If your cat is biting and running away you may be wondering why this has happened and if this kind of behavior is normal…
Why does my cat bite me and run away?
One of the common reasons for a cat to bite you and run away is it is feeling overstimulated. This sometimes called petting aggression, or petting-induced aggression. The cat is simply retaliating to feeling overwhelmed and uncomfortable in response to you petting it.
Som now you know. But, what could cause a random unprovoked attack like this? Could your cat be craving your attention? Are there some tips to stop this from happening? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…
Why does my cat attack me unprovoked?
Some cats will launch an unprovoked attack in a way to practice and fine-tune their hunting skills. This may sound unacceptable and illogical, but in a cat’s mind, this is perfectly fine. This does not mean you should or have to accept this behavior, it is merely an explanation.
Whether it’s unprovoked or not any attack from your cat is unacceptable. So, like any other form of attack, you will need to look into some ways to deal with it. Later on, I will explain different types of aggression so you can check which one matches your cat’s behavior.
What if my cat attacks me when I walk away?
A ginger cat hiding behind a door looking guilty.
If your cat attacks you while you walk away, and your back is turned, it could be practicing its hunting skills. One of the best ways to avoid this happening is offering your cat a more acceptable time for this in the form of planned gameplay.
Basically, you should offer some time when you can play with your cat to let this energy out in a controlled manner to help it stop these random attackers on you.
Could your cat be craving your attention?
There are times when your cat will attack your leg, scratch, or bite to get your attention. This may sound extreme but, in their mind, it is a guaranteed way to get your attention. And, to be fair, it does do that. But, not in the desired manner for us humans.
To avoid this you need to give your cat more opportunities to get your attention so it won’t resort to these extremes. Sounds simple, right? Well, like most things, in practice, not so much.
Does your cat always intend to hurt when it attacks?
When your cat attacks you in this way it is unlikely to want to hurt you. The problem is when they were young kittens gameplay in this manner, biting, scratching, etc, was commonplace. And, because they love you they expect the same behavior to be acceptable with you.
15 Ways to stop your cat from biting and attacking you
As much as we all know how much you probably love your cat, there are times when it might occasionally want to attack you (Click here for my simple solution to this & see the price on Amazon #Ad). Your cat may attack you due to several reasons, however, the most common ones are due to behavioral or medical issues.
Whatever the case may be, the result will be you getting scratched or bitten which is never pleasant. Not only can is it extremely painful to endure, but it also exposes you to the risk of catching a disease from your cat.
This aggressive behavior can become a really big nuisance if left unchecked. Knowing the reason for the cat attack and what solutions can be used to remedy the problem at hand will go a very long way in improving your interactions and relationship between you and your feline companion.
Another one of the most common behavioral issues most cat owners experience is biting (click here to see why your cat is biting and kneading your blanket). In fact, some experts go as far as saying that this problem only comes second to inappropriate urination.
This is because personality traits vary in cats as much as they do in human beings, maybe even more in some cases. The experiences your cat had when it was young have a significant bearing on its aggressive behavior later in its life.
But, the greater cause when concerning the problem of aggression is genetic diversity. Many cat owners will just go on to accept their cat’s unique temperament issues, however, others will find that aggression intolerable and will seek out ways on how to remedy the situation.
This aggressiveness can prove to be a really big issue for the cat owner involved. Hereinbelow are 15 ways to stop your cat from biting and attacking you. Let’s take a look.
1. Understand the Reason for the Aggression
Cats are generally predatory in nature, especially when in the wild. When your cat is constantly stalking, biting, and/ or attacking you, it might be looking at you as prey during these moments. You may not be able to see this yourself since your practically ten times its size and its owner to boot, however, even if it’s only your ankles your cat is attacking, it may be doing that to showcase its natural predator instincts.
Another reason why your cat could be constantly attacking you is that it may lack environmental stimulation or enough toys to keep itself busy. Basically, your cat may be bored. If this is the case, providing your cat with an adequate amount of interactive playtime could solve all your problems.
Also, when your cat is still a kitten try not to let her pick up some of these behaviors because it will normally carry them into adulthood thus causing this whole mess altogether,
2. Learn to Read Cat Body Language
Sometimes, during playtime with your cat, it may be hard to spot the difference between attack behavior and normal play behavior. If you look closely you will notice subtle clues provided to you by your cat that will tell you whether its intentions are harmful or playful.
For instance, if it is in a playful and bright mood, your cat will hop sideways, pounce, open its mouth halfway, arch its back and all of this will be done without making too much noise.
When the cat is approaching attack mode, it will start spitting, growling, or hissing during your playtime. It may also begin to attempt to grab and bite your hand. You may notice its pupils dilate, tail swishing back and forth, and its ears flatten.
If you notice it stalking you when you’re not playing with it, you can be fairly certain it’s trying to attack you.
3. Understand What Redirected Aggression Is
When it comes to cat aggression, redirected aggression is one of, if not the most, dangerous types of aggression. This is because attacks caused by this kind of aggression can be very frightening and damaging, and the bites are normally uninhibited.
Redirected aggression is when your cat’s aggressively agitated and aroused by a person or animal it can’t get its paws at. So, when the agitation trigger is unreachable, it resorts to lashing out at someone or something that approaches it or that is nearby.
This is why some cat owners tend to describe this as ‘out of the blue’ or unprovoked aggression. An attack that is borne out of redirection only occurs when the agitated or aroused cat sees someone close by or is directly approached.
It usually won’t go looking to attack someone. It is not intended nor is it a malicious type of aggression. It is basically a reflex that happens automatically without too much thought put into it.
This is why you’re usually advised never to try approaching an aroused or agitated cat showing offensive and defensive aggression postures or break up a fight between two or more angry cats.
4. Understand Non-Recognition Aggression
Non-recognition aggression occurs when your cat is inexplicably aggressive toward another cat in your home, or wherever, after having been separated.
This normally happens after one cat has spent some time in a certain boarding kennel or when it has been on a trip to the vet by itself. This type of aggression can lead to some very vicious attacks directed towards each other, and it may not stop there because this aggression can sometimes be redirected toward the humans in the home or other people that happen to be close by.
This unique behavior that seems to only affect cats and not dogs has not yet been completely understood. Even expert veterinary behaviorists still have a lot of trouble with it.
All cases are usually different when it comes to this, but in most, the behavior escalates to ongoing cat feuds which could eventually lead to the permanent destruction of their relationship if the situation is left unchecked.
5. Understanding Territorial Based Aggression
An angry/scared-looking cat with its mouth open & teeth exposed.
Most animals strive to keep out or expel others like animals from their territory, and your cat is no exception to this. Both females and male cats are territorial, however, males, compared to females, defend larger territories.
Territorial aggression in cats is normally directed toward other cats. But, that aggression can sometimes be directed toward humans and dogs as well. It can choose who it wants to show its aggression to, for instance, when it shows one person in the house and it doesn’t show another or when it targets a particular cat and not another.
Cats usually mark their territories by urine spraying, chin rubbing, and patrolling. When the boundaries of their territory have been breached, while showcasing offensive body positions, they may chase, stalk or even ambush the intruder (click here if it does this to you) that has been targeted.
The offensive body postures are usually accompanied by threatening sounds which include the likes of growling, swatting, hissing, and so on. Some cats immediately give an aggressive chase while others will take their time and stalk you slowly and steadily.
The perceived territory of your cat could be a particular part of your house or the whole house entirely. Some other areas could be the block, yard, or the whole neighborhood in general. Some common territoriality triggers could be the introduction of a new cat to the home or when your kitten reaches sexual maturity.
6. Understanding Maternal Aggression
All mothers in the animal kingdom have the instinct to protect their young ones from potential danger, be it a cat, dog, or even a human being.
Maternal aggression can happen when the queen, which is another term for a mother cat, while in the company of her kittens is approached by other animals or people she may perceive as being threats to her and her kittens.
However, this type of aggression is usually directed toward other cats and not humans, but, it can be directed to people from time to time depending on certain circumstances.
Queens tend to be very aggressive when it comes to upholding the safety of their young ones, especially in those few days after birth. It’s for this reason you should try as much as you can to avoid handling the kittens during those first few days after birth.
7. Understanding Dominance Based Aggression
Most cats rarely treat their owners like other cats in the home and don’t usually try to dominate them in a hierarchy or peck order. However, the cats that do treat a human-like another cat and attempt to dominate the said human, you’ll notice that cat hissing or growling whenever you move them or try to join them wherever it may be sitting.
Some will start displaying typical aggression signs such as spitting, hissing, flattened ears, dilated pupils, and tail switching, as well as blocking doorways. These aggression signs between cats are often very subtle and most cat owners tend to write them off as play.
Cats that are generally dominant are usually very territorial as well. And the fact that it takes them about two or so years to reach social maturity means that this is a behavioral issue that can sometimes occur pretty late in their lives. The best solutions to this problem are to withhold treats, attention, and love until your cat is relaxed and mellow. Try to avoid punishing it because that will only help make the situation much worse.
8. Stimulate Your Cat Mentally
When you keep your cat mentally stimulated it helps keep it from getting bored. One of the best ways you can do this is to provide your cat with environmental stimulation.
Keeping the cat occupied while in its environment will mean that it will probably want to spend its time doing other things rather than attack you.
One of the best ways to increase stimulation in its environment is to provide your cat with a large variety of toys it can play with. Also, make sure you keep switching them out regularly.
This will ensure it stays interested in all the toys at any given moment. You basically just have to make sure the cat isn’t playing with the same set of toys over and over again.
Sometimes throw in a small empty cardboard box so the cat can have new things to explore. Do this regularly as well. Puzzle feeder toys are examples of some excellent mind-stimulating objects you should consider buying for your cat. It usually keeps them well occupied most of the time.
9. Avoid Using Your Bare Hands as Toys
Wiggling your fingers back and forth in your cat’s face may seem like a convenient and very innocent way of enticing your kitten to play, however, it usually sets a very dangerous precedent. If you’re doing this, what you end up communicating to the cat is that it’s okay to bite human flesh.
Even though the bites and scratches (Click here to see how to stop your cat scratching your walls) don’t seem to hurt you at the moment, they definitely will once your kitten grows into a full adult. Your cat should also not engage in that type of play with the elderly people or children in the house for it would most certainly lead to injury.
Consistent training messages should be conveyed throughout your cat’s life. So always fight the temptation of using your feet, hands, or any of your other body parts as cat toys. If you want your cat not to bite you when it gets upset, then you’ll have to start teaching it early on that biting human flesh is definitely not okay. Keep your messaging as consistent as possible.
10. Avoid Punishing Your Cat
An important thing that many cat owners don’t know or merely tend to forget is that cats generally do not respond well to punishment.
Physically hitting, punishing, tossing, or pushing your cat away once it displays some form of aggression will not work with cats. Also, yelling will definitely not work either.
All this does is it will make your cat wary and fearful of you whenever you take the option of punishing it. It even confuses the cat sometimes.
The cat usually doesn’t know you’re punishing it because, in most, if not all cases, the punishment normally comes after it has done whatever it wasn’t supposed to do.
Physical punishment often raises the reactivity of your cat which means that the simple play aggression it displays could cross over and change into a much more serious type of aggression. Punishing it can also make your cat very defensive all the time.
11. Reward Your Cat at the Right Time
Try to always reward your cat for its good behavior. Cats tend to repeat behaviors that usually have positive outcomes. Whenever you give your cat a lot of positive reinforcement whenever it does something you consider the right thing, for example, gently playing with you or instead of biting it cuddles and snuggles with you, then your cat will always tend to do that particular thing.
Keep in mind that this positive reinforcement technique only works when you’re rewarding the cat after it has done what you consider to be the right thing or during its good behavior.
This is sort of tricking your cat’s mind into forming an association between the reward and good behavior. Doing this early on, while it’s still a kitten, ensures that your cat will keep this good behavior throughout its life. A reward can be any treat your cat enjoys eating.
12. Buy Some Toys to Stimulate Your Cat
Encourage some healthy playtime by providing your cat with a wide variety of safe cat toys it can play with. To determine the specific preferences your cat may have when it comes to toys, you may have to experiment a bit.
However, most cats generally enjoy playing with lightweight balls, furry mice (click here to see if you can feed your cat mice), and other average-sized things that will allow them to be easily batted around. Encourage the cat’s enticement by strategically placing these toys and objects all around the house.
Don’t just leave them in one large pile in the corner of a room. Have them peeking out of open boxes, paper bags, or such things like that. Having to look and struggle to get the toy will help keep them interested as well as excited.
Additionally, avoid using these toys to play with your cat. An excited cat will easily mistake your finger for a toy and could end up causing you serious injury.
13. Log Attacks to Measure Improvement
Keeping a record of all the attacks directed toward you by your cat will help give you a good understanding of the times and situations your cat is most likely to pounce and attack you.
For example, when you notice its way of waking you up in the morning is by having a small bite at your ankles, or each time you decide to interact and play with it a little it becomes aggressive.
When you learn to anticipate the times your cat is most likely going to attack, it allows you to adequately prepare for that situation which usually entails attempting to redirect the cat’s attention using something like a toy so that it can forget it wanted to attack you in the first place.
14. Book in Some Play Time with Your Cat
Try scheduling a daily interactive playtime session with your feline companion. These sessions should last for an average of about ten minutes or so and should take place whenever the mood of your cat is playful.
If you can, schedule two of these interactive play sessions per day. Spending a significant amount of time with the cat will grant you the opportunity of teaching it not to bite/attack you and may also possibly help you address one of the issues that is causing it to constantly attack you.
Dangling toys or pole-type toys, both of which can be acquired at your local pet shop or made at home will provide a safe distance between your hands and feet and your cat.
Toys of this nature will also help foster your cat’s natural predatory instincts without putting you in any danger of suffering any injuries caused by the cat.
If wrestling is what your cat loves to do, then a stuffed animal toy is the most ideal object for this type of situation, especially if they’re just still kittens. The best size animal toy is one that is about the same size as your cat. One that is similar in size is an animal toy your cat will enjoy spending a lot of time wrestling.
15. Work Closely With Your Vet
A medical check-up is vital for all cats that display aggressive behavior. The cause of some cat’s aggressive behavior could be due to a particular medical complication or condition.
Aside from acute pain conditions, cats that suffer from thyroid abnormality, orthopedic issues, cognitive dysfunction, adrenal dysfunction, sensory deficits, and neurological disorders can display increased aggression and irritability.
Cats that suffer from confusion and insecurity could be geriatric cats which, in turn, could explain the cat’s aggressive behavior for most geriatric cats tend to be slightly aggressive. Only a vet has the capability of diagnosing such medical conditions and that’s why it’s important to work as closely as you can with your vet.
Certain medications have been designed to alter your cat’s mood eventually making it much less aggressive. Only a vet can give you access to some of these medications.
Another contributing factor that most people do not know or forget to think about is your cat’s diet. The food your feeding your cat could be the cause of its aggressive behavior.
Try and watch what it eats. All in all, if it’s a medical complication that is causing this increased aggressive behavior then without the help of a vet, you might not be able to fully remedy the situation.
It can be very annoying as well as dangerous when your cat is constantly trying to attack (click here if this happens as you pass by it) or bite you (click here to see why your cat might be attacking houseguests). However, don’t be too alarmed because it’s something that you can totally fix.
You just need to learn the right things to do and start practicing them today. Hopefully, this article on 15 ways to stop your cat from biting and attacking you have been your first steps to complete enlightenment.
Try out one or more of these methods above and everything should go back to normal.
Many of us have had the pleasure of petting our cat, when all of a sudden; the cat bites your hand and runs away. This is called petting induced or overstimulation aggression.
Causes of fear aggression include the cat's living situation and people's interactions with them, lack of socialisation, genetic predisposition, and a cat's general personality. Inappropriate human-cat interactions, such as a history of punishment, can lead to the development of fear aggression.
Species appropriate punishment such as “hissing” or the use of punishment devices such as a water sprayer, can of compressed air, or hand held alarm are better than using any physical techniques since they are less likely to lead to fear and retaliation.
What immediate action should I take if bitten by a cat? The wound should immediately be washed under running water. Avoid scrubbing the wounds vigorously, or using strong disinfectants or other chemicals, since this may harm tissue and delay wound healing.
When dominating a cat, don't be rude to the cat. Don't mock the cat while doing it. Just be firm and loving as a cat-mom, and you will get across the message that the cat's not rejected. Time, patience, honesty, confidence and consistency are the best ways to establish enough trust that you can dominate a cat.
Sleeping with you provides them with security and an extra defense if a predator should launch a nighttime attack. They sleep with you because they trust you, they know you're not a danger and you can also provide an extra layer of defense if needed.
Your Cat Stares at You to Show Affection
Cats can use staring as a nonverbal way of communicating. Even though a long, unblinking stare may not be the best way for humans to show affection, when your fur baby does this, it may mean they're showing love to their favourite owner.
Cats are already intolerant of human forms of punishment, but physically dominating a cat will break your bond with her. Never hold down, shake or hit your cat. Physically harming your cat can actually make the situation worse and cause her to lash out or become withdrawn.
Never yell at or hit your cat for play biting.
This behavior from you can cause your cat stress, which may result in a fearful cat, one that engages in unwanted stress-related behaviors like urinating outside of the litter box, or one that begins to show true aggression toward you and other residents of your home.
When your cat bites, clap your hands, scold him with a firm NO, and assert your dominance by staring at him directly and fiercely. Never strike or shout at your cat. Then leave the room and ignore the cat for several minutes. If your cat is timid, however, do not be overly aggressive.
When your cat nibbles you playfully, she's really offering her affection. This is much different from a fearful or defensive bite that's meant to cause harm, and the feelings behind it are different as well. Love nibbles are a ticklish, funny little quirk of lovable cats.
1) Do not allow him on to your lap unless you are in control. Begin with very short stroking periods and then place him back on the floor and stand up. Then give him a small treat such as a short play session with a toy or a small amount of food. Try to recognise the warning signs and stop well before they appear.
While people rely primarily on speech to communicate, cats predominately communicate in a silent language. Cats speak by using complex combinations of body language, vocalization, and scent cues.
Cats sniff your breath because it's one of the most unique smells your body produces. Most cats take comfort in their owner's smell, especially if they're bonded with them, and use it to distinguish who they are. Cats are also drawn to the warmth and moisture that human breath produces.
The natural hunting instinct in cats allows them to see in very low light for all night adventures but in the case of absolute darkness, cats cannot see. Cats are crepuscular animals, meaning they're active during the twilight hours like dusk and dawn.
Do cats even know that we're sleeping? We can't know for sure if cats understand the idea of sleep the way that we do, but it's clear that cats understand we go through a long period of decreased responsiveness. Instead of sleep or rest, it's more likely that cats simply understand our routine.
Another reason a cat may meow while staring at you is due to pain or discomfort. They want you to pay attention because they don't want to feel such pain. Some cats hide and avoid company when they are sick. This is usually because they feel threatened in their vulnerable state and want to protect themselves.
Cat owners are often encouraged to slowly blink or wink their eyes (e.g. sleepy eyes) when directly looking toward their cats. This sends a message that you are not a threat and they should not be alarmed. However, cats always prefer their owners using their peripheral vision to look at them rather than a direct gaze.
Yes, cats can see colours! Although they can't appreciate the full spectrum and the vast variety of shades that we humans can, their world isn't solely black and white like many previously believed.
If a cat bite breaks your skin, you should seek medical attention if: you start having any serious symptoms of an infection, such as fever, chills, pus or fluid oozing from the wound, or swollen lymph nodes. the wound won't stop bleeding. the wound appears to be deep or large.
After being bitten, most people who become ill will show symptoms within 3 to 5 days, but this can range anywhere from 1 to 14 days. Most Capnocytophaga infections usually occur with dog or cat bites.
If a dog, cat, bat, or other mammal you might suspect has rabies has bitten you, get to the doctor. The first dose of the vaccine should be administered within the first 24 hours after exposure.
Rabies is most commonly transmitted through the bite of a rabid cat or any mammal that has contracted the virus. The saliva of infected mammals is contagious. Rabies can also be transmitted if the saliva of an infected animal comes in contact with an open wound or mucous membranes, such as gums.