Do you feel that your little pet attacks you? If you have noticed your cat is continuously biting and scratching or pouncing on you unexpectedly, don’t panic because, on this subject, we have a lot to teach you.
Below you will find practical solutions to prevent the cat from biting and scratching and also, we will explain the possible causes of the cat’s behavior, remember that before judging your companion it is better to try to understand the reason for their aggressiveness since sometimes the cause is in ourselves without knowing it.
Cats express their feelings in many ways, and sometimes, what we think may be an aggressive or inappropriate attitude can be the visible face of other problems. In almost everything, if your cat does not stop biting and attacking, we will help you solve the problem.
1. Focus your play energies on the toys, not your hands
When a cat is feeling excited and playful, it may want to hold your hands and feet, but it is important to teach it that only toys can be hunted. Otherwise, as they grow older, their bite can cause accidents and end up harming inadvertently. The next time your pet jumps by your ankles or bites your hands, react by staying very still, avoid listening to him so that he does not think he has achieved his goal … start the game. Redirect their attention to a toy (you can throw a ball away as soon as you see it coming, go ahead of its “ambush”) and stop playing for a few minutes.
2. Redirect it to a scraper
Scratching is a natural behavior in cats. They all need a scraper to stretch their claws and mark their territory. In the game, your kitty can use her nails for hunting and attacking practice – in-game aggression is normal! But if she practices on you, you have to redirect your kitty to her scratcher or toys every time she claws out. You can tell when your kitty plans to jump and scratch by its body posture – dilated pupils, tail flicking back and forth, and ears flat toward the head – these are signs of an impending attack! Training your kitty to use her scratcher should be another critical part of her lessons. Make sure every kitten in your household has access to a scratcher, at least for each one (plus an extra one)! This will keep the claws under control. Place them near the areas where they rest or near one of the limits of their territory that they have already marked. Remember that they must be stable and high enough so that they can be supported and stretched.
3. Stop gambling and ignore biting and scratching behaviors immediately
If your kitty is being overly aggressive and biting or scratching you a lot (when we’re not talking about an accidental bite anymore), be sure to teach her that that’s not okay. When this behavior occurs, stop playing with your cat immediately. Please stay away from your pet, and don’t reward her carefully. Stepping away from your pet, and leaving her alone to calm down without interaction (don’t speak or look her way) for 5-10 minutes, is the best way to stop aggressive play. Do this every time your pet behaves aggressively, and he will soon learn that bad behavior will only provide him with indifference.
4. Use your voice
Your voice can go a long way to letting your pet know how you feel. To stop the biting and scratching behavior, use a sharp command like “no!” or “ow!” every time your cat bites you. This sound, combined with ignoring unwanted behavior, can make him understand that you don’t like him. However, never yell at your cat. Always use a calm tone and never lose your temper. Your pet won’t understand, and an angry reaction can make your cat nervous or fearful. In this way, it would even make their behavior worse. After a few minutes, when you feel like it’s time to resume the game, continue to use your voice to reward good behavior and calm the victim. Always reward good behavior and slow down whenever your pet gets too excited and is too stubborn in her attack.
5. Play with him every day
Routine is vital to our cats, and daily play sessions of 10-15 minutes two or three times a day can help your cat to bond with you, feel relaxed and happy at home, and shed excess energy or aggressiveness. Stop before your friend gets too excited and loses control. You can finish by hiding some pieces of food so that it looks for them with its nose. Teaching your kitty to play calmly is an integral part of your journey together, and educating her not to bite or scratch during play is a crucial part of that. If you reinforce good play behaviors and ignore unwanted ones every day, your pet will soon learn to behave.
6. Avoid reinforcing unwanted biting and scratching behaviors
While it may be tempting to keep playing with your kitten after he bites or scratches you, listening to him can reinforce that these behaviors seem okay to him, he may even start to bite or scratch you to get more attention. Instead, always stay away and ignore your cat immediately when unwanted behavior occurs.
7. Check that he is healthy
If he continues to bite or scratch, or if your cat seems unusually aggressive, you must check with the vet that your pet does not have any health problems. Pain or illness can make your cat feel defensive and increase the likelihood that she will attack.
8. Create a calm environment
A stressed or anxious cat may also be more likely to display behaviors that include biting or scratching. To help him feel calmer, make sure his environment is correct. Check that you have provided enough resources for each cat (including hiding places, access to food, water, litter boxes, and scratching posts).
9. Trim your cat’s nails
Watch your pet’s nails and keep them short so that if an attack occurs, it cannot hurt you. Remember that cats naturally file their nails, but you can still cut them without problems.
10. Divert their attention
Cats use body language frequently, and there are undeniable signs, which indicate that your pet is in an attack position. If you notice that her ears are back and her pupils are dilated, she is telling you that she is ready for action, so the best thing you can do is divert her attention immediately. The idea is not to scold him but to avoid the attack. Other signs are energetic tail wagging or specific meows.
11. Install polyethylene film
You can install a polyethylene film on your sofa. Your cat does not like this material and will not be tempted to scratch it. Also, use aluminum foil for the armrests of your couch.
12. Know my cat’s language to avoid bites
Fortunately, the cat will almost always give a warning before biting or attacking. It is, therefore, essential to learning to recognize the warning signs of an attack. The cat might not speak in words, but there are a whole bunch of other ways they can tell us that they don’t like something. Generally, before biting, a cat can, in no specific order: growl, hiss, spit, try to run away, whip its tail, pull its ears back, kick its paws, it can curl up or even trying to look bigger, etc. To avoid bites, we must listen to what the cat tells us and avoid approaching it when it shows that it could attack. By giving him space, the cat will feel less threatened, and he will begin to calm down.