Cats are some of the most mysterious and interesting animals you’ll ever meet. Especially if it’s the first time you’ve ever opened your home to a cat, you may notice some odd behaviors your cat may exhibit. Among these weird habits may be, much to your annoyance, them biting for seemingly no reason.
While it may seem totally random and nonsensical sometimes, cats don’t bite for no reason at all. As a matter of fact, there are many different reasons why cats bite. Thankfully, they don’t always mean your cat hates you.
The cat can bite you agressively or non-agressively. Here’s how you tell the difference.
You’ll know when cats are being aggressive because of the multiple signs they tend to give before they attack: the swishy tail, the low growling, the flattened ears and the hissing. The lack of these very obvious signs is exactly the reason why you are so confused as to why Mr. Fluffles is biting you.
Non-aggressive bites actually happen when your cat wants to communicate something with you. As you are well aware, cats can’t talk like humans can. Even so, this doesn’t mean that our little furry companions don’t have anything to say. When they need to tell you something, they will most likely use body language.
What is the bite trying to say?
The reasons behind the bites can range from them simply needing a bit of playtime, to them being annoyed at something so they’re sending you a slightly less gentle warning.
Younger cats are often guilty of play aggression. They usually like staging hunting sessions where the main target of their teeth and claws are your poor, defenseless ankles.
Probably the most hurtful form of cat bites happen at those times when you’re chilling on the couch, petting your cat. You’re thinking that everything is fine, and when you least expect it, they give you a short, painful bite. On top of the physical pain, the sense of betrayal stings too, doesn’t it? Still, it’s within reason, you just may not have known. For this particular example, the cat was overstimulated, that’s why they went for the bite.
Some cats won’t meow when they need something from you. Instead, they like to let their teeth tell you that they’d like to have breakfast now. This sort of behavior should not be encouraged or tolerated. As a matter of fact, it is best that your cat’s biting behavior is curbed as soon as possible.
How can I stop my cat from biting me?
Cat bites — even the playful ones, can be quite painful on our sensitive human skin. The best way to stop your playful kitty from biting is to trick distract them with a toy.
As soon as you notice that they’re about to attack your hand or your ankle, bring out your toy and play with them. Younger cats need a lot of playtime — so make sure that you set aside time, around 20-30 minutes twice a day, to tire them out.
Common questions about cat bites
Should I be concerned about cat bites?
Playful cat bites are usually nothing to worry about. However, if your cat breaks skin, it can get really bad really quickly. Wounds from cat bites and scratches can get infected really fast, not to mention, it’s also really painful.
If you ever get scratched or bitten by a cat, please treat your wounds immediately. Apply pressure on your wound to stop the bleeding. Wash it with gentle soap and water . If you have a particularly large cut – 2 inches or greater, or any sign of infection, seek medical attention immediately.
Can my dog get infected from a cat bite?
A cat’s mouth is filled with all kinds of bacteria. Even the cats that have been immunized have a lot of bacteria in their mouths. If your kitty happens to give your pup a bite, it can definitely lead to an infection. If not treated, it can get fatal.
Other than getting infected from the bacteria from your cat’s mouth, your dog’s wounds could also get infected from the bacteria in his environment especially because dogs love to muck around in dirt all the time.
As soon as you notice a cat bite on your dog, please take them to the vet to have their wounds cleaned.
Can cats have rabies?
Cats can get infected by rabies. Cats who are exposed to wild animals run a higher risk of contracting rabies.
Rabies may be transmitted through bites from an infected animal or when the saliva of an infected animal enters another animal’s body through an open wound. Cat to cat rabies transmission is very rare though.
If you don’t want your cat to be at any risk of getting rabies, please get them vaccinated and keep them indoors.
Non-aggressive cat bites may spook first-time cat owners. Most of the time, cats will attack you for seemingly no reason because they want to play. If your cat exhibits play aggression, please set aside time to play with them at least twice a day.