scratch or bite for any number of good reasons. One reason is it may be
the result of over active play. Playing is a natural behavior similar to
a cat’s instinct to hunt. This is one reason kittens need to learn
acceptable boundaries for play. It is common for a kitten to attack a passing
shoe, a dangling shoelace, or pounce on unsuspecting persons fingers or
toes. If these boundaries are not taught a cat may bite when playing. If
a cat is being overly aggressive in its biting or scratching, the unacceptable
play should be stopped immediately. This teaches the kitten or cat that
its actions are unacceptable. While many think it is cute when a kitten
is little or untrained, it can be problematic when the cat is grown.
Another common complaint cat owners have is that even while gently patting
their pet, it may suddenly turn and bite seemingly “out of nowhere”.
While it can happen quickly, a cat will usually give a sign that it's unhappy
before biting. For some reason, many cats can find being patted enjoyable
to a point then the enjoyment ceases. Signs of such an impending “attack” from
a cat may be a flick its tail or a sharp motion of its ear(s) snapping
back; and, if one is unaware, biting can be the next step. Being aware
of your cat’s mood and behavioral cues can help to avoid these problems.
Cats will let you know if they are unhappy. For some cats it takes time
to accept being patted. Spending time each day patting the cat will make
it much more likely they will accept it more and more. However, forcing
your cat to be patted will not help at all.
Finally the most serious and probably the most obvious time for biting
and scratching is when a cat is threatened. This can happen as a result
of a strange person or animal entering their 'territory'. It can happen
if your pet is injured and scared. There are a variety of circumstances
that can lead to an angry frightened cat. Be particularly careful if the
angry cat is not your own. Cat bites can become infected easily. Pay particularly
close attention to stray cat bites as infections can pose a serious risk.
One of the best ways to reduce the risk of a bite is to expose your kitten
early to being accustomed to touch and appropriate play. If a kitten adapts
to being patted and touched routinely, it's unlikely that touch will threaten
him when older. The more one can expose their kitten to safe situations
when small, the more they will be accustomed to experiences when they are
older. This can affect their tolerance for strangers or other animals.
Similarly learning appropriate play will reduce biting risks. The temperament
of each cat obviously plays a significant role too, but making some adjustments
along with proper training can often help reduce the risk of bites and