Nobody really appreciates being bitten by a cat, even if the small cat bite doesn’t feel like much of anything at first. Thankfully, once you know the cause of the cat’s bite, you will have a good idea on how to fix it.
Why is my ragdoll cat so aggressive?
Ragdoll cats, in particular, do not bite more or less than other types of cats. Usually, when a ragdoll cat feels the need to bite someone, it is because of underlying behavioral or physical health issues that need to be addressed if you want to be able to live the best life you can with your ragdoll cat.
It can be quite concerning when a cat that is branded as being one of the most sociable, friendly, and laid-back cats begins to bite your hand. This may be one of the reasons why you are so concerned about the fact that your cat is biting you.
However, when all is said and done, ragdoll cats are not very prone to biting people out of the blue. Even if their reasons are not really acceptable, a ragdoll cat is not going to bite you out of the blue. There is always going to be a cause for your cat biting you.
Ruling Out Medical Reasons
Before you begin to work with your ragdoll cat on reducing how much it bites you, you will first want to make sure that the cat is not biting you because it is in pain. Because cats cannot effectively say that they are in pain, their next best way to tell you to stop doing something immediately is to nip at your hand. This can be one reason why your ragdoll cat is biting you.
There are a few ways that you can try and see if the biting is because your cat is in pain or if your cat has another reason. One of the most obvious signs that your ragdoll cat is biting out of pain is if your cat only bites you when you run your hand over a certain area of your cat’s fur. Cats, as both prey and predators, are known to try and hide their pains as much as they can. This means that it can be tough to determine if your cat is actually in pain or not, but if you see that petting over a certain area of your pet’s coat causes your cat to bite, then that is a strong flag that your cat is in pain.
You should always try to rule out any medical or health-related reasons first when you are trying to determine whether or not a behavior from a pet is behavioral or not. If you try and put your ragdoll cat through behavioral training, this can put even more stress and pressure on any injuries or pains that your ragdoll cat could be experiencing, which will only exacerbate the problem.
Once you have ruled out any medical or pain reasons as to why your ragdoll cat is biting you, you should begin considering some of the behavioral reasons why a normally docile cat is biting you.
Consider the Context
The context surrounding the cat biting you is also going to be important. A cat that bites you because you pet its stomach is going to have different reasons for biting you than a cat that is trying to engage in play in the only way it knows how.
A good example of this is that when cats, especially younger kittens, want to play with each other, they will often gently nip the other cat to initiate play. This can come across as feeling the cat’s teeth on your hand, but not with enough pressure to scratch you or draw blood. If your ragdoll cat is only biting your hand lightly and exhibiting other signs of wanting to play, then it could very well just be that your ragdoll cat just wants to have some time with its owner. If you do not appreciate the nipping, there are ways to train your cat not to do that.
On the other hand, if you are petting your cat in an area where it is normally pet and all of a sudden your cat turns to bite you, you might be a little bit more baffled. In these situations, the problem at hand is the classic case of a cat being a fickle creature. Sometimes, a cat will decide that it has had enough attention for a day and it will then begin to quickly become hostile toward other people. Your ragdoll cat will have likely sent many nonverbal cues before the cat resorted to biting you, but because you do not speak cat, the ragdoll cat had no other choice but to bite.
More about cats and biting
Can the Behavior Be Stopped?
Your cat’s behavior of biting, no matter what its reason might be for doing so, can absolutely be stopped with enough time and effort put into training the cat. Before you can begin training the cat though, you will first need to try and find out why your docile ragdoll cat is biting you in the first place.
How Do You Immediately Stop the Cat From Biting?
Immediately yanking your hand away from the cat’s teeth may actually be seen as a hostile action, depending on the mood of the cat. To immediately stop your cat, you will want to slowly move your hand away and then leave your cat some time to itself until it chooses to seek you out again.
How Do You Work with a Fearful Cat?
Fearful cats are going to be more likely to bite you, especially if they grew up feral. This applies to all cat breeds, not just the ragdoll. To help a feral cat stop biting you, you are going to need to go even more slowly with the training and you will want to bring out even more rewards for the cat so that it can see that you are not a threat to it.