Sunday, December 17

Does Your Cat Bite?

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There are many reasons why a cat may strike out at a person, another pet or furniture.  You need to figure out what happened before the cat bites.  Some cats are more prone to biting than others, and some cats are playing when they bite and are not being mean.

When cats feel threatened they will act more like wild cats than domestic cats and they will hiss, snarl, and bite. 

What types of behavior threaten the common domestic cat can be an unknown visitor who insists on petting the cat is always a primary target.  Many cats enjoy being petted and others do not.  Most cats prefer to be petted by someone they know and trust.  It can take a long time for a cat to make up to someone.  Many people who enter a household and see a cat are so sure of themselves, they do not let the cat adjust to them.  If they try to pet the cat and the cat is not ready, they will be met with hostility and maybe even biting.

Cats will bite their owners even after a pleasant petting session.  This action can be a complete surprise to the owner because kitty was purring and contented a few minutes before.  The cat was telling his owner that the petting session was over.  Most cats do not want to harm their own but biting is their way of saying no more.

Cats will sometimes bite when they are playing.  Kittens love to gnaw on people, siblings and just about anything, that can be taken for play prey.  If you have ever owned a small kitten, you are probably familiar with how kittens may play attack your hands or even your feet.  Your kitten does not know that its sharp claws and teeth can be such painful weapons.  He believes you attempt to guard your hands and feet are just part of the game.

Some cats are very anxiety prone, and even though they love their owner, anything from a car alarm to a vacuum cleaner may induce an attack mode.  This is a challenge for pet owners as the cat bites can be more than petty nips to your hands and body.  Some cat bites are very severe and painful.  In these cases, a cat is relying on its inborn instincts, and such behavior can be difficult to suppress.  Cats do not reason with the same capacity as humans.  When you have a cat that is extremely anxious it is easier for you to control what makes the cat anxious than it is to change the cat’s behavior.

If your cats’ biting fits, become severe and result in injuries it is time to call a veterinarian.  Some fits of aggression can be a sign of a serious medical problem.

Most cats are calm and do not bite unless they are scared or hurt.


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