Cats, and kittens especially, naturally bite and nibble on things. Just because your cat bites you, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are mad at you.
There are two types of cat bites. The types are aggressive biting and love bites. It’s important to distinguish between the two so you can work on your cat’s behavior.
Aggressive Versus Loving Cat Bites
Aggressive bites are usually painful. These can lead to bleeding, infections, and possibly scars. Cats usually bite with aggression when they are fearful or they sense another cat nearby.
However, aggressive biting can also be a result of playing too roughly or territorial aggression. It may be from an abusive experience from their early life as a kitten.
The most common bites from cats are playful aggression. Cats can play rough with other cats, so they may not understand they have to be gentler with humans.
Love bites, on the other hand, are a way for cats to express their connection with you. They usually occur if your cat feels overstimulated or they feel a strong bond between them and you.
Love bites are more of a gentle bite that rarely breaks the skin. In most cases, it feels more like a nibble.
Handling Playful Aggression
When pet cats aggressively bite their owners, it’s most commonly from playful aggression. It generally comes from kittens and younger cats more than grown cats.
Cats need to play to work off their excess energy. While they typically play with other cats, many cats are the lone felines in the house. Therefore, humans are their playtime companion.
Playful aggression occurs when cats play rougher than our skin can tolerate. Cats have thick fur coats and bite, scratch, or wrestle each other naturally.
If they’re young or new to domestication, they don’t have understand how sensitive their owner’s skin can be.
There are several ways to combat playful aggression.
- Schedule regular playtime for you and your cat. Sparing 20 minutes per day, with two 10 minute intervals, is a common recommendation.
- Use cat toys when playing. When you use toys to play with your cat, they will soon associate toys with playtime.
- Carry a toy to distract your cat. If your cat is swarming you trying to play, toss the toy to redirect their attention.
- Whenever your cat attacks, step away and do not engage. Your cat will learn this is bad as you aren’t giving them attention for doing something bad.
- Keep the surroundings interesting. Replace their old toys with new ones every now and then. Add a cat tree stand to spice up the area.
To show they feel a connection, cats often give love bites to their owners. These happen when your cat feels a bond, and they feel safe and comfortable around you.
A love bite begins with licks and eventually becomes nibbles. If you get this from your cat, it’s a sign of affection.
Although love bites can be painful, they typically are harmless. This distinguishes a love bite from an aggressive bite. However, they can still be discomforting.
Love bites could be a sign that your cats wants you to stop petting them. Likewise, your feline may want to be put on the ground. It could be also be a way to be playful.
If you want to discourage these from happening, pay attention to your cat’s tail. If you notice the tail swaying low near the ground, give them some space.
Additionally, their ears can be a sign. If your cat tucks their ears back,, they might be ready to strike with either aggressive or love bites.
Some cats have less tolerance for affection than others. So rather than acting negative towards biting, reward them with cat treats when they act appropriately.
Treating Cat Bites and Wounds
It’s very important to treat any wounds from cat bites swiftly. First, clean the wounded area using soap and water.
Next, run water over the wound for a few minutes then wash it with soap. Fight through the discomfort.
Use a clean towel to dry off the area and apply antibiotic ointment to the wound. Cover the wound with a sterile bandage.
If you can’t stop the bleeding, see a doctor immediately. If you suspect you may have an infection, seek medical attention as well.
Cats are wonderful pets, and we love them. They are essentially our four-legged children. We have to care for them. We have to teach them right from wrong.
Just because your cat bites you, it doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t like you. Handle the situation appropriately and they will learn.