Is it simply a playful bite or is it real aggression? Sometimes a playful bite, and I mean a real bite and not a gentle love bite, shows a cat’s inability to know how hard to do so. This often happens when kittens are taken from their siblings too early — by playing together kittens learn to do it gently. Another reason can be that owners themselves encourage rough behaviour. Thus always be gentle when playing with kittens — when one playfully bites you hard, stop and move your attention away. This avoids a repeat when the kitten is an adult. What is playful behaviour as a kitten can do real damage as an adult. A well brought up kitten rarely leads to the question why does my cat bite me.
Even when a cat gets older avoid rough behaviour. If your cat starts biting you hard while playing disengage immediately. You can easily recognize playfulness – examples include batting you with paws, trying to catch your moving hands and stalking. If your cat is on your knee, stand up and walk away, or if on the floor, walk away from her. Even walk right out of the room.
Resist scolding your cat as this may reinforce the undesirable behaviour rather than discourage it. Instead play with your cat more often. Use a wand or piece of string to give an outlet for aggression. Reinforce acceptable play by rewarding with a tasty treat. Avoid play such as chasing your feet or hands, or pouncing on you, as this will make the problem worse.
There is another reason a cat may bite. Sometimes a cat decides it has simply had enough play. Children may invoke this response when they are not sensitive to a cat’s needs, or if you pick up a cat and start petting it when it does not want the attention. This is most likely when a cat has had too little handing as a kitten, particularly in the first two-to-six weeks. In this case, your cat will tolerate–and may even enjoy–picking up for a short period, but after this will respond with aggression. In this case you will need to recognize how long you can safely hold him or her. Allow the cat to come to you and then, each occasion it does, hold it just a little longer. Reward with treats when you put the cat down.
To do this successfully, watch your cat’s body language carefully. Once you become aware of the body language, you will notice subtle signs such as a twitching of the tail that indicate unrest, and so you will be able to end the petting session on a high note, before your cat feels the need to escape. There is a certain skill in relating well with a cat. An article in wikihow sensibly suggests–
Why does my cat bite me?
Using too much force or speed, or petting it in the wrong spot can agitate some cats, causing him/her to bite or scratch. A good general guideline is to consider how you would prefer to have a stranger approach you and touch you.
There is one other important thing to note in all this advice. There is always a chance that your cat has a medical problem that is causing the aggression. Thus before assuming the problem is behavioral always check with a veterinarian that there is not a physical cause.