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  • Writer's pictureJan

Why does my cat scratch or bite me?

Most of us are fortunate enough to have a cat which is even tempered, playful, loving and we know where we stand with each other. It’s all part of the bond which we have built between us. But what happens when our loving feline friend bites or scratches us for no apparent reason. It can be a bit of a shock as well as a very painful experience if they draw blood. We also lose that sense of trust which we have built with them. There are several reasons why they may have taken to this unsociable behaviour such as:-

Trying to communicate with you that they no longer wish to be petted as some cats can become over stimulated. They might be feeling bored or frustrated at home, particularly if your attention is elsewhere.. They may bite or scratch you during a play session. They would be treating you as if you are another cat and obviously have become a little too aggressive. They may also have some pent up energy which is similar to the boredom they are experiencing. Surprisingly your cat might bite you as a way of showing you how much they love you. This type of bite is not aggressive and is usually a gentle bite.

There are ways to avoid being scratched or bitten and that is by observing your cat’s body language as it will give you an indication that they are becoming irritated. Signs will include a flicking tail, ears moving back towards the back of the head, purring stopping, hissing and they may even turn around to look at you.

The best way to deal with this type of behaviour is to remove them from your area, put them in another room. Never hit, shout, chase or lose your temper but react calmly to the situation. Ask yourself if they have pent up energy or are simply bored. You could look at allocating just 15 minutes a day for cat play. Look at toys you can play with together such as the mouse on the end of the string or even buy a toy which will dispense cat treats and that they can play with on their own. Another word of caution is to never use your hand when playing with your cat as you will be more prone to those bites and scratches as they will associate your hand with playtime.

Hopefully this is just a one off experience with your furry friend. Do remember to seek medical attention if it is a very deep scratch or bite. Please let us know of any experiences you have had with your cat biting you and how you dealt with the situation.

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