As a pet parent, you have probably taken a few tips from your cat. And, as much as you would like to refer to them as nibbles or nothings, you cannot deny that they often do hurt. A lot!
You have probably spoken to other kitty mamas and papas too and found they have had some similar teething issues (no pun intended). The fact that your cat might bite would probably concern you even more if you have kids at home. You want your whole family to live happily together so, you spend endless nights wondering why kitty reacts that way and how you can help.
To begin with, why does your cat bite?
A lot of research has gone into trying to decipher the feline mind and understand why cats and kittens love to bite. Here are some of the main reasons why they do, followed by tips on how you may attempt to control this snappy behaviour.
Why cats bites?
A lot of the time, the bites from your cat might have occurred during playtime. This would naturally have taken you by surprise. One minute, you and your kitty are having the time of your lives and the next, they suddenly bite you. That hurts physically, but more so emotionally.
You begin to wonder… did I do something wrong?
Don’t worry, you are not at fault.
The experts say that play biting is pretty much normal for cats. Almost akin to instinct. When play-biting, cats don’t really mean to hurt you; it just happens in excitement. Cats are hunters by nature and biting is a normal reaction for them. They would most certainly do it in the wild; now, when living with you, your home is their home. So, they really are just being themselves and doing what they normally would.
Alternatively, some cats bite to communicate. They may want your attention and feel that biting is a way to get you to notice them. We will explore methods to deal with this undesirable behaviour later in this article.
Now, there is also the question of aggressive bites. When a cat bites out of aggression, it happens because they have been startled or frightened by something.
When a cat bites aggressively, they will usually display other signs too. These signs may include a hiss or an arched body posture. This behaviour is usually directed at other animals but it may also be directed at a human who frightens the cat. Make sure to immediately stop whatever it is you are doing to the animal that is making it uncomfortable, for your safety and the kitty’s well-being.
Why kittens bite?
Kittens too are known to bite their human parents and other pets in the house. According to research, this is an in-born instinct that ensures the feline’s playing habits automatically train them to be hunters when they grow up.
While a natural occurrence, biting in kittens should not be encouraged. Never refer to it as cute nor make the assumption that your cat will grow out of it.
How to stop biting?
The good news for pet parents is that cat biting can be discouraged. Just follow these tips from the experts to ensure a healthy, comfortable, and lovely relationship between you and your furry baby.
- Training should be consistent
When you get a kitten or a cat home, it is important to maintain consistency in training. The same behaviour should elicit the same responses from you each day. Moreover, the same responses should be maintained by all other inhabitants of the house. If play biting receives a reprimand from you and encouragement from your spouse, the cat won’t really know which is which. In this regard, it is important to educate the kids on how to respond to cats.
- Toes are not toys
It might seem adorable when your little kitten nibbles on your toes but once their teeth grow sharp, this will turn to be your worst nightmare. From a young age, teach your kitten to never chew on fingers, toes, or any other part of your body. This includes the clothes and shoes that you are wearing too.
- Beating is bad
Physical punishment is often never a deterrent, for humans or other species. If anything, it sometimes pushes us to be more aggressive. Never beat your cat if it bites you. This will only make them more aggressive.
- Reward good behaviour
When your cat nudges you with a paw and no claws, make sure to tell them what a ‘good kitty’ they are being. You can even pop in a treat as an added bonus for them being on their best behaviour.
- Chew toys are a must
It is really hard to stop a small kitten from the habit of chewing. So, try to get them an appropriate object to chew. A few chew toys will really come in handy and let your furry baby turn their teething instinct in the right direction.
Keeping these tips in mind should yield results soon enough. Do remember to be patient and give your kitty as much time as they need to get on the path to purrfection. Always keep letting them know when they are being good so they stay at it to make you happy.
And, when kitty is being good, there’s plenty of rewards you can shower. At CatCurio, we have a wide range of cat accessories from clothing to toys and more. We have a whole range of products that your cat will love, even cat furniture! What’s more, is that we provide shipping to 66 countries and allow you to track your order right till it reaches your doorstep. So, get shopping now and show your cat how much you love them.