If you’re like me, not only are you aggravated, but possibly a little hurt as well when you wonder, why do cats bite their owners? Here are a few common reasons why cats bite their owners and what you can do to stop it.
Why Do Cats Bite Their Owners?
Six of the most common why cats bite their owners are:
1. Some cats bite their owners in order to assert dominance. Your cat may be biting because he’s trying to show who’s in charge. If your cat bites you, then doesn’t back down or try to play or cuddle, then this is likely your cat biting to show dominance.
2. Cats also bite their owners as a way of communicating. If they want something, instead of meowing they may nip your toe, arm or finger as a signal to you. They may be asking for food, to be let outside, or even for you to clean the litter box. A good way to know if your cat is biting you in order to communicate is to watch to see if he bites you, then tries to lead you somewhere, like to his food dish, the back door, etc.
3. Kittens bite to practice attacking. In the wild, animals have to fight. This tendency comes through in domestic cats as well. My kitten, Miss Abigail, attacked her big sister for months when she was a kitten. The vet assured me that within a few months, the attacking behaviors would stop. Luckily for Miss Abigail, the older cat didn’t fight back! LOL
4. Un-neutured males tend to be more aggressive. Consider neutering your male cat if he’s biting. Not only will he calm down if he’s neutered, but neutering provides other safety benefits for your cat and, of course, stops unwanted litters of kittens around the neighborhood!
5. Cats who are declawed may start biting. Once their claws are gone, they may feel vulnerable and start biting out of fear.
6. To defend themselves if they’re being attacked, picked on or provoked.
How to Train Your Cat to Stop Biting
If your cat is biting you, first try to ignore them. They’re biting to get a response from you. If you don’t respond, they may try a different signal (such as meowing)
Try a different form of communication. Only do what your cat is asking if he’s asking nicely – like by rubbing on your leg or meowing. Over time, he’ll get used to doing those things instead of biting you.
Consistency is important. Sometimes your cat’s biting can seem cute – especially then they’re a kitten. But mostly it’s just bothersome and painful. Even if it seems cute that they’re nibbling on your fingers, you can’t let them do it. Your cat must experience the same reaction from you each and every time when it comes to biting. You can’t let them bite sometimes, then disapprove of it at other times. If you do that, your cat won’t know what’s allowed and what’s not.
Cat Training to Stop Cat Biting
I can recommend a very good resource for cat training called, Complete Cat Training Guide from KingdomofPets.com. This is a downloadable Ebook containing step-by-step instructions on how to solve 25 real-life cat behavior problems. This program is $37 and comes with a full money-back guarantee.
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2 thoughts on “Why Do Cats Bite Their Owners?”
My daughter’s cat bites her on the face. What could that be an indication of?
Thanks in advance,
Hi Theresa! As soon as I read your comment, I remembered a Boston Terrier I had who would nip me on my lip if I tried snuggling/kissing him too much or for too long. It hurt my feelings! So I’m sorry for your daughter that this is happening. Here’s an indepth article by cat behavior expert, Jackson Galaxy, on all the reasons cats bite. Maybe you’ll find your answer here! https://www.jacksongalaxy.com/blog/aggression-in-cats/
Also, here’s a list of his YouTube videos on the subject of cat biting:
I’m referring you to Jackson Galaxy because he’s much more qualified to help you! If you don’t know, he had a show on Animal Planet called My Cat from Hell, where he went into people’s homes to help them with their cat. I love him! I really hope this helps. Please come back and keep me posted! Debra