January 20, 2010

How Can I Train My Cat To Stop Biting?

Filed under: cat aggressive behaviour,cat biting,training cat to stop biting — Dr. Amber Reed @ 9:26 am

When we make the decision to extend our family by bringing a cat home, our expectations are for a lovely, cuddly creature that will bring love and affection into our lives. For the most part, cats provide the kind of love we’re looking for but from time to time cats exhibit aggressive behaviour like biting and pet owners are left trying to figure out how to stop this unwanted behaviour. One of the first steps a cat owner must take when trying to cease biting behaviour is to understand the underlying cause. In many cases your cat may be suffering from a painful physical condition, like an ear or tooth infection that can make your cat irritable and more likely to strike out. As such, one of your first responsibilities is to visit your veterinarian.

how to stop a cat from bitingStill, many people will tell you that the vet couldn’t solve the problems they were facing because of cat biting. In these situations, training your cat to stop biting is your only option. Again, the underlying causes of the biting must be determined. Most of the time, cats bite when they are playing, but sometimes stressful changes can lead to dramatic changes in your cat’s behaviour. Preventing cats from biting requires training them from a young age that biting humans is unacceptable behaviour. Behaviour modification techniques usually rely on a model of punishment or reinforcement. Reinforcing good behaviour while mildly punishing bad behaviour is the most effective way of stopping cat biting. Remember that your punishments and rewards need to be consistent. Carefully observe your cat so you can learn the signs that indicate biting will occur. When you see your cat demonstrate these behaviours, remove it from the situation that is causing your cat stress so that it doesn’t have the opportunity to bite. Moreover, when your cat demonstrates good behaviours give it rewards like treats or gentle pets. Remember that you need to set a consistent example and never let biting behaviour go unnoticed. In a short time you can teach your cat that biting is not going to be accepted.

About Dr. Amber Reed

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