You and your cat are sitting in perfect harmony on the sofa, you stroke her hair while looking at you with love and affection, and make a purr that indicates that she is enjoying your company, her muscles are completely relaxed and does not indicate that she is angry or has a desire to quarrel with you, and suddenly without warning and in the blink of an eye it pounces On your hand, nose, or perhaps your ear, a bite may not be painful most of the time… but what does that mean?
To understand your cat’s bites, you must first analyze the situation and learn to read her body language.
Why do cats bite?
It is true that cats have a cute, innocent appearance, but you should not forget that these cute creatures are small carnivores, possess predatory instincts and are good hunters by nature, so it is normal for them to be attacked by their claws, or even try to bite you.
However, this behavior may have several explanations, which we review for you here:
1.Bite the toys
If your cat is a young one, she definitely needs to play, and even adult cats tend to play often, and biting is one of the ways she expresses her need to play.
Domestic cats do not have the ability to chase and pounce on their prey in the garden, so they use you, your furniture, and your clothes as “prey” to satisfy this innate need.
As carnivores, predatory behaviors such as biting, scratching, and swooping are normal in cats.
3.A form of communication
If you and your cat are in perfect harmony; As she sits quietly and affectionately in your lap while she strokes her hair, but she surprises you with an unexpected bite, do not take the matter personally and do not interpret it as treacherous, evil behavior.
A bite may also indicate a demand for attention.
4.I’m sick of being pampered
If you’ve been brushing your cat’s hair and then surprising you with a lightning bite, it may mean that she no longer wants to be pampered.
It has been shown that frequent petting of sensitive areas, such as the base of the tail in cats, can lead to overstimulation, which can lead to sudden negative behaviors such as biting.
To understand that your cat is tired of stroking before she surprises you with a lightning bite, you may have to read her body language, as most cats give you signs that they don’t want to be touched anymore.
For example, she may give you signs such as tail rustling or flattening of the ears to indicate that she may react negatively soon.
5.To express love
If your cat bites you a little lightly, this indicates that she is expressing her love to you, and she is thus behaving like a cat mother with her young.
Like humans, kittens are born without teeth, and then their first milk teeth appear when they are about 2-4 weeks old.
After that, the milk teeth fall out when the cat is 3.5-4 months old, and then the adult cat’s teeth grow.
The cat may feel some pain when its adult teeth protrude from the gums, which causes it to bite everything around it, including your hand.
You will be able to distinguish an aggressive bite easily, as it is painful and leaves a mark, and it can also cause you infection due to the bacteria that cats carry in their mouths.
But you can avoid this type of bite by reading the cat’s body language first. Before it attacks you, it will give you warning signs that may include:
- Taking the form of defense represented by the arched back and the fluffy tail
Some adult cats can be a bit mean. If a cat grabs you by the mouth and sticks its teeth into your body and does not back off, this can be to assert dominance or respond to a threat at times.
Do I allow my cat to bite?
Even if your cat is biting you to play, connect with you, or as an expression of love, you shouldn’t encourage this behavior. While a kitten’s bite is completely unobtrusive, an adult cat’s bite is extremely painful and harmful.
While it is helpful to encourage your cat’s instinctive play and chase behaviors, you shouldn’t encourage aggression.
How do I prevent my cat from biting?
Young cats learn good behavior from their mother and the older cats around them, who will not let them each other whenever they like, but in the case of domestic cats, you must teach them this part, as young cats do not know that claws and teeth may be sharp tools that cause you pain.
In order to teach your cat not to bite you again, you can follow several strategies, most notably:
- Do not play games with your cat that involve biting your fingers and toes. Many owners of pet cats find this game funny and cute, and it is already so with a cat that is no more than weeks old, but this cat will grow up and carry with it this behavior that will become harmful later on.
- Provide your cat with plenty of appropriate toys that help her satisfy her predatory instinct instead of emptying this instinct on some of you. Buy her toys like moving mice or foam balls.
- Make sure you take time to play with your cat, and remember to keep your hands and feet away.
- Reward her when she plays nice with you without showing her claws or biting you.
- Avoid physical punishment, which makes cats more excited and more willing to engage in violent play and fight to protect themselves.