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Love Bites

Chama
April 9th, 2009, 09:45 PM
I realize that some cats just give love bites and they never stop but I am just wondering how I should be reacting when she does. I know with kittens you are just supposed to stop playing with them when they bite but would it be the same with an adult cat. The foster cat I have right now will randomly bite in the middle of me petting her and I stop right away but I guess I am just looking for some suggestions of how other people have handled it (and if it worked) I know it probably sounds like a silly question but I figured it didn't hurt to ask :)

sugarcatmom
April 9th, 2009, 11:53 PM
I realize that some cats just give love bites and they never stop but I am just wondering how I should be reacting when she does. I know with kittens you are just supposed to stop playing with them when they bite but would it be the same with an adult cat. The foster cat I have right now will randomly bite in the middle of me petting her and I stop right away but I guess I am just looking for some suggestions of how other people have handled it (and if it worked) I know it probably sounds like a silly question but I figured it didn't hurt to ask :)

Not a silly question at all. There are a few different explanations for this rather common feline tendency. One of them is that some cats become over-stimulated by too much petting and react by giving the petter a chomp or swat. The petting threshold for each cat can very quite a bit, as can the degree of the reaction, so the key to avoiding it is to learn to read your cat's signals that it's had enough (tail swishing, skin rippling, dilated pupils) and ceasing at that point. Here is some more info: http://www.catsinternational.org/articles/aggression_to_people/whn_prrs_become_bites.html

In other cats it can just be a play reaction. Watching my cats interact, they would often end a mutual grooming session with a bite (not hard) to the other cat's neck, kind of like an invitation to wrestle. If your cat doesn't seem stressed or impatient when doing it, I'd be leaning more toward this explanation.