Cat lovers are probably the most passionate demographic group of all. We love our cats! We wear our love, squeeze it, photograph it, and share it, wholeheartedly. Even though we love our cats and want them to love us back, sometimes we are a little too eager to show them that love. Yes, we want to cuddle and pet them all the time, and very often they enjoy this attention – up to a point! Cat love bites are the result of our demonstrative nature running wild. Anyone who has lived with a cat probably knows a cat bite story or two. Let’s take a look at how to distinguish cat bites from real cat bites and what to do in the event of a cat bite.
Cat bites and overstimulation
Cat sounds can tell us a lot about our cats’ emotions. Therefore, we rely on the cat’s body language to tell us how it is feeling. Backward ears, low growls, and a wagging tail say, “Get away from me now.” A cornered and agitated cat may react and attack the perceived threat. By monitoring your cat’s increasing signs of aggression, you can avoid cat bites. True cat bites that result in puncture wounds should be treated immediately.
However, there are times when you and your cat get along well. You scratch her ears, she looks at you with soft eyes and gives you that cat kiss as she slowly blinks. She might even start kneading your leg. The feeling of mutual admiration pulses through the air. You start rubbing his shoulders, he really seems to like being stroked in that area. So you increase the pressure, leaning in a little more to increase the purr. Then, seemingly without warning, he bites your hand as you pet him. The pain probably grips you before you can realize what just happened. Cats love to bite and hit again!
According to Jackson Galaxy, cat behaviorist, and author, love bites mean your cat is overstimulated. Specifically, Galaxy tells the Sydney Morning Herald, “It’s called petting-induced overstimulation. The receptors in a cat’s hair follicles can only tolerate so many bites before they hurt.”
Cat bites can be a remnant of kitten days.
My Himalayan mix named Slayer comes up to me unexpectedly and bites my arm – more like a bite. Whether I’m on the couch or in bed, he gets up and makes this casual gesture. Then he lies down on the floor and exposes his stomach. This ritual ends with a few pats from me. But not too much!
So what’s the problem? Dr. Karen Becker tells The Huffington Post that it’s reminiscent of the way cats and kittens interact playfully. It’s another form of cat love bite, but it’s not the result of too much stimulation. Your cat is simply playing and using her nonverbal communication skills to let you know she wants attention now, please.
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