When trying to solve any problem, especially with cats, it is important to be realistic and patient. Don't push your cat beyond his limits then get frustrated because he isn't living up to your expectations. Give him some considerations and don't expect him to necessarily change to suit you. Your cat is biting for a reason...
If your cat often becomes over-stimulated with 5 minutes of petting and stroking, then stop at 3 minutes. If a cat is frightened or feels threatened, it will naturally try to defend itself. Don't push him over the edge and then wonder why he starts biting you! In this type of situation, cats usually give other warning signs that they are going to bite. Watch your cat and notice his body language when he gets over stimulated or irritated. Usually the ears will flatten, he will turn and stare at you, or his tail will start to flick. There is a fine line between pleasurable petting and irritating handling. When your cat has had enough, the only way it knows how to say, "stop it," is with its claws or teeth. If you touch your cat in a sensitive area, he may bite or scratch as a way of telling you to "quit it."
If your cat has lived all his life in a quiet, private home and you suddenly bring in a bus load of noisy, rambunctious children, don't expect your cat to not bite or claw at them.
Training a cat to stop play biting is relatively easy with both adult cats and kittens. However, training a cat not to bite in fear and anger is best and most easily accomplished in kittenhood. If you have an older cat who has been biting for many years, it is going to take much more time and energy to cure it. But this doesn't mean you shouldn't start. Many older cats can be taught to accept situations without reacting aggressively. It just takes longer and requires more of your patience.
Play sessions provide the best opportunity to teach your cat not to bite, claw or play-attack you. Cats will bite and claw when they are playing and acting out their hunting instincts. Playtime is the best time to teach your cat that he must be careful and gentle. The cat is only allowed to play using his paws, not his claws. He should be taught never to bite you.
Start by enticing kitty into a gentle game of play fighting. Continuously praise the cat all the time he remains gentle. Gradually increase the excitement and intensity of the game, keeping your eyes glued to kitty. As soon as you see that the cat is getting too excited or he begins to expose his claws or teeth, tone down the play session or immediately freeze and "play dead." This usually causes a cat to calm down and retract its claws. If kitty complies, then resume playing. If not, the play must not resume until your cat calms down and retracts his claws. If your cat bites hard or scratches you, sharply scream "OUCH," immediately stop playing, walk away and ignore him.
Cats, especially kittens, love to play. Abruptly ending a play session is an extremely powerful message. With a few repetitions, your cat will soon learn that it is his own rough and overly aggressive behavior that causes the abrupt end of an enjoyable play session.
While your cat is learning not to bite and claw you, it is equally as important that you provide kitty with something he can pounce on, attack, grab with his claws and sink his teeth into.
Cats are predators. Even though you provide your cat with all his meals, his instinct to hunt still exists. It is normal for cats to continually practice and fine-tune their hunting skills. Therefore, it is essential that you provide an outlet for this behavior or your cat will practice on you. If you simply toss a few toys on the floor, your cat may give them a few swats then quickly lose interest. It is up to you to make the toys fun. Play should be an interactive game between you and your cat. Tie a toy to the end of a length of string. Drag it around your house with kitty in pouncing pursuit. Pet stores are full of both inexpensive and exotic toys for your cat. Get something that will stimulate your cat's interest and participation.
Two 15 minute play sessions a day will work wonders in venting your cats excess energy as well as fulfilling his predatory instincts. If however, your cat still sneak-attacks you, get some plant sprayers, fill them with water and place around the house. A few repetitions of an attack-squirt sequence should convince him to attack his toys instead of you!