Your cat is biting for a reason. Try to understand why and find a way to change that behaviour. However don’t push your cat to it’s limit while doing so. Here’s a few questions you need to ask yourself.
- Does my cat bite while we are playing?
Teach your cat how to be gentle
Cats will bite and claw when they are playing or acting our their hunting skills. Start by enticing kitty into a gentle game of play fighting. Continuously praise the cat all the time he remains gentle. Gradually increase the excitement and intensity of the game, keeping your eyes glued to kitty. As soon as you see that the cat is getting too excited or he begins to expose his claws or teeth, tone down the play session or immediately freeze and “play dead.” This usually causes a cat to calm down and retract its claws. If kitty complies, then resume playing. If not, the play must not resume until your cat calms down and retracts his claws. If your cat bites hard or scratches you, sharply scream “OUCH,” immediately stop playing, walk away and ignore him.
Does your cat have enough toys
While your cat is learning not to bite and claw you, it is equally as important that you provide kitty with something he can pounce on, attack, grab with his claws and sink his teeth into. Two 15 minute play sessions a day will work wonders in venting your cats excess energy as well as fulfilling his predatory instincts. And instead of tossing toys on the floor, try playing and interacting with your cat instead.
- Does my cat feel threatened or stressed or cornered?
Watch your cat’s body language
If a cat is frightened or feels threatened, it will naturally try to defend itself. Cats usually give other warning signs that they are going to bite. Watch your cat and notice his body language when he gets over stimulated or irritated. Usually the ears will flatten, he will turn and stare at you, or his tail will start to flick. There is a fine line between pleasurable petting and irritating handling. When your cat has had enough, the only way it knows how to say, “stop it,” is with its claws or teeth. If you touch your cat in a sensitive area, he may bite or scratch as a way of telling you to “quit it.”
Change of environment
If your cat has lived all his life in a quiet, private home and you suddenly bring in a bus load of noisy, rambunctious children, don’t expect your cat to not bite or claw at them. As a general rule, cats do not do well with change. New homes, owners, remodeling and even changes in schedule can unsettle them. Read here for more detailed tips on how to handle insecure cats.