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Cat Love Bites — What Do They Imply and Why Do They Occur?

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Cat fans are in all probability probably the most passionate demographic round. We love our cats! We put on our love, we file it, we it and we share our love, wholeheartedly. Whereas we love our cats and wish our cats to like us again, generally we get a bit of too zealous in demonstrating mentioned like to our cats. Sure, we wish to cuddle and stroke them nonstop, and fairly often they benefit from the consideration — up to a degree! Cat love bites are the results of our demonstrative nature run amok. Anybody who has lived with a cat in all probability has a narrative or two about cat love bites. Let’s learn how to determine cat love bites versus actual cat bites and what to do when cat love bites occur.

Cat love bites and being overstimulated

A ginger orange tabby cat biting a hand.

What are cat love bites and why do they occur? Bear in mind: Don’t train your cat that human fingers are toys! Images ©g_lutsenko | iStock / Getty Pictures Plus.

Cat sounds can solely present perception into our cats’ feelings to a degree. So, we depend on cat physique language to determine how cats really feel. Ears again, low growl, thumping tail says, “Keep away from me proper now.” A cat who’s cornered and agitated might lash out and assault the perceived risk. Looking forward to escalating aggressive alerts out of your cat can thwart actual cat bites. Actual cat bites that lead to puncture wounds must be addressed straight away.

Nevertheless, there are occasions whenever you and your cat are within the groove. You’re giving him a pleasant ear rub, and he’s you with mushy eyes, supplying you with that cat gradual blink kiss. He may even begin kneading your leg. The sensation of mutual admiration is pulsing by means of the air. You begin rubbing his shoulders, he appears to essentially like that space caressed. So, you improve the strain and lean in a bit of extra to ramp up that purr. Then, seemingly with out warning, he bites down in your hand as you’re petting him. The ache in all probability takes maintain of you earlier than you may notice what simply occurred. Cat loves bites strike once more!

In line with Jackson Galaxy, cat behaviorist and writer, cat love bites imply your cat is over-stimulated. Extra exactly, Galaxy tells the Sydney Morning Herald, “It’s referred to as petting-induced overstimulation. The hair follicle receptors in a cat can solely take a lot petting earlier than it hurts.”

Cat love bites could be a behavioral holdover from kitten days

A gray kitten bites a hand.

Cat love bites are literally a kitten-like cat conduct. Images ©VasilevKirill | iStock / Getty Pictures Plus.

My Himalayan combine, named Slayer, will out of the blue come over and chunk my arm — it’s extra like a nip. Whether or not I’m on the sofa or in mattress, he hops up and makes this random gesture. Then he’ll plop down and expose his stomach. This ritual ends with me giving him a number of strokes. However not too many!

So, what’s this about? Dr. Karen Becker tells Huffington Submit that it’s paying homage to the methods cats and kittens playfully work together with one another. It’s one other type of cat love bites, but it surely’s not a results of an excessive amount of stimulation. It’s your cat simply being playful and utilizing his nonverbal communication expertise to let you already know he’d like some consideration, now, please.

Cat love bites and play aggression in cats

Most kittens play tough. Kids’ play will not be solely a type of social bonding, it’s additionally getting ready the litter for maturity. Bouts of mock stalking and looking give method to pouncing and biting. Cat love bites can happen when your kitten is enjoying aggressively with you, particularly in case your kitten doesn’t have one other feline playmate.

Once more, you may inform the distinction between aggressive playtime and actual aggression in cats by being attentive to your kitty. If he’s not growling or hissing, his pleasure (not agitation), is escalating. It’s essential to do not forget that his play drive is linked to prey drive (which traditionally ends with a “kill”). Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM, holistic veterinarian warns on Jackson Galaxy’s weblog that enjoying tough together with your kitten can straight trigger undesirable aggression towards you when he’s an grownup. Cat loves bites from kittens could be humorous. Grownup cat love bites may trigger swelling and an infection.

If you happen to’ve inadvertently created a cat who will get a bit too mouthy with cat love bites throughout play, you may change that conduct. Don’t play together with your cat utilizing your arms. As an alternative, use a toy with a string or wand. Educate your cat to fetch. Attempt clicker coaching your cat.

What to do after a cat love chunk

In his interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Galaxy recommends awaiting indicators of agitation when you’re petting your cat. If his pupils begin dilating, his ears pin again and his tail begins wagging, cease caressing your cat. It’s actually that easy. If you happen to don’t cease earlier than these cat love bites occur, positively cease as quickly as you might be bitten.

Then let your cat set up what he needs to do subsequent. Generally, cats make a mad sprint out of there. Generally, they wish to nonetheless be close to you, they only don’t need you petting them any longer. Respect your cat’s boundaries and if he stays subsequent to you, don’t hold touching him.

The underside line on cat love bites

Cats present their affection in a myriad of refined methods, so all the time be receptive to what he’s telling you. Seemingly innocuous actions like cheek rubs, headbutting and licking are literally letting you already know they love you! Whether or not he’s hanging round and purring or kneading your extremities uncooked and chirping, it’s all concerning the love.

So, whether or not they’re supplying you with little cat love bites out of follicle frustration or out of kitty cat playfulness, our cats are all the time letting us know the way they really feel. It’s as much as us to concentrate.

Thumbnail: Images ©BubblegirlPhoto | iStock / Getty Pictures Plus.

This piece was initially revealed on February 7, 2018.

Inform us: What prompts your cat to present you these cat love bites and the way do you reply to cat love bites?

Concerning the writer

Denise LeBeau is a author, editor and photographer with nearly 20 years of expertise of making content material for animal-related points, endeavors and occasions. She labored at Finest Associates Animal Society for 12 years the place she had two columns within the Finest Associates Journal, and held a number of content material creation roles together with internet managing editor and outreach marketing campaign editor. Denise has been an ongoing contributor to Catster since 2014, writing for the journal and web site. The self-professed poet laureate of the pet set is at the moment the supervisor of growth for an animal welfare company, the place she works with a group to create content material throughout media platforms. She lives in Hampton Bays together with her two rescue Siamese mixes – Flipper and Slayer, and her LBD (little brown canine), Zephyrella.

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  • Adam Johanson

    Adam Johanson is an animal lover and a blogger at Panelpets. He writes regularly regarding pets and how to take care of them, as well as general news stories about animals. When he isn't writing, Adam can usually be found playing with his two dogs or cuddling his cat.