Got a kitten or cat who plays nicely one second and then bites you the next with no warning? It doesn’t have to always be that way.
Work out why
Watch out for a pattern to your cat’s biting. Is she doing it at a certain time of day or when you’re doing a certain activity or interacting in a certain way. Cats have very limited ways to communicate with us and her biting could be a way of showing frustration (I’ve been on my own all day!), anger (stop it! I don’t like that) or boredom (You call THIS entertainment?!). Once you’ve worked out the ‘why’, it will be easier to work out how to make it stop.
Lots of us interact and play with our kitties using our hands. Our cats can get so into the game that they forget that hand is attached to us and can get carried away. Instead of using your hand, try a toy that keeps you out of the firing line such as a wand.
Your cat needs to learn that there are consequences to biting. If she does bite, walk away and turn your back on her and refuse to interact at all. Better yet, pick her up and put her in a different room from you for a ‘time out’. After a few repetitions of this, she should realise that biting results in her being ignored.
Approach with caution
If your cat seems to be biting when you’re showing affection, try to monitor what you’re doing and notice any patterns. Reaching over your cat from behind may take her by surprise and result in an instant bite for you! Instead, try approaching from where she can see you and see if that helps reduce her anxiety and need to lash out.
Look for signs
Reading your cat’s body language can warn you when things are about to turn nasty. Ears flat against the head and bristling whiskers are a sure fire sign you need to get out of the way!