It’s happened to everyone. You’re petting your cat, and he is as happy as can be! And then it happens: your cat suddenly rolls over, digs all his claws into you, and starts to bite your hand. Ouch! That’s never a great experience, but even with all the pain you’re experiencing, you have probably asked yourself at least once: is it okay to let your cat bite you?
Generally, its okay to let your cat bite you. Biting is mostly a sign of affection in cats. However, aggressive biting can be a sign of deeper social and behavioral issues. Aggresive biting can lead to painful injuries and infections.
Biting is not always a sign of bad behavior, but it won’t be difficult for you to see if your cat is biting out of meanness or not. Keep on reading this article to learn about some of the reasons your cat is biting you and some of the things you can do to stop the behavior.
Reasons Cats Bite You
There are multiple reasons why your cat may bite you that you should be aware of. Here are ten of the most common reasons why your cat bites you:
1. You are doing something to annoy your cat.
2. Your cat is in pain.
3. Your cat is feeling grumpy or is usually in a bad mood.
4. Your cat does not want to be bothered while you are near him or touching him.
5. Biting is your cat’s way of showing you affection, even if it might be painful.
6. If your cat bites you in the middle of you petting him, he shows you that he is finished being pet.
7. Your cat is asserting dominance.
8. Your cat saw you as a threat.
9. Your cat is being playful and uses his teeth and claws to play with you.
10. Your cat bites you on instinct.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of reasons why cats bite, but it is a good reference if you are trying to figure out why your cat is biting you.
Why Do Cats Bite Their Owners For No Reason
Cats rarely bite for no reason, so you may be doing something that annoys your cat or experiencing pain that you cannot see.
Some people believe that their cats bite for no reason, but there is usually a reason why cats bite.
It is generally easy to look back and suddenly realize that you were indeed annoying your cat in some way.
But if you’re racking your brain and can’t figure out why your cat bit you, it could be that your cat is experiencing some internal pain. It could be something as simple as a mild stomach ache or something more severe.
The pain of any kind can quickly turn a sweet cat miserable.
Once you rule out being a nuisance to your cat, consider your cat’s behavior. Is he more grumpy than usual? Is he spending more time hiding? These could be signs that something more concerning is wrong with your cat.
What Happens If You Let A Cat Bite You
Sometimes letting your cat bite you is a good thing!
Your first instinct might be how to stop your cat from biting you. After all, a cat’s teeth are so sharp that they can easily break your skin and cause you to bleed. If nothing else, it certainly feels like a bad pinch!
Before you think of all the bad things that can happen if a cat bites you, you should consider that your cat is biting you out of affection.
Cats can give love bites too!
Letting your cat bite you can be a way that your cat shows you affection, though it might not be your favorite way.
In this case, it’s good to let your cat bite you! You are strengthening your bond with your cat.
It could be detrimental to your relationship with your cat if you always stop him from biting you when he is trying to love you.
What Should You Do If Your Cat Bites You
Bites are not always a good thing, so if your cat bites you in a mean way, you should be prepared to clean the wound.
We like to think our cats are always here to love us, but the fact is even a gentle bite can be nasty.
First, you should wash the bite, as you would with any injury.
Chances are there was nothing harmful in your cat’s mouth, but you always want to be more safe than sorry.
Next, see if your bite is bleeding. Cats sometimes puncture the skin so fast and deep that you won’t even bleed. Apply a bandage if you are.
That’s it! Keep an eye on the bite to make sure there is no infection. Most people do not run the risk of infection, but you do not want to assume that it will not get infected.
How Do I Stop My Cat From Biting Me
Not everyone likes their cat biting them, so if you want to stop your cat from biting you, here are some things you can try:
- Learn your cat’s preferences. Do not pet or scratch him if he does not want to be pet or if he wants you to stop.
- Gently bop your cat on the nose. Do not hit him. This will ensure that he remembers a negative response when he bites you. Alternatively, you can make a loud noise that he will associate with biting. Your yell might be enough.
- Keep your fingers away from your cat. He may still bite other parts, but you will avoid your fingers, which could be most painful.
Cats are not as easily trained like dogs. You could have a more difficult time training your cat than your dog.
Working with your cat long enough could teach him not to bite you, but it will not be a fast process, especially if your cat has a concerning (and painful!) habit of biting you.
Most of the time, the best way to stop a cat from biting you is to change your own behavior; chances are you are the reason that your cat is biting you.
Things To Consider
It’s hard to think that biting could be out of affection, but when it comes to cats, it can be!
Before we end this article, let’s talk a little bit more about affectionate biting, or love bites, as many people call it.
Love bites from cats do not aim to break the skin. An aggressive cat that is biting is aiming to draw blood.
These love bites will usually start as grooming, which is another difference. Your cat may be using his sandpaper tongue to lick your hand and fingers.
Your cat may get a little more aggressive and adamant that he will clean you, especially if you try to pull your hand away. The claws may come out then.
Even with more aggression, your cat is not trying to break the skin when biting you. You will feel more like your cat is nipping you.
How To React
Your cat means well with love bites, but it can still be painful.
Your cat is not breaking the skin when he bites you, but the pinching can be uncomfortable and even painful.
Even so, you will have to swallow the pain because you do not want to react negatively. Do not swat, smack or push your cat away.
An adverse, rough reaction will make your cat think that you do not like or appreciate his affection.
One adverse reaction will not ruin your connection to your cat, but if there is repeated pushing and shoving when he bites you, your cat will begin to distance itself from you out of fear.
So, why biting?
No one can know for sure why cats bite as they do, but most scientists who study cats and other animals assume that it is a leftover reaction from when they are kittens.
Kittens do roughhouse as they play with each other, but they are also constantly cleaning each other.
If you play with your cat and show him heaps of affection, he may start to see you as part of his litter and clean you up!