Cat biting is the second most common cat behavioral problem after inappropriate cat peeing. Many cat owners just do not understand cat biting behavior, and fail to deal with it properly. Some owners get into a bad relationship with their cats, and end up putting them under. This is very sad. Do not let this happen to you and your cat.
The first question you want to ask yourself is: Does the biting draw blood, and when does it happen? If your cat bites you very often, and frequently draws blood, this is a behavior you want to stop. The best way is to carry a squeeze bottle of water with you. Anytime you are bitten, immediately spray a little bit of water at your cat's face. You want to lightly shock kitty, not drench it. This sends a message to him that biting is not appropriate behavior. If you do this immediately and consistently, you will eventually break your cat of this problem behavior.
Sometimes, you are having fun with kitty, either petting him or playing with him, and he suddenly bites you. You want to take note of his body language - is he sending you a message to "STOP!", or has he just switched to a different game? If he is telling you to stop, then you should stop. Maybe he has gotten bored, or just wants to do something else. You need to respect your cat - that is the only way to have a good relationship with him. On the other hand, if he has switched to a different game, then the ball is in your court. Do you want to play this new game, where he bites you? Or do you want to stop?
Now, you need to know the difference between your cat biting you and nipping you. One draws blood, the other does not. Cat bites which draw blood can be potentially dangerous, and is a behavioral problem you should stop. If kitty just nips you playfully, or gnaws on your knuckles or toes, he is just showing that he loves you. All of you new cat owners out there - this is NOT a problem. Repeat: this is not a problem.
Some cats just do not know how to control their strength. Sometimes, they were removed from their litter-mates or mother too early, and never learned that biting too hard is wrong. Other times, it is the fault of their owners. You may have unknowingly encouraged the cat biting problem. Either way, playtime can get pretty painful - unless you start using cat toys. A plushie or soft, stuffed toy is good. Let kitty play and wrestle with it instead of your fingers. You will both have fun without the pain. Another good toy is a little ball which bounces well. Or something which you can drag along the ground and let your cat chase after it.
Remember, do not over-react when your cat bites you. You need to be sensitive to your cat's moods - is the biting a message, and when is it a behavior problem you need fix?
Does your cat bite you badly? Click here to learn more about why your cat bites you.