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What to do about cats that bite
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What to do about cats that bite

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Dear Cathy: How do I stop my 8-month-old cat from biting me? I think he wants attention but that’s a lousy way to get it. He doesn’t bite my partner, just me. Also, are there any ways to keep the same kitten from pulling all the toilet paper off the rolls? — Judy, Tucson, Arizona

Dear Judy: An 8-month-old kitten is probably biting because he is teething, and his gums are sore. It’s likely just a phase, but phases need to be monitored and managed to ensure they don’t become habits.

Cat play is nothing more than a display of a feline’s hunting behaviors, which means they stalk, pounce and bite things when playing. To avoid getting bitten, never use your hands as playthings. Keep stuffed socks, feathered wands, and other cat toys handy to quickly distract and play with your cat instead. This will keep your hands free from bites and your cat happy and content.

Some cats though, take biting a step further. One minute, you’re petting your cat and having a happy moment, the next your cat nails you with their claws or mouth.

This is always a scary moment for the pet parent who wonders what on earth they did to deserve a bite? Or they wonder what’s wrong with their cat?

Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal.

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