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Bites when happy?

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Remulos

Saber-toothed- House Cat
 
 
Purred: Wed Apr 6, '11 10:01am PST 
My cat Remy is around 8 months. He's scared of strangers but with me he's very affectionate. As soon as I sit down after getting home, he'll run over and start walking back and forth across my lap purring like crazy. So I'll start petting him and at first it'll be fine and then he'll suddenly turn his head and bite my hand. Or he'll be rubbing his face on mine and then bite my face.

Not super hard but this cat has really long, sharp teeth (I've had quite a few cats and I've never seen one with teeth like his). Plus he's been on whole prey since I got him at 8 weeks so he has a very strong jaw. So even a moderate bite from this cat is pretty painful.

I understand young cats bite in play but it's like it's his way of showing affection. I'm not sure how to stop this behavior. Usually I'll say, ouch and stop petting him for a minute but that doesn't seem to be effective. He'll just sit there purring until I start petting him again and then bite me. If I take him off my lap and set him on the ground, he comes right back.

He also drools a fair bit when he's happy and purring. It gets quite wet around his mouth and occasionally drips. Is this normal?
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Sylph

Lifes is- Purrfekt!
 
 
Purred: Thu Apr 21, '11 8:07pm PST 
Sounds like he be overstimulated. Mummy stops petting me when I do that. Then when It's calm, we plays snuggles again.
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Kelby

The Little- Prince, Devil- Cat, Monkey.
 
 
Purred: Tue Apr 26, '11 6:46pm PST 
Look at the feet on that child!!!! He has some growing to do to get into those feet!
H eis a doll baby!!!
Deb
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Remulos

Saber-toothed- House Cat
 
 
Purred: Wed Apr 27, '11 10:59am PST 
I had wondered if maybe he just got a little too excited. He adores attention but usually only from me lol

Thanks Kelby, he is very sweet. His father was a Maine Coon so he probably will get pretty big!
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Wed Apr 27, '11 12:30pm PST 
BK bites too when he's really happy. I call them love bites but I'm fortunate he's very gentle. They're like kitty kisses. And I've had fosters who drool when they get very excited. Just rule out a dental issue to be sure, but it is pretty normal.
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Sara

1093098
 
 
Purred: Sun May 8, '11 7:14pm PST 
Sara used to do that. We'd be cuddling and then she'd very calmly and deliberately bite me on the jaw. I always took it as a sign of affection, but it hurt, so I'd give a quick squeek and then put her down. She seemed to get the message and stopped after a time or two.
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Milo

I love me some- hugs!
 
 
Purred: Sun May 8, '11 7:35pm PST 
Milo does the drooling thing when he's excessively happy, too.

The bites sound like "love bites" to me. Lots of cats do it, and some are gentler than others. My Max used to give me love bites on the nose all the time - cute when he was little, but more painful as an adult. I sometimes do the high pitched "ouch!" to kind of mimic what another cat or kitten would do if they got bitten too hard. Sometimes that gets them to stop or back off. Otherwise I just accept it as part of the personality. smile

He's a cutie!
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Precious- Houk

I love pouncing- feet!
 
 
Purred: Tue May 10, '11 1:02am PST 
I have a Maine Coon mix, and she does the same thing. I will be petting her and she will flop over on her back and hold my hand gently and bite me gently and then lick me a few times, and then bit again. She does that a couple times and then she runs off for a second. I usually try to pet her again, and then she repeats. She is in the teething process, I often wonder if when she does this if it isn't a product of that? It may be a possible explanation.
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Khan

Ya just can't- win!
 
 
Purred: Thu Jun 2, '11 8:03pm PST 
I've bred cats before, and have owned cats all my life... Just like their jungle cousins, mating is not pretty and often noisy. But like their wild cousins they hang on when they've mounted by biting their mate on the neck and holding them in place. (If you've ever watched cats mating, you're bound to see this behavior.)

So usually when affection is being given, the male may bite you (gently if you've trained them not to bite hard) when stroking or in a deep love mode (rolling, purring, hugging by clinging to your hand with his front paws). Sometimes they kick (which is also a wild trait of subduing their mate or prey into submission).

And sometimes they can get carried away and bite a bit too hard, even to the point of drawing blood. NEVER hit your animal, as they will stop all together giving you affection, and may even turn aggressive! They won't understand why you hit them. HOWEVER, let them know it hurts, by tapping them gently on the top of their nose, and firmly telling them "NO biting," "Be nice," or "Stop!" With enough patience they will learn to do it gently.

I find the only time I get hurt now, is when their claws need clipping during the kick... But I've grown to like their affection and their love bites!
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Khan

Ya just can't- win!
 
 
Purred: Thu Jun 2, '11 8:08pm PST 
I've bred cats before, and have owned cats all my life... Just like their jungle cousins, mating is not pretty and often noisy. But like their wild cousins they hang on when they've mounted by biting their mate on the neck and holding them in place. (If you've ever watched cats mating, you're bound to see this behavior.)

So usually when affection is being given, the male may bite you (gently if you've trained them not to bite hard) when stroking or in a deep love mode (rolling, purring, hugging by clinging to your hand with his front paws). Sometimes they kick (which is also a wild trait of subduing their mate or prey into submission).

And sometimes they can get carried away and bite a bit too hard, even to the point of drawing blood. NEVER hit your animal, as they will stop all together giving you affection, and may even turn aggressive! They won't understand why you hit them. HOWEVER, let them know it hurts, by tapping them gently on the top of their nose, and firmly telling them "NO biting," "Be nice," or "Stop!" BUT don't pull away, until they've let go...and give them positive reinforcement with they do! With enough patience they will learn to do it gently.

I find the only time I get hurt now, is when their claws need clipping during the kick... But I've grown to like their affection and their love bites!
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