6 Ways To Get Your Cat To Stop Biting
Cat owners love being able to spend time with their cats. Whether you like a lap cat, a playful cat, or a well-balanced cat, that bonding time is precious. If your cat is biting you though, this can take away from enjoying your time together. In most instances, this biting behavior can be remedied fairly quickly and easily. The Refined Feline has put together a list of 6 ways to get your cat to stop biting.
#1: Create A Safe Space
Most cats like having their own space in addition to what they share with you when possible. They may love the couch as much as you do, but still want a place to call their own. Even if you don’t have a “scaredy” cat, they can still get startled or become uncomfortable, and seek a hiding spot. If they don’t have anywhere to hide, they may turn to biting for protection. Most cats don’t need a whole separate living space, but at least a few strategically and easily accessible places will help. Putting a couple of hidden beds in a bedroom or a corner can give them a sense of peace and security and help to get your cat to stop biting. Pick quiet places around other parts of your home to put a few beds or a small cat tree that they can run to if necessary.
#2: Be Mindful of What Scares Them
The root of most biting behaviors is fear-driven on the cat’s part. When a cat is suddenly afraid of a new situation or sound, their “flight or fight” instincts kick in. If they don’t have a safe space to run to, they may choose the fight instinct more often than not, which usually involves biting. You don’t want to punish your cat for simply relying on their instincts. Instead, you will need to find out what keeps triggering this response in them. Are people being too loud? Do doors get slammed on a daily basis? Major holidays, such as July 4th, can be particularly scary for all pets. Loud noises can be very jarring to an animal, and they don’t know why it’s happening. This can make any well-rounded cat feel the need to defend themselves, but there are steps you can take to get your cat to stop biting.
Cats’ sense of hearing is much stronger than a human’s, so they’re going to hear every sound amplified more. If you think something is too loud, it’s definitely too loud for your cats. Look around your house and see it from a cat’s point of view; look for any startling or scary sights and sounds. Maybe their litter box is past the loudest room in your home. This can create a stressful situation for them every day just to use the potty. Maybe there is a lot of traffic down your road and it is setting them on edge throughout the day. Becoming aware of these situations can help calm your cat, who may not be showing signs of stress outright. Be mindful of these situations and see what you can change. This can help to give your cat a more peaceful and less fearful home.
#3: Stick With a Routine
Most cats are used to a routine and crave it, just like people and dogs. Routine sets a balance and knowledge of what’s to come for pets. Your cat will know what to expect and have less fear in certain situations. When the UPS delivery guy keeps knocking, or friends keep stopping by, these activities throw off that balance. That feeling of fear can come upon your cat again and may cause them to bite. Having those safe spaces for them can help alleviate these new experiences or interruptions and can give them the confidence to venture out during a party and get comfortable.
Sometimes it can be overwhelming for cats to experience new events, so go slow for them. Give them treats to show your cat it’s a positive experience, and that they don’t need to feel scared. Let your friends and family give them treats too so they know new people are givers of good things as well. You’ll want your cat to get used to the new events, but don’t push them to be involved either. Going at their pace will help them feel more comfortable and less likely to act out with biting.
#4: Respect Your Cat’s Boundaries
For the most part, it’s up to the cat to feel comfortable in most situations, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t responsible for some rules, too. It’s especially important to teach children how to properly interact with cats and when to leave them alone. A lot of children don’t pick up on some subtle clues from cats, and this can lead to biting. Cats will sometimes be more patient with children than adults, but they can still reach a limit. Adults may need a slight tutorial on how your cat reacts as well, especially if they are unfamiliar with cats. People may just keep petting a cat and not notice the flick of a tail, or the eyes narrowing at them. Letting your guests know when to stop petting or interacting can help with preventing any potential bites.
Overstimulation can often occur in situations where a cat is getting near non-stop attention. Most friendly cats are going to want to be the center of attention in a party. However, a cat can easily become overwhelmed by the number of pets they’re getting, and sassy cats won’t simply turn and walk away! They will probably react with a swipe or a bite to say they’re done. Your guests may not realize when a cat is getting agitated, so give them any guidance that may help.
#5: Don’t Encourage Biting
You may not even realize it, but you can be encouraging bad behavior which can increase bites. If your cat loves to wrestle and play, especially with your arms and hands, this can encourage biting that’s unprovoked. A good piece of advice to get your cat to stop biting is to simply not use your arms and hands to rough house with your cat. It makes biting and other inappropriate behavior acceptable to your cat, which can cause issues down the road. It’s best to establish that kind of play with cat toys from the very beginning to get your cat to stop biting and encourage better behavior overall.
#6: Keep Your Cat Entertained
At the end of the day, your cat may just be bored. Your cat knows that biting will elicit a reaction from you, so they clamp down to see what you’ll do. The boredom may stem from not having enough playtime or feeling lonely at home while you’re at work. Try out a few activities to get a better idea of where the boredom is coming from exactly. If you have a single cat at home, they may benefit from having a friend to play with. Introducing another cat is a big deal, so make sure your cat would welcome a furry sibling.
Get Your Cat to Stop Biting With These Tips
No matter how you begin to help your kitty decrease their biting, remember to be patient. A cat’s world is very different from our own, so keep this in mind. It may take a little while to get your cat to stop biting and see improvements in behavior, but know that you’re taking the proper steps to give yourself and your cat a calm, bite-free living environment.