Being a pet owner isn’t always easy, especially when our pets seem to have it out for us! Here at Leesville Animal Hospital we get a lot of first-time cat owners who want to know why their cat is biting them. So, today, that is just what we are going to talk about!
Just like people, cats have individual personalities and sometimes that can mean that a cat is exceptionally grumpy and grumpy cats can be easily aggravated. Aggravated cats can bite.
Not all cats are just “grumpy” cats, however, there can be a range of reasons why cats bite their people. These can include:
- Pain – When our pets are in pain, they can express that pain through biting, being grumpy, or otherwise acting out.
- Mishandling – Often new cat owners can be unaware of how to properly handle their pet. We see this frequently in new cat owners who are used to owning dogs. If you are handling your cat incorrectly you can be causing them pain or aggravation which your pet may display by biting.
- Dental and Mouth Concerns – It could be that your cat has something caught in their mouth, teeth, or gums causing them to express “mouthing” behavior that can be seen a “biting”. It may also be that your cat is experiencing pain as a result of dental disease which is causing them to bite or “mouth.”
- Play – Play in cats frequently mimics aggressive behavior which could mean that your cat is simply trying to play with you rather than hurt you.
So how do you know why your cat is biting you?
The best method of approach is always to rule out health concerns first. Check your cat’s teeth, gums, and mouth for any potential causes of mouthing or biting. If there are no signs of dental disease, obstructions, or other mouth health concerns, drop into your vet and have your cat’s general health checked. This will help to rule out any pain or illness as a cause of biting behavior. Finally, if all health conditions can be ruled out, it is time to turn to behavioral or dispositional causes of biting behavior. Consider talking to your vet or to a professional behaviorist if you believe your cat’s biting to be behavioral in cause.
We are always happy to talk to our clients about their cat’s behavior! Give us a call and set up an appointment with one of our veterinarians today!