Tips To Prevent Cat Bites
They are also equally expressive and would often love to cuddle with their favourite human, purring and content, often biting as a gesture of affection. And while it feels special being doted on by your royal feline, you might have a puzzling time wondering why do cats bite. But there is no need to raise the alarm just yet, for it is natural for cats to lovingly bite their favourite human. Painful as it might be, here is all you need to know why cats bite you and tips on what to do if a cat bites you affectionately.
Reasons why Cats bite?
Most cat parents are left confused when their feline bites them wondering how to stop cat from biting. However, usually, your kitty doesn't have any aggressive or malicious intentions. Rather, here are some possible reasons for your furry munchkin biting you:
Wondering why do cats bite hands? Overstimulation is possibly the biggest reason that might cause your kitty to feel the urge to cat bite you, however innocently. Though cats are extremely loving and affectionate, most cats are particular with their boundaries especially when it comes to being touched, and may show signs of discomfort when they are nearing their limits.
Overstimulation, in this regard, is any response to being pet or touched that makes cats feel uneasy. Rough petting, and touching in vulnerable areas can also cause your kitty to feel overstimulated, resulting in a soft bite as a possible warning. Cats are rarely aggressive to their owners and are likely to gently bite as a caution. Rough play such as chase games can also quickly escalate to overstimulation, causing your kitty to grow aggressive. Watch out for signs like flattened ears, stiff body, whiskers forward, dilated pupils and movements of cats tail.
Cats, especially young kittens that have been adopted by families at a young age, often show signs of ‘single kitten syndrome' - a condition that often shapes the personality of the cat they grow up to be. Kittens having been by themselves often tend to be exceptionally vocal and cling to their human parents. Another prominent sign of single kitten syndrome is occasionally biting their human parents.
Kittens growing up together often engage in aggressive rough play, especially when teething, which involves playfully biting other kittens. Playful it may be, but it can also be painful. Kittens that are brought up by themselves do not often understand that playful biting can be uncomfortable since they never experience it themselves. Cats like to bite their human parents playfully bite without meaning to, especially when rough playing, due to their single kitten syndrome.
Pain, fear and stress
Aggression is not always a trait found in housecats. Rather, they are usually very relaxed and reserved in their personal space. However, pain, fear, and stress can cause housecats to act out, often resulting in violent behaviour and aggression, which includes biting. As cats are extremely particular and reserved about their personal space, any slight change in their immediate environment, such as shifting to a new neighbourhood can stress them out. In addition, being afraid or in pain can cause cats to be apprehensive, sending them to their survival mode, where they can show signs of aggression such as biting and clawing, hissing loudly, and more. If you are wondering what to do if a cat bites you, when your adorable furball is acting out, being more attentive to the reasons that are annoying them will help reduce stress in cats and will earn you brownie points as a responsible cat parent.
Although cats can be introverted and reserved, these adorable furballs are immensely vocal and expressive with their loved ones, which includes the use of gestures such as tail movements, making biscuits, and headbutting their loved ones. Although it is a lesser-known fact, biting is also a part of the cat language, which can have multiple meanings. Most housecats are rarely aggressive, but biting their owners can be a potential way of communicating. Cats that are stressed or afraid can bite their human parents.
For these furry felines, biting is also a viable form of grabbing your attention that allows them to communicate any physical discomfort or stress they seek your help with. So, if your little furry friend is biting you, it might be helpful to pay them the attention they so desperately need, and can help you understand them better and cater to the needs they cannot themselves.
While cats are naturally predatory, they usually get a bad rep from being called the ‘perfect killing machine’, however true it might be. These adorable little munchkins are extremely good at hunting down prey in the wild, and although domestic cats rarely feel the need to hunt for themselves, they are known to bring their prey home to their human parents as ‘gifts’. Due to their distinctive hunting skills, it is not a surprise that cats like to bite their parents playfully, as if hunting them. Furthermore, since cats enjoy rough play among themselves, biting and clawing playfully without having any malicious intention can be considered natural.
In the wild, cats are known to be extremely territorial, which often ends with fights with other cats. Although domestic cats are extremely gentle and loving by their nature, the territorial instinct can manifest as the need to have a personal space in the household. Encroaching upon their personal space can cause housecats to grow aggressive to assert dominance, resulting in bites. In addition, cats also bite as a response to a potential threat, which can include any unwanted presence in their personal space, whether an animal or a human. Although it is still painful, most cats do not bite down hard as a sign of dominance, rather they choose to apply pressure on your skin as a warning or to make a point.
How to stop cats from biting?
While biting is a normal cat language and you cannot entirely prevent it. You can ensure your kitty doesn’t bite you aggressively by doing the following:
Maintain consistent responses
Kitten biting is not always about aggression or asserting dominance. Rather, most domestic cats tend to affectionately cat bite their favourite humans during rough play and as a way of drawing their attention. So, if your little kitty is biting you often, it might be an indication that they are trying to communicate with you and let you know how they are feeling. Being consistent with your responses can encourage your cat to avoid cat bites as a form of communication.
Avoid playing with cats using bare hands
Often cat parents are known to use their bare hands when playing fetch with their cats. While it is tempting to see your feline friend chase your hand around, playing with your cat using bare hands can cause your cat to identify your hand as a potential cat toy that they can ‘hunt’, encouraging them to cat bite or claw even when you are not playing. To avoid the cat bites the hand, it is important to use a dedicated cat toy and avoid playing using bare hands.
Provide suitable toys for cats to bite
Playing chase with your furry using your bare hands might sound impressive, but it might also establish the impression in your feline friend that your hand is a cat toy that can be ‘hunted’. So, instead of using your bare hands to avoid the cat bites the hand, it is important to provide suitable cat toys they can bite. Cat chew toys are readily available in pet stores and come in attractive shapes. You can also find catnip chew toys that your fur baby will enjoy biting.
Try replacement behaviour
Replacement behaviour for cat bites is one of the most successful ways to get your pet to stop biting you. Replacement training involves using positive reinforcement to correct the behaviour. If your fur baby is trying to bite you, offering them a treat or a chew toy to play with counts as replacement behaviour that encourages them to stop kitten biting. You can also use clickers as a part of replacement behaviour training to get them to avoid kitten biting you.
Once your cat bites your hand, the instinctive response is to pull the hand away. However, suddenly jerking your hand away creates the impression of prey trying to escape, causing your kitty to bite down harder, resulting in injuries. So, instead of pulling your hand away from the Cat biting hand, it is better to try and push the part of the body or the clothing they are latching on into their mouth. This might surprise them into releasing their grip, allowing you to pull your hand away.
Offer them delicious foods/treats
How to stop cat from biting? When it comes to stopping your cat from biting your hand, offering delicious cat treats can go a long way instead of scolding them, which might cause your adorable furball to resent you. Sheba premium cat food comes in various amazing flavours that will encourage your feline buddy to correct their behaviour and learn to be more affectionate without kitten biting you.
How to treat a cat bite wound
In addition to knowing why do cats bite playfully, most cat parents are often faced with the question - what to do if a cat bites you? Although cat bites are painful, there’s no need to worry, as they can be treated easily to prevent any kind of lingering damage.
However, getting bitten by a feral cat can cause infection. So, it is important to get medical help immediately if you are bitten by a cat. If a feral cat bites you, it is important to check in with your physician whether you need a tetanus immunisation shot. Though chances of infection are significantly less if you’ve been bitten by a domestic cat, treating the wound with antibacterial medication can be of immense help when it comes to what to do if a cat bites you.
Never punish your cat!
Cat bites can be painful and annoying, but when it comes to the question of how to stop cat from biting, it is important to avoid punishments like yelling and physically hurting your kitty, or using squirt bottles. After all your little munchkin never really meant any harm or malice, so it is only fair to treat them with the dignity and the affection they deserve. Punishing your cat or being harsh with them for biting can cause them to resent you. Furthermore, cats do not often understand the reason behind the punishment and is therefore not an effective way of stopping cat bites. Instead, treating them consistently and calmly can yield better results, given cats are loving and understanding. So, if you are wondering how to stop cat from biting, responding calmly is also beneficial in preventing the situation to escalate or cause your loving friend to grow violent.
Why is my cat biting me?
Cats are exceptionally communicative and express love in their unique feline ways. So, why cats bite you? When it comes to communication, affectionate bites without being aggressive are parts of a feline’s love language, however painful it might be.
Why do cats love to bite?
Not all cats bite as a sign of aggression. So, if you are led to think why do cats like to bite, remind yourself that they are probably trying to show their adoration and affection for you than intending malice or harm.
How do you get your cat to stop biting you?
Replacement behaviour training is one of the best ways if you are wondering why your cat likes to bite hands. Using a cat chew toy or treats like Shaba’s premium cat food can encourage cats to alter their behaviour.
At what age do cats stop biting?
Cat biting hand often tends to bite when they are still kittens or are teething. Even though kittens like to bite hands they are likely to stop biting you over time. Most kittens like to bite hands outgrow the tendency to bite once they are 1 or 2 years of age.
Why does my cat bite me when I pet him?
Many cat parents wonder why do cats bite when they are pet. Cat biting hand does not enjoy being touched in vulnerable areas of their body. So, if you are causing them discomfort, they might try to bite you as a warning.