A cat that bites can have many reasons that will depend on the circumstances in which they happen. Bites can be to warn and alert, to show a call for attention, to play, as a defensive behaviour when they may feel attacked, when they are nervous or excited, and one of the most curious and tender.
Although it may seem strange, is to show their love, as a means to express their deepest feelings towards us; this behaviour can have a lot of apparent reasons and in all cats the behaviour is different.
In addition, whether cats bite can depend very much on their personality, their upbringing, the way we treat and pamper them, whether their social environment includes more cats or whether they are only human.
To learn to read this behavior in our cats we must remember that before they were domesticated and taken to our homes, their ancestral behaviors are of survival and most of all of independence, for this reason they act this way when they feel that their space is invaded, as a means to recover it.
Some signs that can help you read this behavior and better understand your biting cat:
1.) MY CAT BITES TO EXPRESS ITS LOVE
When the caretaker and cat are together in a quiet context, sharing each other’s space, and they approach your leg, arm, nose or belly by their own choice, two scenarios can occur: one where the cat may begin to lick its caretaker quickly, preceded by gentle bites, a common gesture in cats with a calm personality.
Or, if it is a more aggressive cat and likes to play hard, these small bites will be stronger, but don’t be confused, in both situations they are expressing a deep and sincere love, full of trust for you who are caring for and feeding it.
What happens with this behavior is that many times it is something unexpected, since we see them calm, quiet and our reaction to a bite is to walk away and scold them, because that is not right for us. In this situation, the most healthy thing is to detect if with the loving lick, comes a forceful bite, so very gently we can cover the area with some clothes or move away a little to avoid the bite.
When they share the space with other cats you can see how they between games bite each other, you can identify that they do not hurt each other, that it is mutual and that they spend some time interacting and enjoying their games.
2.) MY CAT BITES WHEN SHE WANTS TO PLAY
It’s clear to us that cats, like wild animals, use their bites as part of catch, release and play. It’s very common for a playful cat to come up to us and take small bites to get our attention and be noticed, but it’s important to learn how to read such moments.
The game can begin with him looking for your hands mainly, for them they are showy and attractive parts for their movements, but if we let them take our hands as a toy they are going to be hurt in the course of time and they are going to scratch and bite them harder and with more confidence.
What you can do in these cases, is to have a toy, a wand or a mouse that you make move and call their attention to play and get all the energy they have channeled and need to release through play and interaction. Having a good scraper at home is another great idea, which allows you to release all that joy and excitement that you can feel at times without hurting you.
When we are able to identify and know those moments of play, it will be for us a magnificent interactive therapy; dedicating time to them, enjoying with them by means of the wand or the mouse that moves, all that joy that is felt when playing like children, and in this way generating bonds that remain for all life together with them.
3.) MY CAT BITES TO WARN
A cat that bites can do so depending on the circumstances in which it finds itself. For example, a very common situation that we live the feline caretakers, is when we are caressing them, perhaps we become intense and they feel that it is not comfortable and that we are invading their space,
In that moment they usually lick their snout to prepare themselves to bite. It is important that we learn to read these behaviors and we recognize until what moment is enough not to alter them and disrespect their space.
4.) MY CAT BITES OUT OF JEALOUSY
Although it does not seem so and many people believe the opposite, the dependence that cats generate with the man, his house and his environment is very big. And this has to do with a reason that we do not usually relate to bites, jealousy.
Our cats are territorial animals and customs, something that alters their comfort, change their habits or enter their home will modify their behavior and biting is an effective way to communicate it.
So, when you see that something disturbs their environment try to normalize as much as you can their environment, for example, if it is a new cat in the house and even a new member of the family as a baby, try to make the transmission as quiet as possible,
If you can before the new member arrives wear a garment that has their scent, their olfactory memory and sensitivity, it will allow you to remember and recognize, helping not to be upset and that the acceptance is less traumatic, remember that it is their space and has been for some time, help to make it quiet and remain their favorite place.
5.) MY CAT BITES IF SHE FEELS IN DANGER
Like its wild ancestors, the cat has a territorial and individual nature, its anatomy of tusks and claws, makes it normal that its way of defending itself or its territory is by biting and scratching. It is thus, that the cats when seeing themselves in danger in front of another alive being that means a threat for them, will put themselves in defensive position, bending a little.
Delaying the step and hissing as in first sign of warning, if the situation of danger continues, they will throw themselves to bite and to scratch with an incredible energy that can cause a strong damage to their opponent.
Reducing these aggressive situations for your cat, such as leaving the house unsupervised, bringing new animals into your space or people you don’t trust, will help your cat avoid getting hurt in a confrontation.
6.) MY CAT DIES WITHOUT ANY REASON OR APPEARING REASON
This is a challenge, because in the process of recognizing and identifying the behaviors to have a correct coexistence with our beloved cats, sometimes we can’t know well why this behavior related to biting occurs.
Just as a bite can be given to attract attention, sometimes it can be for something totally different that is usually more difficult to identify, such as intense pain or some emotional discomfort. In these cases, we recommend a friendly visit to your veterinarian, who can examine you and rule out possible causes, diseases or depression in our felines.