You love your domestic cat companion. And he loves you in return. But sometimes when you get up at night to go to the bathroom (because you are of that certain age) it’s like driving a humvee down the Basra to Baghdad main road waiting to be ambushed by insurgents carrying AK-47s and rocket launchers.
Your cat is an indoor-outdoor cat and he’s just come in from the outside. He’s transformed himself from a fluffy, fluff ball to a North African wild cat, ready to do business, which means attack.
Biting owner – natural behavior in minority of cats
This instinctive urge in some, and I stress the word “some”, domestic cats to bite ‘inappropriately’ is natural. The desire to bite something, anything is there in every domestic cat, I would argue, but only in some does it express itself in unwelcome behavior. There are numerous reasons why a domestic cat bites his owner, one which is that he has not been fully socialized for one reason or another. It doesn’t need to be that: hands and feet are good play-hunt objects.
Another reason could be that the cat has been mistreated and is simply anxious. This is the reason why stray cats caught up in the animal rescue network can become difficult to the point of being euthanised in animal shelters. To judge a cat’s behaviour in a shelter is a misconceived concept in my opinion.
Anyway back to the point of the article which is to ask whether you are have been terrorized by your cat? If your cat bites you without provocation – branded “bad cat behavior” – getting up at night can be a bit tricky. You’re waiting for that ambush. The answer is to train your cat to stop biting and to train yourself to avoid placing yourself in circumstances and situations where your cat might feel inclined to bite. But it can be difficult to eliminate.
However being bitten by your cat can undermine the relationship. For a woman it’s like living with a man who unexpectedly becomes violent without provocation. It’s going to get under your skin eventually and may end in divorce. Aggression in cats is one of the major reasons why cat owners abandon their cats to rescue centres. It’s a reminder that we are living with a top predator driven to hunt, with hunting on his mind. A top predator living with a super-predator is not the best starting point for a relationship. But it works brilliantly most of the time but there is a fragile nature to it.
Sometimes, like a rocky marriage, it needs to be worked on and of the two players the owner is the one who has to do it. You can’t train a violent human partner to stop his violence – just get out of the relationship – but cats are different.
Can you fix it?
There are millions of articles on the Internet about how to stop your cat biting. I have written one myself but my method is unstructured and slightly unconventional. It’s about training your cat. However, domestic cats who have not been fully socialized to humans sometimes never quite achieve that level of socialization that humans desire so a full cure to biting may never be attained.
Did you find this article useful and interesting? Can it be improved? Please tell me in a comment. I am always keen to improve the site for animal welfare and reader enjoyment.