Watching a cat play can be very cute and fun. Our feline friends are definitely quite frisky! Fluffy’s idea of play doesn’t always sync up with ours, however. Cats are predators, and play fighting stimulates their natural hunting instincts. This often translates into kitties that equate biting with fun! If your kitty has a habit of chomping on you when she’s feeling frisky, you’ll want to take steps to correct her behavior. After all, those little teeth are sharp!
Here are some tips:
Provide your feline friend with plenty of quality toys, and indulge her with some interactive play each day. String toys or laser pointers are great, as you can control the toy, making it more fun and challenging for your kitty. Avoid using glove toys, as these can send mixed messages.
When Fluffy bites you, tell her ‘No’ in a firm voice, and then walk away and ignore her. It may take a bit of time, but if you do this consistently, your feline friend will get the hint.
If you have a kitten, teach your little furball proper manners by discouraging play fighting from the start. It’s much easier to show a baby cat what is and is not acceptable than to try and address behavioral issues in adult kitties! If your feline friend isn’t a baby anymore, don’t be discouraged. Adult cats can still learn proper ‘petiquette’. It just may take a bit longer.
Try putting a kitty taste deterrent, like bitter apple, on your hand, and then inviting your cat to play. She probably won’t like the taste, and may lose interest in biting.
Never yell at or punish your cat for biting: Fluffy might feel threatened, and may respond by attacking aggressively, or become anxious and fearful. Instead, bribe her into behaving by offering lots of toys and treats when she’s being good.
Learn to recognize the difference between play fighting and true aggression. If your cat is truly attacking, her ears will be back. She may hiss, and she won’t hold back with those teeth and claws. Ask your vet or a cat behaviorist for professional advice if your cat is acting aggressive.
Please contact us for all your cat’s veterinary care needs. We are always happy to help!