Home » Library » Enjoy » Gem Posts

Ferocious Feline: Biting and Scratching

Filed in - Gem Posts

From Deborah Lutz:

My cat, Esme, is around two years old. I adopted her at 5 months from Bide-a-Wee Shelter here in NYC. She is a Snowshoe Siamese, so I am told, and has a wide range of 'personality attributes'. She is smart, feisty, vocal, affectionate, and energetic!!! and I enjoy her immensely...for the most part. Unfortunately she does bite and nip at me, particularly at my face. She has awakened me often this way. What concerns me most is that she goes for my face without warning even when I am holding her and she appears to be comfortable in my arms. She also takes swipes at me, aiming towards my face if she is angry. She has broken the skin with her teeth and claws but thus far superficially.

Is if this is normal behavior for a Siamese mix, can she be trained out of it? (Or can I be trained!)


Dear Deborah:


Young and feisty cats can use teeth and claws on people, which other cats wouldn't object to but which furless people object to very much. I would put her down immediately if she did this and if she woke me in this way I would get up and shut her out of the bedroom (even if she yowled) for at least ten minutes or so, to make my displeasure clear. Meanwhile I would get a clicker kit and find out how to teach her targeting and some other games which will use up her energy and give her something else to think about, and some healthier ways of interacting with you.

There are very specific instructions, step by step, for using the clicker to teach cooperation with nail clipping, in the cat book, and I'd recommend you put that to use as well. She'll probably be a wonderful cat when you and she have more clicker experiences together.

Karen Pryor

Laurie Luck's picture

biting kitten

The answer above from Karen Pryor is exactly the same advice that will work for you and your kitten. I hope that information helps. Please let me know if you need any other information.

Laurie Luck
For Clickertraining.com
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
See my profile and contact information at

biting kitten

I have a 10 week old kitten who is adorable.  He loves to play and he uses his paws/claws and teeth.  I understand that is normal and I can clip his claws.  But he also uses his mouth and his teeth are like razors.  How do I stop him from biting?


Post new comment

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <embed> <object> <div>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Glossary terms will be automatically marked with links to their descriptions. If there are certain phrases or sections of text that should be excluded from glossary marking and linking, use the special markup, [no-glossary] ... [/no-glossary]. Additionally, these HTML elements will not be scanned: a, abbr, acronym, code, pre.
  • Each email address will be obfuscated in a human readable fashion or (if JavaScript is enabled) replaced with a spamproof clickable link.

More information about formatting options

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.

<!-- Facebook Pixel Code -->
  s.parentNode.insertBefore(t,s)}(window, document,'script',
  fbq('init', '188981236281006');
  fbq('track', 'PageView');
<noscript><img height="1" width="1" style="display:none"
<!-- End Facebook Pixel Code -->