While cats love nibbling, they will bite you hard to start playtime or to seek your affection. So what does it mean when a cat bites you hard? Also called as ‘love bites’, hard bites from cats is also a sign that your kitty wants to communicate with you. My kitten Watson does to me all the time, and although it can be painful, it’s typical to a lot of cats.
Why is my cat biting me all of a sudden?
For adult cats, there could be several reasons for the hard bites. So what does it mean when a cat bites you hard? The following are the most common explanations:
- Asserting its dominance. Cats are territorial beings, so they respond to threats with some form of aggression. If your cat bites and doesn’t run away or retreat, you might be giving threatening signals inadvertently.
- Seeking playtime. This is the ‘M.O.’ of my cat Watson. He will bite me and then try to lead me to an activity or toy. It’s a playful bite as a way of saying ‘hey, let’s play!’.
- Gesturing you to stop. Cats can’t talk, so their only way of telling you enough is through hard bites. You might be petting them too much (overstimulated cat), or you’re doing something they don’t like (e.g. grooming).
- Out of fright. Fright can get the best of any cat. If your kitty is under stress or exposed to a stimulus that triggers fright, it may bite hard out of confusion.
- Feeling sick. If your cat bites without flicking its tail or insinuating playtime, the feline may be ailing. If this behavior lingers for no reason, it’s best to bring your pet to a veterinarian. But why does my cat bite my feet? Cats really love nibbling on human toes to the point that they may bite hard.
How to train a cat not to scratch or bite you
If the hard bites of your cat is getting annoying and painful, I recommend the following tips to stop the behavior:
- Don’t tolerate the biting. Cats take cues on the limits we set. If you let your pet nibble on your toes, fingers, and hands without calling them out, it would soon test you by biting hard. Never offer your hand and always stop your cat the moment it tries to put its teeth on your skin.
- Replace the behavior. Instead of punishing your cat for hard bites, it’s best to train it toward discipline. The clicker training is very effective among cats, especially if paired with a few treats. But why does my cat attack me and no one else? It’s possible that you are the cat’s favorite and they want to play with you.
- Never punish the cat. Acts of violence will only trigger your cat to fight back and bite hard even more. Your pet may even think that you’re tolerating rough play.
- Consider your clothes as a second skin. Don’t let your cat chew on your clothes. It’s only a matter of time before they advance to your skin with a hard bite.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What to do if a cat bites you and draws blood?
A: If a cat’s hard bite draws blood, you should wash the wound with soap and water. Bandage it and keep the wound clean. If the bleeding persists, elevate the area above the heart.
Q: Should I go to the hospital for a cat bite?
A: If your cat’s vaccinations are updated, there’s nothing to worry about a hard bite. However, if you feel off hours after the bite, it wouldn’t hurt to go to the hospital to get checked.
Q: How do I dominate my cat?
A: You can show your cat that you’re the alpha by controlling when playtime starts and ends. Training them out of the hard biting behavior will also help a lot in gaining respect from your pet.
Q: How do you know if a cat bite is serious?
A: If the bite came from a stray cat, you should treat it seriously. Also, wounds that are larger than two inches in length and deep enough to show your muscles are dangerous. You should seek immediate medical help for these kinds of bites.
Q: Is it OK to spray a cat with water?
A: Some cat owners use water sprays to discourage the behavior. Unfortunately, cats take it as a kind of punishment rather than a reinforcement. It may build a tense relationship between you and your cat if you use this to fix hard biting.
Q: Do cats forgive abuse?
A: Cats never forgive abuse. Once they associate you with harm, they will build a wall. This is why you should never punish your kitty for hard bites.
Q: Why does my cat grab my hand and bite me?
A: This happens when your cat becomes over-stimulated due to excessive petting. It’s a sign that you need to stop. But why does my cat bite me then lick me? It’s a combination of a love bite and the urge to groom the person they consider as family.
Q: Do cats grow out of biting?
A: Most kittens will grow out of hard biting after 18 months. However, some grown-up cats can sustain this behavior. Training will go a long way to discourage this habit.
What does it mean when a cat bites you hard? It could be anything, from love bites to a sign of aggression. What matters is you set the limits with your pet to prevent any bloody incidents in the future.