Cat Bites

Loving bites or playful nibbles? In the case of cats, sometimes love really does hurt. Why do cats bite? Time to find out why!

A reader messaged us recently with the question, “Why does my cat always nip my arm or any other body part he can reach? He doesn’t bite hard or break skin.”

As a cat owner myself, I have also experienced that kind of love bite, as I call them. And that’s exactly what it is. Your cat is actually being affectionate and playful with you in the best way that cats know how.

From the time cats are kittens, they learn to play with their paws and their teeth. After all, they are predators by nature, and their feline senses tell them that this is what they should do. Therefore, when a cat or kitten sees an object on the end of your arm with five wiggling things coming towards them…it’s a toy to play with! And if you reward him by playing, he’ll continue the behavior. He’ll even try new “attacks”—your hair, feet or any place he can “nibble.” My cat, Jack, seems to think that my feet are pretty fun to play with while I am sleeping!

While having a kitten play with your hand might be cute, it might become more painful as your cat grows older. Or it might “play-attack” an unsuspecting friend or child. So you may want to consider not allowing your furry friend to play with your hand, or other body parts. The best way to avoid any playful biting or scratching is to not permit it. Pull your arm away and give a firm, “No.” You don’t need to shout.  Eventually, your pet will realize that your body is not a play toy. Instead, give your cat other diversions—toys or anything you have around the house that he finds it fun to play with.

Does your cat bite you? How do you get it to stop? Give us your tips in the comments!

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