“Love bites.” An act of fondness most cat owners are familiar with.
That term of affection that aches. But what does that tactless act of “love” really mean?
Well as can be deduced from it’s renowned name, that bite during a cuddle or pat can often be a term of endearment, a sign that your cat does indeed love you. As cats have a tougher exterior this symbol of love between fellow felines isn’t considered a painful experience, so it’s no big deal to them to give you a loving nip!
It is often an instinctual reaction so can be hard to tame out of them, however patience and perseverance can sometimes prevail.
A few tips to try and stop your kitty from love biting:
- When they do give you a love nip, put them down and say “No” and walk away, giving them no more attention
- Try not to yank your hand or arm away when they bite down, as not only can this increase the pain felt from the bite but can also be interpreted by your cat as a sign your ready for rough play! Wait until they loosen their grip and then pull away and employ above advice.
REMEMBER kitty bites are contextual! A bite may also mean “I’ve had enough!” So if your cat starts to twitch its tail, flattens it’s hears, turn it’s head towards you or stops purring, they may be about to tell you to “STOP” in a slightly vicious manner. Additionally if you’re engaging in a bit of rough play with your cat and he gets in a bite or two, remember that’s just how he plays with his buddies.
Reading the environment and your cats body language will help you differentiate whether that bite mark was an act of love or a warning.
If you feel your cat is not behaving in a playful manner, is becoming over zealous or you’re having trouble reading their body language, it’s always worth chatting to your vet.