Dr. Dog Cat and Dog Health Care and Pet Supplies
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Cat Biting and Scratching.

Cats 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 scratches.




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