Many people assume that cats always bite out of aggression, but this is not completely true. Biting is a very natural and common behavior in cats and kittens alike. In fact, there are multiple reasons why cats bite. For instance, some cats bite to communicate with their owners whereas other cats bite out of boredom or affection.
However, this does not mean that biting is appropriate behavior, which is why cat owners should not encourage it. Cat bites are not only painful, but they can also end up being dangerous and result in diseases such as the “cat bite disease.” If you have a feline friend that keeps biting you, you need to train it to stop this behavior.
Here are some tips that you can use to stop your cat from biting you.
Tip #1 – Figure Out the Reason Behind Your Cat’s Biting
You might have been in situations where one moment you’re gently stroking your cat, and the next moment it’s biting you. As mentioned above, there are several reasons why cats bite. Once you know the reason behind such behavior, you will be able to eliminate it more effectively. Some common reasons why cats bite include:
- Seeking attention
- Anti-social temperament
- Assert dominance
- Indicate playfulness
You could determine the cause of biting by observing patterns in your cat’s behaviors. For instance, you could see if the behavior is recurring at a certain time in the day. This is one of the best ways to stop your cat from biting you because it allows you to eliminate the root cause of the behavior.
Tip #2 – React Calmly
No matter how much pain you’re in, you should never physically punish your cat for biting you. Hitting your cat in any way including kicking, slapping or throwing it around can seriously injure it. Plus, it won’t even stop your cat from biting you.
Hitting your cat can actually terrify it and make it become more aggressive than before. Moreover, if your cat has been biting you as a form of play, hitting it could result in even rougher play. Alternatively, you could use a small water gun to squirt some water on your cat when it’s biting you.
Tip #3 – Avoid Using Your Hand as A Toy
Often times, cat owners get so involved with their furry friends that they start using their hand a toy. This results in the cats believing that their owner’s hand is an actual toy and they start biting it. If this is the case with your cat, you could start using a toy. Just make sure that the toy you use keeps your hand safely away from the cat’s mouth.
There are also plenty of interactive toys that you could keep for your cat to bite on. Many cats even love playing with stuffed toys, so you could get those too. It’s a great idea to keep a minimum of four different types of toys available. This will ensure that your cat doesn’t get bored with them. Some other types of cat toys include wand toys, throw toys like balls, and kick toys.
Tip #4 – Introduce a Playmate
Kittens have a natural tendency to play fighting with each other. Such games often including behaviors such as pouncing and biting. Kittens often start playing this game with their owners, if they have no other playmate.
Therefore, a good way to stop your cat from biting you is to introduce a playmate. For instance, you could adopt another kitten. You could even take it to a pet-friendly park and introduce it to other kittens there. This will reduce your kitten’s desire to play rough games with you.
Tip #5 – Stop Playing with Your Cat
If you feel that your cat is intentionally biting you during play sessions, you could try calling a time-out. Ending playtime as soon as your cat bites you is another great way to train your cat to stop biting. Whenever your cat bites you during playtime, just stand up and walk away without making a fuss.
Alternatively, you could also just turn your back to it to cut off the play immediately. Make sure that you don’t speak to your feline for at least one or two minutes after it bites you. After a few cycles, your cat will get the message and learn that biting you means that playtime is over.
Tip #6 - Use Reinforcement
Reinforcement is a great way to discourage undesirable behaviors and encourage healthy habits. You could even use this technique of rewards and punishment to stop your cat from biting you. It’s best to start off by using rewards first and only use punishment when nothing else works.
You could reward your cat in numerous ways to encourage good behavior. So, whenever you have a healthy play session with your cat, you could give it some tasty treats as rewards. You could also stroke it gently whenever it behaves nicely with you.
You could also punish your cat when it bites you. Again, make sure you only resort to this when rewards don’t work. You should also remember that punishment doesn’t mean to physically hit your cat. Some forms of non-physical forms of punishment include spraying your cat with water, using a hand-held alarm, making a hissing sound, etc.
The key for reinforcement to work is to ensure that punishment and rewards are given immediately after the cat bites you. This will help your cat learn that it is being rewarded or punished because it bit you. Consistency is also very important for reinforcement to work.
Cats have a natural tendency to bite. Therefore, you have to be very patient and calm if you want to stop your cat from biting you. We hope that these tips will help you overcome your cat’s undesirable behavior. Remember, sometimes can also be an indication of a medical problem so do consult with a vet as well.
At DhohOo, we believe in keeping your pet healthy and happy. We provide quality pet food and nutrition that will allow your feline friend to live a long, healthy, and happy life. For more information, feel free to visit our collection.