Your kitten may use different ways to express themselves. Also, as they navigate their new environment, they may start to bite or scratch. Some kittens may choose to bite and scratch on furniture, items, and people. You may find yourself asking but, “Why do kittens bite?” In fact, your kitten may bite for a number of reasons. We sat down with Trupanion veterinarian, Dr. Sarah Nold to learn more about why kitten behavior and tips to help your best friend.
Why do kittens bite?
Taking the chance to play and interact with your kitten is one of the best ways to bond and get to know your furry friend.
In fact, you may find the more you interact with them, the more your new kitten may try to scratch or bite. Nold points out a reason for your kitten’s behavior.
“Biting may be a way for your kitten to get your attention. Some cats will bite out of fear or to avoid something, like a nail trim. Also, biting can be a part of hunting behaviors. Biting in young cats is rarely associated with aggression. Biting when your cat is little may be cute, but it becomes less so as they get older. For this reason, it is best to avoid playing rough with your kitten in the first place. Also, if your kitten bites to get your attention you shouldn’t reward them with giving attention. Biting should never be encouraged. However, keep in mind that some biting or scratching is a normal part of kitten play.”
Playtime for your kitten should be a chance for your pet to grow, develop, learn, and explore, Give them a chance to interact, but just be mindful if you notice anything abnormal.
Consider talking to your veterinarian about your kitten’s behavior and they can determine the next best step for your pet.
How to stop your kitten from biting
Your kitten grows and develops so quickly. As a part of that development, your kitten may start to scratch or bite during playtime. As noted earlier, you may want to help curb that behavior by not encouraging them with attention. Nold points out some additional steps to help keep your furry family member from biting.
Consider the following:
Talk to your veterinarian if your kitten is biting excessively, even if the bites aren’t breaking the skin.
Your veterinarian can help provide tips on how to try to redirect and provide safe outlets for biting.
Try to avoid hitting or pushing your kitten away when it bites, as this direct contact may only encourage more rough play.
To help avoid having your fingers or toes being the target of biting, make sure your kitten has a variety of appropriate toys to play with. For example, having a toy on the end of a string that they can chase and pounce on.
Your kitten may enjoy having something like a small plush toy that they can wrestle, bite, and kick at with their hind paws.
Tips to help your kitten play
Your kitten may be excited to play with the family. Also, every kitten may react differently whether they’re interacting or learning to play.
Consider providing some additional enrichment and interactive toys to help keep them busy. For instance, items like a cat tree, scratching post, and cat ladder and help them engage safely.
Why do kittens bite? It may depend
on your furry friend
Your kitten may be full of energy and ready to explore their new home. Also, as they begin to become familiar with their new environment, they may react differently. Just remember that providing enrichment, interaction, and a safe place to play is helpful for their overall wellness. But by watching your kitten’s behavior and talking to your veterinarian, your cat can drop their playful nipping habit in no time at all!
Did you recently bring home a new kitten? Tell us more about your experience in the comments below.
is a digital content writer and editor for Trupanion. She spends her workday writing for the Trupanion blog. She loves writing about pets, being inspired by pets, and luckily gets to hang out with her rescue dogs all day long. In her free time, she enjoys exploring and traveling with her family. Her work can be featured on the DOGTV blog, KitNipBox blog, Get Your Pet blog, Fansided website, among others.