By Thomas Allen
Cats usually revert to instinctive behaviors when they are put in situations that trigger uneasiness. Biting and scratching is often a cat’s natural reaction to anxiety. How to stop your cat from biting begins by understanding your cat’s tendency toward their natural behaviors.
Biting and scratching behavior toward humans usually starts with kittens as “play” behavior. Kittens learn to hunt and defend themselves through their innate sense of play. When you use your hands for this type of play, kittens learn that your hands are objects in which they can practice their defensive and hunting skills.
Although cats develop many behaviors as kittens, there are times when their actions seem unexplainable. Cats are complex and sensitive creatures that can develop symptoms of anxiety. Sometimes this anxiety will cause them to react defensively in ways that don’t seem to make sense.
If your cat bites or scratches your skin, remember not to take it personally. There are many things that can cause this behavior. Your cat may have developed a fear of being pet a certain way as a kitten. Sometimes your cat is bored and you are the only moving object in the house for them to “play” with. Maybe your cats found biting and scratching to be a good way of getting your attention. Whatever the reason, you’re likely reading this article because you want to change your cat’s behavior!
Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to change an adult cats problematic behavior. Which behavior modification techniques you use will depend on your cat’s personality. Some cats are more sensitive than others so keep this in mind when exercising any of the following techniques. Next time your cat bites your skin:
* Firmly yell “NO”, “OUCH”, or even “HISS” at your cat. You can be as forward with verbal scolding as you feel is necessary. Again, it depends on your cat and their level of sensitivity.
* Slamming your hand down on the floor, or grabbing a pillow and hitting the floor (not the cat) can also be effective. When your cat doesn’t respond significantly to verbal scolding, hitting the floor can be a good alternative. This especially works well when combined with verbal scolding.
* Grab your cat by the scruff of the neck and hold them close to the floor. This is a harsher disciplinary treatment for cats that are extra stubborn or rambunctious. It may sound a little extreme, but keep in mind it is the method that mother cats use to keep their kittens in line.
Use any or all of the above discipline techniques, depending on what the situation calls for. Sometimes only one technique is needed while other times you will want to use all three. The way to stop your cat from biting your bare skin is a step-by-step process so remember to be patient with your cat. Modification of your cat’s behavior will take time but change will happen if you remain committed.
WAIT! Don’t give up on your cat! A well planned behavior modification program may be all your kitty needs. Go here for simple, easy to follow reviews that will help get your feline inline!
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