Ouch! Does your cat bite too often?
Cats are known as some of the most playful creatures around, as an empty cardboard box or a ball of yarn can become an afternoon-long adventure. Playtime is an important part of your feline's overall well-being, as it is a source of exercise and nurtures your cat's instinct to hunt. However, while your cat may have looked like the most docile feline at the New York animal shelter, you may start to experience a few playful bites and nips. While this may be alarming, this could simply mean that you need to change your habits during playtime. Here are a few tips to get started.
1. Use long or fishing-pole toys. Biting is a form of play for cats, but it's vital that you help your cat understand what's fair play and what's not. One of the biggest mistakes that cat parents make is playing with smaller toys like plush mice, reports CatPlay.com. These are best left to your cat's own devices, as he or she won't be able to take a bite at the hand that's holding it. Stick with feathery or dangling toys, or consider placing small toys inside of a paper bag.
2. Watch out for warning signs. One of the strangest cat behaviors that pet parents can experience is being in the middle of a petting session that your feline seems to be enjoying, only to result in a small bite. Once again, this is just your cat's way of playing, but it can certainly be an unexpected surprise. CatChannel.com suggests looking out for warning signs like a swishing tail or darting eyes. Sometimes, less is more with cats, so knowing when your feline has had enough could be valuable.
3. Give time to calm down. After an extended playing session, you may want to give your feline a bit of space to simmer down. In this heightened state, your cat may be more likely to give you a gentle nip, so give him or her time to recharge those batteries before playing again. Chances are, your cat may have had enough and will join you on the couch for some relaxation time!
Bites are an everyday occurrence when caring for a cat, but knowing your feline's warning signs will help you break him or her of this habit.