Cats are loving and endearing creatures and can make excellent companions, but they do have their quirks, which can sometimes be difficult for humans to understand. One of these quirks is that sometimes cats may bite—Ouch!
If you are wondering why your cat is biting you it is important to know that it is not always a sign of aggression toward you and does not mean that the cat dislikes you. Cats sometimes bite, especially when they are not getting enough attention or when they are feeling threatened. They can sometimes lash out in fear of new places or uncertain situations.
If a cat feels that they’re in a situation where they need to defend itself, it may use its teeth to do so. Another reason why a cat might bite you is that they are trying to show you that they don’t like something. Keep reading to learn more about why cats bite their owners.
Reasons Why Cats Bite
Cats bite for many reasons. Cats will sometimes bite another animal to establish dominance, but they often bite out of boredom (Psychology Today). Cats are known for their unpredictability, but the way they act can be understood if you know what their motives are. They may also bite out of fear, hunger, an injury to their mouth, or if they are nervous or playful.
Reasons Why Your Cat May Be Biting You
There are many reasons why your cat may be biting you. The first and most common reason is that they may bite you specifically because they are bored and want attention. They may also be trying to tell you something, such as a warning of danger or a sign of aggression when they have had enough attention.
Playful vs. Aggressive
Cats are very playful animals, so it is possible that your cat is biting you for fun. However, if your cat is biting you out of fear or aggression, it may need to be taken to a veterinarian. If this is the case, try to redirect their attention to a toy.
Signs That Your Cat May Bite
The following are some signs that your cat may bite:
- If your cat is in pain or discomfort. This can be due to a medical condition, injury or illness.
- If your cat is struggling to get away from an uncomfortable situation.
- If your cat feels ignored or abandoned recently.
- You have been petting your cat too quickly and harshly. This can cause them to lash out at you in order to get you to stop.
- You have been acting too rough with your cat by pushing them off the table or chasing them around the house with a toy mouse. Again, this can cause them to lash out in order for you to stop this behavior.
- If your cat has never bitten anyone before and suddenly bites you for no apparent reason, it may be a sign of stress or anxiety due to changes in their environment such as moving into a new home, getting new furniture, etc.
How to Prevent Your Cat from Biting
The most common cause of cat biting is that they’re feeling threatened in some way. Cats will bite when they feel threatened or when they’re trying to protect themselves from being hurt. In some cases, the cat may be trying to play with you and their teeth just happen to graze your skin.
If you want to prevent your cat from biting, you should take care not to provoke them. Don’t try to pick them up or pet them if they’re sleeping or eating because this can make them feel threatened (MSPCA).
Keep in mind that cats are less likely to bite when they are engaged in a game like chasing the string than if they are playing with bare hands or objects not meant to be cat toys.
What to Do If Your Cat Bites You
If your cat bites you, there are a few things you should say to them to calm them down. You can calmly tell them that they need to stop biting or say “no” in a firm voice. You can also try telling them that it hurts and that it’s not nice to bite people. If this doesn’t work, then try giving your cat some space for a little while before trying again later on.
If your cat has a history of biting or scratching people, talk to your vet about possible reasons why they might be behaving aggressively (ASPCA).
How to Treat a Cat Bite
The first thing you should do is stop the bleeding. After that, you should clean the wound with soap and water. If the bite was shallow, then you should wash the wound immediately with soap and water and apply an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin.
You should also keep an eye on it for any signs of infection like redness or swelling (Healthline). If you notice any of these signs, you should contact your doctor immediately. If it’s a deep bite, you may need to go to the hospital for stitches.
The reason your cat bites you could be because they are trying to play with you. They might also be trying to get your attention, which is a sign that they want more attention from you. If your cat is biting you aggressively then they may be afraid, upset, or need space. The best course of action if you are unsure is to speak with your veterinarian if you have any concerns.