LifestyleWhy cats bite: Understanding feline behaviour and responses

Why cats bite: Understanding feline behaviour and responses

These behaviours of the cat should raise a red flag for us.
These behaviours of the cat should raise a red flag for us.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Aleksandr Vaynshtein

9 July 2024 18:39

Cats walk their paths. However, there are certain behaviours that we can reasonably quickly read. One of them is nibbling on our hands when we try to pet them. There are several reasons for this "attack".

Cat owners know that these four-legged friends are exceptional individuals. However, some behaviour patterns can be observed. A relatively common behaviour of cats is nibbling on our hands while we pet them. This one gesture has a few explanations. It's worth knowing them all, as it's not always a sign of aggression.

Why do cats bite their owners?

Very often, cats decide to "attack" the owner when they have lost their vigilance and are suddenly jolted out of a relaxed state - in other words, their instinct kicks in. Sometimes, they may not be in the mood for affection, for example, due to overstimulation. If we see that the animal puts its ears back, tenses its muscles, and dilates its pupils... it’s better to leave it alone.

The instinct can also kick in another way. Has your pet been playing alone or with you, and you suddenly want to pet them? They will likely pounce on your hand with their teeth because they are still in play mode. Sometimes, the opposite happens - a bored cat that has not released tension will bug us to vent accumulated emotions.

It may also happen that our cat reacts to attempts at petting by biting for another alarming reason. He probably feels pain if he attacks us when we touch a specific place. In that case, observe the animal and do not hesitate to visit the vet and inform them of your concerns.

How to deal with a cat that bites?

If our four-legged friend's "attacks" are very noticeable, it's good to seek advice from a behaviourist. We will likely get suggestions for exercises and games to overcome these difficulties and teach our cat how to handle emotions.

Every cat has a different character—we might have encountered an individual who doesn't like to be petted. It's better to let the animal keep its habits.

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