You are here:

Cats/6 y/o long hair orange tabby bitting & scratching


My 6 year old cat bites and scratches and I have no idea how to stop it.  Iíve tried the water bottle, making a loud noise after he does it, tapped his nose, etc. nothing is effective at all.  I was able to put up with it until 2 days ago he bit my bottom lip and letís just say 3 hours in the er and 4 stitches does not make for a happy person.

He is typically, when he wants to be like all cats, a very loving; he cuddles, likes to be held, he is very vocal, plays, sleeps next to me, even lets me bathe him.  The thing is, everything will be fine, Iíll be petting him and he will be purring and then if my hand makes an Ďunexpectedí movement or I go to pet elsewhere he will grab my arm with his paws and latches on with his teeth (I feel like he acts like a lion trying to kill its prey).  The entire time he does this he will continue purring and purr after.  Heíll then just sit next to me still like nothing happened and continue to sleep next to me.  I just need to know what to do to try and stop this behavior because honestly I have enough scars for a lifetime.  He is an indoor cat, however, recently I have allowed him to go in the fenced backyard/deck because he literally sits by the door and cries day in and day out to go out.  We also have a 5 year old boxer and they get along well, however, I feel like the cat never bit until the dog was around but maybe Iím just trying to associate the dog with the biting.  Any suggestions would be wonderful; I really appreciate your time.  

((I included the picture just to make you laugh))

let me start by saying that this behavior is associated with a cat who was not taught as a kitten that biting hands and feet etc is not on. It normally occurs when as a kitten someone plays with them using their hands etc and so to the cat this is just a game.that is why he is purring when he does it, he is not being aggressive, he is playing. He just hasn't learnt that biting hand is not on.

Unfortunately a learned behavior in a cat this age can be very dificult to break. It will take lots of time, patience and persistence on your part and as I say will take some time.

The way to train a cat not to do something is to speak there language and that language is postive and negative responses. So when he starts to bite, pick him up firmly and place him on the floor and walk away from him. Do not loook at him or say anything. This is a negative response. When he lets you pat him without biting you give him lots of encouraging sounds and may even want to enforce this with a treat. this is a positive response. Do this every time and over and over again.

I have a web page which explains the process in more detail here


Love the picture by the way, he reminds me of my partners cat who also bites but again this is because his owners plays with him with their hands and then they wonder why he bites them when they pat him. I'm not saying you did this but he just simply has never learnt not to bite.

I really hope you can make some progress, I know how distressing this can be.

best wishes KAte


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Kate Tilmouth


I can answer most day to day cat problems encountered by owners. I have a good understanding of cat behaviour and problems which may arise from changes to their daily routine. I can advise on cat training including litter training and general day to day cat care issues. I am not a vet and therefore cannot answer medical questions.


I run my own cat website at and have been a dedicated cat owner for over 20 years. I have encountered many different cat problems and situations and feel that i have a good understanding of cats and cat ownership.

I am a platinum member of Ezinearticles where i write mainly cat related articles.

Educated to High School level and have since worked for many years in a customer support based environment, gaining vocational qualifications.

©2017 All rights reserved.