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Why does my cat bite me when I pet it?

As much as the idea that cats are very independent is widespread, we always imagine these felines purring in our lap and accepting our caresses willingly. But the reality can be very different and, thus, it is not difficult to find cats that they flee and / or reject our demonstrations of affection.

Sometimes it is even possible that they bite us, even if they were the ones who had approached us demanding, apparently, caresses. For that reason, in this article we are going to explain why our cat bites us when we pet him.

When biting is a game

As we know, cats are hunter animals and, since they are very young, they develop behaviors aimed at becoming a perfect predator. Within these activities are the bites, as part of the development of their habitual hunting behavior. The kittens will play between them to become prey and predators.

These first weeks of life are key to the socializationThat is why it is so important that they spend them in the company of their mother and siblings, at least during the first two months of life. The games between them and corrections of the mother cat they will help the cat learn how far it can go and what force it can imprint on its bites.

When the kitten comes to live with us, he may want to repeat these games and this may explain why the cat bites us when we pet him because, for him, the mode is going to be activated “Game of hunting”. If this happens we should divert their attention and always use toys to interact with them, avoiding, thus, taking our hands, fingers, feet or even legs as potential prey.

Bite as notice

Other times our cat he greets us and approaches us rubbing his head against our body and / or purring. Our normal reaction will be to return the caresses and, therefore, it causes surprise to any caregiver and it is usual question why the cat bites us when we caress it.

You have to know that, although it is true that our cat is asking for caresses, you can get tired of them right away and your way of saying it will be to stop us with a bite, generally small, notice. Other times he will restrain us with his paw, stopping our hand or giving us a slight claw. Although it is a disconcerting behavior, the truth is that it is very likely that our cat has been warning us to cease our caresses, but we have not identified its signs.

Some may be the following:

  • Ears folded back, like the rest of the head, which will move away from our contact.
  • Restless movement of the tail, which will present elevated.
  • Attempt to get away from us.
  • In general, discomfort, our cat will not be relaxed, rather his state will be alert.

If we observe any of these behaviors we have to stop caressing him since, if persisted, we will take a warning bite or a blow. Let’s see, next, in which parts of the body it is safest to caress a cat.

Caressing area

In the first place, neither with a cat nor with any other animal, we must force the friction. Let’s always let it be the animals that come to us. Obliging them can explain why the cat bites when I pet it.

If you look at these felines, it is easy to verify that they show us their affection by rubbing against us, especially the sides of the head. In this way it releases some “appeasing” hormones that provide you with a pleasant feeling. This is going to be your favorite place to cuddle.

The rest of the body behaves as follows:

  • Top of the head and neck: this area, like the sides of the face, is very receptive to caresses. Our cat will accept the contact willingly, yes, we have to stop the first symptom of discomfort.
  • Loin: the caresses that run down the spine are also well received, especially if we gently scratch the tail area.
  • Paws: cats do not usually like to touch their feet or feet. Better to avoid doing it if we do not know the pussycat.
  • Belly: danger zone. Even the most cuddly cat can get upset if we insist on caressing this part, as it is especially vulnerable. Touching her belly is synonymous, almost sure, with a bite, even if it’s just a warning.

Therefore, we respect these indications, especially if it is an unknown cat or newcomer. We both have to get used to it little by little and, of course, we have to stop touching it at the first sign of discomfort.

The love bite

But, sometimes, there are cats that use the bite as another way of communication “loving”. Thus, the answer to why our cat bites us when we pet it can be, simply, that it is its show of affection. In these cases the bite is made “without teeth”, that is, rather it would be that our cat “takes” our mouth, hand, fingers or even nose, gently and gently, without doing any harm. Your attitude will be relaxed and friendly.

When the bite is a danger

In some cases we can explain why my cat bites me when I pet it as the result of an assault, directly. These cats they do not tolerate caresses and they react by biting, especially if they are in circumstances where they can not escape and hide, as would be their first choice.

Many times this situation is the reflection of a great fear that the cat has before humans and could be the result of a poor socialization or a bad experience. That is why we have said that it is important to respect the distances that the cat is going to impose and never force it to contact or, even, to reprimand it if as a result of this it bites us. In these cases, if we want to get to pet the cat we should start calmly. Serve the following steps as a guide:

  • Let the cat approach us, for this we can help with a prize, such as a meal that you especially like or a toy.
  • Stroke gently and slowly, without sudden movements, the lateral ones or the superior part of the head, only a couple of times. If the cat is receptive, which we can verify if it remains calm, we will increase the time of caresses progressively, day by day, without haste and without forcing.
  • Once the previous step is well accepted, we can continue caressing it by sliding the palm of our hand over the spine, crossing the column.
  • We must remember that a cat may want to sleep in our lap and, nevertheless, not accept caresses. Respect it.

If, on the contrary, an attack is triggered, we must follow the following steps:

  • If the cat has caught our hand or arm we should release firmly but not abruptly, as a violent pull can trigger another attack. We can say, at the same time, “no”, with tranquility.
  • We must never attack the catIn addition to being an intolerable abuse, it can be counterproductive and result in another attack. In addition we will be teaching you that we are not trustworthy, which will make it difficult to solve the problem.
  • In serious cases where the approach described above is not possible, we should seek professional help, consulting with a specialized veterinarian or with aethologist, which is the professional who studies animal behavior. Before any attempt to modify the behavior we must submit the cat to a veterinary review since, sometimes, an illness Not detected can cause pain that the cat expresses by being aggressive.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why does my cat bite me when I pet it?, we recommend that you enter in our behavior problems section.

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