My Cat Bites & Holds On

Your cat's teeth can do significant damage.
Your cat's teeth can do significant damage. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

If your cat bites you and refuses to let go, you're most likely not a happy camper. Knowing how to deal with your cat's aggression and how to prevent getting bitten can keep the peace within your household. Get to the source of the problem and find out what's triggering your finicky feline to lash out at you so you can correct his behavior.

Biting Triggers

A cat can bite for various reasons. He might bite your hands while you're playing with him, or maybe he bites you out of fear, pain or anger. Overstimulation from petting him more than he desires, can result in sudden, unexpected aggression. Before jumping to conclusions, take your furry pal to a veterinarian, sometimes medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, epilepsy, abscesses, arthritis and dental disease, can trigger his behavior.

Dealing with Bites

When your cat bites and holds on, your first response might be to yell at him and pull your hand away. This might make him bite even harder. Instead, confuse him by pushing your hand toward him. If he still doesn't let go, place your free hand over his head and squeeze his cheeks so he's forced to open his mouth. Then remove your hand as soon as he releases his bite.

Preventing Bites

If a medical condition is causing your cat to bite, proper treatment of the ailment can alleviate the undesired behavior. When you play with your cat, avoid waving your hands to encourage him -- use tossing balls and fishing-pole toys that keep your cat at a safe distance from your hands. Also, learn to recognize your cat's body language; flattened ears, a lashing tail and a tensed body are signs he's about to attack. Reward good behavior and pleasant interactions with treats to encourage him to keep up the good job.

Things to Consider

During the age of 5 to 12 weeks it's essential to socialize your kitten. Having different people frequently pet and handle him can do the trick. This age is ideal to introduce him to other pets in the household or children. By properly socializing him from a young age, he'll be less likely to resort to aggression triggered by fear, and might not easily get angry or upset. If you feel that your cat's aggression is uncontrollable and endangering family members, an animal behaviorist might be able to correct your cat's behavior.

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