So, you got a sweet, cuddly, new kitten – with those cute eyes – and it’s all fun and play until he becomes too aggressive. All kittens (and cats too) love to play. But they sometimes go overboard. You may be surprised to learn that you’re not the only one whose cat won’t stop biting. They sometimes express affection in rather destructive ways. He’ll bite you with those tiny sharp teeth, he’ll bite and scratch your couch and he’ll even bite his toys.
Vets say biting helps them improve their problem-solving skills but we all wish they could improve them by doing something constructive like – let’s say doing the dishes. Cats, stalk, scratch, bite and grab each other. They do this to show affection. But, when it’s directed at us, we often misread affection as aggression. Cats display both social and solitary play. Solitary play is directed at inanimate things – like toys, cartons, barks of a tree, yarn and basically any object they can stick their claws in. Social play occurs in humans, fellow cats, and other animals. Hell breaks loose when the playful acts of a cat cause harm to his owner.
Apart from being painful, cat bites can be lethal. They may infect you with you don’t know what. They’re occasionally playfully aggressive: Especially to strangers. They may be truly aggressive when frightened ow when they see/detect the scent of other cats in their territory. In most cases, he’s rather playing with you roughly and not expressing hatred. If you’re finding it hard distinguishing whether its true aggression or feline play, you should start observing his body language. Is your cat hissing? Is he growling? They tend to be quieter when playing but when attacking, they extend their claws and fluff their fur. What to do when a cat won’t stop biting.
Give your cat a wide array of toys. Let him choose his favorite. Learn his preferences. As a rule of thumb, cats prefer smaller toys that they can easily cling to. If it’s moving, they’ll stalk and pounce on it. Get a play toy with feathers attached that you can dangle. Cats love challenges. Give your cat strange objects to play with once in a while. He will be too curious investigating the new object and won’t have time to bite. Cardboard boxes will keep his curiosity at bay. Once a day, play with him for not less than twenty minutes. During the play, don’t let him play with your hands or feet. Your cat may end up biting them out of instincts. Keep his focus on dangling objects. It helps to align play time and when he’s most active. Cats love biting feet as we’re climbing the stairs. When you’re using the stairs, carry small balls and toss them in his direction. They will grab his attention. The goal of this exercise is to shift your cat’s attention from your feet to toys. He will stop biting sooner than you think. If this doesn’t work, it’s time to consider adopting another cat.
Choose another cat younger and more playful than your current one. They will never stop playing. You could also set up an enclosure outside. Complete it with objects of various shapes and sizes. You could also add logs and branches that would attract insects. If it becomes the perfect place for him to hunt insects, he will consider biting you boring. Consider “disciplining” him. As soon as he starts biting, or shoes you his claws, play time’s over. If he scratches you, end the game immediately. Leave the room and don’t pick him up. He will soon learn that this makes you angry too. Even if you’re too scared (or just angry) you should never think of physically punishing your cat. Any physical harm could end in injuries, and he won’t stop biting either way. If your cat won’t stop biting when you’re trying to pick him up, he’s trying to communicate that “It’s not yet playing time”.
Show respect by gently getting your hands off his back and speaking softly. In instances where your cat bites out of fear or being frustrated, you will need to be patient. If he’s biting another dog or cat, keep them separated. He will calm down faster. He may also be asking for extra attention or play time. You could also get him interactive toys and let him get rid of the extra energy. If this doesn’t work, you should consider consulting your vet on appropriate medication. A few declawed cats express their frustration in biting. If you provide a scratching post, they will unleash their anger on it instead. Cats enjoy ripping paper bags and chewing remnants too.
A cat’s teeth are sharp. They perforate flesh leaving tiny deep holes. Their saliva contains bacteria too. When bit, you should clean the affected area with an antiseptic – unless you don’t mind getting an infection. Apply pressure on the affected area to stop bleeding. Wash with warm soapy water and rinse under running water. If you experience any swelling or fever, you may have acquired an infection. You should see a doctor a doctor soon. If it’s been more than five years since your last tetanus shot, get an injection within three days. If the cat that bit you was immunized against rabies, you’re in luck. You would otherwise need to endure six rabies injections. If your cat wasn’t immunized of rabies, he should be quarantined for a month and rabies symptoms observed. You do know that rabies tests cannot be permed on live animals, right? In the event that one of your cats bite the other, disinfect the affected area with hydrogen peroxide. Do not cover the wound as the moisture slows down the healing process. Wounded cats are quite aggressive. You should, therefore, schedule a visit to the vet and seek professional advice. Cats are easily infected from bites. If the injury is extensive and needs stitches, an expert’s touch is your best bet. Changing a cat’s behavior requires patience and perseverance – just like accomplishing anything in life.
When he shows positive behavior praise him and offer treats.