How do I get my cat to calm down?
I have a female manx that's about 10 months old now and she has a penchant for biting hands. I know that she's just playing, but a lot of times she bits too hard and I don't know how to get her to ease up.
Also, it's like she has mood swings. One moment, she'll be perfectly calm and the next she's tearing through the house like a tornado.
Is there anything I can do to get her to chill out a little or it it just something I'll have to wait out and hope she calms down with age?
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Firstly, go limp and DON'T try to pull your hand back quickly , or she'll bite harder and possibly slice you; that simply reinforces her perception that this is substitute prey. Hold still and speak softly, or get someone to distract her before you remove it. You have to teach her that hands aren't that kind of toy. This may sound silly, but whine, cry, and really let her know that it hurts, then leave the room and don't make any contact with her for more than 15min. Cats do understand pain, guilt and do have sympathy, but it may take a bit of overacting to get the message across. The "mood swings" are just her shift into hunting mode, and all cats do it, often at night, but you'll have to figure out what her schedule it. Get some soft, throwable toys, and make sure she gets playtime at least twice daily. Don't do it right after a bite, because you don't want to reward that behavior, and removing yourself from her presence for a while afterwards is like saying, "I'm not that kind of toy, and I won't put up with that" without further encouraging her hunting instinct at that particular moment. You'll be able to tell when she wants to play because as you said, she'll tear around looking for something to attack. Usually before that point, her pupils will enlarge, and her tail may swish back an forth. With mine it's almost like clockwork - after she eats, she wants to snuggle for about 15 minutes and then shortly after, she wants playtime. I have a bag of about 20 toys (balls with bells in them, mousy looking things that squeak, long thick strings - just don't buy anything badly constructed with parts that might come off and be ingested when she does catch them) and by the time I've thrown about half, she's pooped and ready to relax again. Yours is younger, so give her a half hour at least once a day. Praise her every time she catches one. Once you get better at recognizing when she wants to play and give her the right toys to attack, your hand can go back to it's proper function of stroking and petting; but always be mindful that sudden movements can trigger the pounce at any time, especially with a younger cat. Mine is almost 15 and I still have to put my foot up on something to tie my shoes safely and for some reason, my hair elastics are the enemy and will get taken off and drowned in the water bowl if left lying about. Your cat may be small, but inside, she is still a mighty huntress, and the instinct to stalk and pounce on prey will never go away. Learn to love playtime and she will love you for it.
- 1 decade ago
Yes, definitely kittens are wild things. The amount is entirely dependent on age and your cats personality. There is no telling exactly when, but usually as they get into their adult life they calm down a little. That is to say, more than a year old. It isn't mood swings.
She may just need an outlet for her energy. Make sure you play with her often and make sure she has enough to occupy herself when you are not around.
Definitely biting hands is bad- not just for you, but when you take her places like the vet. The best way is to teach her what you do and don't want her to do. If she bites your hand, say 'No!' very firm. Then replace your hand with an acceptable toy to bite on. And when she plays with the toys rather than your hands, praise her a lot!! Not only with your voice, but also the occassional treat. She will learn very quickly this way- you just have to be vigilant about it. That means absolutely no biting of hands, even if she does it soft.
She is just playing- but she shouldn't be allowed to bite. It may get worse where she bites even when she is not playing- all the way through her life. Not good.
Good luck and have fun!
- 1 decade ago
Most of the time with kittens they are like kids they have moments were they are quiet and then all the sudden you would think that someone gave them sugar. I have 4 cats of my own and raised 2 since 3 weeks of age and they were just the same. Its mainly just patients. You can try classical music that is what the shelter taught me to do when I worked there, it's supposed to calm them down. And you can start trying to get them on a schedule so they aren't keeping you up at night or tire them out with toys.
The biting. You might want to nip that in the bud, by saying no when it gets to hard. Cause otherwise you will have like me where my alpha cat gives love bites and then there are other times its Chomp!. But he was a rescue so I can't blame him.
Hope some of this helps!
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Stop playing with her in a way that makes her bite. If you are petting her and she starts nipping at you, get up and ignore her. If you continue to play with her after the first bite, she assumes it's part of the play.
If she bites at you out of the blue, squirt her in the face with a spray bottle of water. It does not hurt them, but it definitely gets their attention.
As for the mood change, maybe you didn't get the cat handbook. They are all like that! For god's sake, NEVER give that little one some catnip!
- How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
- TessaLv 51 decade ago
I got another kitten and they taught each other biting can hurt. Having another kitten used up her energy and he calmer for longer periods of time. However running throughout the house wildly will never completely go away.