why does my cat play bite me

Cat enthusiasts are probably the most passionate demographic around. We love our cats! We wear our love, we photograph it and we share our love, wholeheartedly. Its like its always Valentines Day with our feline friends. While we love our cats and want our cats to love us back, sometimes we get a little too zealous in demonstrating said love to our cats. Yes, we want to cuddle and stroke them nonstop, and very often they enjoy the attention up to a point! Cat love bites are the result of our demonstrative nature run amok. Anyone who has lived with a cat probably has a story or two about a cat love bite. Lets find out how to identify cat love bites versus real cat bites and what to do when they occur. can only provide insight into our cats emotions to a point. So, we rely on their
to relay how theyre feeling. , says, Stay away from me right now. A cat who is cornered and agitated could at the perceived threat. Watching for escalating aggressive signals from your cat can thwart a real cat bite. A should be addressed right away. However, there are times when you and your cat are in the groove. Youre giving him a nice ear rub, and hes looking at you with soft eyes, giving you that kiss. He might even start your leg. The feeling of mutual admiration is pulsing through the air. You start rubbing his shoulders, he seems to really like that area caressed. So, you increase the pressure and lean in a little more to ramp up that. Then, seemingly without warning, he. The pain probably takes hold of you before you can realize what just happened. The cat love bite strikes again! According to Jackson Galaxy, cat behaviorist and author, the cat is over-stimulated. More precisely, Sydney Morning Herald, It s called petting-induced overstimulation. The hair follicle receptors in a cat can only take so much petting before it hurts. My Himalayan mix, named Slayer, will out of the blue come over and bite my arm its more like a nip.


Whether Im on the couch or in bed, he hops up and makes this random gesture. Then hell plop down and. This ritual ends with me giving him a few strokes. But not too many! So, whats this about? Huffington Post that its reminiscent of the ways cats and kittens playfully interact with each other. Its another form of cat love bites, but its not a result of too much stimulation. Its your cat just being playful and using his nonverbal communication skills to let you know hed like some attention, now, please. Most kittens play rough. Youngsters play is not only a form of social bonding, its also preparing the litter for adulthood. Bouts of mock stalking and hunting give way to pouncing and biting. Cat love bites can occur when your kitten is playing aggressively with you, especially if youre kitten doesnt have another feline playmate. Again, you can tell the difference between aggressive playtime and real aggression by paying attention to your cat. If hes not growling or hissing, his excitement (not agitation), is escalating. Its important to remember that his play drive is connected to prey drive (which historically ends with a kill). Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM, holistic veterinarian can directly cause unwanted aggression toward you when hes an adult. A tiny cat love bite from a kitten might be funny. An adult cat love bite might cause swelling. If youve inadvertently created a cat who gets a bit too mouthy with the cat love bite during play, you can change that behavior. Instead, use a to toy with a string or wand. Teach your cat to fetch. Try. In his Sydney Morning Herald, Galaxy recommends watching for signs of agitation while youre petting your cat. If his , his ears pin back and his, stop caressing your cat.


Its really that simple. If you dont stop before you get a cat love bite, definitely stop as soon as you are bitten. Then let your cat establish what he wants to do next. Sometimes, cats make a mad dash out of there. Sometimes, they want to still be near you, they just dont want you petting them any longer. Respect your cats boundaries and if he stays next to you, dont keep touching him. Cats in a myriad of subtle ways, so always be receptive to what hes telling you. Seemingly innocuous actions like, and are actually letting you know they love you! Whether hes hanging around and purring or kneading your extremities raw and chirping, its all about the love. So, whether theyre giving you a little cat love bite out of follicle frustration or out of kitty cat playfulness, our cats are always letting us know how they feel. Its up to us to pay attention. Thumbnail: Photography BubblegirlPhoto iStock / Getty Images Plus. Tell us: What prompts your cat to give you a cat love bite and how do you respond? Read more about cat behavior on Catster. com: Have you been there? You are walking down the hallway with shorts on and your cat suddenly without warning or provocation jumps out from a doorway launching themselves at your bare legs with claws and sometimes even teeth! As a veterinarian, I often get these stories at the veterinary hospital and recommend training. Think about a cats idea of fun. It usually involves stalking, chasing, attacking and killing things. From a very young age kittens begin to learn this hunting behavior by practicing on their litter mates. The game begins when one kitten jumps and bites their sibling. Let the games begin! When the game becomes too rough the sibling responds with body position, vocalization or hissing, or finally a well-placed claw until they are taught what is acceptable among the litter.


However this cat behavior is also training to protect territory from predators including other cats. Furthermore, other games include hunting training. Momma cat usually brings home some fresh carcasses with which the kittens can play. Gradually as the litter gains more expertise, mom will start to bring mortally wounded prey as a play item. Then gradually less wounded prey will be introduced until the kittens hunting prowess progresses to being able to capture and kill fully living prey. My point is that cats are true carnivores and there idea of play does not included coloring. So once these hunting, clawing but cute as can be felines start living with us, how can we make play more tolerable to the human household? The absolute first rule of thumb is to never reward biting, clawing, and scratching of humans no matter how big or small that human may be. Even if there is one person in the house is willing to put up with this play, the rest of the household will continue to be targets. This is the training phase of both the humans and the cat of what is not acceptable. Animal hospitals around the country get many requests to euthanize aggressive cats because they scare the grandchildren, the neighbors or even the husband just because they are play aggressive and have never been trained. What does this mean? NO playing with hands, feet, toes or hair as toys. Not under a blanket or under a box, with socks on, hand tucked into a sleeve. never. There are plenty of toys out there for cats, some we can even make at home. We will talk about that later. And if or when, a cat attempts to use these items as toys, they must be distracted with an appropriate toy. A food reward can be used if the cat plays with the appropriate toy. Remember unless there is an underlying cat behavior issue, this is for fun! You know what else is fun? When the human playmate screams, squeals, runs, sprays the cat with a squirt bottle, wags a finger sternly yelling NO! and all of these things will reward this initiation of play.


If the cat cannot be distracted, I recommend that they be gently, calmly and safely be placed into a quiet place for a minute or two, because that is no fun. Then continue to choose appropriate toys to continue the play and training. Heres the fun part! Playing with your cat should be fun! Of course, cats are inclined to play with a stuffed mouse, ball, pillow, empty bag or box etc. however cats adore social interaction from you! Finding interactive toys that they enjoy bring you into the action in a safe way. Laser pointers, mice on the end of a cat safe string, feathers on the end of a stick are great choices that allow you to play at an arms length from hunting teeth and claws. Just remember to put all strings out of reach of cats when they are not supervised. Another option is tossing treats or dental diets down the hall or through the kitchen can provide entertainment as well. Different cat personalities will have different preferences. Some cats are bug hunters so a laser pointer is purrfect. Others prefer to hunt mice or birds so mice on a string or feathers on a stick are more appropriate. And make those things move up onto perches, across the bed and around the dining room table. Dont forget about vertical spaces! Remember that the idea is that sometimes they catch their prey and that is part of the reward. It may take some time to get to know what your cat likes but once you find out just give it to them! The key to success in training any cat behavior is commitment, patience, and consistency. And as always your favorite cat veterinarian should always be a source of information if issues arise or especially if you think that there is a cat behavior issue. For more information check out

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