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Missy biting hard when she thinks it's food

TheZu

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I have a peculiar dilemma that I need some help with! Missy is a wonderful cat, she's not one to scratch or bite even when's unhappy with you, but if you're holding a treat, or she thinks it's food she can bite until you're bleeding. We feed her raw, and she gets raw chicken wings as a treat (her favorite), so she has a lot strength in her bite. She's capable of eating bones. Today, she bit my husband because she smelt food and assumed treat while he was eating his dinner.

We are NEVER EVER going to get rid of her for that, but we need some tips on how to curb this behavior. It makes it impossible to feed her treats when she clamps down on your thumb like it's meat. She's always trying to nick food off of our plates, and I don't want to see her sick from eating something she shouldn't or one of us bleeding profusely from a bite she didn't intend for us.

One of our issues is we live in a studio suite, the only other room is the bathroom, but it has a sliding door with no lock that she can open. When we're eating, we can't put her anywhere to keep her out of the way. We feed her when we eat, but she still eats faster than us so she'll be at us in a shot. I do have a pop-up pet tent I could put her in she can't get out of while we eat, but is this the best strategy? Or is there something else I can do to keep her away while we eat? We don't exactly have a dining room table in the suite, we mostly have to eat on the couch, so it's probably confusing for her as well because she's allowed on the couch every other time but eating.
 
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I would feed her first, then put her in her tent. Then have your meal. She’ll be fine for the short time. Even if it’s not her time to eat but is yours, just try her in there.

I have to contain my two boys when I have company for a sit down meal. They have a bedroom/playroom of their own where they sleep through the night and I used to put them in there. I’ve now brought a crate into the dining area and I put them in there. They are just curious really, and want to be close all the time so will jump on the table. It’s like they can’t help themselves! This way they can watch, be apart of the action but not in our faces (their butts in our faces). The crate is sometimes even on the table haha. My guests love it. After we’ve eaten they’re free to roam. They never fuss when they’re in there.

When I’m alone (I live alone so that the usual) I don’t usually eat at the table so they can climb around on me, I don’t mind so much and will stand up if I have to lol.

I use the crate when I’m doing a lot of cooking too, for their safety and mine. They can watch from there, that’s really all they want to do. It depends though, what kind of mood they’re in. Sometimes they’re not jumping up.

One of my boys is a biter too. He doesn’t snatch food but will nip (more than nips) at my hands a lot, or really anywhere on me, when he wants attention or to be feed.
 
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TheZu

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I would feed her first, then put her in her tent. Then have your meal. She’ll be fine for the short time.

I have to contain my two boys when I have company for a sit down meal. They have a bedroom/playroom of their own where they sleep through the night and I used to put them in there. I’ve now brought a crate into the dining area and I put them in there. They are just curious really, and want to be close all the time so will jump on the table. It’s like they can’t help themselves! This way they can watch, be apart of the action but not in our faces (their butts in our faces). The crate is sometimes even on the table haha. My guests love it. After we’ve eaten they’re free to roam.

When I’m alone (I love alone so that the usual) I don’t usually eat at the table so they can climb around on me, I don’t mind so much and will stand up if I have to lol.

I use the crate when I’m doing a lot of cooking too, for their safety and mine. They can watch from there, that’s really all they want to do. It depends though, what kind of mood they’re in. Sometimes they’re not jumping up.

One of my boys is a biter too. He doesn’t snatch food but will nip (more than nips) at my hands a lot, or really anywhere on me, when he wants attention or to be feed.
That might be the best solution then. The thing is, Missy isn't a biter, doesn't even nip for attention, or when she's playing. We trained her out of biting or nipping during play. But if she thinks its food, she bites hard. Giving her a treat from the hand, she's so eager that she will take your finger tips and all into the mouth. Is there a way to train her to be gentle when grabbing food? She's a mooch, she'll eat anything, and I mean anything, and grab it off the plate and take off.
 
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I’d give the tent a try :). I know my boys are fine in theirs. I get the impression they like it actually. It calms them enough that they’ll observe what’s going on instead of being compelled to get over stimulated at an inappropriate time. They get plenty of stimulation and exercise otherwise.

I’m not sure how to stop her biting your fingers when giving a treat. When I give a treat I put it in front of them, not from my hand. Obviously it starts in my hand but they wait until it’s set in front of them. All these guys are so different, easily trained in some areas but not others. My boys know “no” and “danger’ lol. If I catch them just before the act they’ll stop in their tracks and mumble something about me being mean. heheh
 
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Yoda mom

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Great advice given
Keep us updated

please please make sure your husband cleans the would well and checks with doctor if necessary

I had a Bengal years ago that was ferocious with food from hand and thieving -
I no longer fed him treats by hand after a few accidental nips
I had to put treats down on the floor or dish to save my fingers .
When i think about it , I still do it with my sphnyx out of habit
 

Sheldon13

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I used to have pet rats. They can’t see well, so it is common for a young rat to miss a treat and bite a finger. What works in most of these cases is making sounds of objection or pain in rat language. So, I would “eeep” really loudly and in a high pitch if one of them got me. It usually only took a couple instances of this and the rat would be much more careful when taking treats. It was interesting because most of them would feel really guilty if a pain noise was made and would come back over to lick and check on me. Smart creatures.

So are cats...I wonder if you made a kind of cat-like yelp when it happened if she would get the point? Just a thought.


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Yoda mom

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@TheZu
Hi checking in on Missy :)
Is your husband healed up ?

Just a thought...
Will she eat a treat nicely if offered from the palm of your hand instead of between fingers
 

TheZu

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So last night I out her in the pet tent to cook and eat and she hated it, but it was safer for her, instead of climbing all around the oven and heaven forbid IN the oven. (She did escspe the pet tent once but we clipped the zippers so she couldn't I think I'm going to see about getting her a puzzle treat to play with while she's in there to occupy her.


It's funny that noises was mentioned, this is something we just started. I haven't tried yelping for the nips, but else where I was told to try hissing when they go for thr food because that's how their Mom's would teach them.
 
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