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Unfortunately, declawed cats often behave aggressively. It's possible that they feel defenseless and resort to biting as a means of communication. According to veterinarian David Hammett, "A declawed cat frequently
resorts to biting when confronted with even minor threats. Biting
becomes an overcompensation for the insecurity of having no claws."
You may or may not be able to train your cat to bite less. First, she must feel as comfortable as possible - she's biting because she feels threatened. Second, you introduce something that makes her uncomfortable ONLY when she misbehaves. At the exact moment that she tries to bite, use a spray bottle to mist her (do not spray directly in her eyes). Alternatively, you can shake a can with a few coins in it or make another startling noise. Third, if she is biting when she interacts with you, and it is pleasurable for her (such as petting or playing), stop interacting with her immediately. These tactics will require a lot of patience and may never completely stop the biting behavior.
For future cats, please consider alternatives to declawing. There are many scratching posts available and it is easier to train a cat to use one than to teach a cat not to bite. You can also cut the claws or apply "Soft Paws" or another claw covering as needed to protect your furnishings.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|