Have you ever been bitten by your cat? Dog owners are often heard complaining about the biting problem of their pets. Aggression is not a typical behavior of cats thus a biting pet is not a common concern of cat owners. Cats do not really have the inclination to bite humans. If ever cats do bite, the nip is not meant to inflict pain as it is a manifestation of the cat’s affection. The cat is actually giving the owner love bites.
Nature has designed cats to have the kind of teeth that will be used in hunting and in defending themselves. As cats do not have the ability to talk, they use various body parts to communicate with other cats, with other animals and with humans. Teeth (and biting) are used by cats to convey their feelings. Cats have the natural urge to play bite. Play biting is an activity often seen in kittens. Mother cats actually encourage kittens to play bite and to play hunt during the learning period. Kittens grow up…kittens find new homes. Cat owners will be amused by the pet’s tendency to play bite. The ever curious cat will be attracted by the wriggling toe of the owner. The toe will be bitten. Cats are wonderful pets to have around. Cat parents love to cuddle and caress these furry pets. Cats, on the other hand appear to enjoy the attention. A cat that jumps on the lap of the owner will expose its belly to be rubbed. The cat is ecstatic. By the way the cat purrs it is obvious that it enjoys the rhythmic and gentle rubbing of the owner. Out of nowhere, the cat nips the owner’s hand. The owner would yelp… more out of surprise than of pain.
Cats really do have some puzzling behaviors. In spite of the long years of association with humans, cat parents would still be baffled by some of the actions the pet shows. Aggression is seldom seen in cats. Before punishing the biting cat, consider the possibility that the cat’s bite is the cat’s way of showing affection. The bite is in fact a kiss…a feline style of expressing love and affection. Generally, cats would give love bites when feeling affectionate. The bite is the cat’s acknowledgement that it loves the petting of the owner and that the attention is appreciated.
The cat’s habit of giving love bites is kind of cute but it must not be encouraged. Bites can hurt and cause infection. Cat owners should also be aware of the possibility of rabies although rabies was generally controlled. Cats, especially outdoor pets would wander freely. There is always a possibility that the cat’s fangs have bacteria that would be injected into the skin when the cat bites. Love bites seldom break the skin but if the cat managed to sink its teeth, the wound has to be washed thoroughly. A trip to the ER may be necessary if the wound shows signs of infection.
Cats enjoy the attention given by the owner but the cuddling and caressing can be too exciting for the pet. Cats that cannot control the excitement would bite. The bites can be prevented by not petting the cat too much. Love bites are the cat’s way of showing affection but these pets must be made to understand love bites are not acceptable. The cat though must not be punished. A loud “ouch” and putting the cat down at once would make the pet understand that the owner is not amused. Cats would not bite without warning. Once it is noticed that cat’s body gets tensed, the pupils have dilated and the ears were flattened the petting must be stopped as the cat can deliver one of its love bites.