For cat lovers, there’s nothing quite like cuddling up to your furry feline family. From their sweet little jellybean toes to their soft, velvety ears, cats are as adorable as they are loving, loyal friends. But when your cat has a bad habit of communicating with her teeth, there’s trouble in paradise.
Thankfully, there’s hope for even the most mischievous mousers. In this post from Normandale Veterinary Hospital, we’ll explore why cats bite and how you can put a stop to this troubling behavior.
Follow this guide and be sure to schedule a check-up for your feline friend today! Contact Normandale Veterinary Hospital for vaccines, animal grooming, pet dental services, and more.
When Cats Bite
Some cats love to be petted and groomed. They may even roll onto their backs, exposing their bellies in a display of vulnerability that only comes with complete love and trust. But some cats can be capricious critters, suddenly changing their moods and snapping at the person petting them. Cats most frequently bite on a person’s hands or feet, and they can do a surprising amount of damage, even sending some bite victims to the emergency room. Like all pet behavior problems, changing it begins with understanding why it happens.
These are the most common reasons behind feline biting:
● They suddenly feel threatened by something or fearful.
● They dislike the way you’re touching them.
● They’re ready to stop being petted now.
● They’re asking you to stop doing something like bathing them or trimming their nails.
● They want your attention.
● They’re feeling playful (cats play in a predatory way).
● They weren’t handled enough as kittens.
Stop Feline Biting
Thankfully, you don’t have to just accept kitty bites as a way of life. There are plenty of things you can do to help your cat get the right idea and correct his behavior.
These are a few things you can do to help your kitty walk the straight and narrow:
● Make sure your entire family and anyone else who comes into contact with your pets follows the same guidelines to send a consistent message and avoid confusing Kitty.
● Don’t let your cat treat play with hands or feet like toys.
● Don’t allow her to play rough with your limbs whether the skin is bare or covered.
● Give your bitey cat plenty of interactive kitty toys to prevent boredom.
● Give her special cat treats when she plays with the right kinds of toys.
● Play with her regularly, only encouraging desirable behavior.
● When your purry pal plays gently with claws retracted and a gentle mouth, tell her, “Good play!”
● Likewise, let her know if she’s hurting you by pulling your hand away and making a “hurt” sound she can hear. Your goal isn’t to punish her but to let her know that the play will only continue if she can do so gently.
Handling Cat Bites
While you’re training your cat to stop biting, follow these guidelines to handle bites safely:
● If your tricky tabby’s teeth won’t let go, avoid pulling away as this will only cause him to bite harder. Holding perfectly still may cause your cat to become bored and let go.
● Once your cat has let go, redirect his attention with a permissible toy.
● Gently clean the bite with soap and water. Avoid scrubbing.
● Apply an antibiotic ointment.
● After drying the wound, cover it with a sterile dressing.
● Watch for signs of infection including redness, drainage, and fever.
Finally, be sure to have your pets vaccinated as this helps to protect both the animal and your family, especially if your kitty gets a little too excited while playing. To schedule your cat’s vaccination, contact our veterinarian care team at 952-831-8272 or contact us online.