Let’s face it, most of us absolutely adore cats! They’re so cute, cuddly and furry and some of us treat them like our little babies.
But the problem is, we forget that they are animals and can be quite dangerous!
Cats exhibit aggressive behaviors sometimes, as we all do – but are we confusing aggression with them playing?
We thought we’d examine why cats sometimes bite their owners and see if there’s something you can do about it if it’s a common occurrence.
So, get comfy with your furry friend and read why they might be biting you!
Biting: A Real Pain
Cat owners might have noticed that when they’re playing with their cat or simply giving them a loving stroke, that their little buddy will show their teeth and try to bite them!
There are actually numerous reasons why a cat might bite. It might not necessarily be an aggressive bite.
A gentle bite could mean they might just want to communicate something to you.
And this is what is important – understanding what your cat is trying to tell you is the key to knowing why they’re doing it.
Without this knowledge, owners might think that their best friend has decided to bite them for no apparent reason and this can be upsetting – particularly if they’ve never shown aggressive behavior before.
So, let’s see some reasons and warning signs why they might be biting during certain actions.
The Cat Bites During Petting Sessions
We love to pet our cats, but they, much like humans, will eventually get sick of being touched and simply want to be left in peace.
It’s actually quite common to hear that owners have been stroking and petting their cat and out of nowhere, the cat decides to bite.
The reason for this is literally as simple as we’ve outlined – the cat is telling you (in a not so subtle way!) that it wants you to quit stroking them.
Yes, it’s a little upsetting! But think about the cat – if it wants you to stop, you should just stop.
You might be wondering how you’re meant to know when the cat has had enough of your stroking.
Well, there’s no sure-fire way to know, but they might try to tell you through their body language.
Reading this is important, so you don’t find yourself with teeth marks in your hand! We’ll outline what the signs are a little later.
The Cat Bites During Play
It’s always fun to play with your kitty, but even when they’re very young – cats play a little rougher than we do.
Even in the wild, when cats play with other cats, they use their claws and teeth but in a less aggressive and painful way than they would during a hunt or fight.
The issue for us is, we’re not cats and if they use their teeth on us, it can really hurt!
The reason they do this to us is simply an evolutionary, animalistic response, and they’re not intending to hurt you.
You can actually resolve this though by positive reinforcement and discouraging their use of their teeth during play.
Reward them with treats if they’re playing with their paws and do the opposite if they’re using teeth and claws.
Cats will quickly learn this behavior isn’t allowed, and they should quickly stop biting during playtime, giving you more time for fun and furry games!
The Cat Bites Aggressively
The previous examples we’ve given you are normally just communication and over excitement when they’re having fun – exactly like us really!
But sometimes, cats have had enough and lash out aggressively. You’ll certainly know the difference between these examples.
If a cat is aggressively biting, it will likely leave an open wound, and they will bite alongside scratching, hissing and very quick, angry movements.
This doesn’t matter if it’s a kitten or an adult cat, this behavior is not allowed or acceptable in your household, and you need to ensure that you’re discouraging it quickly.
Sometimes, cats will be exhibiting this behavior outside with other cats, and they need to stop that too.
You can see the signs of this if your cat comes back with scratches and other injuries.
Normally, cats will be doing this with other cats over a dispute of territory, if the cat is “in season” or if the cat has been adopted and has a history of neglect and abuse.
Be careful around cats that have this type of body language (such as an arched-back and spitting) and try not to approach them until they’ve calmed down – you don’t want to be there when they’re showing signs of aggression!
Your Kitten Bites A Lot
Kittens are baby cats and exactly like baby humans, they’re learning their environment learning everything that’s open to them.
Much like baby humans, cats also teethe, and they’re simply trying to relieve some discomfort sometimes by biting.
Other than this, cats have a predisposition to biting when they’re very young – it’s how they play and how they discover new flavors and smells.
In fact, their organ in their mouth that allows for smells and tastes is still developing and putting things in their mouths is one way they can understand certain things.
As we’ve said earlier though, even kitten bites can hurt and sometimes cause an open wound – which can lead to harmful bacteria getting into your wound and making things worse!
The best thing you can do is let them learn on their own with toys and other things, but also remember to discourage bad behavior.
Keeping a consistent response to your feline will help them learn that biting is bad, and they will understand the right times and places they’ll need to show their teeth!
Cats are our favorite furry friends, but biting can be dangerous and painful.
Understanding why your cat does this is the important part and then working with them to change it will improve your relationship.