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How to make a cat stop biting

author Lucy Byrne | Care and raising

Some cats like to bite. Sometimes, it is a kind of a game but it is usually a kind of undesirable behaviours which can make your life together a bit uncomfortable. If you are dealing with it with your cat, it is necessary to realize from the beginning that every cat might have different reasons for biting and there is no universal advice. Therefore, you need to know what the reason of your cat is.

Biting has many functions for cats and they express many feelings by it. One of them, for example, is to show their dominance. In this case, it will bite when you get closer to it. Then it will only sit and stare at you or run away. It will definitely not come back to you and start playing. It can also attack you from behind.

Cats might also use biting as a way of communication instead of meowing. They might show you with their teeth they want something – attention, to fill their bowl or clean their toilet. In this case, you might notice that your furry friend tries to get you somewhere after biting you or it might meow immediately after biting.

Worries or stress might be also sometimes the causes of biting, it is simply a defence mechanism. A cat might also bite only because it is bored. Particularly if it is the only cat in the family and it does not have enough activities.

Gentle biting during cuddling might mean your cat shows you its attraction to you. In this case, it might be gentle usage of teeth.

Besides the last case, biting is an unpleasant, undesired kind of behaviour that you need to get rid of for your happy co-living. It is primarily necessary for your cat to be happy, so you need to find out the cause of biting and remove it. You can make the cat stop biting by using these tricks (which also works for other bad habits):

Give them rewards for good behaviour, punish them for bad behaviour. However, be careful about the punishments! For example, go for lecturing using words and only in the case your cat is well-balanced. Do not go for physical punishments. They might turn out to be contra-productive with cats and you may impair your relationship by them.

Also think about the fact that rewards or potential punishments should follow immediately after the “attack” so your cat can understand what you react to. You may use a clicker similarly to dogs. Being consistent is essential for success. One failure to react to such situation might make the process take even months longer.

“The punishment” might be used for some dominant individuals. Tell them off for biting. Even though cats do not react so sensitively to voice as dogs, they pay attention to its loudness and tone. In some cats, especially male cats, neutering might mitigate the aggression.

If biting signalizes unhappiness, you need to figure out what the problem is. Before you will be able to do so, you might get rid of the unpleasant expressions of your furry friend by ignoring them. If you ignore its biting, it will find another way to communicate you will notice. However, be careful, it might pee outside its toilet instead. In some cases, you can prevent biting if you don’t ignore cat communication (meowing, rubbing up against a corner...) which comes before biting.