There are times and circumstances under which we should accept being bitten by our cat. We can even enjoy it to a certain extent (and I don’t mean masochistically!). Our cat certainly expects us to enjoy it. This is because when our young cat wishes to play with us he may bite us. This is the way cats play. Have a look at this video of Savannah cats at play (this is fiercer than normal).
If our cat sees us as another cat, which is the way it is in my opinion, then when a cat is young we should engage in play with him. That does not necessarily mean that our hand should be bitten, or our arms or legs or whatever but if we are bitten in play which is not aggressive biting, we should accept it. If we don’t; the way I see it is that we are rejecting our cat’s advances to play with us and I don’t think that is good psychologically for a cat.
Of course, we can play with our cat with a cat tease or some other object while keeping our hands and arms away from his teeth. Sometimes that is not possible. Sometimes our cat will ambush us. Sometimes our cat will be so pleased to see us that he will want to play especially if he is a young cat. In fact, we could probably argue that this sort of informal playing with us which happens spontaneously is more of less restricted to kittens and young or youngish cats. Often it comes out of excitement. I know that that is the case with my cat, Gabriel.
If he hasn’t seen me for a while because he’s been outside or I have been away, his pleasure in seeing me may spill over into playing with me at any opportunity which may mean that he attacks my arm or even my feet.
When he’s been outside hunting sometimes his hunting instincts spill over into his interactions with me. I accept them all because they are normal behaviour and I don’t want to upset him. I do not want him to feel rejected by me. I may be oversensitive in this regard but I do want to make sure that he is content and able to expresses his natural urges and desires in an unrestricted manner.
I realise that some good cat caretakers would categorically reject my easygoing attitude and say that cat owners should train out this sort of behaviour even by punishment. I don’t agree that. Also I believe that cats tend to lose the desire to play bite us in play. I am not saying this is always the case but older cats are less likely to do it. On this basis the “problem” (and I don’t see it as a problem) fades away.
When my cat bites in play he does not pierce the skin.