so how do you stop your cat from biting? First, identify why your cat may be biting in the first place. cats bite because they are scared, stressed or frustrated. they do not act out of spite or anger. there is always a good reason (in your mind) behind the behavior.
It’s also important to note that cats without claws are more likely to bite than cats with claws, since their main defense mechanism has been taken away.
common reasons why a cat bites
- overstimulation (petting aggression)
- play aggression/frustration
- fear, pain and stress
- twitching of the tail or skin
- flattened ears
- dilated pupils
- head or eyes turned to look at your hand
- rigid body
- whiskers forward
- Avoid using your hands to play with your cat. It may be adorable to scratch your kitty’s tummy while kicking and biting, but when he grows up into an adult cat, that same behavior isn’t cute anymore. If your cat insists on biting your hands, keep a small stuffed toy handy to encourage her to bite.
- If you are bitten, stay still and do not react as best you can. put your hands behind your back and stand up. completely ignore the cat’s misbehavior and redirect its attention to a suitable play outlet, such as a feather wand. repeat as needed.
- some cats will respond to a sharp “ouch!” this sound mimics what a kitty brother would make during rough play.
- teach children how to properly interact with their cat. If you are handling the cat roughly, chasing it until it feels cornered, or just running around and screaming like children do, your cat may feel pressured to bite. Allow your cat a safe place in your home where he will not be disturbed, and make sure children and other visitors understand this.
- If your cat gets really nervous when it’s time to go to the vet, you can teach her not to hate the carrier by leaving it out in the open (not hiding in a closet until it’s time to go!) and stuffing it with soft blankets and delicious treats. soon your kitty will learn that the carrier is a good thing and won’t mind getting in!
- If your cat suddenly bites you when she hasn’t before, it’s most likely pain related. cats are experts at hiding pain, so he may not show you any other signs that he’s in pain. any sudden changes in behavior, including biting, should be addressed by a veterinarian immediately.
- get to know your cat and be able to recognize its needs. Cats are stressed when they constantly hide, groom themselves too much, don’t use the litter box, hiss or growl, or even try to bite. If your cat is constantly stressed to the point of biting, you should talk to a certified feline behavior consultant or your veterinarian for help.
To stay safe, it’s important to recognize the subtle signs that a cat may be restless. many cat owners don’t realize that their cat has already given them several warnings before a bite occurs. When petting and interacting with your cat, watch out for:
These are all signs that your cat is getting overstimulated by too much petting or attention and needs a break. For many cats, the simple act of petting and petting can be so stimulating that it can be difficult for them to calm down and behave properly. most cats will give several warnings before escalating to biting. You can lessen the chance your cat will bite you while petting by paying attention to her cues and letting her decide when he’s had enough.
Play aggression is most often seen in kittens or young adults who are the only pet in the home. It usually occurs when the cat has been separated from its siblings at too young an age. It is characterized by your cat ambushing your ankles as you walk around the corner or biting your hands and feet seemingly out of nowhere.
When a kitten has a sibling or friend to play with, they can teach each other how to play properly. When you see two kittens fighting and squealing, they’re learning from each other how many teeth and claws are acceptable during playtime. if a kitten is not given that outlet, it has to learn to inhibit human bites. Here’s how to manage your young cat’s play bites:
fear, pain and stress
Have you ever noticed your cat acting differently at the vet? Your cat, who is a perfect angel at home, becomes a terror when you try to put him in his carrier to go for that dreaded car ride. It’s not like he’s doing it on purpose, it’s much more likely that he’s afraid.
If you put your cat in a new or scary situation, she’s much more likely to bite. If you know a vet visit is coming up or a major life change is coming up, like a move to a new home or a new baby in the house, you can first take a few simple steps to prepare your cat for it. as stress free as possible.
Lastly, cats may bite as a communication tool or a means of getting attention. This type of bite is usually the least severe – think “love bites” when you’ve stopped petting your cat when she wants more. if your cat bites you and you keep petting it, that bite worked! he got what he wanted.
If your cat’s biting is more of an annoying behavior to communicate that it wants something, it’s easy to fix. just ignore your cat. get up and walk away. When the cat is sitting calmly and not biting, give the cat what it wants as a reward.
don’t punish your cat!
Above all, any form of punishment for biting is not recommended. always respond calmly and do not escalate the situation further. research shows that punishment, including yelling, squirting, rubbing, and physical hitting your cat, is not effective and the cat does not learn from it.
The cat is unable to make the connection that the punishment is the consequence of biting it. he should ignore any unwanted behavior and praise good behavior. any kind of negative reaction will only further damage your relationship with your cat.