstimulated and no longer enjoy it, so they whip their head around and bite to let you know 'enough!'

You may have something there, re: her dental problems and the discomfort they are causing, but it's necessary to teach her it's unacceptable to bite. When she bites you, immediately say 'no' or 'no bite,' firmly, but don't yell, and leave the room. Come back in 60 seconds. Every time she bites, you leave. She will soon learn that she would rather have your company than bite. When she doesn't bite, you can reward her with a cat-healthy treat.

I hope all goes well with her teeth extractions and the biting will gradually stop!

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Warmest regards,