Cats are known to be playful creatures who make wonderful companions. When it comes to kittens, it’s natural to bite and mouth objects using the paws and mouth to explore their natural environment. However, they are well aware of restraining their force while they bite and smack with soft paws without using their claws.
But when your cat suddenly bites you out of nowhere, it can be very confusing to the pet owner. Whether they scratch or bite you out of pain, frustration or fear, it is hard to figure out.
Let’s look at some of the reasons behind the sharp and painful cat bites and how you can discourage this behavior.
Why Do Cats Bite?
Cats usually bite for various reasons, and it’s essential to differentiate them to curb the habit. Kittens mostly bite as an act of socialization, whereas the adult feline buddies bite for other reasons.
1. Playful attitude:
Starting from 12 weeks to their first year, kittens normally start their natural play behavior of biting. This mock play is how they test their limits and also teaches them hunting skills. While living with you, kittens try to identify if you are their playmates. If they consider you as their fellow kitten, there is a greater chance for them to bite you as a display of affection during your interactions.
Cats find it hard to control their impulses and regulate their emotions. They become more frustrated when they find a prey animal beyond reach or see other creatures displaying an offending posture outside the window. Unable to communicate using words, they show their rage by flattening their ears, holding their tails up, and resorting to biting any human standing nearby.
3. Pain or Fear:
When they are scared or in pain, cats usually bite if the pet owner ignores their warning indications. Various activities can result in this type of emotional disturbance in your feline pet. For instance, when you clip their nails, startle them from their sleep, feel overstimulated, or when a new person enters your house.
4. Redirected Aggressive behavior:
Redirecting their accumulated aggression, this normally happens when your feline creature feels irritated about something. Especially if your kitty does not get along with the other cats at home, they display this unusual behavior. The less aggressive cats often bite the owner as they cannot win against the other dominant cat.
5. Expressing Love:
Due to limited possibilities of expressing themselves, cats often nibble gently in most cases as a display of affection. You will find cats constantly grooming themselves, and if they like you, they may even try to groom you. This type of biting is often accompanied by licking. After licking you a few times, they may end up biting you by holding you with their paws to express their affection.
6. Medical Issue:
In case of any medical issues, your cat might be experiencing a lot of discomfort. This turns out to be a natural cause for them to feel irritated, thereby biting and scratching. Be it bellyaches or a toothache, your cat will be in a biting mode, especially when you try to pick them up or pet them.
If this biting behavior is something unusual, your cat must be indicating a medical problem – especially if they are older.
How to Stop Your Feline Pet From Biting You?
As a pet owner, it’s essential to take care of your cat’s everyday needs and help regulate their emotions. Though they are strong-willed creatures, it is not difficult to train them to stop biting. Respond to their emotional intensities like a nurturing mama cat and avoid yelling at them.
It would be best if you started teaching them early on that human skin is not for biting. If things go out of hand, here are some ways that will help stop cats from scratching or biting.
1. Find the reason for biting:
It is not easy to identify the reason behind why your cat suddenly bites you. If you happen to have brought a new pet home, it’s natural for your young kitten to feel scared and resort to biting as a defense. Also, bringing a new baby home can make your kitty feel slightly unloved. Spend some time with your feline pet to reassure your affection towards them when the baby is sleeping. Once you find out why your cat bites, you will be able to resolve it quickly.
2. Get them toys.
Excited kitties with playful energies often grab onto the owner’s hands and feet. The best tactic to tackle this is by offering them interactive toys. As biting play is natural, it’s necessary to instruct them to play with toys, not hands.
Or else, once they grow older – their playful biting may end up causing accidents that can hurt you badly. So when they chew your hands and jump onto your feet, sharply tell them, “No” and avoid playing with them for some time. Then, redirect them to the stuffed toys or string balls kept at a distance to avoid confusing them.
3. Punishment for biting:
If your kitty has the habit of biting frequently, let them know that they will have to face the consequences for their behavior. Give them a time out and keep them away for some time as punishment when they bite. The time out can be spending some time in a room alone or in the basement. However, avoid going to the extreme and make sure that they have all their basic needs such as water, food, and litter-box accessible.
Each time your kitty bites, use the same consequences to relate to the negative behavior. Similarly, provide rewards like catnip or cat treats as positive reinforcements when your cat displays good behavior.
4. Play with them daily:
It’s important to maintain a routine for your feline buddies. Make sure to play with them daily for 10 to 15 minutes, a few times a day. This will make them feel happy and relaxed and keep them from getting bored or agitated. Once you reinforce positive behaviors and ignore the indecent ones daily, they will soon learn to behave well.
5. Get Them a Furry Playmate:
If it’s common for your kitty to display behavioral issues like biting, getting a companion will be helpful. Cats normally feel lonely or bored when left alone for extended periods daily. Getting another furry pet, especially a cat, will give them good company and help them behave well.
Once they start playing with their new feline buddy, they will surely use their biting behavior towards them. For sure, the new creature will fight back, giving your kitty the notion that biting hurts and needs to be avoided. Well, this method may not work for all. At times, cats respond negatively when a new pet arrives.
Cats, especially kittens, normally bite when they’re playing around. If they often spend their time at home, it’s best to play and distract them using various toys. By staying calm and training them with patience, you will be able to prevent your cat from biting you successfully.
However, if the biting is accompanied by meowing, it shows something seriously wrong with your pet. It’s advisable to consult your vet and keep the cat separate from the rest of your family members till it becomes calm.