Cats bite randomly and some even say out of spite. We have just the tips and techniques you’re looking for to put a stop to your cat from biting.
Use toys when playing with your cat and never your hand. Exert a stern voice to discourage biting and reward with treats for good behavior.
To address the biting issue, we must look into the reasons why your cat is hurting you. Below, we expand on how you can train your feline to stop biting.
How to Stop My Cat from Biting?
Use Interactive Toys
Everything starts when they’re small. Kittens bite as a tool to learn the world around them. When playing with a kitten, use toys to stimulate their need to feel things through their mouth. You can make one with old clothes.
To make a wand toy, find a 12-inch stick and wrap it with scraps of cloth so it won’t feel harsh when held in your palm. Cut a t-shirt into six long strips. With the sixth strip, tie the five pieces in the middle, then knot them securely on the stick. It should look something like this:
You can also use other things to tie it on the stick like an old stuffed toy, something small they can fit into their mouth to trigger your cat’s predatory instincts. Note that the toy should be able to resemble prey, be fast-moving and can make a noise, and allow distance between you and your cat.
React Quickly When Your Cat Bites
Make it clear that you’re in pain and you don’t like what your cat has done. Make a high-pitched loud noise or an object that startles when shaken. If that doesn’t work, push into the bite to signal your cat that you’re not a prey that tries to run.
As much as possible, don’t hit on their head or pull away. When you pull, it prompts your cat to sink its teeth further in. Sometimes when you’re left with no choice, grab the loose skin on the back of their neck and forcibly tug the head away from the flesh.
Keep the grip on the scruff and put the cat far from you. Maintain a distance and hold a firm stance to show you’re the bigger one in the room.
Have a Daily Playtime
Erin Boyle, a certified animal trainer, who appeared on eHow Pets recommends that owners schedule at least 15 minutes of playtime with their cats twice daily. Try to get your cat to jump, run and pause, catch, then release. Repeat.
Get that cat energy out so they are more likely to rest by evening and the biting aggression is reduced.
Your Touch Should be Associated with Positive Things
While they’re eating, get your cat used to your hand and try hand-feeding once in a while. Stroke the top of the head down to their back. When they’re resting after a tiresome playtime, touch their head, ears, and even their belly. Deepen your bond with your cat so it sees you as a part of the pack.
Every time your cat bites, use something else to distract it such as a rubber ball, a small bird or fish toy, a laser pointer, and a stick. Bring it to their attention by showing it close to their face.
Bring it around with you if possible or place it somewhere accessible when you sense that naughty feline up to its shenanigans again. However, it might not be enough because it’ll come back for more so reach for that toy and engage with that energy until your cat is done.
Reward the Preferred Behavior
First, you must identify why your cat is biting. Biting could mean your cat doesn’t want what you’re doing with it such as brushing the fur or stroking the head. When that is figured out, think of an alternative solution and when they are following the solution, give the reward.
For example, when your cat suddenly bites you, use a small item to distract it away from you and then engage them in a play that encourages biting the toy. Give a treat each time your cat prefers to bite the item. Practice in sessions every day until there’s progress.
When it comes to guests coming over, it’s tempting to allow them to play with your cat but they always unintentionally use their hands. Tell them in advance to use the toy your cat loves to hunt and not with their limbs. Consistency lets your cat know that this is the right way of doing and it’ll learn much faster to stop biting you.
Why Is My Cat Biting Me?
- Your cat is trying to get your attention for want of playtime, food and water, and help.
- Your cat is play-biting. It usually starts when they’re kittens and they are encouraged to play with people’s hands and feet. It could also be pent-up energy that could be used for a few minutes of playtime.
- Your cat is annoyed, scared, or overstimulated. Mindlessly stroking your cat for more than five minutes could cause overstimulation and next, a painful bite. It’s a warning that they don’t want it anymore or that you’ve touched a sensitive part of their body.
- An expression of affection. These so-called “love bites” can be painful. Your cat may nibble or bite more painfully but to us owners, it feels more hurtful than affectionate.
- Unwarranted aggression caused by the presence of other cats and being harassed by someone. This means your cat is feeling unsafe at the moment. Something might have happened that you weren’t aware of and your cat is reacting aggressively due to this event.
How Do I Stop My Cat From Biting My Other Cat?
Cats bite other felines during grooming, playing, and fighting. It’s another cat language that is observable in multi-cat households.
Keep your cats’ belongings separate such as their food bowls and even water bowls if they don’t like sharing. When your cats are around each other, give them a reward when they’re interacting positively.
Why Does My Cat Bite Me When She’s Being Affectionate?
Cats also bite to show you that they love you. Some have termed it “cat love bites” and as cute as it is, it’s going to be more problematic when your cat grows up thinking it’s okay to inflict pain on you.
PetMD writes that cat love bites can also be a part of their grooming process. If you’ve been cuddling her for a while, she’s telling you she doesn’t want it anymore and is overstimulated.
It can be confusing to tell apart if it’s a “love bite” or a signal that she doesn’t want it anymore. If she bites and leaves, or bites while you continue to pet her, it’s best to stop the interaction and give her some space.
Why Does My Cat Grab My Hand and Bite Me?
You or a member of the household has been playing with your cat using your hands. Your cat thinks this appendage is prey to be hunted.
It could also mean that your cat is hungry, wants to play, is overstimulated, or sees you as a figure to dominate so it feels secure in its territory.
Why Is My Cat Biting Me for No Reason?
When your cat comes around to suddenly pounce and bite you, it may be trying to invite you to play! A show of dilated pupils, arched back, and a raised fear signal that your cat is feeling stressed or threatened.
Be calm around your cat. Our pets that have lived with us for months and even years have learned to pick up the atmosphere you bring into the house. When you’re feeling scared and anxious around your cat, it will pick up these negative feelings and act on them.
Should I Ignore My Cat if He Bites Me?
Initially ignoring your cat’s bites can eventually result in more severe attempts of biting your skin and spilling blood. There are three ways you can react when your cat bites:
- Be still. Your cat will think that the target – your body part – isn’t reacting and so it’s not something fun to engage with.
- Make a noise and make a move. Cats squeal to let their mate know that they’re being hurt and the interaction usually stops. Mimic this communication and make a loud noise that lets your cat know that you are in pain. Immediately, walk away and don’t engage.
- Grab it by the back of the neck. When your cat will not let go, grab it firmly by the scruff on the neck and lift it away from your body. You can place your feline in a locked room for a timeout or take an interactive toy to distract it away from you.
If your cat pursues you even though you have put distance between the two of you, grab an item that it can latch its mouth onto. Take a towel, a pillow, or fabric that is big enough to tackle your cat down without harming it. Put the cat in a separate room until the aggression settles down.
Training your cat to stop biting will require patience, consistency, and effort. Use interactive toys to exhaust your cat’s energy. Make a startling noise when you’re bitten and distract them with a stick, a bird or fish toy, something your cat loves to play with. Give the treat to encourage the preferred behavior, and remain consistent with the training.