Why Does My Cat Bite Me?
Cat’s can be notoriously unpredictable but why do cats bite? There are many reasons why your cat may bite you. Most commonly this is either a form of aggression or affection. As contradictory as this is, it is important to understand the basics of cat behaviour to establish which it is so you can go about treating the cause. So what are the 5 most common reasons your cat decides to bite you?
Why Do Cats Bite? 5 Reasons Why…
1. It’s a Warning
Your cat is telling you they’ve had enough of whatever you’re doing. This is most commonly seen when you’re sat down with your cat, he/she is purring away and all is good in the world when out of the blue he/she turns around and gives you a nip. It’s important to stop when your cat nips you otherwise the cat will become more agitated and therefore will increase the risk of biting in the future. Look out for signs that mean a bite may be imminent, for example, purring stops, tails starts flicking, ears go back.
2. Your Cat is Being Playful
This can be a way of them expressing their natural hunting instincts. It’s good practice never to use your hand as a cat toy as this will then encourage the cat to bite your hand in the future and it will turn into a habit. It’s best to have a few cat toys your cat can sink its teeth into. Favourites of mine are Yeowww! catnip toys and the Kong Kickeroo.
It can be a sign of aggression if biting is accompanied by aggressive body language such as arching his/her back, hissing, ears flat against the head, etc. To help calm your cat, you can buy products that mimic a cat’s natural pheromones such as Feliway products.
4. It’s a Kitten
Biting is a normal part of kitten behaviour as they explore their surroundings and when engaging in play. Teething is a common reason kittens will bite. Teething usually begins when the kitten is around 10 weeks old. You can buy toys for your kitten to chew on such as these to give your hand a rest!
Some cats will bite to get your attention rather than vocalising their needs so instead of meowing, your cat may nip you and then attempt to lead you to an activity or their food bowl! Always avoid physical punishment as this makes the cat more defensive and will lead to further biting.
Check out this post to see how you can stop your cat from biting!