Because Cats bites too... All cats bite, but some do it more often and more powerfully than others, and this can lead us to think we are dealing with aggressive individuals, when in fact they simply have a poor socialisation. The BFQ (Bite Force Quotient, which takes into account the animal’s weight and the force of its bite) of a wolf is 136 and that of a tiger is 127, in the case of a cute little kitty, it is a still significant 58. And with that pressure and the wonderful carnivore dentition their evolution has provided them with, the effects of being bitten by a domesticated feline can be quite serious. However, we won’t be examining the health issues surrounding cat bites, since a doctor would be more suited to elaborate on that, but we will try to discover why some cats present this behaviour, and what can we do to try to avoid it.
Discovering self-control: It turns out that, during their first and second month, kittens learn the importance of self-control and biting intensity with their mom and siblings. What happens when, as it often does, kittens are no longer with their cat family at that age? Well, the task of teaching them falls upon us, and to do it well it is important to follow a few rules, which in this case we have taken out of the Basic Manual for Cat Adopters by cat communicator Laura Trillo, whose entire text can be found online at www.terapiafelina.com: • Never play with our hands and feet when playing with the cat, it is the most common mistake, from which most aggressiveness complaints derive. • Encourage the kitten to play with toys. Which are the ideal ones? The cane or the feather duster, which don’t give them easy access to our hands. • If our cat bites us, we must move our hand and yell, demonstrating he is hurting us, just like one of his siblings would do. Then when he releases us, we take our hand or foot slowly out of their reach while we divert their attention with a toy. The yell should only be used if it’s a game, never if the cat attacks us for any other reason. And, no matter his age, it is better not to overwhelm him… Another important rule pointed out by Laura Trillo is to respect the cat and its space, leaving him be, even if it’s difficult to stop ourselves from kissing and hugging him. Many bites we take deservingly, because we don’t pay attention to our cat’s signals, warning us when he is not in the mood for snuggling or that the time for cuddling is over.
What happens when an adult cat bites hard? Inappropriate behaviours related to biting in our cats, aggressiveness towards our hands or feet are usually related to mistakes made during their education, or that they didn’t receive that training at the appropriate age. But you shouldn’t panic, it is never too late, and with patience, dedication and the guidance of a specialist, these habits can be corrected.
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Published on Dec 1, 2014
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