“Biting owners during everyday caresses is one of the basic problems,” doctors and behaviorists agree.
Vets know what these particular nibbles are, why cats engage in this behavior, and how pet parents can respond appropriately when their frustrated family member feels the need to bite. So let’s tell about specific behavior during a routine visit. Until then, we present some tips.
What is and is not love biting
Do not confuse love biting – with the type of excessively aggressive biting associated with fear, defense or territorial action.
Love bites are usually not severe and do not cut our skin. It starts with licking, and the behavior becomes more intense until it can end with biting.
Another clue that your cat is showing you love in this specific way is that there are usually no other signs of aggression such as hissing, snarling or scratching. The cat’s body language is usually fairly calm, although the cat may strain slightly just before biting.
Why does your cat bite you while caressing?
There is little research on why cats behave this way: most of what is known is based on speculation.
Cat bites can also be inadvertent as part of cat care. Cats can lick a specific area for some time and then use their incisors to comb the coat. By the way, your cat can take care of you, your hand, face or head.
In addition, not all cats like petting. Some cats may want or enjoy resting on their owner’s lap, but they don’t like to be petted. It is also possible that the parent of the pet strokes the cat in areas that the cat finds unpleasant, for example, on or near the stomach or on the tail.
How to react properly to cat bites
Testing your cat’s body language is one of the best ways to learn how to react and prevent future events. Watch out for signs of discomfort, such as the ears on the sides of your head or a twitching tail, and stop stroking if visible.
Parents of pets should note whether the cat’s biting stops when the cat is petted or nurtured more often or for less time. The owner should react properly before cat bites. So, if the cat usually bites after five hand or brush strokes, the owner should always stop at four. If the cat bites when the owner stops stroking after five moves, the owner should redirect the cat to another activity after this time – e.g. a favorite toy or a fishing rod.
If we do not know how the cat will react, it recommends short petting sessions, often pausing to assess the cat’s interest. It is also recommended that people always invite their cat to interact rather than approach and look after the sleeping or resting cat. Focus on caresses in areas that cats generally like, such as ears and chin, and avoid caressing cats on the stomach or near the tails, unless you have to comb them.
Never react negatively to cat biting. The owner should never shake, spray water or frighten a cat in any way; it can cause the cat to react to this with real and dangerous aggression,
If the cat bites you and breaks the skin, clean the wound immediately. Look for any swelling, pain or redness that is spreading. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your doctor or go to the clinic.