Have you ever been sitting on your couch relaxing, your kitty jumps up to snuggle with you and you reach out to pet and rub your cat … then, without warning, this wonderful, purring, lovable cat is biting you?
Yes, sinking his teeth into your arm or hand! He may jump up and run away or give you a very dirty kitty look! Chances are, you are dumbfounded. What did you do to deserve that! You were just trying to let your cat know that you love him.
Why Your Cat Bites You
Cats are less tolerant of rubbing and scratching than dogs. You can rub a dog for hours from head to toe, backwards and forwards and they will rarely complain. However, a cat is far more particular about where he gets scratched.
Normally, a cat does not like its stomach rubbed. A cat is a predator and can also be prey for other animals and the stomach is a very vulnerable area where a lot of damage or death can happen if attacked by a predator. All of their vital organs are behind the stomach. So if you scratch your cat on the stomach, you may end up with the cat wrapping all four paws around your arm and a nice bite! That is their way of stopping your scratching and telling you “no” to that area!
The Best Places to Scratch & Love On Your Cat
Most cats enjoy rubbing in the areas where their scent glands are — in front of ears, behind ears, around head, whiskers and the base of their tails. Have you ever tapped a cat (or dog) where the tail meets the body? Keep up a soft tap and see what happens. Usually they will sort of go into a trance and prance around. They seem to love this.
And did you know this trick: Stare into the eyes of your cat and blink slowly. That is you telling your cat that you love him! Then, pay attention. If he blinks back, that’s his way of telling you that you are loved right back! (Don’t get your feelings hurt if your cat doesn’t blink back. It’s not foolproof.)
Cats also enjoy “head butts.” That means you touch the top of your cat’s head with your head. This is called bunting and also strengthens the bond you have with your cat.
Different Strokes for Different
Each cat is different — with their own distinct personality and particular background. So go slowly when you are finding the places where your cat likes to be rubbed. And steer clear of the areas that are most likely to elicit an aggressive response. Use common sense and be a keen observer and everyone will be happy.
What To Do If You Get A Cat Bite
If you get a cat bite that punctures the skin, contact your doctor about getting on an antibiotic. Cat bites are loaded with germs and if not cleaned properly and treated quickly, you could end up with blood poisoning.
So love your cat, but use good judgment and pay attention to those subtle cues!
Carole Tomas is the owner and president of Pet Pleasers, Inc. She is a graduate of Ohio University and a Charter Member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. When she began Pet Pleasers in 1985, business was conducted Old School via a landline, snail mail and an answering machine the size of a breadbox. No internet, email, text messaging, digital photos, social media or mobile phones! What has remained constant over three decades: Carole’s love of animals and an unwavering passion for professional pet sitting.