Thursday, November 11, 2010

HE'S FEELING HIS CHEERIOS

HERE...I'LL CROP THAT PHOTO FOR YA. HEY, IT'S ME!
SEE? MOUSIE DOESN'T MIND IF I BITE HIM.
ENOUGH PICTURES ALREADY. I'M OUTTA HERE. COME ON MOUSIE

Never try to have breakfast with a kitten on your lap, or your computer desk. I poured myself a bowl of Cheerios in an attempt to start off the morning on a good note. I'm not much of a breakfast eater, but I know it's the best way to start the day.
I came back in here to check email while I ate my cereal. I thought Tucker was playing with his stuffed mouse but he took one look at my bowl and was here on my lap in a flash. As far as I know, he'd never been exposed to cereal of any kind, but decided he'd give it a try today. He snatched a couple Cheerios right out of my cereal bowl and began munching on them. I don't think they'll hurt him, but I've never been in the habit of allowing any of my animals to eat from my cereal bowls. Actually, it was kind of cute, but don't let him know I said that. I didn't allow him to have any milk or Splenda, which I use on my cereal, but he did love the dry Cheerios. He wanted more so I gave him a few more and then he was done. He finally jumped down to see what else he could get into that he wasn't supposed to bother.
Tucker and I are going round and round about his biting. He's only doing what comes naturally to kittens but he can bite hard and has drawn blood. I've raised many kittens and most of them responded to a firm, "no bite!" - but not Tucker. Sometimes as I hold him, he innocently looks up at me with those sweet little green eyes....and then chomps down on my hand. I'm convinced he's beginning to think his name is Tucker No Bite.
I want to break him of this biting habit before he's adopted, though I don't think a kitten can be completely prevented from biting. It's in his nature to do so - part of the prey instinct. If Tucker simply learns to bite his toys instead of hands, fingers, legs, or feet, maybe I will have helped him become a more lovable pet. At this stage, it would not be good for him to go to a home with babies or toddlers. He's bound to play bite and boy will he be in trouble. I want to avoid any future problems.
Right now, when he tries to bite, I tell him, "no bite", then immediately stop holding him or playing, and offer him one of his toys. I was holding him a second ago and he began to bite, so I told him, "no bite", then gently placed him on the floor along with a toy. I hope he's getting the message that it's ok to bite toys but not hands - and all play stops if he continues to bite anything other than his toys. That's what I can do for now. I don't believe in smacking animals, flipping their noses, or blowing in their faces. Doing those things can cause them to be more aggresive and/or fearful of human touch. Tucker will get the idea, but helping him learn will take a lot of patience on my part - and his.

7 comments:

Sandi said...

ok, biting...my sophie is a notorious biter...
give him a soft flick with your finger on his mouth and say *no bite*...
see if that works :)

Laura said...

So Tucker love cereal?! it's so cute, give him a big kiss!
Laura
wonderful pictures!

Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

oh he is just too cute for words..I say keep him...I love him..and love these posts.;)

QUILTING IS BLISSFUL, DI said...

You are the right one to teach him to not bite--he will get the message--they do when it is given with love--ahh--hopefully!!!!
I miss Gracie--but it was the perfect time for her to go get herself "fixed"--see update on tonights post!!!
Hugs, Di

Susan said...

Oh, good luck, Kady. It's sometimes just the way they are. We have four cats with very different distinct personalities, and one of them is a biter. When he was younger, he would draw blood. He actually also was a clawer when he would play and cut me up a few times. I don't believe in smacking, or blowing, or flicking their ears, but what finally got to him was my yelling out in pain. One day he got me so badly that I actually started to cry and it upset him very badly. Ever since then he's bitten, but never, ever broken skin again. He's very persnickety and can be terribly temperamental, but now he's also very careful. He doesn't like it when Mama lets out a fairly loud screech and starts crying over her wounds.

Our other cat gives us love bites. He has never been rough or mean or played tough with us. He's always been a very careful biter. He nibbles noses and knuckles very carefully and then pushes you to pet him. He's adorable. That's our little Pumpkin. The one who's helping me in the giveaway at CluckleBees.
;-) Oh, which by the way, the last day for entry is November 30th. I'm so sorry I forgot to put that in there. I added it this morning, though.

I hope you have a lovely day and I hope Tucker's biting eases off soon. He's so adorable and if I didn't already have four kitties, I would so definitely take him home, biting and all. :-)

Hugs,
Susan @ CluckleBees

Susan said...

Hi again, Kady, I was just cruisin' through your blog and looking at the photos of Tucker. I think I'm in love. He's so unbelievably adorable. He's got the greatest face and I love how his white fur just shoots out from his body. He's soooooo cute. Oh... I really, really wish I could have him. :-( Oh well.

Susan

Cat Haven Crafts said...

Hi Kady,
I have a few suggestions for biting ... #1 - when he bites, say no and keep your finger in his mouth until it gets uncomfortable for him .. no hitting or flicking necessary. My cats have learned not to bite this way. #2 - what I call twirling the kitty. When Tuckker bites, say no, set him on the ground and gently spin him. This hint is from a cat trainer and they say it works? #3 - when he bites, say no and put him down and then walk away and ignore him. This way he learns that biting does not get a postive response. Love seeing TUcker everyday! Hope you a well, too!