Preventing Cat Bites

You have just brought home the most adorable cat or kitten that is cuddly and sweet. You play together, hang out together and probably sleep together. You are still getting used to each other's routines and personalities. You might soon find out that your cat sometimes will attempt to bite or nip you. What is going on?


Biting is a form of communication. Your cat is trying to tell you something. It is up to you to figure out what that is. Below are some reasons why your cat might bite you.

Reasons That a Cat Might Bite

  • Medical issue
  • Overstimulation
  • Not receiving enough and/or proper play time
  • Attention-seeking
  • Hypersensitivity to touch

Medical Reason

If a cat isn't feeling well or is in pain, s/he might bite when touched or held. If this is a new behavior, it is advised that your cat be examined by a Veterinarian. If it is a medical issue, your Veterinarian can help to determine the illness or possible injury, and work with you on the best course of treatment.


Some cats become overstimulated and react negatively which could include biting. I have seen cats become overstimulated during playtime. They become so hyper or frenzied, that they bite if touched or if you move past them. I have also seen cats become overstimulated while watching prey, ie birds or mice. They become so focused on the prey, that if you stand too close or touch them, they think it's the prey animal and become reactive. Same if cats are playing together or fighting. If you intervene, they might think it is the other cat and react defensively by biting.


Knowing HOW to play with your cat is important. First of all, it is very important to never play rough with your cat. When a cat rolls onto its back and shows its belly, it usually does not mean to be an invitation to be touched or rough-housed with. Now, that being said, some cats do enjoy a gentle belly rub. If you are still in the stages of learning what your cat likes, I highly recommend that you do not touch the belly. Also, wiggling fingers, hands, feet or toes are out of the question. Cats love to pounce on them if given the opportunity. You are inviting them to behave inappropriately.  What might seem cute while they are a kitten, isn't so adorable when they start to bite harder.

Use toys to play with your cat. Wand style toys are excellent ways to have fun with your cat, provide playtime and exercise, and strengthen your bond with them. Wand toys are wonderful in that you can dangle and move the toy attached to the end of the wand away from you. The cat will focus on the toy (prey) and not you.

When using a wand toy, it's important that it is used correctly. The best way to use it, is to move the attached toy away from the cat (and you), move it around in the air, up and down furniture, in and out of a tunnel or box, etc... Make the toy act like it is a mouse or snake for the cat to hunt. When it is near the time to stop playing, do not just suddenly stop. Move the wand toy around slower and slower until it no longer moves. Allow your cat to catch the toy throughout playtime so she or he does not become frustrated or loses interest. Once the toy has stopped moving, provide a treat or a meal to your cat. The idea is to mimic hunting prey, catching it, then eating it. Afterwards, your cat should feel quite satisfied.

Attention-Seeking Behavior

Some cats will bite just to get your attention. I have one of those cats! Mufasa only has 2 teeth, so he doesn't cause any harm, and luckily, he doesn't bite down hard. However, if he feels he is being ignored when he wants attention, he "bites" my arm. Every cat is different in how you might need to deal with this kind of behavior. The best way to deal with it, is to recognize the pattern and then figure out how to prevent it from happening. In Mufasa's case, if I play with him, he won't bite. I realized that there was a "look" Mufasa gets and at that point, I toss one of his favorite mice for him to chase after, and it works. Redirection is a wonderful tool!

Hyper-sensitivity to Touch

There are some cats that love to be pet or brushed all day long. There are some cats,  that even though they might enjoy it, become overstimulated to the point where they bite. This is very confusing behavior because it appears that the cat is enjoying the attention.

Watching their body for signals is key to knowing when to stop providing attention. Signs to watch for include, but are not limited to: tail twitching or swaying, ears flattened, fur rippling down their back, rubbing their face against you in a frenzied manner. Once you learn their signal, you will know when attention time is over.

Reward Good Behavior

Always remember to reward your cat's good behavior. Never punish them, as that can create fear or anxiety towards you. You want to create or continue to have a special bond with your cat.

It is easy to forget to reward a cat when they are behaving, and that could include when he or she is just sitting on the couch or even sleeping!

If your cat bites, and you have figured out how to prevent more bites from happening, be sure to reward them. Provide a tasty treat, have a fun play session, extra cuddles, etc... As long as you give them something they highly enjoy, they will remember and it will help you both to have a safe and positive relationship.

Ask for Help

If you are experiencing aggression with your cat, and medical issues have already been ruled out, please reach out for a behavior consultation.  I would be happy to help!

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Preparing For Your New Cat


Going Back to Work? How it Might Affect Your Cat.

Going Back to Work? How it Could Affect Your Cat.

Photo by Sam Lion of Pexels

Cats love routine.  Just ask our 9 yr old, Rupert.  He can tell you when each of his meals are served.  He will also let you know if you are late, by knocking the tv remote off of the end table.

Gonna share, Mom?

More people are heading back into the office now that the Covid vaccines are available.  For some people, this will be an easy transition back to an old and familiar routine.  However, have you considered how this will affect your cat and its routine?

Cats are known for not liking change.  That's true for a lot of cats, but certainly not all cats.  When offices started closing down due to Covid this was a big change for people and everyone in their home. Including pets. Some people and their pets likely adjusted to the change of working from home rather quickly.  Others might not have.  

These were stressful times and still continue to be.  Cats can be very sensitive to change, but also to how we are feeling and dealing with things.  Unfortunately, this can often go unnoticed until your cat "tells you".  Meaning, their behavior changes.  Sometimes with unacceptable behavior. Hopefully, your cat was happy and content with having you home more often.  I also hope that you found some stress relief by spending more time with your cat.  

Now, with offices bringing people back, this is another change in routine for your cat.  But wait, isn't this just like when you are home on vacation or the weekend?  No.  Those are shorter periods of time, and most likely, your cat is used to the weekend routine.  Yes, vacation time might be longer than a weekend, and your cat might feel it needs to do some adjusting. But, not nearly the same as you being home for a year.

Your cat could have 2 different reactions when you go back to the office on a daily basis.

The first reaction would be that he or she will miss you! You might have spent more time cuddling or playing with your cat.  You might have slept in more and/or stayed up later.  Your cat likely adjusted to that new routine. 

I miss you!

Photo by Marko Blazevic from Pexels

Or, the other reaction is one of relief.  Yes, your cat might be happy to go back to the old routine, as much as he or she loves you.  Some cats prefer having more time to themselves and less noise or stress in the home.

Finally, peace & quiet again

Photo by Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

So, before you head back into the office on a regular basis (or if you have already), be sure to help your cat with this transition.


If you had been playing more often with your cat, continue to have fun play sessions when you are home.  You may have less time, but having a fun play session is a great way of spending time with your cat and sealing that ever so important bond.  Playing with your cat can also serve as a stress reliever for your cat (and you too!). Kind of like exercise can help people shed stress.  An active round of play can do the same for your cat.


Photo by Wendelin Jacober from Pexels

If you spent more time hanging out with your cat, cuddling, watching tv together, etc...  continue to do that as much as you can.  You can always scale back on that gradually, but please don't stop completely. 

Some cats might even experience separation anxiety, which could potentially cause behavioral problems such as not using their litterbox correctly. Try to spend quality time with him or her before and after work.  Try to do this at the same time of day each day, so your cat will know when to expect this special time with you.  

If you have not yet started working from the office, but know you will be soon, start the transition now with spending less time with your cat.  Go out for an hour or more each day, to give your cat more time on its own.  If your cat appears relaxed and has not shown any behavioral issues, reward him or her when you come back with a special tasty treat or extra cuddles. 

If there are other family members in the home, include them in the new/old routine. Your cat won't understand that you might feel tired or not up to playing with him or her as often as you were, so if others can fill in, that would be ideal.

If your cat is experiencing a change in behavior, please contact your Veterinarian to arrange for an exam.  If your Veterinarian rules out medical issues, please contact me at or fill out and submit the Behavior Consultation Form.

Help Your Cat Cope During Fireworks

The 4th of July is coming very soon and it is a time for celebration and gathering of friends and family. While we enjoy socializing, eating, drinking, and watching fireworks, it is often a very scary and stressful experience for our furry friends. Of course, there are some that it won't seem to bother at all. Most of our own cats aren't bothered by it however, we live out in the country and fireworks aren't going off in our yard. However, some cats will feel anxious and scared during this time.

So, what can we do to help them cope?

Watch a firework display on tv rather than setting them off in your own yard. But, what about neighbors or if you do choose to set off fireworks in your yard? Please read on.

Providing a stress-free environment will be essential for your cats. Since noise is what will most likely create anxiety or fear, keep your cat or cats where they feel safe. If you have company over, you may want to place your cats in 1 room with access to their litterbox and a "den" type bed or box to hide in. Some cats might want to be up high, so a table or a cat tower might be helpful. Make sure they have access to a water bowl, and if they will be in there for several hours, a food bowl as well. Put some familiar and favorite toys in the room and bonus if you can include a cat scratcher. They can use the scratcher to relieve stress. Some cats might even enjoy it if you create a tent or fort by draping a bed sheet over some chairs. If you are the only ones home and planning a quiet evening, you can still do the above however, you may choose to do it without confining the cats to 1 room. If you have a white noise machine, playing that can help drone out the noise from the fireworks. Cats sometimes enjoy classical music, so you could provide that for them if you don't have a white noise machine. Play the music or white noise at a comfortable level. You may even want to try this with your cats a few times before the holiday to make sure this doesn't cause more anxiety.


If the lights from the fireworks cause your cats anxiety, cover all windows until the nearby fireworks are over.

Providing a fun play session before company arrives and/or before the fireworks begin can help your cat to relax. Get out their favorite toy, and get them running and chasing. Wand toys are great for this. Give them a good workout, then a light snack afterward. Just like people, after exercise and a bit of food, they might feel relaxed.

There are products available to help ease a cat's anxiety. Please note that not every product might work, but some do. Be sure to follow the instructions provided for any product. Some popular products are:

Comfort Zone Calming Collars

Nature's Miracle Calming Spray

Thundershirts/Thunderwraps for Cats

Even if your cats are comfortable with all the commotion of people around and fireworks, placing them in their own room might still be worthwhile. This prevents any escapes out the door as people are coming and going. At the very least, keep an eye on your cats and ask your family and friends to do the same.

Another really important thing to do is to ensure your cat is wearing a break-away collar with it's tags on it. In case your cat does escape your home, it's a good visual to anyone that spots your cat that it does belong to someone. You definitely want to make sure your cat is microchipped. A week before the festivities, contact the company the microchip is with to ensure the information they have is up to date. Also, it is always a good idea to have your vet scan your cat's microchip at each visit to ensure it is still working.

Some cats can become reactive or aggressive when they feel stressed. They may think that when someone pets them, that it was actually that "loud scary noise". Your cat might react by swatting, scratching or biting someone (or another pet). If this is the case, your cat should be kept in it's own safe place until your company leaves. Some cats can take up to 24 hours to calm down.

If your cat is reactive or shows signs of stress and fear, help them. Don't punish them for their behavior. Do not force your cat into being pet or held, by anyone and especially by strangers. We all love for our family and friends to meet or interact with our furry friends. But, during a time when your cat might be feeling more stressed than usual, it is a better idea to show them the millions of photos on your phone instead.

If your cat's history of dealing with fireworks, storms or loud noises causes your cat to have an extreme reaction such as aggression, or eliminating outside the litterbox during this time, please reach out to your veterinarian for advice. Please do so weeks in advance of an event you are aware of in case medication is prescribed and needs time to work.





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