My cat bit me because I didn’t bring him prawns today

Just to make one point clear first, he bit me gently but it was a very definite bite and he ran away afterwards without any prompting because he knows that he can’t do it.

He loves his prawns. I go to the shops very early in the morning when they open (7 AM) to buy my provisions and occasionally to buy him cooked and chilled prawns. These are a treat to him. He sort of expects them and links the arrival of the prawns with my return from the shops. I forgot to buy them today and I apologised to him (which he didn’t understand).

Vampire cat bite
Vampire cat bite. Photo: Michael. This is a bite from a couple of years ago. It was serious and he has learned that he can’t do it. It was aggressive and frankly upsetting. He was born feral and the wild is still in him despite being fully socialised.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

His behaviour was all to do with wanting those prawns. He expected them to arrive. All the routines were mapped out in preparation for three or four prawns to be placed on his plate but it didn’t happen.

At that time in the morning my legs are bare and that presented a temptation to him so he dived at one of them and had a quick but gentle bite and ran off. I’m sure that this behaviour was linked to the fact that I didn’t provide for him in a way that he desired and had become used to.

That said, it is not wise to give your cat a treat of prawns every day. There is probably salt in them and obviously the diet is not balanced. But I just think it’s an example of how a cat or indeed any other companion animal can behave in a more intelligent way than we sometimes believe possible.

As an aside, there is an article in The Times paper this morning which says that dogs can be involved in contagious yawning. By this I mean that they can start yawning if their human caretaker yawns. Contagious yawning between animals is common but it is rare in response to human yawns. It happens with chimps, dogs and very recently they have discovered that elephants can catch a human yawn and start yawning themselves. Their keepers were amazed to be told this.

As mentioned, this is just another further example of how close animals are to us in so many ways. I hope that it helps to improve their welfare.


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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

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