How to Tame an Aggressive Kitten

Aggressive play is natural behavior for kittens, but you can curb it.

Aggressive play is natural behavior for kittens, but you can curb it.

You think he is an adorable little striped ball of fluff. He thinks he is a ferocious tiger, ruler of all he surveys. When you brought your kitten home, you thought he would be a good cuddle-buddy, not an aggressive terror. Tame your tiny tiger with persistence and patience.

Yell loudly when your kitten latches himself to your hand. You can say "no" or just make a loud sound, but the sudden noise at an increased volume will startle him out of his attack and his aggressive mindset.

Divert an attacking kitten's attention with a toy. When he pounces on you, ready for battle, distract him with a stuffed toy. Move the toy about, touching him with it and pulling it away to lure him off of you and onto the toy.

Ignore the kitty when he exhibits signs of aggressive play. When you ignore his challenges and efforts to draw you into a bloody battle, he'll soon become bored and either calm down or seek his thrills elsewhere.

Encourage your kitten in cuddling and acceptable play activities with positive reinforcement. If he gets sufficient attention and loving interaction when he is behaving well, his violent behavior will subside.

Tips

  • Be patient and consistent when training your kitten. He is acting in a manner that is natural to all kittens, even if it appears to be more hostile than normal. Patiently reacting consistently to his bouts of aggression will reinforce that it is not acceptable behavior.
  • Be aware of the signs that your kitten is getting ready to mount an attack. If you know your kitty's behavior well enough to recognize when his mood is turning aggressive (like when he is crouching or has his ears pressed back), you can be prepared to respond with your chosen method of training.
  • If it's an option, getting another kitten to play with the one you have will give them both a playmate other than you to focus on. Playing together will allow them each to be aggressive, but it will also give them the chance to teach each other what the acceptable boundaries are.
 

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