How To Get Your Cat To Stop Biting You: Can You Teach Them?

Cats can be a pain in your neck, especially if you happen to be the owner of an independent, headstrong kitty that doesn’t enjoy petting or snuggling. Regardless of the setbacks, though, feline furballs definitely bring tremendous joy in our lives.

But what happens when your cat becomes aggressive and starts biting?

What happens when he/ she keeps biting you for no reason and seems to hate the very sight of you? Why is it doing it and can you fix this? And how can you even begin bonding if your kitty won’t stop biting your hands and fingers?

Don’t worry, as there are ways to cope with this behavioral issue.

Actually, the biting may not even be a behavioral issue at all! It could just be your furry pet’s way of showing that it’s feeling particularly playful.

Cats tend to bite for a number of reasons, especially when they’re around young children. Some kids don’t know how to handle a cute furball properly and they often irritate fluffy kitties with excessive petting.

Why Is My Cat Biting Me?

There are various reasons why your furry pal is biting you or the rest of your household’s members. The most common reasons are affection, playfulness, and irritation.

Affection

If your pet is nibbling your fingers softly, it means it’s practicing the so-called love bite. The love bite is a form of affection, which is common for most felines. Cats bite people and other cats when they want to show their devotion and attachment to them. In other words, it’s your pet’s way of saying that it loves you.

Banter

Biting during petting or playtime is usually your cat’s way of bantering with you. Sometimes quick, playful nibbling can escalate into some serious attack-like bites. This simply means that your cat wants to play rough. If you’re using cat toys, you’ve probably always overlooked the fact that the cat is also biting the toys, but if you’re using your bare hands, the playful bites won’t go unnoticed.

Boredom

Yes, cats can get bored just like us. If they don’t hunt, play, exercise, or scratch something, they’ll start biting you to blow off the steam of the frustration.

Irritation

As stated above, kids can annoy cats quite effortlessly, but so can adults. Regardless of how social and attention-loving your kitty may be, it still has its limits. Felines don’t like being treated as toys and too much petting, stroking, squeezing, and playing can annoy them. In such cases, the bites come off as a defense mechanism.

Warning

If your cat is feeling stressed out, scared, or annoyed with something or someone, it will warn you with a bite, which basically screams “Leave me alone!” Another reason for a warning is the need to show domination. Felines are territorial creatures. Your cat may not like you hanging around its cat bed, toys, or even its favorite hiding spot.

Antisocial temperament

Unlike indoor cats, feral cats are antisocial by default. If you’ve adopted a homeless stray, there’s a big chance it will be bite. Of course, many indoor cats can also be quite antisocial, even if they’ve never lived out in the open.

Anxiety

This is an extremely rare cause, but sometimes the cat (especially chronically anxious cats) may try to take out its anxiety on the closest object – in this case, its owner.

How To Stop Your Cat From Biting You And Others

If your precious furball is biting the kids and the strangers in your home, it simply means they’ll need to be more careful when it comes to petting and playing with it. One of several ways to approach a territorial and cautious cat is to hold out your hand towards the side of the kitty’s face. This way the animal will feel more secure, rather than if you try to pet it directly on top of the head or the body.

Speaking of hands, don’t teach the cat to play with your fingers. Instead, use toys, balls, cat wands, and lasers for that purpose.

Teach Your Cat Not To Bite By Educating It

Wait, what? How can you educate an animal?

Well, felines are smarter than you might think. They can be taught how to respond to commands and how to perform tricks. Not only that, but they can be educated on dos and don’ts, which is more important than any trick.

Instead of punishing the cat with scolding, yelling, or even slapping, re-educate it with the positive reinforcement technique. Praise it physically and verbally for each proper and desired behavior. Teach the cat that good deeds are rewarded with petting, verbal praises, and treats.

At the same time, make the cat understand that biting is associated with a negative experience. Quit the playtime session each time the kitty tries to gnaw at your hand. Turn your back towards the cat and ignore it. Take it to another room and leave it there for a couple of minutes.

Don’t scold or punish your cat verbally or physically. Just put an end to its destructive and aggressive behavior. This will teach the kitty that biting is improper because the cat will associate it with a negative result.

Focus On The Reason For The Biting

It’s essential to know why your kitty is nibbling at your hands and fingers.

If it’s anxiety, you might need to seek a vet’s help. Your veterinarian can prescribe proper medication for extreme anxiety and stress. He can also give you tips on how to cope with the core reason behind your kitty’s stress or fears.

Try to remember that not all types of bites are a reason for red alert. If your pet is just being playful or affectionate, there’s no reason to panic. After all, it’s probably just the feline’s way of showing that it’s really enjoying your company.

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Emily Parker
 

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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