Do you have a cat who bites a lot? If so, you’re not alone. It can feel frustrating and overwhelming trying to deal with a cat that bites you, but you do have options.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the methods you can try to stop your cat from biting you. Read through this list and see if any of these options may work for you and your cat. Remember that every cat is an individual, so even though something works for one cat, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for the next.
Figure Out Why
First and foremost, you should work to figure out why your cat is biting you. Are they only biting you in play, or are they biting you out of aggression or fear?
Watch your cat’s body language when they bite you for signs that they aren’t just playing. Ears flat back against the head, wide eyes, or a hunched posture all indicate fear, aggression, or pain. Any of these could potentially contribute to your cat’s biting behavior.
If your cat is biting you out of play or even aggression, you can redirect them to something more appropriate. Throw a chase or kick toy for them or grab a wand type of toy for interaction with them instead. Any toy is a better choice than your hand!
Make sure you aren’t trying to redirect your cat with treats or food. This will cause a positive reinforcement of the biting behavior and will make them think they’re going to get rewarded every time they bite or try to bite you. Stick to toys only; these will give them something else to use as an outlet for his biting.
Clap or Say No
When your cat bites you, as long as they are still in the process of biting you or are clearly about to do so, you can say “no” very loudly and firmly to interrupt them. Do not yell at your cat, as this will scare them and may be even more likely to cause biting, but remain firm and stern.
You may also want to try clapping your hands loudly at them to stop the biting behavior. This action can startle your cat into stopping what they’re doing. Just make sure you don’t scare them into biting you more—and never hit your cat.
Trim Their Claws
One of the best options for stopping your cat from biting is to trim their claws. Yes, a claw trim is generally performed to stop a cat from scratching, but that doesn’t mean it won’t help them stop biting too. Your cat is less likely to bite when they can’t also scratch along with the same behavior.
If you’re uncomfortable trimming your cat’s claws yourself, you can ask the veterinarian to do so. You can also take your cat to the groomer for a nail trim; however, it may be more cost-efficient to have this done at the vet, unless you have your cat groomed often.
One good way to let your cat know they shouldn’t be biting you is to move them to another room and let them cool off for a while. Of course, they might be biting you so hard that they won’t let go, which can make picking them up and relocating them a little difficult.
If this happens to you, it is okay to pick your cat up by the scruff of their neck and move them. Don’t do this often, but go ahead if you have no other options.
The best way to make sure your cat stops biting you, scratching furniture, and other destructive behaviors is to provide plenty of enrichment for them. Give them lots of toys to play with and cat furniture to climb on, and make sure you spend time interacting with them each day, too.
Enrichment helps stimulate your cat’s body and mind both. They won’t get bored, which means they won’t start misbehaving for attention or just because they have nothing better to do. Many cat behavioral issues can be easily resolved by making sure you give your cat enough to do during the day.
If you have any further questions or concerns about your cat’s biting behaviors, talk to your vet for more information. Your vet will be able to help you figure out what’s causing your cat to bite so much and may have some suggestions for how to stop the problem, too.
You may also want to get in touch with a cat trainer or a cat behaviorist. These professionals know their way around cats and are great at helping owners figure out the root of the problem when it comes to overly mouthy cats. Your vet may be able to recommend a professional, too.