Kitty Bites Me While Petting Her

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Why does my cat bite me when I´m petting him?

Kitty Bites Me While Petting Her

Some cat owners are familiar with this cat behavior problem: you're petting Kitty, she seems to like it because she is purring and suddenly, CHOMP! Her teeth are lodged in the flesh of your hand.

The general consensus on this problem is that the cat becomes over stimulated during petting, and can't quite figure out how to tell you to stop. The best thing to do is DON'T PANIC. Slowly withdraw your hand, then move away from the cat. If the cat is in your lap, pull your hands away and allow it to retreat, or stand up and let the cat jump to the floor.

Learn how to recognize the signals that precede biting: wildly flicking tail, ears laid back, their pupils dilating, or their body tensing. When any of these are noticed, stop touching the animal and allow it to move away on its own.

When training a new pet, start with short time periods of petting then slowly increase the length of time. Always back away slowly when the cat shows signs of frustration.

Then there are some cats that prefer other methods of human interaction besides petting; for those animals try playing with them more and petting them less.

   

Comments

10/11/2007 5:26:06 PM
Mez said:

The tip makes sense but does not ring true for my situation. My cat comes to me when I work on the computer, she gets a pet, she licks my hand and then bites it but never draws blood. I say "no", she goes away for two seconds and is then right back for the same. I don't think she would do that if she wanted to be left alone due to overstimulation.


10/11/2007 5:26:30 PM
Mez said:

The tip makes sense but does not ring true for my situation. My cat comes to me when I work on the computer, she gets a pet, she licks my hand and then bites it but never draws blood. I say "no", she goes away for two seconds and is then right back for the same. I don't think she would do that if she wanted to be left alone due to overstimulation.


10/21/2011 4:40:11 AM
The Cat Whisperer said:

I agree that overstimulation is what causes the behavior. Let me also add that with some cats, overstimulation may occur when certain parts of the body such as the rear portion of the cat's back above the tail, are petted or scratched whereas if only the cat's neck, area behind the ears & under the chin are scratched/petted. Kittens may bite when petted simply because they are playing with you.

If a cat that doesn't normally become overstimulated when petted suddenly starts reacting to petting by biting etc, have the cat examined by the vet for medical problems, parasites, injuries etc. Problems such as an ear mite infestation or an unseen injury/abscess or other painful condition can cause defensive aggression reactions.




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