How To Stop Cat Biting
Welcome. If you are looking for cat training tips on how to stop aggressive cat biting behavior? You have come to the right place! Cat biting is one of the most common behavior issues th
at people have with cats. Aggressiveness comes naturally to them but if we are to live together in harmony, we must employ ways to curb this instinctual behavior.
Cats bite for two primary reasons, over stimulation and play aggression.
Stop Cat Biting Due To Over Stimulation
Picture this scene… You are relaxing on your couch, gently stroking your purring feline friend while thinking, “life is good!” Suddenly, your cat’s head whips around and she plunges her fangs into your arm’s tender flesh!!! What the heck! You shake your fist at the heavens, exclaiming, “will someone please show me how to stop cat biting!?!?!” This is an example of over stimulation triggering an attack.
The truth is if you don’t exert dominance, your cat will continuously battle you for it. The reason the biting occurs when you are petting your cat is because your cat is attempting to take control of your relationship. He or she is basically dictating the petting schedule and the biting is a way of saying “I’m done!”
If your cat were out in nature and exhibited biting behavior, other cats would bite back. To stop cat biting behavior, you need exert dominance and give your cat a reason to stop. Consistency is the key. Each time your cat tries to bite, even if in play, you must loudly and firmly command “stop it!” or “no!” After a while, your cat will understand the repercussions of aggressive behavior and stop biting.
A cat’s mouth contains bacteria that can cause infection. Their sharp teeth are designed to puncture the skin and can cause tissue damage. A serious bite can send you to the doctor so it is important that you watch for the warning signs that your cat about to bite. These signals can include tail twitching and body tensing. If this happens, you may want to stop petting your cat or cease whatever behavior is provoking your cat.
Stop Cat Biting Due To Play Aggression
When a kitten is with it’s mother in the litter, play behavior includes biting and scratching. The mother will allow this kind of play and encourage it to the point where it becomes actually painful to herself and her other kittens. The feline mother herself will essentially socialize her kittens by teaching the difference between play fighting and real fighting.
If a kitten becomes too aggressive, its mother will correct him or her with a swat. I have even witnessed a mother cat place her paws on her kitten and immobilize it – sort of like a kitten “time out.” This was very cute to witness, but it also gave me an idea about training my own cats to stop their own biting and/or aggressive behavior. Obviously, the best-case scenario is to start when they are kittens because when the cat is grown, unwanted behaviors like biting are an extremely hard habit to break.
When your cat exhibits biting or aggressive behavior, roll it on its back and gently hold him or her immobile until he or she calms down. While you do that, use verbal cues to indication that the behavior is not to be tolerated. I used a very commanding, “stop it!” when my kittens were being trained not to bite. Placing the kitten on it’s back is putting it in a very vulnerable position. By doing this, you are also teaching your kitten to trust and respect you. NEVER intentionally hurt your kitten or cat. This will destroy trust and your relationship will be continuously problematic. You must exercise restraint and compassion while taking your rightful place as the Alpha in your domestic pride.
Your goal is to essentially take the roll of the parent in your cat’s life. If your cat learns to see you in that roll, your bond will be unbreakable and you will have cats that people with unruly cats truly envy.
How to Stop Cat Biting, continued…
As we discussed above, kittens engage in naturally aggressive play that includes biting. Let’s face it – kittens are CUTE and little! It is tempting to take your hands, wrestle with them, and encourage them to “attack.” This kind of play must be avoided if you want to a cat that doesn’t bite. When you play with a kitten in that fashion, it starts to see your hand as a giant plaything and something to attack. This may be fine when the kitten is small and its bites aren’t as intimidating but eventually, that cute little kitten will be a full-grown cat with full-grown fangs! At that point, if your cat is still seeing your hand as something to attack, you will literally feel the pain of that mistake for a long time!
Use Toys to Stop Cat Biting
|The “CAT DANCER” is a great, inexpensive, toy that cats love! Click the image to buy one!|
As stated above, it’s important that your cat doesn’t see your hand as a plaything. To this end, cat toys are essential. It is crucial when playing with your kitten to put the focus on a toy, rather than your hand. A fishing-pole toy is extremely helpful with this because it puts a safe distance between your hands and your cat’s fangs. It also helps teach your cat what is acceptable to bite. You don’t have to deny yourself the joy of playing with and enjoying your kitten… you just have to change the tactics of play.
Another thing to remember in the “stop cat biting” training process is that when your kitten does cross the line and get too aggressive, end the game immediately. A stern “no” or “stop it” helps your kitten understand what behaviors are discouraged. Be consistent and your kitten will catch on.
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- Get inside your cat’s mind and understand 3 common reasons why cats bite… and steps you can take to “tame the beast” in your kitty.
Flip the “attack mode” switch in your cat with one simple action.
6 common signals cats use to say “back off” and how you should immediately respond.
- 3 effective ways to handle “play biting” so both of you can enjoy fun times together.
- The one place you may be petting your cat that often causes unprovoked attacks. You’ll be shocked at the message you may be sending!
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