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Cat Tips

With a child's toothbrush, a finger brush or a special cat toothbrush, brush your feline's teeth with cat toothpaste on a regular basis. Start slowly and very gently, offering tasty treats to discourage squirming, before attempting to increase brushing times.

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Expert Q&A

I brought home a 3-month-old male kitten and he constantly licks, sucks and bites my 2-year-old male cat under his neck very aggressively. He also does this with the other kittens in his litter. Why does he behave this way?

I brought home a 3-month-old male kitten and he constantly licks, sucks and bites my 2-year-old male cat under his neck very aggressively. He also does this with the other kittens in his litter. Why does he behave this way?

BY: -

Your male kitten does sound like he’s top cat in your house, or at least he thinks he is. The behaviors that you describe -- licking, sucking and biting -- are normal, so long as they don’t hurt the other cats or get directed toward you.

Pam Johnson Bennett, author of Cat vs. Cat: Keeping Peace When You Have More Than One Cat writes that such “social play during kittenhood is important because it teaches cats how much pressure to use when biting so as not to inflict pain. The reaction of the kitten he bites becomes a valuable lesson.” Johnson Bennett adds that kittens raised without littermates may miss this lesson, and therefore act more aggressively than they should.

When it’s time to neuter this kitten, some of his aggression should diminish. You should also play with him as much as possible, to help work off his extra energy. Kittens and cats with too much boring time on their paws are more likely to act out. Clicker training, a gentle water bottle spritz or even just a loud “No!” might also help to get him to stop bothering your other cats.

@iStockphoto.com/ChrisAt


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