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 Post subject: Overly Violent Playing
PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2015 9:33 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Sun May 03, 2015 9:22 pm
Posts: 1
I have a gorgeous new boy who is 9 weeks old and has settled in incredibly well. He's completely confident around me and my partner and will happily explore the house - He's even good with guests and after half an hour or so of getting used to them he'll be making himself the centre of attention and getting cuddles from everyone! However, the issue I'm having is when it comes to play time. I know he's still very young and that playing rough is a part of their development, but I am getting covered in pretty bad cuts, and I was hoping for some advice.

He has plenty of toys which he loves to play with and a cat tree with several scratching posts on it, but he still regularly hunts me. He does this as well when I'm sitting completely still so I'm not encouraging him or giving mixed signals, and he'll pounce and latch on to anything he can. He can also be extremely loving and cuddly with me so I know it's playing rather than aggression, but can any body recommend any hints or tips to reduce the biting and clawing? I look like I have been completely savaged all down my back, arms, hands and legs and the cuts are only getting deeper as he gets older.

Thanks in advance :-)


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 4:17 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8005
Welcome to the forum! Congratulations on your little one. Bengal kittens should not leave their mothers until they are at least 12 weeks old, as a lot of training goes on by the mom in the last weeks. But, you have him and now you are dealing with a rambunctious kitten -- which all are. Bengal kittens have endless energy. In order to spare your hands and feet, you need to be the one engaging him in play with the toys. Don't rely on him to occupy himself with toys. He may do that, but you need a supply of wand toys and while you're sitting on the couch watching TV, you need to have the little man running around chasing away. You can purchase interactive toys which you both can enjoy. Understand, too, that your bengal will be a perpetual two-year-old toddler who will get into everything. The desire to play will NEVER go away, so you're going to be spending a considerable amount of time playing with him.

Teaching a cat to understand the word "no" is pretty easy! I honestly don't know of a single person who has not gotten scratches and bites from a new kitten. Simply bringing the toys in and redirecting his attention will help.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 6:02 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4109
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
You're going to (continue) to get covered in cuts for the next 6 months. Buy disinfectant, buy bandages, think up creative explanations to amuse your friends, do what you have to do. You'll look back on the kitten period fondly, but that is the biggest downside of it.

Him having toys lying on the floor doesn't really help (much). The thing to realize is that he has a really huge need to practice all the various hunting behaviors that he has to perfect before he reaches adulthood, and he's going to practice those things no matter what. And he should because that's going to make him happy and healthy as well. And he needs to hunt moving targets, things that evade, things that hide, things that attempt to outrun him or seek refuge in trees or whatnot. So trying to scold him out of that stuff isn't productive because it ultimately doesn't help him satisfy those needs. So you have a choice: you can either direct those activities yourself, channeling that hunting into interactive toys like dabird or neko flies, or fetch games and the like that meet those needs, or he will make up his own games, attacking moving hands and feet and such, pretending that they are prey because that's the closest thing to prey that he can probably find in the house. If you do direct his play into "acceptable" hunting games, pretty soon he'll realize how much he likes those games relative to the other ones that make you unhappy with him. It also has the very positive side-effect of strengthening your bond with him.

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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 4:22 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 2:34 am
Posts: 344
When he attacks you, take your hand away and stop playing immediately. He will quickly learn that biting and scratching equates to his playmate leaving. This is very important to instill in kitten hood.


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