Biting and scratching are the two key ways your cat interacts with his world, paws down. So, when the two of you are playing ‘chase-the-mouse-on-the-pole’, it’s a natural instinct for your Chausie to use his chompers – even if it’s on you.
Sometimes the nips are so gentle, we really don’t mind – it’s like a little ‘love’ bite. All in fun – you toothy Tortoiseshell, you! But if, all of sudden, it becomes a bit me-OUCH, there are steps we can take to nip the biting completely:
Keep kitty entertained. First, you’ll want to make sure your mouthy Munchkin is well-entertained with a variety of kitty toys that you frequently rotate. Scratch poles and climbing stations are the cat’s meow when it comes to expending your feline’s energy in appropriate ways. Cat’s a fact.
Hands aren’t a plaything, pal. Try not to tempt your cat to swipe or pounce on your hands. If he sees them as ‘toys’ (and pretty top-cat ones, at that), he’ll only continue the boisterous bite.
Train him to stop nipping. The next time your chomping Chartreux takes a nip or swipe, use a command like ‘ouch’ or ‘no’. Then, remove your hand to avoid a cat-fight, and make sure he can’t reach it again. Try not to move your hand away too quickly, or your playful Persian may think it’s ‘Game On’, and pounce again. Now, this next step is hard, but be strong, pet-lovers: Stop playing with your nippy Norwegian Forest Cat, and walk away. It’s not to be catty – it’s simply to help him understand that biting means ‘Game Over’ (cue disintegrating Pac-Man music). Hopefully this nips the behaviour for your bud. But if he still insists on being bitey, try using a language you know he’ll understand: ‘HISSSSS!‘ Mimicking his own word of warning can snap him right out his nip-nosis.
Still a nip in the air? You may want to invest in toys you can throw, or ones that dangle from a loooong stick. This way, your cat won’t be able to reach you when he’s about to get mouthy.