If you have cats that are biting you all the time it’s a good decision to look at your response. It’s normal for cats to attack and bite moving objects, so let’s dig into the reasons behind cats biting and how to stop the unwanted behavior.
Instinctively kitties use their teeth and claws to play. This is how they interact with their littermates and mother. The play mimics how cats will pounce, grab and bite prey in the wild. Usually the biting is not hard enough to draw blood, as they don’t desire to harm their beloved. However, if we are unknowingly encouraging this behavior then cats that are biting can start to get rough.
Here are some tips on how to help stop this behavior
- Never use your hands or feet as toys. Cats are smart and learn early on what is okay and what’s not. If we use our hands to play with them they will think that this is an approved toy to bite. Instead, if your cat starts to bite your hand or feet stop moving. Say “no” and go limp. Pulling away encourages more biting. They’ll quickly learn that your hands and feet are not accepted toys.
- Distract the biting with something interactive, like a wand toy. Kickers are also a fun alternative that can keep kitties using this instinctive behavior without harming anyone. If you can make or buy toys that dispense treats that would be a great way to keep them rewarded while you are away.
- Know when your cat is overstimulated. Some cats will bite you if you pet them too long. If you pay attention to your kitties you’ll know their tipping point and can stop before they get there.
- Don’t use physical punishment. Cats don’t respond to punishment positively. Yelling, hitting or spraying your cat with a water bottle will only encourage the behavior or make them fear you. Neither of these breed the results you want. Train your cat to avoid unwanted behavior using positive reinforcement instead.
Cats are just as trainable as dogs, we just have to be patient and kind with them. Cats that are biting you are doing so naturally, so don’t assume that they are being mean. Praise your kitties for the wanted behaviors and ignore the unwanted behaviors.