Cat Behavior & Biting

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Cat biting is a problem behavior.
Cat biting is a problem behavior. (Image: cat 2 image by Galyna Andrushko from Fotolia.com)

Cat biting behavior can be a big problem in some households. Some cats bite other cats in the household. Other cats bite their human owners. Sometimes, a cat will display both behaviors.

Play

Sometimes, feline biting behavior is just an overexcited form of play. In the wild, all felines play by practicing their fighting and predator behaviors. Sometimes biting is an extension of this type of play.

Aggression

Aggressive biting occurs when the cat wants to inflict harm against whomever it is biting. Aggressive biting can be due to fear or anxiety, often due to changes in the household, such as a move or a new pet or family member.

Medical Causes

For some cats, biting is a reaction to pain or discomfort. If your cat is biting for no apparent reason, have a vet check her for some of the common conditions that can cause biting due to pain, such as dental problems, arthritis or hyperthyroidism.

Cues

Cats usually give cues before they start biting. A cat gearing up to bite might flatten back his ears, lash his tail rapidly and make growling or hissing sounds. His pupils may dilate, and his fur may stand up.

Solution

The first step to solving cat biting problems is to reduce stress on the cat. You can also address the behavior itself by making a loud noise or squirting water at the cat to startle him if he bites.

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