Ouch! Why does my cat bite me?
Did your cat just bit you again? Do you not know why your cat keeps biting you? Does this make you doubt your parenting—cat parenting? Well, don’t you feel bad.
It’s not you, it’s your cat.
No kidding! Cats are mischievous little creatures. They do so many strange things that biting would seem pretty normal. Anyway, cat biting is a pretty common behavior. However, it is essential to understand why do cats bite?
If you own a cat, you probably are already familiar with cat biting behavior. Cats are natural predators, and despite having been domesticated for hundreds of years, they still have their hunting instincts. Cat hunting instincts explain the cat biting behavior to an extent. But there are a lot of other reasons that underlie cats biting behavior.
So, why does your cat bite? Cats have sharp teeth, but they bite firmly. First, there is a difference between playing or love bites and encouraging violent behavior. Especially, if your pet cat is unprovoked but continues with the biting behavior. Also, the biting is not always because of aggression!
Let us discover the whys behind cat biting to help you prevent this unwanted behavior of your cat.
Why Does My Cat Bite Me Unprovoked?
Most cat owners classify their cats’ biting behavior as ‘unprovoked’. But there is a huge chance that you are missing out on multiple signs that might be directly or indirectly provoking your cat. Below we have discussed some of the underlying reasons behind cat biting behavior.
We all are aware that cats can be moody! But that is not the reason for their biting. It is due to their proximity problem. They get bored, hyperactive & tired super quickly. In other words, cats get overstimulated in no time flat!
Does your cat bite you when you pet her? It is because of overstimulation! One minute, your cat is demanding your attention; the very next second, she does not care anymore.
Know that already? We have all been there, felt that before! The cat’s inner conflicting emotions are the main reason behind their biting behavior as well.
It depends on your cat too. Some cats love to be petted or touched. In contrast, some hate to be touched. It all depends on the mood and situation, which changes from time to time.
Due to Fear, Discomfort & Tension
It is essential to understand your cat’s body language. It will help you in understanding your cat. While petting your cat, watch out for any signs of fear, pain, or stress.
You may have observed how cats react differently at the vet clinic. It is because your cat is much more likely to be afraid of the whole new situation. Cats do not show the signs of fear purposely. Only if they feel unfamiliar with their surroundings or if they are put in a scary situation, they are more likely to bite. You should try and make her environment—or any change thereof—as stress-free as possible.
There are no proven theories regarding cat bites being known as a sign of showing affection. But if your cat is giving you a love bite, it will not be hard enough to pierce the skin. Instead, your cat bite will be gentle, delicate, and soft. You can easily differentiate between cats’ love and aggression bites by their strength—the latter are hard and may hurt the skin.
So, your cat may be biting you to show her affection for you. Think it like a mother cat biting her kittens to show her love and vice versa. Moreover, kittens also fight and bite while they play with their partners or siblings. They have learned biting behavior from their ancestors in various forms. There is nothing to worry about if you see your cat showing affection to you through gentle and harmless bites.
KYC: Know Your Cat
There is another aspect which is knowing your cat. It is necessary to understand and recognize your cat’s needs. You can understand it by observing her behavior patterns—the sudden changes in her mood, or excessive hissing or growling, or even trying to bite. All these factors may indicate whether your cat is stressed or annoyed, leading her to bite you.
If your cat is consistently stressed and indulging in biting behavior, consult a certified cat behaviorist consultant or ask your veterinarian for help.
Remember To Earn Trust of Your Cat
Is your cat biting aggressively? Take it slow with her. If you are unable to understand your cat’s body language in the beginning, it is alright. You will figure it out with time. Just pet the cat twice at one time and take your hands away when the petting is done.
Trust the process, and learn about your cats’ boundaries. After petting your cat twice, if she stays by your side, wait a minute or two and pet her twice again. Earn the trust and respect of your cat.
Respect Your Cat’s Boundaries
It is necessary to build a bond of mutual trust with your cat gradually. When you understand and respect your cat’s boundaries, she will eventually allow you to pet her more often. It is like teamwork!
Your cat needs to know that you will not overload your love and stop as soon as your cat feels annoyed. It will lead to no more biting to get the point across. Therefore, it is necessary to understand all the subtle signals and understand your cat’s interest during the petting sessions.
Always remember, your pets have a right to their petting preferences. To avoid aggressive or violent behavior, take it slow with your cat and understand their behavioral patterns. Make sure to observe these while petting your cat:
- Where your cat wants to be touched?
- When does your cat prefer to be touched?
- Or how long your cat wants to be touched?
Trust the process, respect your cat’s preferences, and understand her boundaries. Cat biting is not something to be worried about if it is casual and if you can attribute it to a cause, such as fear or an unexpected change in her environment.
But if it is excessive and more frequent, consult your vet.