Is your cat biting your feet in the morning? Do you get up and he nips your ankles? Don’t overreact. There are many reasons that your cat may be biting you.
A lot of the time, your cat just wants to be fed. “But he has food in his dish!” This could mean that he just wants attention. My cat, Wessie, loves for me to sit in the room while he eats. You might want to spend a little bit more time with your feline friend. Cat behaviors vary greatly in different cats, just like you and I have different personalities.
It is normal for a kitten to bite, while in older cats it is a little more irregular. Sometimes your cat may not like you petting him. In this case your cat will usually give a few warning signs before biting. These can include tail thumping, hissing, growling, shifting position, ear flicking, cessation of purring and skin rippling. Every cat is different. By learning to understand your cat’s warnings you will lessen the chance of getting hurt.
Biting can be simply playful as well. This behavior will begin when the cat is a kitten. Do not go along with this vicious play, or your kitten will begin to consider you a plaything. Kitten nibbles can be cute. But when kitty grows up so will its teeth, and those once cute bites may become flesh breaking wounds. Some cats may like to ambush their owners by leaping out and biting you. They may come from behind corners, furniture, doorways, and may surprise or injure you. Ambush biting is a sign that you raised your cat to think you are a toy. When your cat does this don’t pull away or act afraid. This resembles prey and will only make your cat want to bite harder. Gently push him away (be careful), and say “NO” in a authoritative tone.
Sometimes the cat may become aggressive when a new baby, pet, or even new furniture is introduced to the home. In this case, let your cat be alone for a while, and he/she will probably adjust to the new arrangement.
Once in a while biting is a sign of sickness. Your cat may hide under the bed or behind furniture, and when you approach he/she may bite you. Your cat may have gotten in a cat fight and been hurt, or there may be a more serious injury or illness. If your normally friendly and affectionate cat suddenly gets extremely vicious, contact a vet, as this can be a sign of rabies. Sadly, rabies usually ends fatally. If you were bitten by your cat that you suspect has rabies, you should visit a doctor, and get a vaccination.
Cat biting can be signs of play, annoyance, illness, and even trying to tell you something. Don’t always get all hyped up just because your cat nibbles you in the morning. But remember, listen to your cat if he is trying to tell you that he is hurt.