Ever had a situation where you’re petting your kitty and trying to show it your love and affection, but out of the blue, you find him or her biting your hand?
Well, it happens to the best of us.
Our feline friends are known to be curious explorers who enjoy testing and teasing the world using their paws and teeth.
There are a few explanations here, so today we’ll be explaining why such cute furballs bite so often and the ways we can stop them from excessive biting.
Why Does My Cat Bite Me?
- They’re trying to express their love to you
- They’re trying to stop you from actions they don’t like
- They’re asserting their dominance
- They’re are bored and being playful
- They don’t know that they can be painful
Reasons Why Your Cat May Bite You
Before listing all the different reasons why your kitty might be doing this, you should know that being aggressive isn’t always the culprit for these bites.
In fact, this can easily be the opposite of what you think.
Your Cat Is Trying to Show Love to You
Cats are usually loner animals, but they can also get along with a group. If you observe how a group of cats socialize together, you’re going to find a lot of biting and scratching happening between them.
This reveals a good and healthy relationship between the group, especially if the bites are more of the gentle type that draw no blood.
Similarly, if your cat starts biting you when you pet them or while having a play, this is the cat’s way of saying, “I like you, human!”.
This might go back to a behavior learned from when your cat was just a kitten. Mother cats use licks and bites to groom and show affection to their kittens.
Your Cat Is Trying to Tell You to Stop Petting
Just like us humans, cats aren’t always excited and ready to play. However, sometimes we just can’t pick the signals correctly and start pouring out all our passion and love on our furball cuties.
Cats are just small predators. They have extra-sharp senses to pick the tiniest change around them. This led their body to become extremely sensitive, which can sometimes be overstimulated.
This doesn’t always end up well, as sometimes cats feel agitated and annoyed. They don’t feel like being petted at that moment, and that’s when they’ll start all the instinctual scratching and biting to get out of your hands.
(my cat does this around old people. She’ll start clawing and biting)
However, sometimes cats will bite you if they want more petting and you stopped, they can be confusing as that. Understanding stress signs in your cat can keep you off an unwanted bite most of the time.
Your Cat Doesn’t Always Know That Their Bites Can Be Painful
Usually, cats have two different ways of biting. The first type of these bites is the more gentle one that most felines use as a form of body language.
This bite language can be used to express different things; this includes showing love, asserting dominance, or simply playing around with its mates.
These bites are usually more to a slight dental press than being a genuine hard bite that can cause problems. They rarely break the skin, cause a large bleeding wound, or consequently, cause a troublesome infection.
On the opposite side of the spectrum lies the worst type of bites that are meant to be a more hostile. These are full-on bites with intentions to hurt whoever they’re biting and cause them skin injury and scars.
Cats usually aren’t aiming to harm you when they bite. They regard it as a more or less innocent play just like they do with other cats. This can be good news as this means that they consider you a part of the family.
Cats tend to resort to the full-on bite just when they feel threatened or are unhappy. Make sure you aren’t petting your cat too hard or toughing him or her in a bad spot.
Your Cat Is Trying to Assert Its Dominance
Cats, just like any other hierarchy based animal groups, are territorial animals that love to mark everything around them as theirs. Their bed, their spot, their family, even their human!
In fact, this is one of the many reasons cats groom each other, studies revealed that cats that show more domestic aggression tend to use grooming as an alternative way of asserting their dominance instead of fighting.
Similarly, these cats tend to bite more frequently than other cats. This proves that your cat can be using biting and aggression in a way to grab your attention let you know that they’re the masters of the house.
(but we already knew that was true)
Cats will often bite when you stop petting. This is another way to show their dominance and you can click that link to get our full guide to handling it 🙂
What Should Do If I Was Bitten By a Cat?
The healthy routine followed upon a cat bite is thoroughly washing the wound with water and soap, drying the wounded area and applying a topical antibiotic.
There’s nothing to worry about unless you’re unable to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding continues or if the wound manifests any infection, you should seek a doctor’s help immediately.
How to Fix Biting In Cats
Just like our little children, cats are smart creatures that can learn. They can be raised and molded into whatever they’re taught to do.
Use the right way to teach them that biting is bad manners that only naughty cats would do by punish and reward techniques. By doing so, they might stop or at least bites you less frequently or more gently.
Moreover, train them at an early stage to count more often on other types of body language instead of biting.
By showing them that they can always get what they want by other means of expression, they might ditch the biting thing altogether.
Also, You should only rub your cat when they want that. If you find your cat approaching you for a quick petting, give it what it needs and don’t overdo it. You can notice when they want you to stop they’ll try to leave.
As we established, pets rarely mean to harm us when they bite, they’re usually trying to communicating for various reasons.
If you think that your cat isn’t only trying to gently bite you for any of the previous reasons, we strongly advise you to consult a training expert on how to tame down the overly aggressive behavior.