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Why Cats give Love Bites

cat behavior misses you

You must have observed that while petting your cat, they may nibble at your fingers or toes ever so softly. Have you ever wondered: why does my cat bite me? If the bite is soft, it is a love bite, and they are exhibiting positive emotions with this kind of action. However, a cat bite and cat love bite have very different meanings.

Why does my Cat bite me?

Cats are amazing pets. We take care of them, keep them warm, and then take funny pictures and videos to share online when they don’t notice. But cats also love their owners, and show their affection differently.  If you look closely, a cat’s body language tells you how they feel. A love bite starts with a warm approach, where they may brush against you or lay on you and hold a soft bite. An aggressive bite, on the other hand, comes suddenly out of nowhere, are painful, and can be accompanied by hissing and a barrage of deep scratches.

cat bites can hurt

Biting Behavior from Kittens

Even from growing up as kittens, love bites are a natural way to show nonverbal interaction with each other. During feeding time, this behavior is encouraged and often reinforced as a method of love and nurturing. They randomly give love bites to their siblings, parents, and owners to attract attention and to play as a form of social bonding. However, biting behavior can increase when they get less playtime with other cats and more playtime with humans.

the most common form of love biting

Cat Bites vs Cat Love Bites

Cats may show subtle signs about their feelings and needs most of the time, but you can always differentiate between the real bite or love bite by the behavior leading to these actions. A cat is in a good mood if they are enjoying ear rubs and looking at you. They express their love by licking, cheek rubs, head-butting, and kneading at your leg. But if you increase the pressure on its body, over-stimulate them, and ignore the agitation, the cat may increase aggression and bite at any time to escape your touch. Excessive rubbing will be often accompanied by a sudden attack.

cat bites finger

Signs of a cat bite coming

You should be watchful about the signs of agitation when you are playing or petting your cat. Signs of irritation and anger are dilation of pupils, tail wagging, or even hissing. Stop anything that you are doing to it to avoid real cat bites. If the cat gets irritated, it will dash out of place. If they still linger around, they might not want any petting for the time being.

ouch! see a doctor!

My Cat love bites too hard

One thing to keep in mind is that love bites from cats are fun, but real bites can cause infection and swelling. So, from a young age, try to train your kitten by letting them know it’s not ok to bite you. Don’t dangle your fingers like a toy, and don’t put your fingers inside their mouth either. You can use small toys, and let them mimic hunting by chasing and attacking their prey. Cats need to hunt, so they won’t stay in one place and chew on something until the end of its life.

this can lead to an infection

It’s essential to train the right behaviors in your cat from the beginning. Paying close attention and spending time with them is the best way. So, an occasional love bite and nibble can show affection and playfulness, but be sure to let them know who’s boss!

(Don’t bite them back)

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