Aggressive Behaviour and how to Improve it

As harmless as your kitten may seem, she does have natural instincts of aggression. Not to worry — she won’t be dangerous as long as you teach her to act out those instincts in an appropriate way.

Nipping can become a habit that you might be encouraging without even realizing it. When you tickle your kitten’s stomach and allow her to wrestle with your fingers. She will probably respond by nipping and scratching at your hand, just like she would any other toy. By allowing her to do this, you’re reinforcing inappropriate behaviour and teaching her that hand biting is allowed.

Never encourage your kitten to play aggressively. If she tries to nip or scratch your hand, teach her that this behaviour is not allowed. Disengage your hand by gently pushing toward her (if you try to pull away, she’ll hang on even more tightly). Give her toys instead of your hand.

If she continues to grab your hand, say “NO”, in a stern voice. She’ll soon get the idea. Don’t ever hit your kitten or squirt her with water. This can damage the bond you are establishing with her, and eventually cause her to fear you on sight.

Improving Behaviour

Kittens aren’t naughty by nature. If they misbehave, it’s largely because they’re acting on instinct. So be careful about how you react — your response to her behaviour will affect her habits for life.

Your kitten is highly sensitive to your tone of voice. Often, all it takes is an emphatic “NO!” to get her to stop misbehaving. You can also try clapping your hands to get her attention more quickly.

Sometimes misbehaviour simply means your kitten wants to play. She may be hungry for attention or bored. Be sure to give her some diversions: crumpled paper, a ping-pong ball, a box, or other safe kitten-toys should do.